November: A Month in Books
Winter, Ali Smith, November 2
Following on from the success of Autumn (the first book in her Seasonal Quartet) Ali Smith’s Winter examines knowledge in the unsettling post-truth era. It tells the story of a retired businesswomen – Sophia Cleves – whose family were always second to her work. Now living in her 15 bedroom house, the book details the strained relationships with her estranged sister, Sophia, as well as her son Arthur. As in Autumn, Smith invokes the complexities and frustrations of the recent EU referendum.
Places in the Darkness, Christopher Brookmyre, 9 November
Chris Brookmyre’s latest novel, set in a futuristic space station, is a tale of murder and memory in a corrupt society filled with prostitution and bootlegging. When a corpse is discovered floating in the micro-gravity, investigator Nikki Freeman must team up with a straitlaced government employee, Alice Blake, to solve the mystery. As the investigation continues, bodies continue to pile-up and bigger questions arise regarding the circumstances of the crime leading both women to question their own memory as well as the society they live in.
Mythos, Stephen Fry, November 2
Stephen Fry’s latest book is a retelling of the ancient Greek myths. Fry’s signature wit produces an enchanting reimagining of the stories that helped shape modern storytelling. These myths show humanity at its best and worst and shine a light on our own society.
The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, William Boyd, November 2
Scottish author William Boyd brings together a collection of stories which deal with the minute details that can shape a life, and the complicated decisions that inform the choices individuals make along the way. These entertaining and moving stories further cement Boyd’s status as one of the most compelling storytellers working today.
Last Flag Flying, Richard Linklater, November 3
Richard Linklater, director of the much loved Before Sunset trilogy, brings Darryl Ponicsan’s novel about three Vietnam veterans to the big screen. When Richard “Doc” Shepherd’s son is killed in the Iraq War, Shepherd reunites with former marines, Sal and Richard Mueller. Doc decides to forgo a burial at Arlington Cemetery and the three men embark on a road-trip to Doc’s home in New Hampshire. During the trip the three men discuss their memories of the war, and how its impact has shaped their lives since returning home.
Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh, November 10
Richard Branagh’s take on Agatha Christie’s classic tale of murder and mystery is the fourth screen adaptation and will likely delight and irritate fans in equal measure. More than 40 years after American director, Sidney Lumet, brought the book to the big screen with a stellar cast, Kenneth Branagh has adopted a similar approach with performances from Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfieffer, Judy Dench and Penelope Cruz. Branagh himself is playing the iconic French detective who must determine which of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino, 24 November
Call Me by Your Name details the relationship between Elio, a young Italian-American living with his parents, and Oliver, a visiting American academic who has come to stay with Elio’s parents. A passionate relationship develops between the two as they bond over their shared Jewish heritage, sexuality and the Italian landscape surrounding them. Adapted to the screen from André Aciman’s novel of the same name, this film is a wonderful coming of age story which has received a hugely positive response from critics.
Wonder, Stephen Chbosky, November 17
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Raquel Jaramillo (under the pen name R.J. Palacio), Wonder tells the story of a young boy – Auggie – whose early years are marked by trips in and out of hospital due to a facial deformity. Supported by his parents, Auggie overcomes the social stigma he faces from his peers at school, and the film, like Jaramillo's book, highlights the often painful realities of human behaviour.
Dates for Your Diary
Robert Louis Stevenson Day, 13 November
Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival, 25-26 November
Book Week Scotland, 27 November-3 December
We’re a little bit excited about Book Week Scotland which is happening from 27 November to 3 December. Check out our events page to see search through some of the fantastic events happening throughout the week, and keep your eyes peeled for more information about all the great content you can engage with as part of this year's Virtual Festival.