November Books

FICTION

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty

In the new novel by the author of The New York Times best-sellers Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret, and Truly Madly Guilty nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are there to lose weight, some are there to get a reboot on life, some are there for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amid all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these 10 days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging it was going to be.

Tony’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani

Set in the lush Big Band era of the 1940s and World War II, this spellbinding saga from The New York Times best-selling author tells the story of two talented working class kids who meet shortly before World War II on the Jersey Shore and fall in love. Both are talented and ambitious, and both share the dream of becoming singers for the legendary orchestras of the time: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman. The couple marry and travel from New Jersey to Las Vegas to Hollywood, and all the dance halls in between. They become a successful singing act, until time, temptation and the responsibilities of home and family derail their dreams.

Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg

Lucille Howard is getting on in years, but she stays busy. Thanks to the inspiration of her dear, departed friend, Arthur Truluv, she has begun to teach baking classes, sharing the secrets of her delicious classic Southern yellow cake, perfect pinwheel cookies and other sweet essentials. Her classes have become so popular that she’s hired Iris, a new resident of Mason, Missouri, as an assistant. Iris doesn’t know how to bake, but she needs to keep her mind off a big decision she sorely regrets. When a new family moves in next door and tragedy strikes, Lucille begins to look after  Lincoln, their son. Lincoln’s parents aren’t the only ones in town facing hard choices and an uncertain future. In these difficult times, the residents of Mason come together and find the true power of community — just when they need it the most.

The Adults, by Caroline Hulse

Claire and Matt are no longer a couple but decide that what’s best for their daughter, Scarlett, is to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest Holiday Park, or who said they should bring their new partners, but they all go. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance, Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is 7, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over forced fun activities, drinking a little too much after bedtime, divulging secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this debut novel begins — with a tearful, frightened call to the police.

All the Lives We Never Lived, by Anuradha Roy

From the Man Booker Prize-nominated author of Sleeping on Jupiter, The Folded Earth and An Atlas of Impossible Longing, comes a poignant and sweeping novel set in India during both World War II and the present-day about a son’s quest to uncover the truth about his mother. Though freedom may be stirring in India, across the world the Nazis have risen to power in Germany. A German artist seeks out Myshkin’s mother, Gayatri, and his arrival ignites passions she has long suppressed. Myshkin pieces together her life, a journey that takes him through India and Dutch-held Bali. Discovering the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, he comes to understand his long-lost mother, and the connections between strife at home and a war-torn universe.

NONFICTION

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

In a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. Michelle Robinson Obama served as first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service.

The Allies: Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II,
by Winston Groom

By the end of World War II, 59 nations were arrayed against the Axis powers, but three Allied leaders — Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin — emerged to control the war in Europe and the Pacific. Vastly different in upbringing and political beliefs, they were not always in agreement, or even on good terms. Often led by Churchill’s enduring spirit, in the end these three men changed the course of history. Using the remarkable letters among the three world leaders, enriching narrative details of their personal lives, and riveting tales of battles won and lost, best-selling historian Groom returns to share one of the biggest stories of the 20th century.

Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940-1946, by Gary Giddins

Bing Crosby dominated American popular culture in a way that few artists have. From the dizzy era of Prohibition through the dark days of World War II, he was the nation’s most beloved entertainer. Crosby redefined the very foundations of modern music, from the way it was recorded to the way it was orchestrated and performed. In this follow-up to the acclaimed first volume, National Book Critics Circle-winner Giddins focuses on Crosby’s most memorable period and the origin story of White Christmas. This groundbreaking work traces Crosby’s skyrocketing career as he fully inhabits a new era of American entertainment and culture. While he would go on to reshape both popular music and cinema, Crosby’s legacy would be forever intertwined with his impact on the home front, a unifying voice for a nation at war. Over a decade in the making and drawing on hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to numerous archives, Giddins brings Bing Crosby, his work and his world to vivid life — firmly reclaiming Crosby’s central role in American cultural history.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The Broken Ornament, by Tony DiTerlizzi

Every family has a favorite holiday decorating story — the time the cat climbed the tree or Dad fell in the bushes hanging lights. The Broken Ornament stemmed from a DiTerlizzi family Christmas when his daughter broke a holiday ornament and learned the truth: When a beloved ornament is broken, a Christmas fairy is born. The Broken Ornament should be the first request on every Christmas list this year. Children and their families are invited to join New York Times best-selling and Caldecott Honor-winning author/illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. for an ornament making workshop and Ugly Sweater Contest at The Country Bookshop. (Ages 3-10.)

Bear Can’t Sleep, by Karma Wilson

“Oh, Bear!” mouse squeaks. “You are up too late. It is winter in the woods, and bears hibernate.” Everyone’s favorite hibernating bear is back, but this time, Bear can’t fall asleep. Certain to find an audience with the “do I have to take a nap” crowd, Bear Can’t Sleep will be the sleeper hit of the season. (Ages 3-5.)

Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth, by Kate Gardner

They’re the bad guys — wolves, sharks, hyenas, bees. But are they really? This simple and stunning picture book is a lesson to all that first impressions and common notions are often far from the truth. The perfect book for the holiday season and one to read far into the New Year, Lovely Beasts shares lessons that can have far reaching universal truths. (Ages 4-7.)

Fire Truck Dreams, by Sharon Chriscoe

For fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site will adore this exciting tale of a brave little firetruck. After a big day of putting out fires and saving kittens, it’s finally time to sleep. Fire Truck makes sure all is quiet and safe, rolls back into the station for a shower, swishes and swigs a bedtime refreshment, and settles in with a bedtime story. Autographed copies are available at The Country Bookshop. (Ages 2-5.)

Grenade, by Alan Gratz

The hugely anticipated follow-up to Gratz’s New York Times best-selling, critically acclaimed phenomenon Refugee. In another searing, high-octane story, Grenade shows how fear and war tear us apart, but how hope and redemption tie us together. (Ages 12 and up.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

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