Readers' Most Anticipated Books of November

Posted by Cybil on November 1, 2020
 
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” Carl Sagan said that, and it’s good policy to pay attention to what Sagan says about anything. Reading is a kind of cultural telepathy, distributing perspectives and ideas through time and space, with paper cuts being the only real hazard involved.
 
New this month: Former U.S. President Barack Obama publishes the first volume of his highly anticipated presidential memoirs with A Promised Land. Ernest Cline is back in the game with the dystopian sci-fi sequel Ready Player Two. And author Zeyn Joukhadar brings a story of Syrian immigrant families, queer communities, and mysterious bird species in The Thirty Names of Night. Also watch for Russian aristocrats in the Winter Palace, freedom fighters in deep space, and women who harness psychic powers by eating the soil of the earth.
 
Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers' early reviews, and how many readers are adding these books to their Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure anticipation). We use the information to curate this list of hottest new releases.


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The former U.S. president's new memoir will be the first of two volumes detailing his presidency. In this book, he'll share details from his early political life, his 2008 presidential campaign, and take readers into his thoughts during pivotal moments during his tenure including the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Anticipation around the book is high, with 3 million books being printed for the first U.S. edition and the annual Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, moving its ceremony to avoid competing with the book's release. 


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Maybe the single timeliest book in this month’s new releases, Danielle Evans’ new collection of stories address issues of race, culture and history in America through the lens of contemporary literary fiction. Evans introduces Black and multiracial characters who are trying to make it through life’s usual barrage–love, loss, grief, joy–while also confronting the hard truths of life in American as persons of color. Evans is also author of the 2010 short-story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.

Read our interview with Evans here. 


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Author Ernest Cline’s 2011 sci-fi novel Ready Player One was among the most successful debuts in the history of publishing, largely by dint of being turned into a Steven Spielberg movie about 15 minutes after it dropped. This cleverly titled sequel to Ready Player One is among the most anticipated books of the fall. Advance details are scarce, but fans are hoping for the return of major characters from the first book as well as the usual cascade of pop culture references.


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In the fourth installment of author Brandon Sanderson’s sprawling sci-fi/fantasy series The Stormlight Archive, the Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a brutal war of attrition against the enemy invasion. New technology could change the math, but at what cost to the ideals and principles of the resistance coalition? Sanderson’s work has been compared to George R.R. Martin in its deep and detailed world-building elements. If you want to dive in, better get started–ten volumes are planned.


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This one seems flat-out fascinating: Argentinean debut author Dolores Reyes expands the reach of magical realism in the story of a young woman with a compulsion to eat the soil of the earth. When she does, mystical visions impart secret knowledge of missing and murdered people–especially women who have been victims of violence. It’s fantasy and mystery from a compassionate feminist perspective, and it’s one of the most anticipated books of the season.


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A literary thriller with echoes of The Talented Mr. Ripley, Susie Yang’s White Ivy follows conflicted protagonist Ivy Lin, who harbors an unhealthy obsession with American-style success. Raised outside of Boston, Ivy is taught to shoplift and pilfer from her immigrant grandmother, which allows her to approximate the trappings of a typical suburban teenager. Ivy is fixated on wealthy Gideon Speyer, scion of an important political family, and her tenacity fuels a dark coming-of-age story.


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Zeyn Joukhadar’s stories pretty much defy synopsis. And that’s good! This follow-up to the acclaimed 2018 novel The Map of Salt and Stars follows three generation of Syrian Americans who are somehow connected to a mysterious bird species. As the Manhattan skies fill with unexplained flocks of birds, a closeted Syrian trans boy must solve the mystery that has been haunting his family for generations. He also discovers the history of queer and transgender people within his own community. Intriguing, isn’t it?

Read our interview with Joukhadar here.


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Even by historical fiction-slash-romance standards, Ellen Alpsten’s Tsarina looks particularly juicy. The ambitious Catherine Alexeyevna, former peasant and now wife to Peter the Great, must navigate the treacherous waters of politics in St. Petersburg circa 1725. Largely set inside the sumptuous Winter Palace, the intrigue plays out in scenes of decadent luxury and lethal peril. Peter’s first wife, after all, is wasting away in a jail cell, her lover impaled alive in Red Square. Hey, marriage is tricky.


