Books to Read This Month: October Edition

Are you looking for spooky reads for the Halloween season? Why not start with the new releases that are hitting the shelves during this haunting month? We have new books to exciting ghostly tales from bestselling writers to a Greek YA retelling makes its way to the US shores. Spook reads not your thing? Don’t worry! There are some great contemporary fiction on this list that will not leave you left out and excited for the fall reading that has graced us:

Featured Book of the Month

Ferryman by Claire McFall

Expected Publication Date: October 12

When Dylan wakes up after her train has crashed, she thinks she has survived unscathed. But she couldn’t be more mistaken: the bleak landscape around her isn’t Scotland, it’s a wasteland–a terrain somehow shaped by her own feelings and fears, a border to whatever awaits her in the afterlife. And the stranger sitting by the train track isn’t an ordinary teenage boy. Tristan is a Ferryman, tasked with guiding Dylan’s soul safely across the treacherous landscape, a journey he has made a thousand times before. Only this time, something’s different. The crossing, as ever, is perilous, with ravenous wraiths hounding the two at each day’s end, hungry for Dylan’s soul. But as Dylan focuses her strength on survival, with Tristan as protector, challenger, and confidant, she begins to wonder where she is truly meant to be–and what she must risk to get there. (Credit: Walker Books US)


Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

With a rocky start to senior year, cheerleaders and lifelong best friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their minds. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer stunt. Chanel starts making questionable decisions to deal with the mounting pressure of college applications. But they have each other’s backs–just as always, until Eleanor’s new relationship with star quarterback Three starts a rift between them.

Then, the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season’s first football game, and what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly shines a national spotlight on the team–and becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls. As Eleanor and Chanel grapple with the weight of the consequences as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they’ve always shared? (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)

As You Were by Elaine Feeney

Sinead Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie. But she can’t go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. And Sinead needs them both. (Credit: Biblioasis)

Black Birds in the Sky : The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert

In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District–a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America’s Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives.

In a few short hours, they’d razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

These are the questions that award-winning author Brandy Colbert seeks to answer in this unflinching nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In examining the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors–white resentment of Black economic and political advancement, the resurgence of white supremacist groups, the tone and perspective of the media, and more–a portrait is drawn of an event singular in its devastation, but not in its kind. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country’s earliest days through Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today.

The Tulsa Race Massacre has long failed to fit into the story Americans like to tell themselves about the history of their country. This book, ambitious and intimate in turn, explores the ways in which the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre is the story of America–and by showing us who we are, points to a way forward. (Credit: Balzer + Bray)

Sistersong by Lucy Holland

My sister’s heart broke on the river – and the river took it and bore it away.

In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, there is old magic to be found in the whisper of the wind, the roots of the trees, the curl of the grass. King Cador knew this once, but now the land has turned from him, calling instead to his three children. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is–the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky. It brings with it Myrdhin, meddler and magician. And Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear them apart.

Riva, Keyne and Sinne–three siblings entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, who must fight to forge their own paths.

Their story will shape the destiny of Britain. (Credit: Redhook)

Small Pleasure by Clare Chambers

Expected Publication Date: October 12

1957: Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper in the southeast suburbs of London. Clever but with limited career opportunities and on the brink of forty, Jean lives a dreary existence that includes caring for her demanding widowed mother, who rarely leaves the house. It’s a small life with little joy and no likelihood of escape.

That all changes when a young woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth. Jean seizes onto the bizarre story and sets out to discover whether Gretchen is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys, including Gretchen’s gentle and thoughtful husband Howard, who mostly believes his wife, and their quirky and charming daughter Margaret, who becomes a sort of surrogate child for Jean. Gretchen, too, becomes a much-needed friend in an otherwise empty social life.

Jean cannot bring herself to discard what seems like her one chance at happiness, even as the story that she is researching starts to send dark ripples across all their lives…with unimaginable consequences. (Credit: Custom House)

Alien Nation: 36 True Tales of Immigration edited by Sofija Stefanovic

Expected Publication Date: October 12

America would not be America without its immigrants. This anthology, adapted from storytelling event “This Alien Nation,” captures firsthand the past and present of immigration in all its humor, pain, and weirdness. Contributors–some well-known, others regular (and fascinating) people–share moments from their lives, reminding us that immigration is not just a word dropped in the news (simplified to something you are “for” or “against”), but a world–rich with unique voices, perspectives, and experiences.

Travel from the Central Park playground where “tattle-tales” among nannies inspire Christine Lewis’s activism to an Alexandrian garden half a century ago courtesy of writer André Aciman. Visit a refugee camp in Gaza as described by actress and comedian Maysoon Zayid, and follow Intersex activist Tatenda Ngwaru as she flees Zimbabwe with dreams of meeting Oprah. Witness efforts from comedian Aparna Nancherla’s mother to make Aparna less shy, and Orange is the New Black’s Laura Gómez makes an unlikely connection in a bed-and-breakfast.

