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Book Club Picks for November 2021

Book Club Picks for November 2021

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Let’s look at five different book club picks for November 2021!

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the end of the year. One minute we’re gearing up for the start of fall and the next, it’s planning for 2022. Speaking of 2022, be sure to check back to the site as I’m currently putting together my huge must-read book club list for the year! There are so many fantastic books coming out that I’m going to write multiple lists. So lots of new books for your TBR!

But first, let’s take a look at five new books coming out in November. Several of these cover the pandemic and I’m sure that will be more of the norm going forward. Let’s take a closer look at each of the five picks.

All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris (November 2)

All Her Little Secrets sounds like such an engaging thriller! The story follows a black lawyer whose past and present collide after the death of her boss. This is one of those stories you’ll want to read in one sitting. Here’s the synopsis:

Ellice Littlejohn seemingly has it all: an Ivy League law degree, a well-paying job as a corporate attorney in midtown Atlanta, great friends, and a “for fun” relationship with a rich, charming executive, who just happens to be her white boss. But everything changes one cold January morning when Ellice arrives in the executive suite and finds him dead with a gunshot to his head.

And then she walks away like nothing has happened. Why? Ellice has been keeping a cache of dark secrets, including a small-town past and a kid brother who’s spent time on the other side of the law. She can’t be thrust into the spotlight—again.

But instead of grieving this tragedy, people are gossiping, the police are getting suspicious, and Ellice, the company’s lone black attorney, is promoted to replace her boss. While the opportunity is a dream-come-true, Ellice just can’t shake the feeling that something is off.

When she uncovers shady dealings inside the company, Ellice is trapped in an impossible ethical and moral dilemma. Suddenly, Ellice’s past and present lives collide as she launches into a pulse-pounding race to protect the brother she tried to save years ago and stop a conspiracy far more sinister than she could have ever imagined…

The Family by Naomi Krupitsky (November 2)

Most often Mafia stories center on the men but The Family focuses on the female perspective. It follows two best friends who live in the shadow of their families ‘business.’ I always appreciate historical fiction that goes outside the norm and focuses on eras outside of WWII. This is one to watch for sure. Here’s the synopsis:

Sofia Colicchio is a free spirit, loud and untamed. Antonia Russo is thoughtful, ever observing the world around her. Best friends since birth, they live in the shadow of their fathers’ unspoken community: the Family. Sunday dinners gather them each week to feast, discuss business, and renew the intoxicating bond borne of blood and love.

But the disappearance of Antonia’s father drives a whisper-thin wedge between the girls as they grow into women, wives, mothers, and leaders. Their hearts expand in tandem with Red Hook and Brooklyn around them, as they push against the boundaries of society’s expectations and fight to preserve their complex but life-sustaining friendship. One fateful night their loyalty to each other and the Family will be tested. Only one of them can pull the trigger before it’s too late.

Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

Our Country Friends reimagines America in the first year of the pandemic as it follows a group of friends who head to a house in the country during the start of it all. The synopsis is a bit vague but it promises lots of humor and heart.

It’s March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most. The unlikely cast of characters includes a Russian-born novelist; his Russian-born psychiatrist wife; their precocious child obsessed with K-pop; a struggling Indian American writer; a wildly successful Korean American app developer; a global dandy with three passports; a Southern flamethrower of an essayist; and a movie star, the Actor, whose arrival upsets the equilibrium of this chosen family. Both elegiac and very, very funny, Our Country Friends is the most ambitious book yet by the author of the beloved bestseller Super Sad True Love Story.

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (November 9)

Louise Erdrich won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Night Watchman. Her latest novel, The Sentence, features a unique ghost story set in a Minneapolis bookstore but also covers the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd. I’m quite intrigued by this one. Here’s the synopsis:

Louise Erdrich’s latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading “with murderous attention,” must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls’ Day 2019 and ends on All Souls’ Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written. 

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult (November 30)

Jodi Picoult returns with her latest novel, Wish You Were Here. I have to say her novel last year, The Book of Two Ways, was met with such mixed response—I continue to get messages wanting to discuss the ending. I personally liked that one but I do understand why people felt frustrated. I wonder if it will be the same with Wish You Were Here. Here’s the synopsis:

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. 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 Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

Happy reading!