November Book Picks and More Awards Announced, Nov. 5, 2019 | Book Pulse

More November book lists arrive and a good handful of awards are in the news. In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado, The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, and Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert keep building buzz. Fantastic Beasts 3 is getting started soon. James Patterson’s forthcoming The House of Kennedy is getting adapted. The Justice Department issues a warning letter to the anonymous author.

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November Book Picks







Salon has picks for November’s must-reads.

Refinery29 offers a list too.

Entertainment Weekly selects “5 comics to read in November.”

Barnes & Noble has lists for fiction, mysteries, thrillers, comics and graphic novels. Also for November, their new book club pick is The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell (Atria: S. & S.; LJ starred review).

Keeping it in the family, Bustle’s November book club pick is also The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.







The Anthony Awards are announced. So too are the Shamus Awards and the Macavity Awards.

The CLIP Carnegie Medal nominations for 2020 and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal nominations are announced.

Jean-Paul Dubois Wins Goncourt Prize for Tous les hommes n’habitent pas le monde de la même façon (All Men Do Not Live in the Same Way). It is not yet published in an US edition. The NYT has details.

PEN America honors authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon along with filmmaker Ava DuVernay and songwriter Diane Warren. The L.A. Times has a report.

The Hollywood Film Awards are out; some adaptations win the day. Deadline has the full list.


NPR reviews The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (Grand Central: Hachette; LJ starred review): “cements her place in the ranks of the country's sharpest writers of nonfiction.” Also, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (Avon: Harper): “a tour-de-force romance that tackles tough problems like insecurity and chronic pain while still delivering a laugh-out-loud love story full of poignant revelations about human nature.”

The NYT reviews Oblivion Banjo: The Poetry of Charles Wright by Charles Wright (FSG: Macmillan): “poems that tend to overflow their bounds so that each one seems to run into the next.” Also, The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets: A Miracle Exploited by Sarah Miller (Schwartz & Wade: Random House): “Miller avoids a sensational tone, and her fresh and detailed reconstruction of this famous story is riveting — part tabloid story, part poignant biography.” In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press: Macmillan): “Machado faces it. She sinks deep, exactly because she didn’t cruise past. Her memoir, like the dream house, is lived-in.” The audiobook version of They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate by James Verini, read by Ray Porter (HighBridge Audio): “a skilled observer of combat.” The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West (Hachette): “her voice is clear and impassioned, her argument firm … I wished for the same tightness in the first half of the book.” The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counterpoint): “stunning.” On Swift Horses by Shannon Pufahl (Riverhead: Penguin): “Pufahl’s voice is strikingly solid, timeworn but not nostalgic, as she unravels a cinematic story that avoids genre clichés or sentimentality.” The Seine: The River that Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino (W.W. Norton; LJ starred review): “a graceful, companionable writer, someone who speaks about France in the most enjoyably American way.” Sciolino has an essay in the paper too about Paris and its bridges. There is also “Battlefields: Recent Books in Military History” and an essay about Juan Carlos Onetti, “South American Literature’s Master of Malaise.”

The Washington Post reviews From Hell To Breakfast by Meghan Tifft (The Unnamed Press): “It takes a certain kind of reader to go for this book, but anyone enjoying the experimental, the strange and the dreamy — not to mention Tifft’s exquisitely specific and strange descriptions — will surely find much pleasure.” Also, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (Ecco: Harper): “his most perfect novel.” Girl by Edna O'Brien (FSG: Macmillan; LJ starred review): “It may be brave of O’Brien to take on such a grievous subject so far from her home turf, and it may be churlish to question the authenticity of her rendering of a tortured child’s plight.”

USA Today reviews In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press: Macmillan)., giving it 3.5 stars and calling it “piercing.”

Briefly Noted

LitHub picks the 20 best nonfiction works of the decade.

LJ's Prepub Alert surveys literary fiction for May 2020 as well as more nonfiction. has Jo Walton’s Reading List: October 2019.

