Well, it’s November. The nights are longer and the weather is colder; this month brings with it the announcement of the Booker Prize and the National Book Awards. Long story short, you probably won’t lack for ideas on what to read. Even so, there are also a number of excellent-looking books due out this month, and what follows are our picks for some of the ones we’re most looking forward to reading.
Aaron Gilbreath, The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley
(Nov. 1, Bison Books)
Aaron Gilbreath’s nonfiction has offered insights into everything from the creation of jazz to the histories of distant cities. With his latest book, he takes on a more focused space, albeit one that contains multitudes: the San Joaquin Valley. And given that California’s own environmental conditions have loomed large in the year’s news, this book has an added urgency in 2020.
Julián Herbert, Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino; translated by Christina MacSweeney
(Nov. 3, Graywolf Press)
Whether he’s writing unpredictable fiction or exploring discomfiting moments in history, Julián Herbert is a relentless chronicler of human complexity. With his latest book, the memorably-titled Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino, Herbert shows what he can do within the realm of short fiction, providing another demonstration of his abilities as a writer.
Gwendolyn Kiste, Boneset & Feathers
(Nov. 3, Broken Eye)
Gwendolyn Kiste’s previous novel, The Rust Maidens, was equal parts body horror and Rust Belt lament, making for an utterly singular reading experience that’s hard to shake. What’s next for Kiste? In this case, a story of folk horror and witches, exploring a very different side of communities and the uncanny than her previous work.
Emily Schultz, Little Threats
(Nov. 10, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Emily Schultz is profoundly talented at placing resonant characters in thoroughly tense environments, whether they be existential crises or horror-tinged landscapes. Her latest novel, Little Threats, revisits the 1990s as it revisits a murder and the young woman who may have been wrongly convicted of it and has grappled with horrifying ambiguities ever since.
João Gilberto Noll, Harmada; translated by Edgar Garbelotto
(Nov. 10, Two Lines Press)
Over the last few years, Two Lines Press has brought several of João Gilberto Noll’s short, haunting novels out in English translation. Grappling with questions of death and rebirth and set in a surreal landscape, Harmada may well be the most unsettlingly mysterious of his books to be translated to date.
Alecia McKenzie, A Million Aunties
(Nov. 17, Akashic Books)
What happens when an artist takes refuge in a place far from home and find themselves enveloped in a community that sustains them in unexpected ways? That’s the situation in which the protagonist of Alecia McKenzie, an artist named Chris, finds when he visits the Caribbean as he grapples with loss and finds unexpected answers to his questions.
Jordan A. Rothacker, The Death of the Cyborg Oracle
(Nov. 17, Spaceboy Books)
Jordan A. Rothacker’s books blend high concepts with surreal imagery, making for a memorably unpredictable reading experience. His latest, The Death of the Cyborg Oracle, is set on a future Earth wracked with environmental devastation and coming to terms with various economic and political legacies. Throw in a host of literary and philosophical references and you have a thoroughly singular work.
D. Harlan Wilson, Outré
(Nov. 18, Anti-Oedipus Press)
When cultural histories, dueling art forms, and phantasmagorical fiction all collide, you end up with something resembling the works of D. Harlan Wilson. His latest novel is set in a surreal future where cinematic technology has undergone a host of advances, and where the novel’s protagonist is slowly becoming a kaiju. If that premise intrigues you as it does us, welcome to Wilson’s corner of the world.
Erin Hensley and Julia Callahan, I Remember Everything: Life Lessons From Dawson’s Creek; illustrated by Jillian Barthold
(Nov. 24, Rare Bird Books)
If your bygone era of television-watching involved a certain show that launched the careers of a certain quartet of actors, we suspect that you might be intrigued by a new book by Erin Hensley and Julia Callahan. The duo host the podcast Dawson’s Critique, and bring a welcome perspective to a show that still resonates today.
Joe R. Lansdale, Fishing For Dinosaurs and Other Stories
(Nov. 30, Subterranean Press)
Whether he’s writing memorable crime fiction or harrowing takes on horror, Joe R. Lansdale is never less than compelling. Over his long career, he’s developed a reputation as a writer’s writer, and his short fiction offers some of the best evidence for this. And if you’re looking for a fine assortment of his work, this new anthology might be just the place to start.
Note: all cover art and release dates are subject to change.
Image credit: New York Public Library/Digital Public Library of America