Hello everyone! Excited to have this post up before the end of the month! Next year the goal is to get these out like midway through the prior month, but we're just eking through the rest of this year to be honest. I've been lucky to read two of the books on this list as advanced reader's copies, so be sure to look out for my reviews of those on my wrap-up posts! Let's dive in:
1. Starling House - Alix E. Harrow (Oct. 3)
Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but an unexpected job offer might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden. Too quickly, though, Starling House starts to feel dangerously like something she’s never had: a home.
As sinister forces converge on Starling House, Opal and Arthur are going to have to make a dire choice to dig up the buried secrets of the past and confront their own fears, or let Eden be taken over by literal nightmares. If Opal wants a home, she’ll have to fight for it.
Why I'm Excited: Gothic haunted houses and fantasy and a sick ass cover? I'm all here for it. I'm also intrigued by books about books/authors even though I haven't read a lot of them. This is a Reese Book Club Pick, which seems kind of out of left field for her, but I'm excited regardless.
2. Knock Knock, Open Wide - Neil Sharpson (Oct. 3)
Two decades later, Betty Fitzpatrick, newly arrived at college in Dublin, has already fallen in love with the drama society, and the beautiful but troubled Ashling Mallen. As their relationship blossoms, Ashling goes to great lengths to keep Betty away from her family, especially her alcoholic mother, Etain.
As their relationship blossoms, Betty learns her lover's terrifying family history, and Ashling's secret obsession. Ashling has become convinced that the horrors inflicted on her family are connected to a seemingly innocent children's TV show. Everyone in Ireland watched this show in their youth, but Ash soon discovers that no one remembers it quite the same way. And only Ashling seems to remember its a small black goat puppet who lives in a box and only comes out if you don’t behave. They say he’s never come out. Almost never. When the door between the known and unknown opens, it can never close again.
Why I'm Excited: I'm lucky enough to have received an e-ARC of this book, so I've already read it! Check out my review here.
3. The MANIAC - Benjamín Labatut (Oct. 3)
The MANIAC places von Neumann at the center of a literary triptych that begins with Paul Ehrenfest, an Austrian physicist and friend of Einstein, who fell into despair when he saw science and technology become tyrannical forces; it ends a hundred years later, in the showdown between the South Korean Go Master Lee Sedol and the AI program AlphaGo, an encounter embodying the central question of von Neumann's most ambitious unfinished project: the creation of a self-reproducing machine, an intelligence able to evolve beyond human understanding or control. A word of beauty and fabulous momentum, The MANIAC's unique blend of fact and fiction confronts us with the deepest questions we face as a species.
Why I'm Excited: So I'm not going to lie, but I don't really know what this book is about even after reading the synopsis. But the cover is sick, it looks like it talks about AI and the dangers of technology from a historical fiction perspective, and the author is highly awarded and praised. So I want to give this one a try.
4. The Witch & The City - Jake Burnett (Oct. 24)
Osylum’s newest inmate, the witch Oneirotheria, has no memory of who she is, where she came from, or why she is imprisoned. Instead, her mind is a mess of spells and lore and other people’s voices. The city mirrors her internal confusion; a jumble of broken buildings covered in hundreds of snippets of graffiti.
As Oneirotheria re-assembles her own shattered past (aided by a few inmates of dubious intent), she learns she may hold not just the key to escape, but the intertwined secrets of the city’s origin and a lost love that transcends countless lives.
Why I'm Excited: Fantasy Gotchic witches on a floating prison city? Yum yum. This is my Sleeper Pick of the Month, which is normally reserved for a niche horror read, but a key sign of a good sleeper pick is a straight-to-paperback release. This book has mediocre reviews so far but I don't care. I want it.
5. Nestlings - Nat Cassidy (Oct. 31)
They've won an apartment in the Deptford, one of Manhattan's most revered buildings with beautiful vistas of Central Park and stunning architecture.
Reid dismisses disturbing events and Ana’s deep unease and paranoia as the price of living in New York―people are odd―but he can't explain the needle-like bite marks on the baby.
Why I'm Excited: I'm lucky enough to have received an e-ARC of this book, and I'm reading it right now! Check back soon for my review.
6. The Reformatory - Tananarive Due (Oct. 31)
Robbie has a talent for seeing ghosts, or haints. But what was once a comfort to him after the loss of his mother has become a window to the truth of what happens at the reformatory. Boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, but the haints Robbie sees hint at worse things. Through his friends Redbone and Blue, Robbie is learning not just the rules but how to survive. Meanwhile, Gloria is rallying every family member and connection in Florida to find a way to get Robbie out before it’s too late.
Why I'm Excited: I read and really enjoyed Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and I believe that this is based on the same reformatory school in Florida. This one is marketed as horror more than historical fiction like Nickel Boys was, so I'm looking forward to the differences between the two.
Hope you all had a wonderful September! Our book club read for October is Go As a River, so if you want to grab a copy to read with us this month, please join us!
Let me know if there are any books you're looking forward to in the comments!