The NYT announces its holiday gift guide, with coffee table books as one of the categories.

Bustle excerpts Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust (Flatiron: Macmillan).

Entertainment Weekly excerpts The Movie Musical! by Jeanine Basinger (Knopf; LJ starred review). Also, an excerpt of A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away: My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mission: Impossible, and More by Paul Hirsch (Chicago Review Press). EW also has a preview of No One Left to Fight by Aubrey Sitterson, illustrated by Fico Ossio (Dark Horse: Random House).

The NYT also starts running excerpts, here and here.

USA Today features I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown, Jason "Rachel" Brown, illustrated by Anoosha Syed (Henry Holt: Macmillan).

Paste has a short piece on the forthcoming BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams by Michael Allred, Steve Horton, Laura Allred (Insight Comics: S. & S.) and an excerpt of This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi (Feiwel & Friends: Macmillan). excerpts Unnatural Magic by C. M. Waggoner (Ace: Penguin).

In more forthcoming book news, Vox’s co-founder Ezra Klein is writing a book, Why We’re Polarized (S. & S.). It is due out Jan. 28, 2020. Also on the way, That We May Live: Speculative Chinese Fiction edited by CJ Evans and Sarah Coolidge (Two Lines Press). has details. Stylist reports that Rebecca Solnit, Malorie Blackman, Jeanette Winterson, and Kamila Shamsie will be retelling famous fairy tales.

The Hollywood Reporter has a story on the new Marvel Ant-Man comic.

Entertainment Weekly interviews André Aciman, Find Me (FSG; LJ starred review). The Atlantic features the novel.

People interviews Adrienne Brodeur, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me (HMH; LJ starred review).

The Guardian interviews Jenny Slate, Little Weirds (Little, Brown: Hachette).

USA Today interviews Marie Kondo, Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship (Crown Books for Young Readers: Random House).

The Washington Post also has an interview.

The NYT offers advice on “How to Get the Most Out of National Novel Writing Month.” Also in the paper, a story about how magazines aimed at men (GQ, Esquire, etc.) are rethinking themselves. A story about scented trees, with a reference to Scentual Garden: Exploring the World of Botanical Fragrance by Ken Druse, photographs by Ellen Hoverkamp (Abrams).

Datebook has a piece on learning to appreciate poetry.

The NYT reports on the Queens Public Library and its accessibility problems.

The Justice Department issues a letter to the anonymous author warning of non-disclosure agreements and pre-publication review. The author’s lawyer calls it intimidation. Publishing Perspectives has details.

Author E. Jean Carroll sues the president for defamation. The Washington Post reports.

Authors on Air

NPR interviews Allison Moorer, Blood: A Memoir (Da Capo Press: Hachette). Also, NPR a story on opium, featuring Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World by John H. Halpern, David Blistein (Hachette).

Fox features Brian Kilmeade, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History (Sentinel: Penguin).

Don Winslow, The Border (William Marrow: Harper), features in the Guardian Books podcast.

Deadline reports that Fantastic Beasts 3 is getting started soon. James Patterson’s forthcoming The House Of Kennedy is getting adapted. Elizabeth Gilbert’s City Of Girls is headed to the movies. The Personal History Of David Copperfield will premiere May 8. The adaptation of The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux casts up.

Vanity Fair considers the original look for GOT’s Night King.

Entertainment Weekly has a trailer for Marvel’s scripted Method Man podcast.

Vanity Fair has a look at more footage from The Mandalorian. Here is the story.

Jenny Slate, Little Weirds (Little, Brown: Hachette), will be on with Jimmy Fallon tonight. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, will be on with James Corden. Senator Cory Booker, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good (Ballantine: Penguin), will be on The Daily Show. Tim McGraw, Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life (Harper Wave), will be on Live with Kelly and Ryan

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Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ’s readers’ advisory columnist, contributing The Reader’s Shelf, Book Pulse, and Wyatt’s World columns. She is the coauthor of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2019). Contact her at

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