Quick book picks for November

Now that we are in the midst of autumn and I am sat here drinking smoky lapsang souchong (as if I don’t all year round), it’s time for a new list of books out this month. Here’s some portraits of American memoirs, an endearing memoir, and a weird book about Nabokov (with links to reviews in the titles).

  • Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner – The creator of Mad Men writes the story of a girl, her family, and what happens in their orbit. Summaries can’t capture the strange atmosphere Weiner creates.
  • Demi-Gods by Eliza Robertson – A stylistic and unnerving novel about growing up in the 1950s and 60s in Canada and the US, told in episodes.
  • Trans Mission by Alex Bertie – This YouTuber’s memoir about his life so far as a trans man combines humour and emotion and is perfect for older children and teenagers, but also parents and other adults who want to be more understanding or know more.
  • The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd – A collection of stories of varying length about flawed characters at decisive moments in their lives and relationships.
  • The Future Won’t Be Long by Jarett Kobek – The 80s and 90s America novel that wasn’t written then. Kobek tells the story of a gay guy and a straight girl who become friends and try to survive America, featuring comic books, drugs, clubs, AIDS, money, famous authors and artists, and a metafictional awareness of what came next.
  • Insomniac Dreams by Vladimir Nabokov – A book on Nabokov and dreams that uses a combination of Nabokov’s own words in dream diaries and his published works alongside Gennady Barabtarlo’s notes and commentary.