Bookshelf

November Books

FICTION

Dava Shastri’s Last Day, by Kirthana Ramisetti

Dava Shastri, one of the world’s wealthiest women, has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. A brain cancer diagnosis at the age of 70, however, changes everything, and Dava decides to take her death — like all matters of her life — into her own hands. Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: In addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries. As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her “death” reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, by Diana Gabaldon

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1746; now the American Revolution threatens to do the same. In this newest novel in the Outlander series, it is 1779, and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. Yet, even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great, and Jamie knows loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long until the war is on his doorstep. Brianna and Roger have their own worry: that the dangers that provoked their escape from the 20th century might catch up to them. Not so far away, young William Ransom is still coming to terms with the discovery of his true father’s identity — and thus his own — and Lord John Grey has reconciliations to make, and dangers to meet . . . on his son’s behalf, and his own.

Wish You Were Here, by Jodi Picoult

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by 30, have kids by 35, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galapagos — days before her 30th birthday. When a virus appears in the city and it’s all hands on deck at the hospital, Finn has to stay behind. Reluctantly, Diana goes on the trip without him. Almost immediately, her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, the whole island is under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family and is transformed.

NONFICTION

Under Jerusalem, by Andrew Lawler

This is the story of underground Jerusalem, bringing to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape and discussing how the 150-year quest to unearth Biblical history in Jerusalem has led to remarkable discoveries, but also contributed to riots, bloodshed, and the impossibility of peace in the Middle East. When National Geographic published the cover story that inspired this book in November 2019, it became one of their most-read pieces of the year.

The Correspondents: Six Women Writers on the Front Lines of World II, by Judith Mackrell

On the front lines of the Second World War, a contingent of female journalists were bravely waging their own battle. The Correspondents follows six remarkable women as their lives and careers intertwined: Martha Gellhorn, who got the scoop on Ernest Hemingway on D-Day by traveling to Normandy as a stowaway on a Red Cross ship; Lee Miller, who went from being a Vogue cover model to the magazine’s official war correspondent; Sigrid Schultz, who hid her Jewish identity and risked her life by reporting on the Nazi regime; Virginia Cowles, a “society girl columnist” turned combat reporter; Clare Hollingworth, the first English journalist to break the news of World War II; and Helen Kirkpatrick, the first woman to report from an Allied war zone with equal privileges to men.

POETRY

Books and Libraries: Poems, by Andrew Scrimgeour

An enchanting book about books: a beautiful hardcover Pocket Poets anthology that testifies to the passion books and libraries have inspired through the ages and around the world. The poets collected here range from the writer of Ecclesiastes in the third century BCE to Maya Angelou, and Derek Walcott.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

A House, by Kevin Henkes

A square, a circle, a roof, some snow, then flowers, some people, a house! With a simple palette and rhythmic repetitive text, this celebration of home and family may be the first book a child reads on their own and a family favorite, too. (Ages 2-6.)

Thank You, Neighbor, by Ruth Chan

Young and old, big and small, neighbors are always there to take care of each other. This sweet story with Chan’s charming illustrations celebrates neighbors of all kinds, even the furry ones. (Ages 2-6.)

Cat Problems, by Jory John

There’s just no end to the problems in kitty’s life. Someone keeps stealing the best cozy spot; sunbeam is falling down on the job; the couch doesn’t have any good scratching spots left; and (gag) there’s dry food in the food bowl. No one understands just how hard it is to be kitty. (Ages 4-7.)

City of Thieves: Battle Dragons, by Alex London

Wings of Fire meets How to Train Your Dragon in this series that’s sure to be at the top of every dragon-lover’s holiday list. (Ages 9-13.)

Cold Turkey, by Corey Rosen Schwartz

It’s time for some f-f-frozen f-f-farmyard f-f-fun when Turkey shares his cozy clothing with his frosty friends and then f-f-finds himself a bit f-f-frosty. This story of sharing, caring, and friendship is perfect for Thanksgiving or every day. (Ages 3-6.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

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