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One of the season’s most buzzed-about books, We Keep the Dead Close blends true crime writing, memoir, and investigative reporting to excavate details on a 1969 murder at Harvard University. Author Becky Cooper first heard the stories as an undergrad: The dead student found bludgeoned in the museum, the surprising suspect, the awful details. After years of research, Cooper presents some very uncomfortable answers involving violence, misogyny, institutional silencing and the deliberate rewriting of history.


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"I did not come to body positivity for self-esteem. I came to it for social justice." That’s author Aubrey Gordon on her new book, which comes at issues of anti-fat cultural bias from a decidedly activist point of view. Some of the statistics are startling. For instance, according to Gordon, it’s entirely legal in 48 states to deny employment because of an applicant’s size. That’s not right. This is a good read for anyone interested in advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures.


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Author and humorist David Sedaris is one of the unambiguous delights of life on this planet, and this new collection assembles all of his best essays and stories, as chosen by the man himself. Recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, Sedaris has more than 7 million books and essay collections in print, translated into 29 languages. A longtime contributor to NPR and The New Yorker, Sedaris is, on balance, probably the funniest man alive. So, yeah. Sounds like a good book.


Which new releases are you looking forward to reading? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
November's Most Anticipated Young Adult Reads
Cozy Up with November's Most Anticipated Romances
Meet the Epic and Awesome Authors of Fall's Big Fantasy Novels

Comments Showing 1-50 of 74 (74 new)


message 1: by Jay (new)

Jay DiNitto I wouldn't pay attention to anything Sagan said outside of astrophysics. His grasp of history was atrocious; a classic case of an expert needing to stay in his own lane.


message 2: by Nat (new)

Nat I'm excited for Eartheater and a little interested in The Thirty Names of Night. It seems like a lot is going on in that book, though.


message 3: by Cross777 (new)

Cross777 Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?


message 4: by Calypso (new)

Calypso Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Better than this president that lies, who can't write his own book. He doesn't know what he's talking about.


message 5: by Angeliki (new)

Angeliki Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Seriously? You think Obama was the worst President? Hahaha
What about Trump?


message 6: by JasonAA (new)

JasonAA Looks like I can catch up on my backlog of reading this month. Ready Player Two is about the only one I'm interested in.


message 7: by Brian (new)

Brian West 3 million copies? that is a lot of sleep aids. worse yet its a 2 part series?


message 8: by Brina (new)

Brina To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss. Everything she writes is special.


message 9: by Chakib (new)

Chakib Miraoui Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Very strange and awful, isn't it? One prays only to be spared what's in store for after the election. Loads of ridiculous narrative is waiting for us.


message 10: by Claire (new)

Claire Angeliki wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Seriously? You think Obama was the worst President? Hahaha
What about Trump?"


You couldn't pick from Racist Misogynistic Megalomaniacal Trump, Nixon, all those Slave owning presidents - and you say Obama (the one who gave medical assistance to poor and marginalised society) he's the bad guy!


message 11: by Hamda (last edited Nov 02, 2020 05:26AM) (new)

Hamda This cleverly titled sequel to Ready Player One is among the most anticipated books of the fall

Really? Because my instinct was to groan when I first saw "Ready Player Two" which I'm sure was the title to many parodies of the first book... also this is the first I'm hearing about a sequel to the ten year old book. Guess someone was productive during lockdown...


message 12: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Manchester Sanderson is here. I approve. Thank you Goodreads. See you in two weeks. lol


message 13: by Benedict (new)

Benedict I'm really excited to read Ready Player Two, especially since Cline has stated that it will follow the book and not the movie.

I'm also very excited for Rhythm of War although I need to read all the previous books in that series which are on my shelf!


message 14: by Krisko (new)

Krisko Isackson Chakib wrote: "This Obama has no shame, keeps showing up after a failed two-terms, and having threw your money at the very people that resent you, call your police pigs, and wish to flood you with their own from outside."

*your* money, people that resent *you*, call *your* police pigs, flood *you* with *their own*....

