PEOPLE's Best New Books to Read in Nov. 2023 — From Barbra Streisand’s Juicy Memoir to Courtney B. Vance's Powerful Guidebook

Cozy up with PEOPLE's picks for the best new books of November 2023

PEOPLE's Best Books of November

From murder in 18th-century Maine to the perks and perils of growing up royal — here are PEOPLE's picks for the best new books of November 2023.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

'The Frozen River' by Ariel Lawhon
'The Frozen River' by Ariel Lawhon

Martha Ballard is not just a Maine midwife who’s never lost a patient. She’s also a truth speaker and a justice seeker in an era when women can’t even testify in court. But when a body washes up alongside the Kennebec River in the winter of 1789—and the facts of a rape that resulted in both a pregnancy and a murder are found recorded in Martha’s daily diary—she finds herself at the center of the trial. Once again, Lawhon (Code Name Hélène) works storytelling magic with a real-life heroine. — Marion Winik

Gilded Youth by Tom Quinn

'Gilded Youth' by Tom Quinn
'Gilded Youth' by Tom Quinn

What’s it like to grow up in Britain’s royal family? The author interviewed everyone from nannies to kitchen staff and concluded that pomp and protocol still take precedence over close bonds between parents and children—not much has changed in 500 years. An eyeopening and deliciously juicy account. — Caroline Leavitt

We Must Not Think of Ourselves by Lauren Grodstein

<p>Algonquin Books </p> 'We Must Not Think of Ourselves' by Lauren Grodstein

Algonquin Books

'We Must Not Think of Ourselves' by Lauren Grodstein

Teacher Adam Paskow is a grieving young widower when he’s forced to move to the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940. His Jewish identity has never been central to him, but he agrees to join a resistance effort documenting the experiences of the imprisoned. Grodstein expertly weaves the tale of this lonely storyteller, his students and the families he lives with into the true history of the Oneg Shabbat project. Gripping, emotional and, against all odds, hopeful. — Mary Pols

The General and Julia by Jon Clinch

<p>Atria Books </p> 'The General and Julia' by Jon Clinch

Atria Books

'The General and Julia' by Jon Clinch

Writing his memoirs as death approaches, Ulysses S. Grant looks back on his Civil War triumphs, the loss of his fortune and the private joys of life with wife Julia and their four children. An intimate, vividly rendered portrait of a towering figure and his complex legacy. — Wadzanai Mhute

Inheritance by Nora Roberts

<p> Pc </p> 'Inheritance' by Nora Roberts


'Inheritance' by Nora Roberts

Fans will be thrilled by the launch of the romance queen’s new trilogy, which features ghosts, a deadly curse and a captivating heroine, Sonya, who has split from her cheating fiancé and inherited a mansion in coastal Maine. Now she must make a decision: Will she take up a terrifying battle against evil? — Robi Micheli

The Invisible Ache: Black Men Identifying Their Pain and Reclaiming Their Power by Courtney B. Vance and Dr. Robin L. Smith

<p>Balance</p> 'The Invisible Ache' by Courtney B. Vance and Dr. Robin L. Smith


'The Invisible Ache' by Courtney B. Vance and Dr. Robin L. Smith

The Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor teamed up with psychologist Dr. Robin L. Smith to create this powerful guidebook on healing and mental health for Black men.

“We have to find a way to [experience] joy,” Vance told PEOPLE. “It's a part of life, that death is a part of life, and pain is a part of life, and suffering is a part of life. The question is, what are we going to do?”

Gator Country by Rebecca Renner

<p>Flatiron Books</p> 'Gator Country' by Rebecca Renner

Flatiron Books

'Gator Country' by Rebecca Renner

This nail-biter account of Operation Alligator, an undercover sting in the Florida swampland, has the intensity of the best true crime—except the victims are thousands of baby alligators, their eggs spirited out of state by a ring of poachers. Impersonating a degenerate trying to break into the alligatorfarming business, Jeff Babauta became deeply embedded in this world before he took it down. A high-def tale that ensnares you from the start. — Marion Winik

