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As November sets in, Amazon’s book editors cherry-picked the best newly released books — just in time for relaxed holiday afternoons spent sinking into the living room couch.
Below, you’ll find 10 newly released books worth reading. Tales range from friends quarantining together in Hudson Valley to a juicy historical novel reminiscent of “Wolf Hall” and “Bridgerton,” to endearing ghost stories that pay homage to bookstore culture.
Descriptions are provided by Amazon and edited lightly for clarity.
“Our Country Friends” by Gary Shteyngart, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.11
As a group of eight come together on a sprawling estate in the Hudson Valley, they wrestle with past grievances, delayed dreams and romances, and even discover new ones as they quarantine together. With his trademark wry humor, proclivity towards idiosyncratic characters and conversations, and ability to explore the contradictions that live within each of us, Gary Shteyngart has written a brilliant pandemic novel. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor
“Her Name is Knight” by Yasmin Angoe, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.95
When Nena Knight’s father is double-crossed by a man he thought was an ally, it spells doom for the Knight family: Nena is stolen from the Ghanaian village she knows as home. When we meet her again years later, she’s channeled her rage into work as an elite assassin for a syndicate called the Tribe, and must figure out how to protect what she loves, avenge what she lost, and remain standing at the end in this rocket-fueled thriller. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Editor
“The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.99
Flora, an independent bookstore’s most burdensome customer, is even more exasperating in death, deciding to haunt her favorite haunt, Birchbark Books. But this is no ordinary ghost story, as the motley crew of characters, who effortlessly endear themselves to you despite their shortcomings (and maybe because of them), reckons with profound wounds, both self-inflicted and societal. An homage to books and bookstore culture, you’ll relish every sentence of Erdrich’s latest. —Erin Kodicek, Amazon Editor
“O Beautiful” by Jung Yun, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.49
Elinor Hanson gets the opportunity of a lifetime to make her mark in journalism when she’s given a story to cover a small midwestern town that has (supposedly) been revitalized by the oil industry. But her research turns up dark disquiet, deep hatred, and rampant misogyny, all of which she feels acutely as a beautiful Korean American. Meanwhile, she’s grappling with her own sense of self, her past, and the family she abandoned. The result is a rewarding and fiercely observant novel about men and women, race and wealth, and the promises of America. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor
“Churchill’s Shadow” by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $33.99
Winston Churchill has ascended into the pantheon of history’s leaders, respected across the globe. He led Britain and the world when it needed him most. He is beloved and emulated to this day. But he was also human. In fact, he was often wrong or misdirected, distrusted and even hated. And that’s why this book is so fascinating. Geoffrey Wheatcroft has written a work that separates the man from the myth, gives us much to chew on, and ultimately sheds light on how we collectively turn humans into demigods. –Chris Schluep, Amazon Books Editor
“The Collective” by Alison Gaylin, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $24.99
Five years after her daughter was assaulted, Camille Gardner’s molten anger and grief are laser-focused on the rich kid who got away with the murder. The law has let her down and her marriage has collapsed in the face of pain and rage. But the dark web connects her with “the collective,” a group of mothers who plot to seize the justice denied to them. Gaylin tackles bitterness, vigilantism, privilege, and social media thoughtfully, while the avenging angels (or are they demons?) keep the tension high in this emotional rollercoaster of a novel. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Editor
“A Net for Small Fishes” by Lucy Jago, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $19.72
Two women of two different ages and two very different stations of the court forge an unlikely friendship as they each reckon with society, love, bad men, and power. Emboldened by each other, they hatch a plan to chase their dreams, which could be gravely dangerous for them and their families if it goes awry. “A Net for Small Fishes” is a juicy historical novel that combines the literary spells of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” and the delicious feminine drama of Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton.” —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor
“Five Tuesdays in Winter: Stories” by Lily King, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.49
In these short stories, King mines the different stages of life — a young boy learns what it’s like to be loved by the college kids who watch him while his parents are away; a middle-aged man pines for a woman who works in his bookstore; a grandfather rages in his granddaughter’s hospital room… All deliver an emotional but rewarding portrait of humanity. It’s easy to fall in love with these characters, to hold their hopes and dreams as your own, and to root for them. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor
“The Dark Hours” by Michael Connelly, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.19
Detective Renee Ballard catches a case on New Year’s Eve that is linked to another worked by Harry Bosch years ago, while she also searches for a vicious pair of rapists, known as the Midnight Men. Ballard’s job, already made difficult by the pandemic, policing in a post-George Floyd world, and the usual mix of office politics and protocols, becomes an adrenaline-fueled hunt for the criminals. Ballard and Bosch show the painstaking police work that goes into the “lucky” breaks that crack cases in this dynamite series. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Editor
“The Teller of Secrets” by Bisi Adjapon, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99
Esi Agyekum keeps a lot of secrets: Her father’s affairs, her half-sister’s romances, and the burgeoning realization that men’s secrets are different than women’s secrets. So begins Esi’s evolution from girl to woman, as she journeys to discover herself, her desires, and how that fits into 1970s Ghanaian culture. Adjapon’s ability to convey a young woman’s wonder and confusion and to create a protagonist that is at once revolutionary and flawed is not only satisfying but mesmerizing. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor
Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected].