November 2019 Books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses three good reads for November.

A Game of Birds and Wolves

A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Secret Game that Won the War is the story of the game of battleships that won the Second World War. In 1941, the Battle of the Atlantic was a disaster. Prime Minister Winston Churchill concealed from the country how many British ships were sunk and the number of British men killed. Unless something changed, Britain would be forced to surrender to the Nazis.

The story of Operation Raspberry and its heroines hasn’t been told before. The British writer and journalist, Simon Parkin, brings hidden figures into the light in this gripping tale of war at sea. A film deal with “Fleabag” co-writer Vicky Jones, is already in place. A Game of Birds and Wolves is out on 7 November.

The Starless Sea

The Starless Sea is the follow-up to Erin Morgenstern’s bestselling debut The Night Circus, which was translated into 37 languages. The Starless Sea follows graduate student Zachary as he discovers a strange book hidden in the university library. The book tells him about lost cities and prisoners. Zachary follows the clues on the cover which leads him to a masquerade party and to a library hidden under New York. Is it perhaps also a recollection of his own childhood?

Erin Morgenstern has built the novel from fables, myths and fairlytales, and elements of fantasy take place in this long-awaited, fantastic sequel. The Starless Sea is published by Harvill Secker on 5 November.

Be My Guest

Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community and the Meaning of Generosity is written by the shortlisted author of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, Priya Basil, who is also the co-founder of Authors for Peace. Be My Guest is an uplifting book as we approach the festive season. It states the hospitality of today; a time when most of us spend less and less time cooking and eating and when the meaning of hospitality is more often referred to hotels and catering businesses than our own homes.

Priya Basil was born in London to a family with Indian Sikh roots, she grew up in Kenya in the 70’s and 80’s and she now lives in Berlin. Basil frames her comments through the subject of food and she wants us to be kinder, more welcoming and realise that we have more in common that what divides us. Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community and the Meaning of Generosity is published by Canongate on 7 November.

Annakarin Klerfalk

Anna is a literary agent based in Chiswick who is keen to hear from authors trying to get their books published. Contact her on She used to run the Waterstones bookshop in Chiswick. You can read more about her and Intersaga here

See more of Anna’s book choices here

Read about the annual Chiswick Book Festival here