November Reading Recommendations – Door County Pulse

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Silverview by Jean le Carré
Recommended by John Maggitti, Director, Novel Bay Booksellers

John le Carré, the undisputed master of the spy novel, leaves us and this world Silverview: a succinct account of the ends we will go to in order to remain relevant.

It is not the Square in long form. It is the Square like his most personal and honest self. Complex, but to the point, Silverview brings us the bookseller who does not really know literature. The deeply damaged former spy who has only one obsession to justify his life’s work. The cause that may well have passed. And of course, the people on the outskirts who unwittingly are part of the big story.

After so many stories, so masterfully constructed, over so many years, John le Carré finally tells us about his own internal conflict. From her own understanding that her life’s work may not have really meant much in retrospect.

Silverview is a fitting conclusion to decades of the best of the espionage genre. Be sure to read the afterword – it so clearly sheds light on the true inner understanding of the writer we have known as John le Carré.

Witch hour by Chris Bohjalian
Recommended by Jeanine Brennan, Branch Manager, Egg Harbor Library

This historical fiction set in 1662 in Boston tells the story of 24-year-old Mary Deerfield and her desire to divorce her abusive husband. But the divorce meant an uphill legal battle in which the whole city had a say, and the plaintiff was charged with witchcraft.

The beginning of the work paints a vivid picture of hard life in Boston, especially for women. The second half is an exciting and terrifying page turner. I highly recommend this well-written and thought-provoking historical fiction. It’s a perfect fall read with all the magical twists and turns.

The pretty by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Recommended by Grace Johnson, Pulse Peninsula employee and bibliophile

I swear Silvia Moreno-Garcia can write any genre. Far from its popular Mexican gothic, The pretty reads more like classic literature – it gave me Jane Austen vibes.

The novel follows Antonina (Nina) as she joins Losail’s most notable socialites – the Beautiful Ones – for the Big Season. Staying with her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife, Nina struggles to adjust to the glitz and glamor, preferring to study beetles and wear simple clothes.

On top of that, Nina’s inability to control her telekinetic powers makes her a target for gossip. When telekinetic artist Hector Auvray arrives in town, Nina is dazzled by his abilities, and as their friendship grows, her love for him grows too.

If you like romance and social quarrels, this book is for you. While it has a slightly fantastic spin, that’s not the primary focus. I hadn’t foreseen how much I would be sucked into the story and rooted for Nina. Moreno-Garcia does a great job of emulating those classic love stories, making this one a bit modern and really fleshing out its characters.

The book, originally published in 2017, was out of print before Tor Books picked it up and republished it in 2021 with a new cover.

You can buy these books – and other recommended titles from previous ones Pulse Peninsula issues – on the Hal Prize bookstore page, bookshop.org/shop/8142-review.


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