Each new month brings with it an exciting and gorgeous list of books to be released. Going through all the lists and selecting my most anticipated ones has been the highlight of my week. November seems to be a light month but no less exciting in terms of variety and quality. Also, as the nip in the air starts poking you, is there anything you’d rather do than cuddle with a book? Anyway, hide your wallets!
1. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Allende’s latest book The Japanese Lover is an exquisite love story that spans from the United States during World War II to present day Poland. It’s the story of young Alma, a Polish girl, who was sent away to her aunt in San Francisco when the World War II loomed formidably over Poland. Therein she meets her Japanese lover. But due to the Japanese attack and other circumstances, the two are forced to part. Allende talks profusely about unconventional couples, prejudices and a love that needs to be kept a secret. Pick it up for reading an eloquently woven multi-generational epic with beautiful prose.
2. The Sport of Baronets by Theresa Romain
Genre: Historical: European, Romance
Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Theresa Romain is undoubtedly one of the finest writers of the historical romance sub-genre. Her craft and research of the time period, shines through her writing and it makes her one of the authors whose books I anticipate the most. This novella marks the beginning of her new series (!!!!) and includes family rivalry, scandalous truths, horses and racing! The idea of basing a Regency historical around horse racing is intriguing to me since it was a major part of Regency life and gets ignored by most, and if anyone can make it worth your while, it’s Romain.
3. Inside the Now: Meditations on Time by Thích Nhất Hạnh
Release Date: November 201th 2015
An ordained Buddhist monk, often considered the most influential living figure in Zen Buddhism as a whole, shares his personal experiences and inspiration of living in stillness with the help of poetry. With short meditations, he endeavors to give the reader a sense of timelessness while also sharing his instances from his own search. If, like me, the concept of timelessness sounds fascinating yet difficult to comprehend, then it would be nice to read this to understand more. No one better for that than Thích Nhất Hạnh, whose expertise on this is unquestionable.
4. Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
Genre: Non-fiction, memoir
Release Date: November 10th 2015
Written in a epistolary form, Dear Mr. You is so much more than just another Hollywood memoir. In her literary debut, Ms. Parker composes missives to the many men, both real and hypothetical, who have most influenced her personal development – whether it’s her grandfather, her father, a taxi driver and even an oyster picker. The letters are deeply personal and are meant to reveal layers of Parker to us. In one, she pens down her longing for the perfect man, while in another beautiful letter, she talks of how three men’s misconduct taught her to value herself more.The tone of the missives move gracefully from nostalgia to jest, sometimes combining both. In the end, Parker’s memoir is about how everybody, significant and unimportant, can have an impact in our lives. And for that alone, it’s worth a read.
5. All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Release Date: November 17th 2015
Clark is often dubbed as the “Queen of Suspense”, and that should be heartening to those looking for a good mystery/thriller. All Dressed in White is the second book in her Under Suspicion series, following The Cinderella Murder, which featured the bodacious television producer Laurie Moran as she investigated the disappearance of a bride. In this book, set five years apart, Moren sets out to recreate the night of the disappearance for her investigative television series. All Dressed in White promises to feature chilling suspense with an elegance which fans of Clark have come to love.
6. Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
Genre: Memoirs, Non-fiction, Philosophy
Release Date: November 24th 2015
Oliver Sacks, neurologist, and author of books like Hallucinations and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hatand Other Clinical Tales, was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer in January this year. Unfortunately he passed away this August. In his essay for the New York Times, Sacks wrote, “I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude… Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” This is also the theme for this book. Gratitude consists of four of Sacks essays in which he explored his feelings about completing life and arriving at death. He talks about leading a fulfilling life as well as coming to terms with death, by being grateful for the very gift of life. One Goodreads reviewer called it, “A glorious end of life song”. I think I’ll give this a try just for that.