This year’s challenge is simple, just pick an author that was born in that month and read a piece of their work. I told you, easy!
Obviously there are hundreds of books and authors to choose from so we’ve just listed a few for November in case you’re in need of inspiration.
Sarah Perry – Melmoth
Twenty years ago Helen Franklin did something she cannot forgive herself for, and she has spent every day since barricading herself against its memory. But her sheltered life is about to change. A strange manuscript has come into her possession. It is filled with testimonies from the darkest chapters of human history, which all record sightings of a tall, silent woman in black, with unblinking eyes and bleeding feet: Melmoth, the loneliest being in the world.
Neil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane
It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
Liane Moriarty – The Husband’s Secret
Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death. Curious, she opens it – and time stops. John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others. Cecilia wants to do the right thing, but right for who?
Margaret Atwood – Alias Grace
Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.’ Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.
Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart
Okonowo is the greatest warrior alive. His fame has spread like a bushfire in West Africa and he is one of the most powerful men of his clan. But he also has a fiery temper. Determined not to be like his father, he refuses to show weakness to anyone – even if the only way he can master his feelings is with his fists. When outsiders threaten the traditions of his clan, Okonowo takes violent action. Will the great man’s dangerous pride eventually destroy him?
George Eliot – Middlemarch
George Eliot’s nuanced and moving novel is a masterly evocation of connected lives, changing fortunes and human frailties in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfilment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; Dr Lydgate, whose pioneering medical methods, combined with an imprudent marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamond, threaten to undermine his career; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past.
C. S Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years and the magical events described in C.S. Lewis’s immortal prose have left many a lasting memory. For here is a world where a witch decrees eternal winter; where there are more talking animals than people; and where battles are fought by Centaurs, Giants and Fauns
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
The four March sisters couldn’t be more different: Meg, the eldest, is dutiful and patient; Jo is adventurous, with dreams of being a great writer; shy, musical Beth is the peacemaker; and headstrong Amy likes the finer things in life. They may not always get along, but with their father away in the Civil War and their mother struggling to make ends meet, the sisters have never needed each other more. Together, the girls navigate growing up – from first love to sibling rivalry, loss and marriage. Whatever comes their way, they know they can rely on each other.
Bram Stoker – Dracula
During a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count’s transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula’s grim fortress, but a friend’s strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt.
Arundhati Roy – The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears, just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the people who came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around each other, as though they have just met.
Other suggestions from Cwts Club Discussion Group. include, Sofie Hagen, Susanna Clarke, William Blake, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Kazuo Ishiguro, Marilyn French, Beryl Bainbridge, Charlaine Harris and Astrid Lindgren.
Pick a book from our list, pop along to your local book shop or library or pick something that’s already in your TBR pile. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to let us know what you’re reading over on Cwts Club Discussion Group.