Shuffling of the Shelves - November Part 2
By Serena Kerrigan-Noble, Hannah Moore, Lucy Shardlow and Melissa Tran
As we reach the end of November, big celebrity memoirs are hitting the shelves and heart-warming romances are slipping into people’s baskets as we all prepare for the Christmas season.
There has been swift movement in the Amazon Bestsellers chart with many amazing titles making their way to the top. Author and comedian Bob Mortimer takes the number three spot with his first novel The Satsuma Complex. Nondescript legal assistant Gary Thorn seeks a girl he fell in love with when he met her by chance in a pub. With only the book she was reading to remember her by, which is also named The Satsuma Complex, Gary’s quest is bound to bring some excitement to his unremarkable life. In equal parts clever and hilarious, this is not a book to be missed – “it is as hilarious and surreal as you would expect” (Daily Mail). Matthew Perry’s biography Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing sits at number four. The beloved Friends star opens our eyes to the struggles that came along the way despite seemingly having it all. This unforgettable memoir offers both a behind the scenes to his life and an extended hand to anyone struggling with sobriety. Unflinchingly raw and honest, this is a memoir that provides “hope for the future” (Amazon).
At number one in the Waterstones chart right now is Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. This novel was shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and is Waterstones’ November Book of the Month. Keegan, previously known for her novel Foster, has written a thought-provoking novel that touches on themes such as religion, family and morality. Small Things Like These tells the story of an Irish town in 1985 in the lead-up to Christmas. The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer also features in the Waterstones chart this week, placing at number four.
It has been two months since witches and wizards boarded the Hogwarts Express but if WHSmith’s Top 100 Books are anything to go by, we are still looking for magical reads this November. Edging to the top of this chart are the late Alan Rickman’s diaries, Madly, Deeply and Tom Felton’s memoir of his time playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, Beyond the Wand. Both books are perfect for lovers of the franchise still left wanting to know more about how the world of Harry Potter was brought to life. Rickman’s diaries are witty, revealing and candid, offering fans rare insight into not only the actor’s extraordinary roles but also his extraordinary life and friendships. Felton’s memoirs offer fans another window into the wizarding world, reflecting on the filming process and his friendships with his cast members, whilst also exploring his own personal experiences growing up in the limelight.
BookTok is quick to start recommending winter reads as we make our way into the latter half of the year. One account recommends The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox. This heart-warming tale follows twins Charlie and Cass; one is a baker with their own reality show, and the other runs the family bakery back home. Unexpectedly, Charlie loses her sense of smell, and the twins switch places which gets them wound up in all sorts of trouble. This novel has a nostalgic feel of the classic films The Parent Trap and The Holiday and would be the perfect Christmas gift for fans of these films! Many BookTokkers have also been talking about November 9 by Colleen Hoover. This book was published in 2015 and with Hoover’s recent surge in popularity, many are rediscovering her older books. November 9 follows the troubled love story of Fallon and Ben, a couple who have become fan favourites amongst Hoover’s followers. The lovers meet on the same date every year until Fallon starts to doubt Ben’s feelings for her. This is a great read for fans of Hoover’s writing and what better month to start it than November!
And finally, just a few days after the release of her latest novel, Dawnlands, historical author Philippa Gregory takes the spot as our author of the month for November. Best known for her Tudor series with bestselling novels The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen, Gregory heralds a new era for historical fiction with the perfect combination of imaginative flair and historical facts. The spellbinding Fairmile series continues in Dawnlands as Alinor and her family find themselves in the midst of palace intrigue, political upheaval and life-changing secrets in seventeenth-century England. This third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of an empire to another, opening them up to even more danger and rewards than ever before. Gregory makes no mistake in transporting her readers to 1685 by bringing the history of the Civil War to life, appealing to both old and new fans alike.