By Anais Aguilera, Amber Alexander, Katie Norris and Sophie Poirier
Heading into the second half of November, the charts have a lot in store, from heart-warming love stories to dystopian thrillers.
Ann Patchett’s most recent novel, Tom Lake, a story of reminiscence, love, and self-reflection, has entered November with a bang as one of Amazon’s bestsellers of the week. When Lara Nelson and her family return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan, Lara must delve into her past at the theatre company, Tom Lake, where she met Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared a romantic past. If you’re an audiobook listener, Meryl Streep has lent her voice to the narration of the novel.
Author Sarah J. Maas never misses with her adult fantasy series A Court of Thorns and Roses. Although not recently published, the second novel in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury, has also entered November with a bang as one of Amazon’s most popular books of the week. Continuing Feyre’s journey in the Fae world, Feyre must face multiple challenges to adjust to her new life as a High Fae.
Of note this month is Terry Pratchett’s new release, A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories. This collection of stories offers even more magic than Pratchett’s long repertoire of previous works. What makes these stories special is that they were written in the seventies and eighties under a pseudonym – they offer a whole new insight into the incredible mind of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Still holding her place in the charts, Colleen Hoover’s duology It Ends With Us and It Starts with Us won’t stop flying off the shelves. As proud and independent Lily starts to fall in love with cold and stony-faced Ryle, we are drawn into her whirlwind romance experience. Will you support new and infatuating Ryle or her ex-lover, Atlas?
Waterstones Thriller of the Month for November 2023 goes to C. J. Tudor’s novel The Drift. Following three characters, Hannah, Meg, and Carter, these individuals must face the dangers of their situation and endure the storm in their area. With Hannah stuck in an overturned bus, Meg stranded in a cable car with strangers, and Carter in an isolated house with his friends, each character will face the danger of a killer that lurks amongst them. There is even more suspense as the story progresses, and this dystopian thriller will certainly keep you on your toes.
Looking for something shorter? Irish writer Claire Keegan, known for her short stories, has made an appearance in the Waterstones chart with her book Antarctica. Awarded as the Fiction & Irish Book of the Month for November 2023, Waterstones has given its readers a trip down memory lane with Keegan’s debut 1999 short story collection.
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant BookTok favourite, Fourth Wing, is already taking the internet by storm. Rebecca Yarros’s Iron Flame, released on November 7, finds our main characters dealing with the aftermath of Fourth Wing. Those who have already managed to speed their way through it have given raving reviews. Safe to say, fans of the series can look forward to another wild ride.
Another fan favourite is the fifth volume of Heartstopper by Alice Osman. Enthusiasts of this series have been anticipating the release of the next graphic novel for a while now, and it’s finally here. With it comes new milestones for Nick and Charlie’s relationship, as well as new challenges.
American author Sigrid Nunez’s new release, The Vulnerables, comes nearly thirty years after the publication of her debut novel. Nunez is a highly acclaimed fiction novelist and winner of the Rome Prize, the Whiting Award, and the National Book Award (given to her 2018 novel The Friend). Many of Nunez’s novels explore themes of health, illness, and loss and the effects they have on family and friendships. The Vulnerables is set during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in New York City. As their city starts to change beyond recognition, the elderly narrator and her Gen Z flatmate forge a connection as caretakers to a pet parrot, Eureka. Similar themes of bonding with animals can be found in The Friend, where a woman inherits a Great Dane after her best friend commits suicide. Nunez is masterful in her explorations of grief, loss and love, and her compelling characters are sure to captivate readers new to her work.