The 10 Books You Should Be Reading This November
From crypto crimes to visionary artists
As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, what are you looking to read? Our monthly book recommendations cover a lot of ground this November, spanning everything from a great filmmaker’s ode to his chosen medium to a gripping story of cryptocurrency and wrongdoing. If you’re in the mood for an insider’s take on creativity or a suspenseful work of fiction, we’ve got you covered.
James Vincent, Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants (Nov. 1)
An understated aspect of human history is also a fairly crucial one: how does one go about measuring things? This concept can cover a lot of ground, whether you’re a farmer counting a year’s harvest or a scientist studying subatomic particles. James Vincent’s new book ventures into the long history of measurement — and its societal implications over the years.
Andy Greenberg, Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency (Nov. 15)
If you’ve been following the crypto space, you’re probably aware of two things. The first is that cryptocurrency was initially pitched as a wholly secure financial system, and the second is that cryptocurrency has not been entirely secure. Andy Greenberg’s new book offers a front-row seat into the world of crime in a system designed to prevent its existence.
Erika T. Wurth, White Horse (Nov. 1)
It wouldn’t be a fall reading list without a gripping story of the supernatural, and that’s what Erika T. Wurth delivers with her new novel White Horse. It’s the story of a Denver woman who finds herself in possession of an object owned by her late mother — and which reveals the existence of an ominous, uncanny presence in her life.
Felix Gillette and John Koblin, It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO (Nov. 1)
You’ve likely heard the expression “Peak TV” to describe the era we’re living through. HBO has been a big part of that, both in terms of its cultural footprint and the template it established for numerous networks and streaming services. Felix Gillette and John Koblin’s new book revisits the network’s past and chronicles how it continues to shape the medium of television.
Patti Smith, A Book of Days (Nov. 15)
Patti Smith: poet, musician — and, now, photographer as well. Smith’s latest book chronicles one year in her life through a series of photos that she took over the course of that year. For someone who’s chronicled their life in different forms, this represents a new aspect of Smith’s illuminating array of work.
Jerry Saltz, Art Is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night (Nov. 1)
What does it mean to make art in the 21st century? Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz explores that very question in his new book Art Is Life, which encompasses both leading figures in the art world and the societal and cultural questions that artists and curators have been wrestling with in recent years. It’s a memorably comprehensive work of nonfiction.
Quentin Tarantino, Cinema Speculation (Nov. 1)
Besides his acclaimed work as a writer and director of films, Quentin Tarantino is also an enthusiast for watching movies as a whole. It speaks volumes that he’s bought movie theaters, and his distribution company Rolling Thunder Pictures also put some of the films he loved back in the spotlight. Now, with his new book, he revisits the era that inspired his own devotion to cinema — in a way that might just rekindle yours as well.
Bruce Adams, You’re with Stupid: Kranky, Chicago, and the Reinvention of Indie Music (Nov. 1)
There was once a point when indie music tended to mean something with clear connections to rock music. Nowadays, that line is much more blurred, making for some stunning artistic feats — and the music scene in Chicago in the 1990s and 2000s played a big part in that. Bruce Adams’s new book offers an inside look at the evolution of that scene and its lasting impact.
Joshua Whitehead, Making Love With the Land (Nov. 15)
“Every strong relationship, at the core of it, is this motoring skeleton that is friendship, and I couldn’t afford to forget that,” Joshua Whitehead said in a recent interview about his new essay collection Making Love With the Land. The works collected here cover a lot of ground, from interpersonal trauma to the connection between people and the places where they live. It’s an absorbing and compelling work of nonfiction.
David Sax, The Future Is Analog: How to Create a More Human World (Nov. 15)
Whether you’re talking about physical media or ornately-engineered watches, the analog continues to have a place in an increasingly digital world. In David Sax’s new book, Sax explores the pros and cons of that uptick in digitization, and ponders its up and down sides. Sax has explored this territory before, and it’s intriguing to see what his new conclusions are.
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