We're fast approaching my favorite month of the year and with it comes the greatest number of anticipated new releases yet! This month I've got 11 books that I have my eye on that I can't wait to share with you! Maybe you'll find something to add to your TBR, too.
1. Our Missing Hearts - Celeste Ng (Oct. 4)
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
Why I'm Excited: So it might be a crime that I haven't read Little Fires Everywhere yet (it's on my shelf I promise!). This contemporary dystopia sounds like it's going to gut punch me and make me cry and I haven't had a book accomplish that in a while.
2. The Night Ship - Jess Kidd (Oct. 4)
1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…
Why I'm Excited: This might be my most anticipated read this month. Dark magical realism? Based on a real life event? Glowing advanced reviews? I love going into books knowing nothing more than the Goodreads synopsis but I already know this one is going to stick with me.
3. The Mountain in the Sea - Ray Nayler (Oct. 4)
The transnational tech corporation DIANIMA has sealed the remote Con Dao Archipelago, where the octopuses were discovered, off from the world. Dr. Nguyen joins DIANIMA’s team on the islands: a battle-scarred security agent and the world’s first android.
The octopuses hold the key to unprecedented breakthroughs in extrahuman intelligence. The stakes are high: there are vast fortunes to be made by whoever can take advantage of the octopuses’ advancements, and as Dr. Nguyen struggles to communicate with the newly discovered species, forces larger than DIANIMA close in to seize the octopuses for themselves.
But no one has yet asked the octopuses what they think. And what they might do about it.
Why I'm Excited: I don't know why I need to explain this one besides science-fiction thriller about octopuses, but I am really looking forward to the exploration of morals and ethics when it comes to exploiting high-intelligence animals. Bonus: I will now have two octopus-related novels on my shelf (this and Remarkably Bright Creatures).
4. It Rides a Pale Horse - Andy Marino (Oct. 4)
When Lark goes to deliver one of his latest pieces to a fabulously rich buyer, it seems like a regular transaction. Even being met at the gate of the sprawling, secluded estate by an intimidating security guard seems normal. Until the guard plays him a live feed: Betsy being abducted in real time.
Lark is informed that she’s safe for now, but her well‑being is entirely in his hands. He's given a book. Do what the book says, and Betsy will go free.
It seems simple enough. But as Lark begins to read he realizes: the book might be demonic. Its writer may be unhinged. His sister's captors are almost certainly not what they seem. And his town and those within it are... changing. And the only way out is through.
Why I'm Excited: This is probably my most indie and lesser-known anticipated read this month so I'm not entirely sure what to expect. I'm always on the hunt for up-and-coming horror authors, so I'm hoping this one is a hit. The synopsis is weird and intriguing and, yeah, I'm judging this one by its cover, okay? The cover slaps.
5. The Revivalists - Christopher M. Hood (Oct. 4)
Their journey is an unforgettable odyssey through communities scattered across the continent, but for all the ways that the world has changed, the hopes and fears of this little family remain the same as they always have been. In The Revivalists, Christopher M. Hood creates a haunting, moving, darkly funny, and ultimately hopeful portrait of a world and a marriage tested by extraordinary circumstances.
Why I'm Excited: Cults! Icelandic permafrost-based pandemic! Dystopian apocalyptic science fiction! I am ready. This one also hints in the synopsis at having a dark humor aspect to it and commenting on the trials of our protagonists' marriage, which are interesting elements that I'm excited to see play out.
6. Hester - Laurie Lico Albanese (Oct. 4)
When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward's safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?
Why I'm Excited: This is one of two novels this month based on classic literature and I've never read anything of the sort before. I haven't read The Scarlet Letter, and frankly I'm not sure I ever will, but I am looking forward to reading this historical reimagining of the story behind it. Also, witchcraft.
7. The Whalebone Theatre - Joanna Quinn (Oct. 4)
As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman, chafing against expectations, World War II rears its head. She and Digby become British secret agents working undercover in Nazi-Occupied France on separate missions--a more dangerous kind of play-acting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.
Why I'm Excited: I swear this book has been following me around NetGalley and other new release lists for the last several months. I'm really hoping this reads like a war-era Station Eleven based on the theatrical elements in the synopsis, but we'll have to see! I'm starting to get more into wartime historical fiction and this one definitely caught my attention.
8. The Family Game - Catherine Steadman (Oct. 18)
After all, even though he's long severed ties with his family, Edward is set to inherit it all. Harriet is drawn to the glamour and sophistication of the Holbecks, who seem to welcome her with open arms, but everything changes when she meets Robert, the inescapably magnetic head of the family. At their first meeting, Robert slips Harry a cassette tape, revealing a shocking confession which sets the inevitable game in motion.
Why I'm Excited: This book mainly just sounds like a good time. I'm not expecting anything mind-blowing or revelatory but the plot does seem different from other thrillers I've read recently. Sometimes you just need to read about some weird in-laws.
9. Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver (Oct. 18)
Why I'm Excited: The other book on my 'classic retelling' list. I haven't read David Copperfield either, but am interested in this book's references to institutional poverty and the American South. This is a big boy at 560 pages, but I'm looking forward to tackling it nonetheless.
10. Self-Portrait with Nothing - Aimee Pokwatka (Oct. 18)
That’s because her birth mother is Ula Frost, a reclusive painter famous for the outrageous claims that her portraits summon their subjects’ doppelgangers from parallel universes.
Researching the rumors, Pepper couldn’t help but wonder:
Was there a parallel universe in which she was more confident, more accomplished, better able to accept love?
A universe in which Ula decided she was worth keeping?
A universe in which Ula’s rejection didn’t still hurt too much to share?
Sometimes living our best life means embracing the imperfect one we already have…
Why I'm Excited: This book appears to be a blend of science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism that I can't totally decipher. I can't even really tell what it's about. But I do know that I love the cover and the premise of summoning people from alternate universes through paintings is dope, so I'm in.
11. The Passenger - Cormac McCarthy (Oct. 25)
Traversing the American South, from the garrulous bar rooms of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, The Passenger is a breathtaking novel of morality and science, the legacy of sin, and the madness that is human consciousness.
Why I'm Excited: It's been a long time since we've gotten a new McCarthy. I read The Road a long time ago and have Blood Meridian sitting on my shelf right now and I just added No Country for Old Men to my TBR. This guy writes nothing but masterpieces, so why wouldn't this be on my list?
So many books this month! What are you most excited for in October? What's on your to-read list? Let me know!.