No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Greta Thunberg wants you to panic. She wants you to freak out. And then, she wants you to do something about it. The young climate-change activist began to make headlines when she spurred global student strikes, and in this collection of her speeches—to audiences like the UN General Assembly, the EU and British Parliaments, the U.S. Congress, and more—she will remind you, over and over again, how urgent our current climate crisis is. But Thunberg, though angry, is not hopeless, and neither is this book. After all, without hope, there’s no reason for her to act. Yet she does.
On Swift Horses
Muriel lives in San Diego with her Navy vet husband, Lee, in 1956. Bored and disappointed by what married life is offering, Muriel seeks excitement at the racetrack, which she discovers through her waitressing job at a bar frequented by jockeys and gamblers alike. Meanwhile, Lee’s brother, Julius, is gambling with money and more in Las Vegas, where he can be slightly more open about his sexuality than he would be elsewhere—but when his new lover, Henry, is run out of town for his cheating ways, Julius sets out to find him.
The Starless Sea
If you loved The Night Circus (and we don’t know anyone who didn’t), you’re going to go gaga over Erin Morgenstern’s new book. Zachary is just a graduate student like all the others when this story begins, but when he starts to recognize his own life in a book he’s plucked from the university library, he’s determined to figure out what’s going on. A winding journey leads him to a starless sea deep underground, an ancient library, and lost tales of humanity watched over by guardians. Stories and myth dance gloriously along these pages.
Fleabag: The Scriptures
Just a couple months ago, Phoebe Waller-Bridge had (it seemed) only one speech prepared for the Emmys, though she ended up needing to make two: one for receiving the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and one for her show, Fleabag, this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series. But if you want more Waller-Bridge words—and we sure do—she’s releasing the scripts of this funny, heartbreaking, relatable, cringe-worthy, outrageous, and deeply human show. Annotated and including the stage directions we never see from our couches, fans and writers alike will love this glimpse into Fleabag’s creative process.
The Beautiful Ones
Prince was in the process of creating a poetic and inventive memoir when he died in 2016, and the coauthor he began working with three months prior to his death has stuck close to the brilliant artist’s own intentions in putting together this book. Starting with the pages Prince had completed, the book introduces us, in the icon’s own words, to his childhood in Minnesota with his glamorous and creative parents. From there, using the artist’s scrapbook photos, notes, doodles, annotated lyrics, and scripts, the book tracks Prince’s work, life, and self-invention through the years.
Alexandra Wickham may have been raised to be a sugar, spice, and everything nice kind of girl, living a life of comfort and privilege. But in 1939, when war breaks out all over Europe, she decides the lap of luxury isn’t the right place to be and begins to volunteer as a nurse in London. Soon, her manners and language skills are recognized as valuable assets, and she’s recruited as a spy. Keeping her secret from her family, friends, and husband year after year, we follow Alex through WWII and into the Cold War as she travels the globe.
The Confession Club
If you already love the fictional town of Mason, Missouri, welcome back. If you’re new to Berg’s burg, don’t worry—you’ll get plenty to fall in love with right here. Several of the town’s middle-aged women begin a monthly supper club, creating a space for their worries and joys, but their meetings turn quickly into something else, which they embrace wholeheartedly: a confession club, a place to lay out their secrets—shameful or ecstatic or both. Two new members, Iris, who’s falling for a newcomer to town, and Maddy, who’s just left her husband, spice things up.
Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
In 18th-century England, a woman named Mary Toft begins giving birth to rabbits. Or, well, bits of rabbit, mostly. Her local surgeon is fascinated, the anomaly the stuff of possible breakthrough discoveries, or maybe a sign of God at work in an increasingly rationalizing field. As Mary is poked and prodded and examined, her community and the nation at large becomes embroiled in a quest for truth—how do you debate apparent physical evidence?—and Zachary Walsh, the surgeon’s apprentice, watches the events unfold from his 14-year-old perspective, accompanying Toft and the surgeon to London and infamy.
The Bromance Book Club
Lyssa Kay Adams
What do you do when your marriage is on the rocks? Read Regency romance novels is the unexpected answer that baseball star Gavin Scott receives from his teammates when he confesses his marital troubles. It all started when Gavin discovered that Thea has been performing rather than enjoying herself in the bedroom, a performance that stretches to plenty other aspects of their life together. Thea asks for a divorce, but Gavin is determined to try to fix things. He and his bros talk about open communication, discussing their feelings, and respectful courtship as he works to reconcile with Thea.
Francesca Cartier Brickell
It’s hard to believe anyone reading this doesn’t know the name Cartier—whether or not you’re into jewelry or fashion or design, the name itself is surely recognizable. In this fascinating history written by a scion of Louis-François Cartier, who founded the company in 1847, we get a never-before-seen glimpse at the ways in which he and his brothers, Pierre and Jacques, developed a brand that refused to copy but strove to create. With diplomacy, artistry, originality, and a clear love of their work, the saga of the three Cartier brothers and their descendants is as lush as their jewels.
A Song for You
Since the widely mourned death of singer, actress, and all-around icon Whitney Houston, rumors have flown surrounding the nature of her death, her relationships, and her secrets. It’s easy to forget with famous people like Houston—whose soul-deep voice is instantly recognizable—that they, too, are real people with complex lives, feelings, and friendships. But Robyn Crawford, longtime friend, assistant, and near constant presence in Houston’s life since they met as teenagers, offers a memoir that examines their oft-whispered-friendship as well as the nuanced realities of who Houston was as a human being.
I Lost My Girlish Laughter
Madge Lawrence is new to 1930s Hollywood, fresh-faced and ready to get to work in the film industry. When she lands a job as secretary for Sidney Brand—based on producer David O. Selznick, famous for Gone with the Wind and Hitchcock’s Rebecca, among others—she’s thrilled. But boy, is he a cad, and far from the only one. Originally published in 1938 and written collaboratively between Selznick’s actual secretary Silvia Schulman Lardner and screenwriter Jane Shore, this novel is a hilarious homage, critique, and satire blended together to recreate a very real Hollywood era that’s still relevant.
Don't Be Evil
With over 30 years of reporting on business and the tech industry under her belt, Rana Foroohar has watched the rise and fall of the idealistic notion that technology would unite and save us. In this book, Foroohar asks how we got to our current situation, where a few monopolizing companies have gained access to our data, monetized it, and learned how to manipulate us to buy more and put more money in their pockets—all this without any apparent regulation, meaningful taxation, or sense of responsibility. But all is not lost! Foroohar also has ideas for resistance and change.
Not the Girl You Marry
Andie J. Christopher
If you have a soft spot for How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, you’ll definitely enjoy this gender-swapped romance updated for millennials and dating apps. Hannah is an event planner dying to get her hands on some luscious weddings, but her boss thinks she can’t handle all that love in the air, single as she is. Enter: Jack, a wannabe journalist stuck working on clickbait-y how-to videos rather than covering the issues of the day. But his boss is ready to give him a reporting assignment—if he first writes a piece about how to lose a girl.
Nine-year-old Ada and 11-year-old Evered will never again be children, really, after watching their parents and baby sister die from illness on a largely uninhabited and rugged coast of Newfoundland in the 1800s. Using their scant knowledge of cod-fishing, their acquired knowledge of the wilderness, and mostly each other, the siblings survive one year after another, measuring time between the arrival of a ship, The Hope, that trades supplies for the pair’s fish. As they grow older and closer, their bonds are tested, and they discover new depths in themselves and each other.
Song of the Crimson Flower
Julie C. Dao
A pair of star-crossed lovers get into trouble in this fantasy inspired by East Asian history twined with myth. After poor apprentice Bao confesses his love to wealthy noble Lan and she rejects him, he quickly begins to despise her—only to find himself cursed, his soul trapped in his own flute. Lan, regretting her actions, learns that her love—if accepted—can free him. Eager to break the curse, they set off on a journey through their land, in which a dangerous bloodpox has broken out and war is brewing due to an illegal spice trade.
In 1942 occupied Paris, crime novelist Paul Ricard’s life changes forever when a man escaping from the Gestapo smuggles something into Ricard’s hand before dying. Curious about what looks like a technical diagram of some sort, and certain of its importance, Ricard takes a fateful step and joins the French Resistance, volunteering to pose as a journalist—he is a writer, after all, so he can make it convincing—and travel to Germany, where he will track down the Polish workers, conscripted by the Nazi regime, who can explain the diagram’s use. War-buffs and spy lovers, this one’s for you.
You may have heard of “gold diggers,” and you may have heard of “black widows.” Well, Stephanie Plum knows damn well that her Grandma Mazur isn’t one of those, but it’s not entirely hard to understand why someone else might think so. After all, Grandma Mazur’s new husband, Jimmy Rosolli, died of a heart attack less than an hour after saying “I do,” and his new wife legally stands to gain the most. Rosolli’s old associates certainly have their suspicions, and they’re not about to let some old lady get in the way—but they don’t know they’re dealing with bounty hunter Stephanie.
The Captain and the Glory
Picture Moby-Dick, but instead of Ahab chasing the white whale, the ship is in pursuit of nothing but the captain’s changeable, insecure whims. In Dave Eggars’s allegory of our political moment, a ship, Glory, is taken over by a merchant who’s never really liked boats and certainly has never learned how to steer one, but it’s okay, because he’s really confident about everything he doesn’t know. As the ship and its crew and its new captain throw away one opportunity to improve matters after another, the captain starts throwing some of the crew over as well. Apt, no?
The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2
If you’re as obsessed as the rest of us with Netflix’s The Crown, you know that seasons 2 and 3 covered two decades of Queen Elizabeth II’s life that proved to be defining for her as well as her nation. In this volume authored by the show’s historical consultant, Robert Lacey, you’ll find more in-depth looks at the historical moments from the show. Lacey provides social, political, and personal context for the defining moments of the queen’s reign. If you’ve ever wondered about the show’s veracity, or just want to know more about this fascinating time, this pick’s for you.
November is here, along with falling leaves, whipping winds, and the possibility of other, more dramatic weather patterns—all of which are related to climate change, the urgency of which you can read about in Greta Thunberg’s newly collected speeches, featured as one of our favorites of the month. But wait, there’s more! We’ve got wonderful romance picks that will make you laugh, cry, and believe in the power of love. We’ve got stories of survival and fantastical realms. We’ve got glamorous histories, musician memoirs, and even some behind-the-scenes of TV shows. Whatever your pleasure, this month is rich with possibilities.