New Book Releases November 2020
1. A Promised Land - Barack Obama
The long-awaited Barack Obama’s book will be released on November 17 and is already a best seller.
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.
In the stirring, the highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from a young man searching for his identity to the leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.
Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.
A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.
This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.
2. White Ivy - Suzie Yang
A young woman’s crush on a privileged former classmate becomes a story of love, lies, and dark obsession, offering stark insights into the immigrant experience, as it hurtles to its electrifying ending.
Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.
Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.
Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.
Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.
Filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class and race, White Ivy is a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.
3. Pinot Noir by Mads Molnar III
Fans of fast-paced adventure, thought-provoking storytelling, and hard-boiled detectives like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, will love Pinot Noir: A WWII Novel, inspired by true events.
In 1940, German forces churn bucolic Alsace, France into a shattered landscape. Against that unsettled backdrop, Nazis raid the cellar of a winemaker who had poisoned a case of his best pinot noir to spite the invaders. The wine leaves with the Nazis and the adventure begins. Every chapter of Pinot Noir tells the story of one of those 12 poisoned bottles and the lives they change forever.
When Mads Molnar, a psychologist-turned detective, gets a call from the Gestapo, they make it clear that his own life depends on his recovering the bottles. He’s already been given the death penalty by the Arrow Cross-Hungary’s fascist party-but the Gestapo will grant a pardon and exit papers to neutral Sweden if he succeeds.
But Molnar has a 300-pound problem. Wolfram Bastick, a brutal Nazi detective whose father was killed by the wine, is also on the case. As Bastick races to find his father’s killer, Molnar scrambles to foil him. Meanwhile, Bastick’s mesmerizing fiancé, Marilyn Ghetz, is plotting to murder him for reasons of her own. Molnar must recover the wine, win over Bastick’s fiancé, escape the Nazis and make it out of Germany without getting killed.
4. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
The highly anticipated sequel to the beloved worldwide bestseller Ready Player One, the near-future adventure that inspired the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film.
AN UNEXPECTED QUEST. TWO WORLDS AT STAKE. ARE YOU READY?
Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything.
Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous—and addictive—than even Wade dreamed possible.
With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest—a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize.
And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who’ll kill millions to get what he wants.
Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
Lovingly nostalgic and wildly original as only Ernest Cline could conceive it, Ready Player Two takes us on another imaginative, fun, action-packed adventure through his beloved virtual universe, and jolts us thrillingly into the future once again.
5. The Best of Me by David Sedaris
David Sedaris’s best stories and essays, spanning his remarkable career—as selected by the author himself, and including a new essay.
For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing.
Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler’s lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say “give it to me” in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.
But if all you expect to find in Sedaris’s work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these pages, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent and coming to terms—at long last—with the other.
Taken together, the stories in The Best of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected—it’s often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder—but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.
Full of joy, generosity, and the incisive humor that has led David Sedaris to be called “the funniest man alive” (Time Out New York), The Best of Me spans a career spent watching and learning and laughing—quite often at himself—and invites readers deep into the world of one of the most brilliant and original writers of our time.
6. We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper
A Recommended Book from: The New York Times * The Washington Post * Publisher’s Weekly * Kirkus Reviews* Booklist * The Boston Globe * Goodreads * Town & Country * Refinery29 * BookRiot * CrimeReads * Glamour * Popsugar * PureWow
Dive into a “tour de force of investigative reporting” (Ron Chernow): a “searching, atmospheric and ultimately entrancing” (Patrick Radden Keefe) true-crime narrative of an unsolved 1969 murder at Harvard and an “exhilarating and seductive” (Ariel Levy) narrative of obsession and love for a girl who dreamt of rising among men.
You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.
1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious twenty-three-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.
7. I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom
Rachel Bloom has felt abnormal and out of place her whole life. In this exploration of what she thinks makes her “different,” she’s come to realize that a lot of people also feel this way; even people who she otherwise thought were “normal.”
8. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
9. What Kind of Woman: Poems by Kate Baer
A PopSugar and Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated November Read
A stunning and honest debut poetry collection about the beauty and hardships of being a woman in the world today, and the many roles we play – mother, partner, and friend.
“When life throws you a bag of sorrow, hold out your hands/Little by little, mountains are climbed.” So ends Kate Baer’s remarkable poem “Things My Girlfriends Teach Me.” In “Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels” she challenges her reader to consider their grandmother’s cake, the taste of the sea, the cool swill of freedom. In her poem “Deliverance” about her son’s birth she writes “What is the word for when the light leaves the body?/What is the word for when it/at last, returns?”
Through poems that are as unforgettably beautiful as they are accessible, Kate proves herself to truly be an exemplary voice in modern poetry. Her words make women feel seen in their own bodies, in their own marriages, and in their own lives. Her poems are those you share with your mother, your daughter, your sister, and your friends.