Our picks for the month of November have been chosen by rjnewlyn:

November’s an odd month – a bit past proper autumn, not quite proper winter. Back in the day it used to tie with February as my least favourite time of year, but I’ve come to view it with more affection of late (I was going to say ‘warmed to it’ but that wouldn’t be quite right). Perhaps it’s the Tom Waits song (of the same name) that did the trick. 

There were certainly some good Novemberish posts to choose from – as always, very hard. Of course, this November was notable for the centenary remembrance and one of my choices simply had to come from the excellent clutch of pieces on the subject. I’ve opted for Jolono’s Mr Russ because of its simplicity – just an ordinary story about an ordinary man, not even a relative, and the impossibility of knowing what it was really like back then (despite Peter Jackson’s laudable effort) but the lingering awareness that something life-changing really did happen to all those people we remember, and that it continues to matter. 

Read it here:

For poetry, I’ve gone for an evocation of the season. Scavenging birds (crows, rooks etc.) do tend to come to mind when thinking about November (in England, at least) – perhaps because they’re all that’s left in an increasingly silent countryside, perhaps because of the rich parallels with the brutality of winter ahead. Anyway, Jane Hyphen’s Magpies does the job really rather well. 

Read it here: