Books

The 7 Best Books to Read This November

Six standout new releases of the month-and one old favorite to revisit.
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This month, dive into a novel from a master of intricate mysteries, try on a book about the world's best-dressed people, enjoy a novel about prep school kids with some exceptional problems, devour an oral history of one of the greatest creators of our time, lose yourself in the world of a legendary painter or some very talented bakers, or revisit a classic that might make you rethink how you see your own family this holiday season.

The Starless Sea: A Novel

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There’s nothing better than curling up with a book that transports you to other worlds. This new novel from the bestselling author of The Night Circus takes us from an idyllic Vermont university to New York clubs to an ancient underground library. The protagonist, a graduate student named Zachary, finds a misshelved book in his school’s library, and it sends him to a magical underworld. Thanks to a weaving together of concurrent stories, and reading this feels like putting together a literary fantasy puzzle.

The International Best Dressed List: The Official Story

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Even if you don’t know what The International Best-Dressed List is or that it’s been a trademarked survey in publication since 1940, the new coffee-table book from Rizzoli is a vital document for fashion historians and fans of timeless style. Authored by T&C contributor Amy Fine Collins—the keeper of the list, alongside Reinaldo Herrera, and the former Vanity Fair editors Graydon Carter and Aimée Bell—the book is a treasure trove of archival photographs and illustrations dating back to the turn of the century. If anything, it’ll help you impress your snootiest fashionista followers on Instagram.

Nothing to See Here

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There's nothing we at T&C love more than a book about a prep-school scandal. But this latest from Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang, only uses that delightful idea as a jumping-off point for a complicated, charming, and totally engrossing story about friendship, family, and the things we want people to know about us. Oh, and also people who can light themselves on fire. 

Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends.

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Most of us know Mike Nichols from his work—movies like The GraduateHeartburn, and Working Girl or plays including The Odd CoupleAnnie, and Death of a Salesman. In this well-constructed biography—told in the style of oral history—people who actually knew Nichols remember the man himself and remind us what a towering figure he was not only in work but in life as well.

Mark Rothko: The Exhibitions at Pace

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If an original Rothko isn't looking likely as a holiday gift this year, consider this exceptional new book looking at the late artist's work at the Pace Gallery from 1978 through 2017. The gorgeous publication features more than 75 works from early self-portraits through to the famous Color Field paintings as well as an introduction written by Pace founder Arne Glimcher

Delish Insane Sweets: Bake Yourself a Little Crazy: 100+ Cookies, Bars, Bites, and Treats

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SHOP NOW: Houghton Mifflin Harcourtamazon.com

'Tis the season… to consume a sinful amount of baked goods. The folks at Delish know just what you want this holiday season: easy to make, indulgent desserts that make anyone feel like a world-class pastry chef. This new cookbook has 100 recipes, including some reader favorites and new twists on old classics (we’re partial to a gingery, perfect Snickerdoodle.) Time to fire up that oven!

The Emperor's Children

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If you think your relatives are complicated this holiday season, we recommend revisiting Claire Messud's brilliant 2006 novel about a group of New York City friends who orbit around one powerful, strange, and very compelling family. It's not only a great read—and might make you more forgiving of your own relations—but we're also anxiously awaiting the Lake Bell-directed film adaptation that's been rumored to be in the works for years. 

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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