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The Best Books to Read in November 2022

Our roundup of buzz-worthy books includes the latest from Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatilaka, Russell Banks, Anthony Horowitz, Louise Penny and a posthumous novel by Katherine Dunn / BY Nathalie Atkinson / November 1st, 2022


Literary whodunits, a celebration of friendship, a Canadian succession thriller and the latest Booker Prize winner round out our 12 top fiction picks for a crisp November.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 

1The Seven Moons of Maali Almeidaby Shehan Karunatilaka

The first Sri Lankan novelist to win the Booker Prize since Michael Ondaatje’s 1992 laurels for The English Patient, the North American release of Karunatilaka’s searing satirical magical-realist epic is anxiously awaited. It’s 1989, and the ghost of a war photographer has seven days to find out who killed him during the Sri Lankan Civil War. We admired enormously the ambition and the scope and the skill, the daring, the audacity and the hilarity of the execution,” the chair of this years judges panel said during a news conference. Its a book that takes the reader on a roller coaster journey through life and death.” (Nov. 1)


2Dr. Noby Percival Everett

As you may glean from the allusion to James Bond, this is a supervillain caper – a mischievous one, in which an Ivy League math prof researching the concept of nothing teams up with an astrophysicist to attempt a heist at Fort Knox. The writer is a UCLA English professor, and his novels play with genre, language, and racial and gender assumptions: Telephone was a Pulitzer finalist and The Trees (a hilarious and eviscerating horror-comedy that confronted the legacy of racism and lynching in America) was shortlisted for the recent Booker Prize. Any new Everett novel tops my list, and this one’s already on Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 fiction of 2022 list. (Nov. 1)


3Laws of DepravityEriq La Salle

Ten years ago, Emmy-nominated actor Eriq La Salle, who memorably played Dr. Peter Benton for eight seasons on ER, wrote his first novel and it was “summarily rejected by every publisher in the industry.” The multi-hyphenate persevered and self-published in small quantities, even as he went on to direct and produce TV shows like Law & Order, CSI, Chicago P.D. Now, at 60, he has landed a worldwide book deal for his gritty thrillers about NYPD detectives and an FBI agent investigating high-profile serial killings. The series debut has been called a modern-day parable masquerading as a crime novel.” (Nov. 1)


4Toadby Katherine Dunn

This previously unpublished novel by Dunn, who died in 2016, is a major moment in a literary season crammed with big moments. Avid readers familiar with the American novelist’s work will know her bestselling 1989 comic novel, Geek Love, and its cult status as a magnum opus. This striking autobiographical novel, written 50 years ago, examines the present and past of a reclusive woman after a serious mental breakdown. She reflects on her time at a liberal arts college in the late 1960s, at the peak of the women’s liberation movement, with bizarre, brash and blackly humorous memories that reveal a complicated relationship to the counterculture of her youth, a curdled idealism and the naïveté and failures of the era—with nary a trace of sentimentality. (Nov. 1)


5The Cloistersby Katy Hays

Anticipation is high for this dark academia novel set in The Cloisters, the famed gothic museum and garden at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a pair of young curatorial assistants – one privileged, the other less so – form an intriguing alliance. The atmospheric tale, about a deck of Renaissance tarot cards that might hold the secret to predicting the future, will remind riddle-loving readers of the fascinating art-history mystery at the heart of Arturo Perez-Reverte’s 1990 novel about a 15th century chess painting, The Flanders Panel. (Nov. 1) 


6The Magic Kingdomby Russell Banks

This elegiac novel from the two-time Pulitzer finalist (The Sweet Hereafter, Cloudsplitter) is being called his best work in years. It’s about a man who, in 1971, recorded for posterity his personal history of growing up in the early 20th century. Since he was raised in a traditional and inclusive community of Shakers near what would later become Disney World, it allows Banks, 82, to contrast tolerance with discriminatory labour politics, and make the telling of this life story into a portrait of America. (Nov. 8)


7Blackwater Fallsby Ausma Zehanat Khan

Critics and authors like Ann Cleeves are raving about the first book in a new crime series from Denver-based Khan, a British-born Canadian human rights lawyer who specializes in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. When the body of a missing young Syrian refugee is found nailed to the door of a mosque in a posh fictional Colorado suburb, it sparks an investigation into other disappearances of girls from immigrant backgrounds. The thought-provoking novel explores the rise and fall-out of fear, prejudice and police corruption in a contemporary multicultural community. (Nov. 8)


8We All Want Impossible Thingsby Catherine Newman

You don’t expect a story set over the course of a friend’s hospice death to be so funny, but that’s part of what makes Newman’s novel a buzz-worthy book. Edith and Ashley have been best friends for most of their lives; “Edis memory is like the backup hard drive for mine,” is how Ash puts it as she spends her days trying to keep her messy life together while caring for Edi, who’s dying of ovarian cancer. Dedicated to the author’s own late best friend, this novel full of life celebrates longtime female friendship and captures the joy, happiness and bewildering grief of life’s final moments — with lots of laughter as you read through tears. (Nov. 8)


9The Twist of a Knifeby Anthony Horowitz

Those who can pry themselves away from Lesley Manville’s magnetic performance in Magpie Murders (the TV adaptation of the prolific British writer and producer’s  engrossing 2016 novel) will be rewarded with another ingenious puzzle, and it’s full of the flavour of London’s West End theatre scene. The twist? This whodunit is set in a meta-fictional universe where playwright Anthony Horowitz, the narrator and an amateur sleuth, is the prime suspect in the murder of a critic who wrote a harsh opening-night review. (Nov. 15)


10Darlingby India Knight

Beloved British journalist and author India Knight is back with a modern reimagining of The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford’s masterpiece of aristocratic Englishness. As in the original 1945 comedy of manners, the impetuous decisions of flighty Linda Radlett are narrated by her cousin Fran, who’s been sent to live with her eccentric relations at their sprawling Norfolk farmhouse. Add the avant-garde fashion designer and next-door neighbour Lord Merlin to the mix (played by Fleabag’s hot priest Andrew Scott in last year’s BBC adaptation of the novel) and sardonic Mitfordian mischief ensues. (Nov. 29)


11The Opportunistby Elyse Friedman

There are enough private B.C.-island compounds and super yachts to call this page-turner, rooted in the corrupting power of greed, the Canadian Succession-meets-Sackler dynasty drama. The wealthy brothers in the Toronto-based novelist and screenwriters latest book coax their estranged sister into doing whatever it takes to help (actually, prevent) their father, an ailing business mogul, from marrying his much-younger nurse and disinheriting them. Their sister had long ago disavowed the family and fortune built on corrupt business practices in order to lead a life of altruism and care for her disabled daughter, Lily. But as this gripping literary suspense novel shows, whoever coined the expression wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice” never met a rapacious heir. (Nov. 29)


12A World of Curiositiesby Louise Penny

In the 18th instalment of the bestselling Canadian writer’s crime series, it’s spring in the beloved fictional Quebec village of Three Pines (murder capital of Canada!) and the winter thaw has revealed many things buried and forgotten – including old memories. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and longtime colleague Jean-Guy Beauvoir must urgently revisit details of the tragic homicide that brought them together to solve their first case. As ever, what the Quebec-based author crafts is less a procedural and more a character study probing the contours of human nature, empathy and morality. (Nov. 29)


THE SCROLL

Here are the 5 Books on Bill Gates’ Holiday Reading ListThe billionaire philanthropist is giving hundreds of copies to little libraries around the world


Sheila Heti and Eli Baxter Among 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award WinnersToronto writer Sheila Heti took home the fiction award for 'Pure Colour,' a novel the GG peer assessment committee called "a work of genius."


Suzette Mayr Wins $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for ‘The Sleeping Car Porter’The 2022 Giller Prize jury called Mayr's novel "alive and immediate — and eerily contemporary."


Writers’ Trust of Canada Awards: Authors Nicholas Herring, Dan Werb Nab Top PrizesThe Writers' Trust of Canada awards amounted to a combined monetary prize value of $270,000.


Bob Dylan Releases ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song,’ a Book of Essays Dissecting 66 Influential SongsIn his new book, Bob Dylan offers up both critique and historical insight into various musical recordings of the last century by a variety of popular artists.


Prince Harry’s Memoir ‘Spare’ Will Be Published in January 2023The long-awaited memoir will tell with "raw unflinching honesty" Prince Harry's journey from "trauma to healing", his publisher said on Thursday.


Sri Lankan Author Shehan Karunatilaka Wins 2022 Booker PrizeKarunatilaka won the prestigious prize on Monday for his second novel ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’, about a dead war photographer on a mission in the afterlife.


Canadian Council for the Arts Reveals Governor General’s Literary Awards FinalistsThe finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards spotlight books in both the English and French language, as well as translated works.


New Penguin Random House Award Named After Michelle Obama Will Honour High School WritersMichelle Obama Award for Memoir will provide a $10,000 college scholarship to a graduating public school senior based on their autobiographical submission.


French Author Annie Ernaux, 82, Becomes First French Woman to Win Nobel Prize for LiteratureThe author said, of winning, that "I was very surprised ... I never thought it would be on my landscape as a writer."


Hilary Mantel, Award-Winning British Author of ‘Wolf Hall’ Trilogy, Dies at 70Wolf Hall, published in 2009, and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, released three years later, both won the Booker Prize, an unprecedented win for two books in the same trilogy and making Mantel the first woman to win the award twice.


Prince William “Cannot Forgive” Prince Harry, According to ‘The New Royals’ Author Katie NichollPrince William “just cannot forgive his brother,” according to Katie Nicholl, author of 'The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.'


Five Finalists Announced for Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for NonfictionThe winner — to be announced on November 2 — will take home the annual $60,000 prize.


Peter Straub, Bestselling American Horror Writer, Dies at 79Friend and co-author Stephen King has said the author's 1979 book, "Ghost Story," is his favourite horror novel.


Rawi Hage, Billy-Ray Belcourt and Sheila Heti Make the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize Long ListThe jury read 138 books to choose 14 titles for the long list, one of which will win the $100,000 prize, one of the richest in Canadian literature


Salman Rushdie, Novelist Who Drew Death Threats, Is Stabbed at New York LectureThe Indian-born novelist who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was attacked before giving a talk on artistic freedom.


Raymond Briggs, Creator of Beloved Children’s Tale ‘The Snowman’, Dies at 88First published in 1978, the pencil crayon-illustrated wordless picture book sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world while a television adaption became a Christmas favourite in Britain and was nominated for an Oscar.


Canadian Author Emily St. John Mandel Makes Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading ListObama's list includes everything from fiction to books on politics, cultural exploration and basketball.


Canadian Author Rebecca Eckler to Launch RE:books Publishing House Focused on Female Authors and Fun ReadsThe former National Post columnist says her tagline is ‘What’s read is good, and what’s good is read.’”


Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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