Just say you hate Obama because he's Black, it'll save you some keystrokes while delivering the same message.


message 15: by Robert (new)

Robert I'm only laying down my comment so I get notifications of later comments. I'm making popcorn now.


message 16: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Excited to read President Obama's book!


message 17: by Maria (new)

Maria Wiseman Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

😂 I wondered why it needed to be two parts as well.


message 18: by Cross777 (last edited Nov 02, 2020 07:34AM) (new)

Cross777 Claire wrote: "Angeliki wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Seriously? You think Obama was the worst President? Hahaha
..."


I'll assume you you are talking the illegal unconstitutional obamacare. No I didn't keep my Doctor, my plan and my cost went up.

The man accomplished nothing in 8 years that wasn't a lie or unconstitutional

And no I could care less what color his skin is Krisco


message 19: by Cora (new)

Cora I think it’s sad that this thread has already turned into a political fight.


message 21: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward How exactly do Goodreads figure out what upcoming books of the month readers want to read? Is this just another paid-by-the-publishers thing?


message 22: by Andreea (new)

Andreea They explain it right in the article :)

Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers' early reviews, and how many readers are adding these books to their Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure anticipation). We use the information to curate this list of hottest new releases.


message 23: by Laura (new)

Laura L. Van Dam Why is everything coming from Latín America labeled "magical realism"? It was a movement at some time but authors write all kinds of genres... By the way the mentioned book is not magical realism but literary fiction.


message 24: by Serina (new)

Serina Jay wrote: "I wouldn't pay attention to anything Sagan said outside of astrophysics. His grasp of history was atrocious; a classic case of an expert needing to stay in his own lane."

It's just a cute quote about books dude, chill out.


message 25: by Sara (new)

Sara Hollingsworth Robert wrote: "I'm only laying down my comment so I get notifications of later comments. I'm making popcorn now."

Same.


message 26: by Helena (new)

Helena Henriques Tiger Mosquitoes: A Medical Crime Thriller is the only book I've read published it 2020, and I would totally recommend it!


message 27: by D.G. (new)

D.G. RP1 was such a good (standalone) book. I'm really afraid that RP2 will suck...


message 28: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward Andreea wrote: "They explain it right in the article :)

Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers' early reviews, and how many readers are add..."


So basically paid-for reviews, arcs handed to 'influencers' and only US citizens...
Biased.


message 29: by nitya (new)

nitya Aubrey Gordon's book sounds really fascinating and is definitely necessary

Also all US presidents have been garbage, in one way or another


message 30: by Cross777 (last edited Nov 02, 2020 03:30PM) (new)

Cross777 Cora wrote: "I think it’s sad that this thread has already turned into a political fight."

You're right.
Sorry, I was shocked by his needing multiple volumes...


message 31: by Henry (new)

Henry Yall chill, let's all appreciate that we like books and go our separate ways.


message 32: by Ty Antony (new)

Ty Antony Krisko wrote: "Chakib wrote: "This Obama has no shame, keeps showing up after a failed two-terms, and having threw your money at the very people that resent you, call your police pigs, and wish to flood you with ..."

Keep calling everyone that disagrees with *you* racist, I'm sure it has worked out so well for *you* up to this point. One wonders what *you* do when a black person has a differing views to *your* own. Cry Uncle Tom?

Just say you hate anyone who dissents from your views. It'll save you some keystrokes while delivering the same message.


Silver  - Have a great day, you're loved Cora wrote: "I think it’s sad that this thread has already turned into a political fight."

Exactly. There's already so much hate going on between both political parties. I get we all have opinions, and that's amazing, but we can have opinions without hating people who disagree. Not everyone's doing this, but enough people in both the Democratic and Republican parties that we have a serious problem. We can still respect each other as human beings and treat others with the kindness we'd like to be treated to ourselves.