Day by Michael Cunningham

<p>Random House</p> 'Day' by Michael Cunningham

Random House

'Day' by Michael Cunningham

Dan and Isabel’s sinking marriage is buoyed and buffeted by their love for Isabel’s brother (and his temporary residence in their attic). Then COVID hits and forces the trio to confront questions of identity, belonging and the meaning of family in fractured times. Quietly compelling. — Theo Munger

The New Naturals by Gabriel Bump

<p>Algonquin Books</p> 'The New Naturals' by Gabriel Bump

Algonquin Books

'The New Naturals' by Gabriel Bump

The loss of their baby sends a couple underground— literally. They build a utopia beneath a mountain, attracting a billionaire benefactor and disaffected seekers. But funding dries up, and society’s ills creep in, jeopardizing the experiment. A wryly funny take on the human condition. — Claire Martin

My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

'My Name is Barbra' by Barbra Streisand
'My Name is Barbra' by Barbra Streisand

In her long-awaited autobiography, the EGOT-winning singer and actress delves into her life and career, from her acclaimed music to her famous friendships.

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan

'So Late in the Day' by Claire Keegan
'So Late in the Day' by Claire Keegan

A trio of brilliantly polished stories about the way men and women interact, with a heavy emphasis on women who make accommodations for men (or not, defying expectation) and the consequences. In Keegan’s expert hands, even a minor skirmish—between a pushy older man and the writer who grudgingly lets him interrupt her solitude at an artist’s residency— illuminates how the sexes so often seem to navigate the world on completely different operating systems. — Mary Pols

The Madstone by Elizabeth Crook

'The Madstone' by Elizabeth Crook
'The Madstone' by Elizabeth Crook

Nell is not your typical damsel in distress: She’s pregnant, traveling with her 4-year-old son Tot, and before Ben ever meets her properly, she’s gunned down an outlaw who may be her husband. Who can blame a country boy for falling in love? A wonderfully transporting tale of the Old West. — Marion Winik

The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez

'The Vulnerables' by Sigrid Nunez
'The Vulnerables' by Sigrid Nunez

During the pandemic an older writer finds herself parrot-sitting and smoking joints with a handsome young screwup in a friend’s apartment—and that’s just one of the interesting tales she has to tell. With the intimacy and humor of a great conversation, this novel makes you feel smarter and more alive. — Marion Winik

Ghosts of Honolulu by Mark Harmon and Leon Carroll Jr.

<p>Harper Select</p> 'Ghosts of Honolulu' by Mark Harmon and Leon Carroll Jr.

Harper Select

'Ghosts of Honolulu' by Mark Harmon and Leon Carroll Jr.

The NCIS star teamed up with the show 's technical advisor — and former NCIS special agent — to write a story straight out of the police procedural. This riveting account of American and Japanese intelligence agents details the moral conflict many Japanese American officers faced at war time, as well as the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), which impacted the real-life NCIS.

Above the Salt by Katherine Vaz

<p>Flatiron Books</p> 'Above the Salt' by Katherine Vaz

Flatiron Books

'Above the Salt' by Katherine Vaz

As children on the Portuguese island of Madeira in the 1850s, John and Mary form a magnetic bond. Religious persecution forces them to flee, but they meet again as immigrants in Illinois, and their paths continue to cross and diverge through America's convulsive history, from the Civil War to the Jazz Age. Will their love prevail? Vaz explores the complexities of duty, passion and sacrifice in an engrossing narrative that celebrates life's abiding beauty. — Robin Micheli

World Within a Song by Jeff Tweedy

<p>Dutton</p> 'World Within a Song' by Jeff Tweedy


'World Within a Song' by Jeff Tweedy

The Wilco frontman delves into his inspiring relationship with music through 50 songs (from "Gloria" to "Free Bird") and adds heart-wrenching memories of childhood friendship, gun-wielding tour bus drivers and more. If life's a movie, Tweedy's has a pretty great soundtrack. — Theo Munger

Class by Stephanie Land

<p>Atria/One Signal Publishers</p> 'Class' by Stephanie Land

Atria/One Signal Publishers

'Class' by Stephanie Land

In this sequel to the mega-selling Maid, single mom Land struggles to fulfill her lifelong dream of getting an MFA to build a writing career, even as she battles poverty and — worse — people's judgement that she's being self-indulgent and impractical. Raw and inspiring. — Caroline Leavitt 

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