The 10 Most Popular Books of November

November 30 2021
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Despite it feeling like summer just ended yesterday, the transition from fall to winter is already in full swing. And we wouldn’t judge you at all if you’re still sitting in your Halloween costume clutching a pumpkin spice latte and denying the impending arrival of snow. Fortunately for you, we’ve spent all of November reading and compiling our most popular books so you can keep your head in a book and suspend your winter disbelief just a little bit longer!

Mr. Flood's Last Resort
by Jess Kidd

Jess Kidd’s imaginative, haunting, and surprisingly funny debut novel, HIMSELF, found a home in readers’ hearts worldwide. MR. FLOOD’S LAST RESORT (known as THE HOARDER outside the US) is an equally ghastly and eccentric dark comedy that fans of HIMSELF will love even more. MR. FLOOD’S LAST RESORT follows caretaker Maud Drennan, who is assigned to help the menacing Cathal Flood get his house in order. But as Maud digs deeper into the mansion, buried secrets come to light, and she searches for answers in the forgotten case of a missing schoolgirl.

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Mr. Flood's Last Resort
Jess Kidd

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Lily and the Octopus
by Steven Rowley

Before you place LILY AND THE OCTOPUS in the sentimental-animal-book category, take a moment to think about the last time a novel made you smile to yourself, made you think hard about the loved ones in your life, and wowed you with literary flair and notes of magical realism. Because this lovely little book does all that and more. It is easily the novel I’ve handed out the most: to a stressed friend needing distraction, to another looking for new writing styles, to dog owners who would relate to Ted and Lily’s bond, and especially to readers looking to understand their own complicated emotional lives.

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Lily and the Octopus
Steven Rowley

Ted and his elderly dachshund are at the center of this story of steadfast companionship, loss, and longing that will break your heart and put it back together again. The two share a comfortable life spent chatting about boys, playing board games, and ordering pizza just so Lily can bark at the delivery boy. But then the Octopus arrives and their simple little world begins to change. By turns hilarious and poignant, LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is a book you’ll never stop talking (and crying) about.

Read the full review of LILY AND THE OCTOPUS.

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Almost Home
by Pam Jenoff

Ten years ago, U.S. State Department intelligence officer Jordan Weiss’s idyllic experience as a graduate student at Cambridge was shattered when her boyfriend Jared drowned in the River Cam. She swore she’d never go back—until a terminally ill friend asks her to return. Jordan attempts to settle into her new life, taking on an urgent mission beside rakish agent Sebastian Hodges. Just when she thinks there’s hope for a fresh start, a former college classmate tells her that Jared’s death was not an accident—he was murdered.

Jordan quickly learns that Jared’s research into World War II had uncovered a shameful secret, but powerful forces with everything to lose will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. Soon, Jordan finds herself in grave peril as she struggles to find the answers that lie treacherously close to home, the truth that threatens to change her life forever, and the love that makes it all worth fighting for. 

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Almost Home
Pam Jenoff

New York Times Bestselling Author of The Diplomat’s Wife

A breathtakingly poignant novel of suspense about a woman who must face a past she’d rather forget in order to uncover a dangerous legacy that threatens her future.

Ten years ago, U.S. State Department intelligence officer Jordan Weiss’s idyllic experience as a graduate student at Cambridge was shattered when her boyfriend Jared drowned in the River Cam. She swore she’d never go back—until a terminally ill friend asks her to return. Jordan attempts to settle into her new life, taking on an urgent mission beside rakish agent Sebastian Hodges. Just when she thinks there’s hope for a fresh start, a former college classmate tells her that Jared’s death was not an accident—he was murdered.

Jordan quickly learns that Jared’s research into World War II had uncovered a shameful secret, but powerful forces with everything to lose will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. Soon, Jordan finds herself in grave peril as she struggles to find the answers that lie treacherously close to home, the truth that threatens to change her life forever, and the love that makes it all worth fighting for. Fast-paced and impossible to put down, Almost Home establishes Pam Jenoff as one of the best new writers in the genre.

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A Little Hope
by Ethan Joella

A LITTLE HOPE revolves around a couple: Freddie and Greg Tyler. In a small Connecticut town, Greg’s cancer diagnosis has him and his wife, Freddie, concerned for the future and how their seven-year-old daughter will cope. From there, the stories expand out toward a dozen other members of the community, who are connected to the Tylers in various ways, and who are struggling with their own futures and challenges. These are ordinary lives where nothing too dramatic happens in term of plot. But the intrigue comes from how the characters handle their universal hopes and tragedies, and how they reveal so much about the human spirit—within themselves and ourselves. And how through all seasons, there’s always a little hope.

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A Little Hope
Ethan Joella

A deeply moving, life-affirming novel about residents in a small Connecticut town facing everyday fears and desires—a lost love, a stalled career, a diagnosis—that pulls at the heartstrings and provides hope, for readers of Olive Kitteridge.

In the small city of Wharton, Connecticut, lives are beginning to unravel. A husband betrays his wife. A son struggles with addiction. A widow misses her late spouse. At the heart of these interlinking stories is one couple: Freddie and Greg Tyler.

