November is undoubtedly the perfect month for reading.
It’s cold, wet and windy, offering the best excuse to close the door, grab a blanket and lose yourself in a good book (or twelve).
Here are our top picks for the month. Tag us on Facebook to let us know what you think and tell us what you’re reading right now!
The Sunday Lunch Club, Juliet Ashton
Like all good lunch dates, secrets are kept and shared, bonds made and broken, and fights started and mended.
There are a good few twists and turns along the way and you finish the book feeling like you’ve made life-long friends with Juliet’s cast of colourful and believable characters. Each has their own story and it’s impossible not to identify with their complexities and dilemmas.
The Year that Everything Changed, Cathy Kelly
If warm hugs and literary besties are your thing, chances are you’re already a huge fan of Cathy Kelly.
Big birthdays often mean big changes, and for three women, 30, 40 and 50 are no different. Ginger, Sam and Callie are all facing big life shake-ups; for Ginger the discovery of new confidence, Sam a new baby after years of trying and Callie, the loss of everything she thought mattered to her.
Perfect for anyone struggling to find joy on their own terms.
The Lido, Libby Page
Sad at the loss of community in your area? Then you’ll love the Lido.
A brilliant debut, charting the stories of several characters, each tied up in saving the local Lido, which is threatened with redevelopment by a posh developer.
The story twists over the decades, covering loss, insecurity and how a landmark can be more than just bricks and mortar to the communities it serves. The book is a proper tearjerker, without ever being mushy or too sentimental.
The Songs of Us, Emma Cooper
First up. Do NOT read this book if you have a date, interview or any other appointment that involves you being emotionally and physically stable. It’s undeniably funny but utterly heart wrenching (and beautiful for it).
Quirky and unexpected, the tale introduces us to Melody, who can’t help but sing her feelings after slipping on the ice one day.
Dev went to the Zoo and caused pain for his whole family. Both somehow need to find a way to fix the mistakes in their past and the oncoming changes in their future to make everything right for their children.
The Surface Breaks, Louise O’Neill (November’s Star Book)
A feminist retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘Little Mermaid’ might not sound like the most inviting read, but we challenge any of you not to be charmed, engrossed and infuriated by Louise O’Neill’s version.
Meet Gaia, the young mermaid who dreams of a life beyond her cold, controlling father and his plans for her marriage to a much older man.
Despite her ties to her sisters and the grief she feels at the mother who abandoned them, Gaia can’t escape the pull to a world above the waves.
Don’t expect the Disney version of this tale. It’s written very much in the tradition of the bloody, volatile fairytales of yore. The themes of love, family and fear are timeless though and there’s no way not to long for the tale to end a different way to its original telling.
An absolute must-read, for the sharp prose, clever twists and beautiful characterization.