Compelling and inspirational, Alien Nation is a celebration of immigration and an exploration of culture shock, isolation and community, loneliness and hope, heartbreak and promise–it’s a poignant reminder of our shared humanity at a time we need it greatly, and a thoughtful, entertaining tribute to cultural diversity. (Credit: HarperVia)

Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War by Howard W. French

Expected Publication Date: October 12

In a sweeping narrative that traverses 600 years, one that eloquently weaves precise historical detail with poignant personal reportage, Pulitzer Prize finalist Howard W. French retells the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in America, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe’s dehumanizing engagement with the “darkest” continent.

Born in Blackness dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures whose stories have been repeatedly etiolated and erased over centuries, from unimaginably rich medieval African emperors who traded with Asia; to Kongo sovereigns who heroically battled seventeenth-century European powers; to ex-slaves who liberated Haitians from bondage. In doing so, French tells the story of gold, tobacco, sugar, and cotton–and the greatest “commodity” of all, the millions of people brought in chains from Africa to the New World, whose reclaimed histories fundamentally help explain our present world. (Credit: Liveright Publishing Corporation)

The Haunting Season: Eight Ghostly Tales For Long Winter Nights

Expected Publication Date: October 12

Long before Charles Dickens and Henry James popularized the tradition of supernatural horror, the shadowy nights of winter have been a time for people to gather together by the flicker of candlelight and experience the intoxicating thrill of a spooky tale.

Now eight bestselling, award-winning authors–all of them master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre–bring the tradition to vivid life in a spellbinding new collection of original spine-tingling tales.

Taking you from the frosty fens of the English countryside, to the snow-covered grounds of a haunted estate, to a bustling London Christmas market, these mesmerizing stories will capture your imagination and serve as your indispensable companion to cold, dark nights. So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the ghostly spell of winters past . . . (Credit: Pegasus Crime)

Sleepless by Romy Hausmann

Expected Publication Date: October 19

It’s been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven–free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja’s boss–kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can’t seem to refuse.The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer… (Credit: Flatiron Books)

Gender Swapped Fairy Tales by Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett

Expected Publication Date: October 19

People have been telling fairy tales to their children for hundreds of years. And for almost as long, people have been rewriting those fairy tales – to help their children imagine a world where they are the heroes. Karrie and Jon were reading their child these stories when they hit upon a dilemma, something previous versions of these stories were missing, and so they decided to make one vital change..

They haven’t rewritten the stories in this book. They haven’t reimagined endings, or reinvented characters. What they have done is switch all the genders.

It might not sound like that much of a change, but you’ll be dazzled by the world this swap creates – and amazed by the new characters you’re about to discover. (Credit: Faber & Faber)

Five Strangers by E.V. Adamson

Expected Publication Date: October 19

With its grassy hills and breathtaking city views, London’s Hampstead Heath is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with friends and loved ones–and on an unseasonably warm Valentine’s Day, the lawns are especially full. So when an aggressive lovers’ quarrel breaks out, there’s an audience of park goers nearby to hear the shouts traded back and forth, and to watch as the violence escalates suddenly to murder, then suicide.

For the five strangers who observed the gruesome act, the memory of the gore is unshakable. But one of them–disgraced journalist Jen Hunter–is compelled to question the truth of what she thought she saw. Are the facts of the case plain as day, or were they obscured, in the moment, by the glaring sunlight?

As she mounts an obsessive investigation for a seemingly-impossible alternative, the lives of the other witnesses begin to unravel, each in its own particular way. Soon one thing becomes clear: the crime they witnessed was more terrible, more twisted, and more far-reaching than they ever could have imagined. (Credit: Scarlet)

Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge

Expected Publication Date: October 26

Tucked away among Devon’s rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses…

The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha’s Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor…

A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense–and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands–along with a distracted, anxious staff–but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered–this time, one of her housemaids–Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot’s footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans’ guests is the killer. With help from the village’s handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida’s wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end…(Credit: Kensington Publishing Corporation)

Never Open It: The Taboo Trilogy by Ken Niimura

Expected Publication Date: October 26

Never Open It: The Taboo Trilogy is a collection of three stories from Ken Niimura that are rooted in well-known Japanese folk tales, such as Urashima Taro and The Crane Wife. Each story delves into the concept of the taboo, asking questions such as “Why are these rules meant to be followed?” and “Who and why sets these rules?” Taking inspiration from the Japanese folk tales told to Ken Niimura as a child and combining them with his unique and captivating art style, Never Open It: The Taboo Trilogy is a must read graphic novel for fans of beautiful literary comics. (Credit: Yen Press)

The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl

Expected Publication Date: October 26

After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled Ariane’s death as a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.

When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events that no one could have predicted. As the girls retrace their friend’s final days, they discover a dark secret about Grimrose–Ariane wasn’t the first dead girl.

They soon learn that all the past murders are connected to ancient fairytale curses…and that their own fates are tied to the stories, dooming the girls to brutal and gruesome endings unless they can break the cycle for good. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)



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