The Night Circus
This gorgeous, atmospheric novel was a hit with both critics and readers alike. It follows two characters, Celia and Marco, who are magicians trained since childhood for a single purpose: to destroy one another. It’s an incredibly written story about the magic of falling in love, as these protagonists born to be rivals start finding themselves in one another.
Jennifer S. Brown
This story of mother and daughter takes place in a Jewish community in 1930s New York. Dottie’s daily life is like any other young woman’s in New York: she works as a bookkeeper in Manhattan and spends time with her fiancé and her friends. But when Dottie finds herself in an unexpected situation, one that no good Jewish girl should be in, she turns to her immigrant mother, Rose, for help. Rose has issues of her own, and the two must depend on each other to decide what they believe in, and where their lives go from here.
For many, November is the season of crunchy fall leaves and overstuffed turkey, but for writers, it’s NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. The four-week writing frenzy is a chance for a bunch of like-minded people to come together (in-person or across the internet), put their heads down, and write their hearts out. The object isn’t to emerge at the end of the month with a complete, polished, ready-for-publishers novel. Rather, the goal is to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard, which is probably more accurate) and write.
The most famous novel to come out of NaNoWriMo is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. John August, who has screenwriting credits for Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish, and the upcoming live-action Aladdin, participated in the event last year and landed a two-book deal as a result. There are plenty of big names who’ve participated in the event (we hear James Franco did it one year), but you might not be aware that these 14 books were also written during the highly celebrated NaNoWriMo.
Featured illustration: Jeff Gess