November and its cacophony of political noise is here. Although Election Day may be dominating your thoughts, it is not the only important aspect of the month to anticipate. The best nonfiction books of November are coming, and they’ll provide a wonderful (not to mention much-needed) departure from the partisan chaos. Plus, you’ll need something to do with all your free time once there’s no longer a need to obsessively refresh FiveThirtyEight or read up on the latest campaign scandal.
Of course, politics won’t completely disappear after Nov. 8. Whether or not there’s controversy over the results, Bernie Sanders’ new book is due out mid-month and it will be in good company; political commentators Megyn Kelly and Trevor Noah will each drop work of their own.
November’s new releases offer a break from politics, too. The month is full of books by and about celebrities, from The Birds star Tippi Hedren to Rajiv Surendra (aka Mean Girls’ Kevin G.) to Gilmore Girls’ Lauren Graham. They’ll bring us personal stories, adventure, humor, and a welcome distraction.
Below are 15 books that you should get your hands on when they hit shelves in November — just make sure you put them down long enough to vote if you can!
1. Tippi by Tippi Hedren (Nov. 1; William Morrow)
Tippi Hedren offers a look at her life beyond her starring roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie in her new book. The memoir, Tippi, revisits her small-town beginnings, her painful relationship with Hitchcock, and the challenges of raising her daughter, Melanie Griffith, as a single parent. Not surprisingly, her unique past makes for an interesting read.
2. A Warrior of the People by Joe Starita (Nov. 1; St. Martin’s Press)
Joe Sarita spotlights an amazing woman in A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Equality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor. The book recounts La Flesche’s barrier-breaking journey, which took place in a time when women couldn’t vote and Native Americans weren’t even able to become U.S. citizens. You’re guaranteed to be inspired.
3. The Elephants in My Backyard by Rajiv Surendra (Nov. 8; Regan Arts)
Rajiv Surendra writes about pursuing a dream role in The Elephants in My Backyard: A Memoir. Believe it or not, that role was not Mean Girls’ Kevin G; instead, the actor went to extreme lengths in hopes of playing Tamil in Life of Pi — a part that ultimately went to someone else. Surendra takes us along for the ride, showing us how to try, fail, and carry on.
4. Country Music Hair by Erin Duvall (Nov. 8; Harper Design)
The men and women of country music have rocked some interesting hair over the years, and we get to see the best of it in Erin Duvall’s new book. Country Music Hair has mullets, beehives, and wigs, plus interviews with famous hairstylists.
5. Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders (Nov. 15; Thomas Dunne Books)
The Bern is back. Our Revolution: A Future to Believe in continues Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ work. In his book, the one-time presidential candidate details the reform he still hopes to see. He also recounts stories from the campaign trail and discusses his surprising and impressive success.
6. Settle for More by Megyn Kelly (Nov. 15; Harper)
The Kelly File host Megyn Kelly candidly tells her story in her debut book, Settle for More. She delves into her past and the inspiring approach that got her where she is today. Not shockingly, the notorious, shall we say, dust-up with Donald Trump comes up along the way.
7. Hi, Anxiety by Kat Kinsman (Nov. 15; Dey Street Books)
Writer Kat Kinsman takes on a common condition in Hi, Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves. Not only does she share poignant stories of her own experiences with the illness, she shows how millions are impacted. In doing so, she sets a powerful example of how we should all be working to end the stigma.
8. They Can't Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery (Nov. 15; Little, Brown and Company)
In They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement, journalist Wesley Lowery digs into an issue that has polarized the country in recent years. Through hundreds of interviews, he looks at how the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Grey, and Tamir Rice have affected communities, plus the impact of perceived and actual discrimination. Lowery also offers insight into the movement that has sprung up in response and what is left to be done.
9. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Nov. 15; Spiegel & Grau)
It’s amazing to see how far The Daily Show host Trevor Noah has come. As the product of a then-illegal relationship between a white man and black woman, he had to be mostly hidden away in his early years. In Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, he opens up about his unusual upbringing through a collection of moving yet often humorous essays.
10. Last Girl Before Freeway by Leslie Bennetts (Nov. 15; Little, Brown and Company)
Leslie Bennetts honors a comedy icon in Last Girl Before Freeway: The Lives, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers. The book explores the ups and downs of Rivers’ life, including her husband’s suicide, her relationship with her daughter, and her 60-year career. There’s no doubt that Rivers was an interesting figure, and Bennetts’ account is just as much so.
11. I Loved Her in the Movies by Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman (Nov. 15; Viking)
Longtime actor Robert Wagner showcases iconic leading ladies in I Love Her in the Movies: Memories of Hollywood’s Legendary Actresses. He explores what made women like Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, and Joan Crawford so magnetic and shares his personal and professional experiences with them. If you love Hollywood history and celebrity gossip, this one’s for you.
12. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (Nov. 15; Touchstone)
Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick shares a collection of personal essays in Scrappy Little Nobody. The actress offers a look at her life both pre- and post-fame, including interactions with other stars, her insecurities, and more. Expect plenty of her signature humor and wit along the way.
13. The Best of the Harvard Lampoon by Harvard Lampoon (Nov. 15; Touchstone)
The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor serves up the humor publication’s greatest hits. Given the magazine’s impressive list of contributors over the years, it’s no surprise that the book features work by heavy hitters as well. You’ll find writing from the likes of Conan O’Brien, John Updike, Patricia Marx, and more.
14. The Daily Show (The Book) by Chris Smith (Nov. 22; Grand Central Publishing)
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests reunites many elements of the beloved show. In it, Chris Smith and key players explore the Comedy Central late-night program, from its origins to its latest iteration. Readers can look forward to behind-the-scenes stories, memorable moments, and even romances — not to mention a whole lot of nostalgia.
15. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham (Nov. 29; Ballantine Books)
We’re getting more Gilmore Girls soon, courtesy of Netflix, but since more is more in this case, Lauren Graham is also making her nonfiction debut this month. In Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), the actress writes about personal and professional aspects of her life. We get everything from her awkward adolescence to the revival of her one of her favorite characters.
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