Books of the Month: November 2023

November 2023 Books

It is November. The mercury is dropping and the nights are lengthening; in better news, we’ll always have books. November’s upcoming releases have an appealing esotericism to them, from a longform essay to a collaboration between two writers we’ve long admired to a collections of poems dealing in part with the storied space that is the mosh pit. Read on for a glimpse at what we’re reading this month.

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Is “The Devil’s Cut” a Bargain Worth Accepting?

"The Devil's Cut" cover

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: there’s this new comic book publisher, and they’re making a splashy debut with a new line of comics. There’s been a bit of that this year, but right now I’m here to talk about the new press DSTLRY and their recent anthology The Devil’s Cut, which features an impressive array of writers and artists, including the people behind several of my favorite comics of the last five years.

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If You Enjoyed “Killer of the Flower Moon,” Read “The Deaths of Sybil Bolton” Next

"The Deaths of Sybil Bolton" cover

I spent last Thursday afternoon in a Brooklyn theater watching director and co-writer Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon, and I feel comfortable saying that I’m an admirer of film and book alike. But it’s worth pointing out that Grann’s book — terrific as it is — is not the only literary work to deal with the horrific murders that were aptly known at the time as the Reign of Terror.

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A Bravura Update of a Gothic Classic: On Addie Tsai’s “Unwieldy Creatures”

"Unwieldy Creatures"

I’d have called this review “The Post-Modern Prometheus,” but The X-Files got there first.

There’s a strong case that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — not to be confused with the Kenneth Branagh-directed film Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — is the most influential work of fiction published since 1800. There are huge swaths of science fiction narratives in which humanity creates a new form of life only to see it rebel; it’s not hard to place Frankenstein at the heart of that.

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James Reich on the Haunted Landscapes of “The Moth For the Star”

James Reich author photo

It’s hard to find the right words to discuss James Reich‘s new novel The Moth for the Star. Is it a haunting tale of excess and murder in Depression-era New York City? A bizarre story of metaphysical warfare? A psychological study of generational trauma and repression? Arguably, it’s all of the above — along with some astronomy thrown into the mix. I spoke with Reich about his new novel’s genesis and the thematic concerns at its heart.

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Notes On The Baseball Project’s “Grand Salami Time”

"Grand Salami Time" cover

Some people use the weather or traffic to move through the early stages of conversation. For me, with certain friends and family, it’s baseball. Sharing lines from favorite announcers (Vin Scully: “Bob Gibson pitched like he was double parked”). Marveling over favorite players (Henry Aaron, Rickey, Fernando, Ichiro). Bemoaning lousy teams (the Mets) and trades that never should have come to pass (Why did the Red Sox trade Mookie Betts?). 

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