Greg has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a brutal form of cancer. He intends to handle this the way he has faced everything else: through grit and determination. But can Greg successfully overcome his illness? How will Freddie and their daughter cope if he doesn’t? How do the other residents of Wharton learn to live with loss, and find happiness again?

An emotionally powerful debut that immerses the reader into a community of friends, family, and neighbors, A Little Hope celebrates the importance of small moments of connection and the ways that love and forgiveness can help us survive even the most difficult of life’s challenges.

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The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory

After the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII of England decides to take a new wife, but this time, not for love. THE BOLEYN INHERITANCE follows three women whose lives are forever changed because of the king’s decision, as they must balance precariously in an already shaky Tudor Court.

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The Boleyn Inheritance
Philippa Gregory

From “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) comes this New York Times bestseller featuring three very different women whose fates are each bound by a bloody curse: the legacy of the Boleyn family.

After the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII of England decides to take a new wife, but this time, not for love. The Boleyn Inheritance follows three women whose lives are forever changed because of the king’s decision, as they must balance precariously in an already shaky Tudor Court.

Anne of Cleves is to be married to Henry to form a political alliance, though the rocky relationship she has to the king does not bode well for her or for England.

Katherine Howard is the young, beautiful woman who captures Henry’s eye, even though he is set to marry Anne. Her spirit runs free and her passions run hot—though her affections may not be returned upon the King.

Jane Rochford was married to George Boleyn, and it was her testimony that sent her husband and infamous sister-in-law Anne to their deaths. Throughout the country, her name is known for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust.

The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about three women whose positions brought them wealth, admirations, and power, as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror.

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The Antiques
by Kris D'Agostino

An irresistible, insightful, fast-paced drama, THE ANTIQUES covers universal themes: the unexpected epiphanies that emerge in times of grief, the messy complexity of life, and the ways in which family shapes our identity. Despite their being deeply flawed, I love these affectionately rendered characters. They all feel comfortably familiar, and I often forget that the Westfalls are fictional and not my next-door neighbors. Perhaps that’s why I feel like I can give this book to any reader. Or maybe it’s just because this is a really good book with lots of laughs and smart social commentary. Either way, I can’t wait to give this book to readers everywhere.

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The Antiques
Kris D'Agostino

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The Simplicity of Cider
by Amy E. Reichert

Talented cider-maker Sanna is struggling to keep her business and the family orchard afloat as real estate vultures hover, and help comes from an unexpected quarter. Guaranteed to make you want to run out in search of some really good cider! 

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The Simplicity of Cider
Amy E. Reichert

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Don’t miss Amy’s newest work of women’s fiction: The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go!

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.

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Of Love and Shadows
by Isabel Allende

Irene Beltrán and Francisco Lea are an inseparable journalist team. Determined to challenge the stigma of female journalists, Irene has become a force to be reckoned with. So when an assignment leads the pair to uncover an unspeakable crime, they are determined to make the truth known. In a nation overrun by terror and violence, Irene and Francisco risk everything for justice. Despite Irene’s engagement to an army captain, love is certainly in the cards for this pair, and their binding passion is undeniable.

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Of Love and Shadows
Isabel Allende

For fans of “Jane the Virgin”

With love triangles, crime lords, and baby mama drama, “Jane the Virgin” is a fount of jaw-dropping twists and turns—and Isabel Allende’s OF LOVE AND SHADOWS is the perfect companion read. Irene, a journalist, and her partner, Francisco, are an unshakeable team on the brink of uncovering an unspeakable crime—and they will risk everything for justice and, ultimately, embrace the passion that binds them.

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The Debut
by Anita Brookner

Looking back on her life, Ruth Weiss starts to think that her love of literature caused her to miss out. A somewhat reclusive child, she escaped from the chaos of society, friends, and family by reading books. But a midlife crisis causes her to reconsider her past—one that was in fact not coddled by literature, but rather shaped by it. Through her memories, she reveals the true depth of her life—one that readers might see themselves in as well. Told with dry, honest humor, similar to OLIVE KITTERIDGE, this is a novel to add to your to-read list—plus, at 192 pages, it’s slim enough to enjoy in a day.

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The Debut
Anita Brookner

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Gone to Soldiers
by Marge Piercy

I’ve read a variety of pieces on World War II, ranging from both personal and fictional Holocaust accounts to stories from Japan, and GONE TO SOLDIERS is the most complete, complex, and stunning piece of World War II literature I’ve ever encountered. Upon finishing GONE TO SOLDIERS, I immediately recommended it to several friends, my mother, and my sister. I went to social media and wrote the same message to all: this is a book you need to read—all 750-plus pages of it. It’s a beautiful story that will leave you haunted, as the characters are, by a war that shattered so many lives.

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Gone to Soldiers
Marge Piercy

“More than 750 pages long, GONE TO SOLDIERS can definitely be intimidating, and I knew when I picked up this novel that it would need to be extraordinary in order to hold my attention for a few weeks. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.”

Read Erin Flaaen’s review here.

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Photo credit: iStock / Gokcemim

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