In his debut novel, Ethan Joella writes an ode to the beauty of the everyday, this novel traces the losses, loves, and dreams of a small Connecticut town.
Kylie Lee Baker
Ren Scarborough is on a journey to impress the Goddess of Death in this riveting debut of monsters, magic, and Reapers.
Young Adult – Fantasy
Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned in this propulsive story of rage, injustice, and the limits of revenge.
Set in mid-century Brooklyn, Naomi Krupitsky crafts a story of a decades-long friendship between two women bound by the sins of their fathers in her debut novel.
Two friends take a wild road trip to stop the world’s most eligible bachelor from making a big mistake—getting married.
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As the end of WWII nears, an art historian (and maybe spy) forges a rare and impactful friendship with a young soldier.
Will Smith & Mark Manson
Brave, astonishing, and inspiring, Will Smith’s memoir is a profound, entertaining journey of self-knowledge.
Kyle Lucia Wu
In her debut novel, Kyle Lucia tells the story of a young biracial woman who grapples with identity and belonging while nannying for a wealthy family in New York City.
Dr. Edith Eva Eger
Speaking to the resilience of the human spirit in even the hardest of circumstances – a beacon of hope for our times.
An up-close and personal behind-the-scenes look at the culinary and cultural adventures of Anthony Bourdain.
Model Emily Ratajkowski explores how should a woman be in her debut essay collection. These sharp, vibrant essays offer one woman’s heartfelt and rich search for answers.
John Le Carré
The final twisty tale from the modern spymaster John le Carré.
This Colleen Hoover novel inspired by her mother explores a love triangle with some very sharp edges that reveals how those who love us can also hurt us.
Katie Elizabeth Russell
Published in March 2020, a student-teacher affair exposes dark truths about the nature of the past and memory—a gripping, propulsive must-read debut novel.
I was only interested in two main selections this month – The Collective and The Family. I do not read a lot of young adult books, especially fantasy. So The Keeper of Night I just skimmed past. Frankly, A Little Hope sounds depressing. It is one of those books that I may buy in the future when I am in the mood to cry. As far as How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days goes, I am not interested in celebrities in general. Reading a book about someone’s obsession with Keanu Reeves is just not my cup of tea even more.
Historical Fiction and thrillers are two of my favorite genres, so it is not a big surprise I went with The Collective and The Family. I love a book with women behaving badly; add in revenge and I am pumped. I have read very few books that involve the mob – Manhattan Beach comes to mind – despite being very curious about it. Combine the mob and a story about female friendship and I was sold on The Family.
As I mentioned above, celebrities and their memoirs simply do not interest me. Occasionally, I will read a memoir by a public figure, usually someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Michelle Obama. Will and In the Weeds do not fit that bill. (Plus, I have some feelings about Anthony Bourdain.)
I was a little confused by two backlist books being add-on selection – My Dark Vanessa and It Ends with Us. I chalked up the selection of It Ends with Us to Colleen Hoover signing with a new publisher and the book’s coming movie adaptation. (Picking this book was a success for BOTM. It sold out quickly.) I have no explanation for My Dark Vanessa.
I have some thoughts about My Body. It has received a lot of press and high-profile reviews. I can only assume that this is due to Emily Ratajkowski’s fame. What really turned me off of this book was the fact this book was being sold as Ratajkowski’s musing on living in a woman’s body in today’s society. I identify as a woman, and therefore, know what it is like to live in American society as a woman. What I do not care to hear about is Ratajkowski’s take as someone with a “perfect” body. It rubs me the wrong way, particularly with the publisher’s synopsis lauding it as courageous.
Win Me Something will likely be a book I consider buying in the future after reading some reviews from friends.
Now for the books I actually chose! Still Life is a World War II novel set in Italy. While I have read my fair share of WWII fiction, I have not read a book that takes place in Italy. Since I have not tired of WWII historical fiction yet and Still Life‘s cover is absolutely gorgeous, this was an easy selection.
The publisher’s synopsis for The Choice mentions Dr. Edith Eger’s background as a Holocaust survivor with a unique story and the fact she is now an eminent psychologist. Lucky for me, I read this synopsis and not the one BOTM offered (shown above), which makes it sound more like an inspirational or self-help book. The Choice, being a memoir about a Holocaust survivor, sounds like something I would enjoy.
I was unfamiliar with John Le Carré before Silverview was offered as an add-on selection. After a quick search, I learned that he was a master of spy thrillers and that Silverview was the last book he completed before his death in December 2020. Having not read a spy thriller before, I thought I would give this one a try.
What books did you choose for your November BOTM selections? Let me know in the comments!