BitchReads7 Books You Must Read in November

Oh, welcome sweet, sweet November! I can taste all the spiked cider, delicious pies, and stuffing that I will soon consume. The sun’s going down sooner and sooner now, so what’s better than snuggling under a blanket and catching up on reading? Here are seven books, including some nonfiction ones, a collection of essays from one of my favorite celebrities, and a graphic novel that will keep you company as the sky turns gray and the temperature drops.

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1. Tarry This Night by Kristyn Dunnion

Tarry This Night by Kristyn Dunnion book cover

Photo via Arsenal Pulp Press

{ Arsenal Pulp Press }
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Price: $14.95

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Cults are fascinating. Whether it’s obsessing over Charles Manson’s killer cult or being entertained by the “family” at the center of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we have a cultural investment in the origins of and crimes committed by cults. Kristyn Dunnion capitalizes on that fascination in her eerie novel, Tarry This Night, delivering one of the best books of 2017. “The Family,” led by manipulative puppeteer Father Ernst, are living in an underground bunk in a dystopian America. Ernst has convinced his wives that God is coming to save them from a brewing civil war, but they must live in the bunker and ration their supplies until then. When their food begins running out, Ruth, the child Ernst has his eye on, must decide whether to align with the cult or fight to escape. Tarry This Night is incredibly engrossing.

2. We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

We're Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union book cover

Photo: Dey Street Books

{ Dey Street Books }
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Price: $26.99

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Gabrielle Union is one of Hollywood’s most relatable celebrities. Whether it’s addressing her inability to get pregnant or scolding Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham for upholding whiteness in feminism, the 45-year-old actress and activist makes a point to stay authentic to herself. We’re Going To Need More Wine captures the essence of Union in a series of essays that range from childhood through her successful career. The funny and provoking stories about race, sexual assault, marriage, love, and self-esteem really resonate, and will be a collection readers will come back to time and time again.

3. To My Trans Sisters edited by Charlie Craggs

To My Trans Sisters book cover

Photo: Jessica Kingsley Publishing

{ Jessica Kingsley Publishing }
Release Date: October 19, 2017
Price: $18.95

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Trans folks are systemically maligned in myriad ways, leading to a shorter estimated lifespan. Yet, there’s been a rise in visible trans people who are fighting to make institutions, including housing, law, and media, more inclusive and equitable. In To My Trans Sisters, Charlie Cragg compiled letters from more than 25 trans women, including writers, politicians, scientists, models, actors, and activists, that encourage fellow trans people to live their fullest lives. Some of the letters are sad while others are funny, but each of them serve a special purpose: changing the narrative about trans people.

4. The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

The End We Start From book cover

Photo: Grove Press

{ Grove Press }
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Price: $22.00

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It’s rare for a book published through an independent press to generate as much buzz as The End We Start From. There are also few books as deserving of praise as Megan Hunter’s dazzling debut novel, which is set in an apocalyptic London that will soon be overtaken by water. The narrator is never named in the book, and both her partner and their son are only referred to with initials, but their visceral fight to survive leaps off the pages. Unlike other dystopian novels, The End We Start From focuses primarily on the narrator’s motherhood journey and how she balances a fervent need to protect her child and her own wellbeing. You must read The End We Start From before it becomes a box office–topping movie—because that’s sure to come.

5. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny by Kate Manne

Down Girl book cover

Photo: Oxford University Press

{ Oxford University Press }
Release Date: November 8, 2017
Price: $27.95

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Cornell University philosophy professor Kate Manne is on a mission to define “misogyny.” While we’re culturally familiar with sexism, Manne argues in her forthcoming book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny that misogyny has been woefully conflated with sexism though they have different uses. Misogyny, in Manne’s estimation, is about “controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the ‘bad’ women who challenge male dominance.” Through the lens of the 2016 election as well as the 2014 Isla Vista killings, the case of serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw, Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” rant against Sandra Fluke, and other news events, Manne outlines the danger of misogyny, and explains how we can collectively resist it.

6. Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy by Hallie Lieberman

Buzz by Hallie Lieberman book cover

Photo: Pegasus

{ Pegasus }
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Price: $26.95

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In 2014, Hallie Lieberman earned her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a dissertation that focused on the history of sex toys. Long before she merged the personal and the political, Lieberman fell in “love at first buzz” when she purchased her first vibrator. Now in Buzz, the sex toy scholar delves into the history of sex toys, introducing us to the creators and innovators who’ve made sex more fun and liberal. More than that though, Lieberman offers important context about the relationship between cultural perception of sex and sexual freedom. You should definitely read this book with friends.

7. Body Music by Julie Maroh

Body Music book cover

Photo via Arsenal Pulp Press

{ Arsenal Pulp Press }
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Price: $26.95

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When Julie Maroh released Blue Is the Warmest Color in 2010, it immediately lit the world on fire. The graphic novel became a New York Times bestseller, was adapted by French director Abdellatif Kechiche, and laid the groundwork for Maroh’s latest book, Body Music. In 20 vignettes set in Montreal, Maroh explores how people of different ages, ethnicities, and genders, and sexualities, build relationships with each other. Whether it’s the early honeymoon stage or the devastating breakup stage, Maroh illustrates the highs and lows of romance in an absolutely beautiful way that will stay with you—quite possibly forever.

by Evette Dionne
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Evette Dionne is Bitch Media’s editor-in-chief. She’s all about Beyoncé, Black women, and dope TV shows and books. You can follow her on Twitter.

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