Silver  - Have a great day, you're loved One November book I'm super excited for is Unlocked by Shannon Messenger. I was dissapointed not to see it here, but it's not as well known as a bunch of these are. Thus why I shamelessly advertise for the books I love!


message 35: by QueenAmidala28 (new)

QueenAmidala28 Stop the bickering and focus on the tie that binds is - books!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️


message 36: by QueenAmidala28 (new)

QueenAmidala28 Sorrry correction that binds us


message 37: by MG (new)

MG *Bury Me with My Kindle.. & a REALLY Long Charger* I can't wait to get President Obama's autobio sent to my Audible! Listening to an intelligent, eloquent, thoughtful spokesperson again after 3.8 years of total idiocy and Twitter feed garbage will be bliss.


message 38: by Montse (last edited Nov 02, 2020 08:46PM) (new)

Montse Miyagi Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Is not really about how good or bad president he was, a memoir is the life of a person, and no one can deny his, is full of stories to tell, not only the things he did as president, but the before and after that, being a president of such big country like USA is a enormous deal, he can write about it his whole life


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Apparently. UGH!


message 40: by Montse (new)

Montse Miyagi Liam wrote: "How exactly do Goodreads figure out what upcoming books of the month readers want to read? Is this just another paid-by-the-publishers thing?"
of course it is, goodreads is free, obviously there will be a bit of ads here and there, if they dont get money out of its users they need to get it out of somewhere


message 41: by Joe (new)

Joe Haha most people on Goodreads are concieted. Loving these comments.


message 42: by Robert (new)

Robert Strupp Cross777 wrote: "Claire wrote: "Angeliki wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Seriously? You think Obama was the worst Pre..."


AND don't forget, during the War On Terror Obama sent the known leader of it $150,000,000,000. Unbelievable. $1,500,000,000 was in FedEx'ed dollars and euros, aka: cash, which he tried to keep secret. If Democrat FDR had released on the German funds held in the USA in 1942 and sent them to Hitler during WWII he would have been hung. Just amazing how ignorant of the facts people are. BTW: My Obamacare premium, for a single 64 y/o with a $1,500 deductible was $850/mo. What I'd pay to drive a BMW or Mercedes. The folks in love with the ACA were 'in love' because they paid only 10% or nothing of their premiums.


message 43: by Donna (new)

Donna M Robert wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Claire wrote: "Angeliki wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Seriously? You think Obama ..."


First of all, former President Barack Obama didn’t give “150 billion in cash” to Iran.

The nuclear agreement included China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, so Obama didn’t carry out any part of it on his own. The deal did lift some sanctions, which lifted a freeze on Iran’s assets that were held largely in foreign, not U.S., banks. And, to be clear, the money that was unfrozen belonged to Iran. It had only been made inaccessible by sanctions aimed at crippling the country’s nuclear program. This is more of Trump's lies:


message 44: by Donna (new)

Donna M Also I come to Goodreads to discuss books, not politics; please stop using Goodreads to push your own political agendas. Lets talk about books.


message 45: by Kim (new)

Kim I already have my preorder complete for Ready Player Two.

I'm also eagerly awaiting The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo. This one has been pushed back in publication a number of times and I'm hoping it really does arrive on Nov. 10 now.


message 46: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Donna wrote: "Also I come to Goodreads to discuss books, not politics; please stop using Goodreads to push your own political agendas. Lets talk about books."

THANKS, Donna for clarifying the correct info re Iran!! And also reminding Us of the beautiful commonality that's between Us here and that is the LOVE OF BOOKS and ALL the Joy Books bring Us😍


message 47: by Terry Tschann (new)

Terry Tschann Skelton Robert wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Claire wrote: "Angeliki wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

Seriously? You think Obama ..."


Let's keep our discussions on books. Plenty of other places for politics. Goodreads should be a refuge from politics!


Silver  - Have a great day, you're loved Terry Tschann wrote: "Let's keep our discussions on books. Plenty of other places for politics. Goodreads should be a refuge from politics

Exactly. We have to deal with politics on literally every other social media, especially today. Let's let Goodreads be a refuge where the biggest diagreements are those on theories or which hero is the most developed.


message 49: by Poetniknowit (new)

Poetniknowit Maria wrote: "Cross777 wrote: "Wait, the worst President in the history of this country needs more than one volume for his "memoir"?"

😂 I wondered why it needed to be two parts as well."


No, Trump isn't releasing a book this month.

It will be next month, when he can share all the country's secrets to the highest bidder once he's tossed out of office.


message 50: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Cora wrote: "I think it’s sad that this thread has already turned into a political fight."

Yup :/


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