Living

10 hot new book releases for November

Chatelaine Book Club: Our top book picks to read this month

Grace Grows book cover

1. Grace Grows, Shelle Sumners, $17.
When straitlaced textbook editor Grace meets free-spirited singer Tyler, she’s perfectly content with her vanilla life. But as their friendship evolves, so do her feelings for him —and they’ll change the path she’s on in ways she never could have imagined. A charming, relatable and completely unputdownable love story for the 21st century. – Lora Grady

The Stockholm Octavo book cover

2. The Stockholm Octavo, Karen Engelmann, $20.
According to the age-old cartomancy, a person can manipulate any event through eight specific people: an octavo. Emil Larsson, a bureaucrat in 18th-century Stockholm, has his cards read and is delighted to find love awaits, if he knows what to do. As he strives to fulfill that potential, he realizes to his shock that his future is also intertwined with the state of the nation — and a conspiracy to bring down the king. – Janet Ho

Familiar book cover

3. Familiar, J. Robert Lennon, $17.
Familiar is the evocative story of Elisa Brown, a woman who, after visiting her son’s grave, arrives home to find him now alive and her husband oddly different. Is Elisa living an alternative version of her life in a surreal universe, or has she totally lost her grip on reality? J. Robert Lennon keeps his readers guessing with these questions in a novel that is simultaneously enthralling and unnerving. – Julia Martineau

Flight Behavior book cover

4. Flight Behavior, Barbara Kinsolver, $32.
When Dellarobia Turnbow stumbles upon a pocket of forest that’s glowing red, her insular world of motherhood and farming unfurls from monotonous cocoon to front page news. Everyone wants first dibs on Dellarobia’s discovery, from her overbearing in-laws and meddling journalists to environmental scientists and her church. But is the breathtaking sight a miracle or a warning? And is this Dellarobia’s last chance to take flight?  – Madeline Cravit

The Twelve book cover

5. The Twelve, Justin Cronin, $33.
Justin Cronin’s highly anticipated sequel to his blockbuster hit, The Passage. As The Twelve opens, Alicia hunts virals on her own, while Amy quietly bides her time at an orphanage — but something within her is inexorably changing. One hundred years in the past, three survivors struggle to cope in a broken world. Their actions play out for generations to come, setting up unforeseen consequences and leaving readers longing for the concluding book in the trilogy. – Laurie Grassi

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Into The Abyss book cover

6. Into The Abyss, Carol Shaben, $30.
“Once you’ve tasted flight,” Leonardo da Vinci said, “you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward.” He never said what happens after a crash landing. That’s where award-winning investigative journalist Carol Shaben steps in with the true story of four men — her father, Canada’s first Muslim cabinet minister; a rookie 24-year-old pilot; a policeman; and the petty criminal the cop was minding — who survived after their small commuter plane slammed into the remote Alberta woods one frosty night. Her riveting narrative pieces together events leading to the crash and its effects on the survivors. – Alanna Glassman

The End Of Your Life Book Club book cover

7. The End Of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe, $30.
What begins as an unofficial book club while Will Schwalbe accompanies his mother, Mary Anne, to her cancer treatments soon becomes essential to the pair during her final two years. The passion they share for literature helps them navigate —through the lens of their favourite characters — the roller coaster of emotions they experience as Mary Anne’s own story draws inevitably to a close. – Gillian Bernier

The Queen of Katwe book cover

8. The Queen Of Katwe, Tim Crothers, $30.
Phiona Mutesi was not supposed to accomplish anything. Raised in the slum of Katwe, Uganda, she seemed destined to end up like her mother and older sister, both uneducated single parents by the time they were teenagers. But then Phiona meets Robert Katende, a missionary who dreams of helping children through the game of chess, and she gets the opportunity to leave her old life behind. The young girl from the lowest rung of society becomes an inspiration for the disadvantaged — and her entire country — as she masters chess and stuns her rivals on the world scene. – Daniel Viola

The Middlesteins book cover

9. The Middlesteins, Jami Attenberg, $28.
Edie Middlestein is fiery, passionate and obsessed with food — but it’s a love affair that’s killing her. And just when she needs him most, her husband, Richard, walks out on her. Now, the couple’s moody daughter, laid-back son, perfectionist daughter-in-law and idolized grandchildren must band together to keep Edie away from food — and alive. Jami Attenberg transitions seamlessly between her characters’ points of view to create a heartwarming yet humorous story about relationships, choices and loss. – Dominique Lamberton

The Heart Broke In book cover

10. The Heart Broke In, James Meek, $33.
A scientist on the verge of a medical breakthrough gets caught up in her TV-star brother’s machinations when he tries to save himself from a slimy, blackmailing journalist (who just happens to have been jilted by the scientist). A highly readable, ultimately compelling study of ethics, conscience and what we’ll do to get what we want — or stay where we are. – Laurie Grassi

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