Best new books to read in November 2021: Ratajkowski, Patchett

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On the bookshelf

11 books to watch in November

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As the frenzy of dropping hot books has started to subside, there are still plenty of books to look forward to in November, the real start of the cozy season.

The most anticipated publications this month include the political memoirs of an iconic Chinese artist; provocative reflections on the feminism of an art historian and a famous model; meditations on the race of a polarizing novelist and scholar; and the Chekhovian pandemic satire of a comic novelist. Grab a mask and scarf and head to your local independent bookstore to purchase copies – one for yourself and one as a holiday gift.

fiction

November 2

Our country friends
By Gary Shteyngart
Random Penguin House: 336 pages, $ 28

Praised by Kirkus as “the Great American novel on the pandemic only Shteyngart could write, ”the accomplished satirist’s new work focuses on a group of friends awaiting the pandemic at a country house in upstate New York. During six months of internal exile, new romances and friendships emerge as old grudges take on dangerous new life.

November 9

The perishing
By Natashia Deón
Counterpoint: 320 pages, $ 26

In 1930s Los Angeles, amid Prohibition and the construction of Route 66, a young black woman wakes up in an alleyway with no memory of her former life. While regaining the memory of her past, she becomes the first black reporter for the LA Times and discovers that she may be immortal.

November 30

Pilot impostor
By James Hannaham
Soft Skull: 208 pages, $ 28

Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and the history of aerial disasters are the raw material for this unclassifiable construction of collages of prose, verse and photos – semi-fictional meditations on identity, slavery, conscience and horrors. from the plane of the acclaimed author of “Delicious Foods.” “

White on white
By Aysegül Savas
Riverhead Books: 192 pages, $ 26

The Istanbul-born author explores the thin line between chaos and contentment, creativity and madness through Agnès, a painter who rents her apartment to a student researching gothic nudes. Savas’ spooky novel has been praised by Lauren Groff and performance artist Marina Abramovic.

non-fictional works

November 2

1000 years of joys and sorrows
By Ai Weiwei, translated by Allan H. Barr
Crown: 400 pages, $ 32

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in internal exile, his difficult decision to leave his family for America to study the art and the persecution of his father, a great poet, and himself – detained for months as a dissident – by the Chinese state.

The cover of the book of memoirs of artist Ai Weiwei, "1000 years of joys and sorrows."

The Least of Us: True Stories of America and Hope in the Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Era
By Sam Quinones
Bloomsbury: 432 pages, $ 28

Quinones, a former Times reporter, continues the story he started in “Dreamland” in 2015, which exposed the opioid epidemic and its catalysts and won a National Book Critics Circle award. Here, he tells how communities ravaged by methamphetamine have broken the cycle of drug addiction, violence and despair.

A salad only the devil would eat: the joys of ugly nature
By Charles Hood
Heyday Books: 224 pages, $ 16

You may remember Hood from his book “Wild LA,” a collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Here, the poet, photographer and wildlife guide marvels at the underrated and often overlooked parts of nature, from Hollywood palm trees to Palmdale parking lots.

Book cover by "A salad that only the devil would eat" by Charles Hood

November 9

My body
By Emily Ratajkowski
Metropolitan books: 256 pages, $ 26

A debut collection of essays from the model and actress offers an honest perspective on feminism, sexuality and internalized misogyny that is heightened by her own experience in the industry. EditorWeekly called it “a clever and rewarding mix of personal and political”.

November 16

The 1619 project: a new origin story
Edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times Magazine
One World: 624 pages, $ 38

The ambitious project that caused Americans to rethink our racial history – and sparked an inevitable backlash – even before the math that followed George Floyd’s murder, is developed into a book incorporating essays from almost anyone you want to hear. on the great subject of the country and a great shame.

Cover of Catherine McCormack's book

Women in the picture: what culture does with female bodies
By Catherine McCormack
WW Norton & Co.: 240 pages, $ 23

Going through Western art and images in advertising, social media and fashion photography, the British art historian challenges the idea of ​​women as ‘mothers, monsters and young daughters’ and presents the work of female artists who oppose these representations.

NOV. 23

Those precious days
By Ann Patchett
Harper: 336 pages, $ 27

Acclaimed novelist ponders ‘what I needed, who I loved, what I could let go’, in essays on giving up lifelong possessions, caring for a friend with cancer and Snoopy’s wisdom. Patchet has a knack for grasping what really matters.

Mary Ann Gwinn contributed to this report.

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