9 New Books To Read This November

9 New Books To Read This November

From the return of This Is Going To Hurt’s Adam Kay to the transcripts from Fleabag, this month serves up fascinating fiction and intelligent non-fiction in generous measures…

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Christmas is coming, the decorations are up… but 1.4m NHS staff are heading off to work. In his second book, This Is Going To Hurt’s Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heart-breaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the poignant, entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year, and a must-read, 25-tale love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line.

“The perfect surgical stocking-filler.” – The Times

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Fleabag: The Scriptures by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag took the world by storm with its piercing dialogue, ruthlessly dry wit and deeply human drama. In Fleabag: The Scriptures, Waller-Bridge brings together the complete filming scripts of the first and second seasons, annotated with never-before-seen stage directions and exclusive commentary on her creative process and the making of the series. Recognised as one of today’s most essential voices, she delivers powerful insights into her now-iconic protagonist: the hilarious, emotionally damaged, sexually unapologetic woman who can make viewers laugh, cry and cringe in a single scene. A must-read for fans.

“Rivetingly good.” – Vogue

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Royals by Emma Forrest

July, 1981. Shy, working-class Steven dreams of being a fashion designer. He's also gay, maybe – he hasn't decided yet. There’s a lot 18-year-old Steven isn't sure about, like whether he hates himself or thinks he’s amazing. When he ends up in hospital after being brutally attacked by his father, he meets Jasmine, an heiress. Fuelled by their shared love of fashion, a friendship blossoms and Steven finds himself swept into her hedonistic world. But underneath the glitter and the frivolity, darkness lies. Royals is a tale of giddy happiness, crushing lows and, ultimately, the fragility of lives lived too fast.

“Charming, witty and touching, an 80s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” – David Nicholls, author of One Day

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The God Child by Nana Oforiatta

Maya grows up in Germany knowing that her parents are different: from one another, and from the rest of the world. Her reserved, studious father is distant; her beautiful, volatile mother is a whirlwind, with a penchant for lavish shopping sprees and a mesmerising power for spinning stories of her Ghanaian family’s former glory – of what was had, and what was lost. Then cousin Kojo arrives one Christmas and Maya is sent to school in England. Many years later, her homecoming sets off an exorcism of the family’s – and the country’s – strangest, darkest demons. In the wake of this destruction, Maya realises her own purpose: to tell the story of her mother, her cousin, their land and their loss, on her own terms, in her own voice.

“I read this novel very slowly. I didn't want to miss anything... It is a rich, beautiful book and when I got to the end, I wanted to start again.” – Chibundu Onuzo, author of Welcome To Lagos

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Delayed Rays Of A Star by Amanda Lee Koe

At a Berlin soirée in 1928, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captures three very different women together in one frame: up-and-coming German actress Marlene Dietrich; Anna May Wong, the world’s first Chinese American star; and Leni Riefenstahl, whose work as a director of propaganda art films would make her famous, then infamous. From this curious point of intersection, Delayed Rays of a Star lets loose the trajectories of these women’s lives. From Weimar Berlin to LA’s Chinatown, from a bucolic village in the Bavarian Alps to a luxury apartment on the Champs-Elysees, the settings they inhabit are as richly textured as the roles they play: siren, victim, predator, or lover, each one a carefully calibrated performance. Intimate and clear-eyed, Delayed Rays of a Star is a visceral depiction of womanhood.

“One of the most anticipated books of 2019.” – Elle 

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Face It by Debbie Harry

The front woman of Blondie, Debbie Harry and the band forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the catchiest pop songs of all time. As a muse, she collaborated with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life – until now. In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and visuals that includes never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. 

“The ultimate rock ’n’ roll memoir.” – The Sunday Times

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This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill

Gaitskill has been writing about gender relations with searing, prophetic honesty since the 80s. In This Is Pleasure, she considers our present moment through the lens of a particular #MeToo incident. The effervescent, well-dressed Quin, a successful book editor and fixture on the NY arts scene, has been accused of repeated unforgivable transgressions toward women in his orbit. But are they unforgivable? And who has the right to forgive him? To Quin’s friend Margot, the wrongdoing is less clear. Alternating Quin’s and Margot’s voices and perspectives, Gaitskill creates a nuanced tragicomedy, one that reveals her characters as whole persons.

“At the heart of this extraordinary, daring, provocative, pitch-perfect story lies the idea that, sometimes, we act out a truth, only to run from it.” – The Observer

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So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

Dawn O’Porter follows her bestselling debut The Cows with another cringe-inducingly hilarious novel about female friendships, and the perks and pitfalls of modern life. Everyone is fighting private battles we know nothing about – including close friends Lauren, Beth and Ruby. So Lucky questions just what a ‘lucky’ life looks like, breaking through the filters we all apply with brilliant humour and irreverence, while celebrating what can be achieved when women look out for one another. Fearless, frank and for every woman who’s ever doubted herself, this is a straight-talking novel that will make you howl with laughter.

“The characters in So Lucky are lovely, very likeable. I enjoyed this book a lot, it really was unputdownable and left me with a warm glow.” – Marian Keyes, author of The Break

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The End of The Ocean by Maja Lunde

From the author of international bestseller The History of Bees comes a captivating new novel about the threat of a worldwide water shortage – as seen through the eyes of a father and daughter. In 2019, 70-year-old Signe sets out on a hazardous voyage to cross an entire ocean in only a sailboat. She is haunted by the loss of the love of her life, driven by a singular and all-consuming mission to make it back to him. In 2041, David flees with his young daughter, Lou, from a war-torn southern Europe plagued by drought. They have been separated from the rest of their family and are on a desperate search to reunite with them, when they find Signe’s abandoned sailboat in a parched French garden. As David and Lou discover personal effects from Signe’s travels, their journey of survival and hope weaves together with Signe’s, forming a heart-breaking, inspiring story about the power of nature and the human spirit.

“Here is a story that is sweeping in scope but intimate in detail.” – Laura McBride, author of We Are Called to Rise

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