Autumn was made for book-lovers: as the air cools and the leaves change color, I get the sudden urge to cozy up with a blanket, a cup of cider, and a good book. Luckily, this October, I'll have plenty of new fiction books to choose from.
This month's new fiction releases are especially scrumptious, and I'm really excited to share them with you. We've got books from some extremely talented debut authors who are making the literary world's ears perk up. Plus, we've got some of our favorite authors delivering fresh new reads that you don't want to miss out on.
And honestly, a lot of the books coming out this month are just plain fun: Road trips, theatre productions, and secrets galore. Drama and chaos are in high supply, and there's loads of books that will have you laughing and gasping at every page.
But we've got some fantastic emotional reads, too, that will be perfect for those rainy October days. Family ties, heartbreak, and discovery all wrapped together in some remarkable packages.
Whatever you're looking for, this month's selections can deliver. Here are the 12 best new fiction books out in October:
1. The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang (October 4; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Introspective, colorful, and downright fun, The Wangs vs. The World is what every reader wants out of a book. The Wangs are a rich Chinese-American family whose cosmetics empire has just gone bankrupt, leaving them with nothing. In the face of it all, Charles Wang has developed a plan to reclaim his family's land in China. So when the family piles into a station wagon for a cross-country road trip to Charles' eldest daughter's house in the Catskills, every turn brings a new surprise.
2. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple (October 4; Little, Brown and Company)
Where'd You Go Bernadette author Maria Semple has an autumn treat for her fans. When Eleanor decides that "today will be different," everything in her life goes chaotically wrong. Hilarious and sweet, this novel will capture your heart.
3. The Best American Short Stories 2016 edited by Junot Díaz
The best thing about October? The release of the newest edition of The Best American Short Stories, the yearly series that Shelf Awareness has expertly labeled as the "literary Oscars." The book is exactly what its title says: the 20 best short stories of the last year, as chosen by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz.
4. News of the World by Paueltte Jiles (October 4; William Morrow)
A contender for this year's National Book Award, News of the World is a complex, multilayered historical novel set in Texas in the aftermath of the Civil War. The book follows Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who's offered a chunk of gold to deliver a 10-year-old girl, Johanna, to her closest relatives in San Antonio. Johanna had been taken in by the Kiowa raiders that killed her parents and raised as one of their own, and she attempts to escape the captain at every turn as they embark on their 400-mile journey.
5. The Trespasser by Tana French (October 4; Viking)
This is the mystery everyone will be talking about this fall. If you've been reading Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, you know she's got serious writing chops. (But don't worry if you haven't read her other books; this novel can be read alone.) The book follows Detective Antoinette Conway, whose new role on the Murder squad is not quite what she expected. The victim in her latest case looks mysteriously familiar... and things get very messy, very quickly.
6. Nicotine by Nell Zink (October 4; Ecco)
Penny Baker's life has been anything but conventional. When her father dies, she finds that his property is inhabited by a group of friendly anarchist squatters who have renamed the property "Nicotine" in defense of smokers' rights. As Penny falls in with the community, she discovers a new passion for life.
7. The Mothers by Brit Bennett (October 11; Riverhead)
Everyone is raving about this book — for good reason. Bennett's debut novel, The Mothers, follows Nadia and Luke, two teenagers living in a tight-knit Southern California black community, who fall into young love. Then Nadia gets pregnant, and she decides to keep it a secret. Follow along as the decisions of that summer ripple out across their entire lives. Don't miss this book.
8. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (October 11; Hogarth)
The latest book in the fantastic Hogarth Shakespeare Project, this is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest, penned by literary queen Margaret Atwood. And let me tell you, it's wicked good. In an appropriately meta twist, Atwood's version of The Tempest follows an exuberant theatre director whose life's work is an over-the-top production of The Tempest. But when he's betrayed and cast out of his job before he has the chance to stage the play, he takes on a job teaching theatre in a prison. And, of course, he plots out his revenge.
9. The Red Car by Marcy Dermanksy (October 11; Liveright)
At the center of this novel is Leah, who lives in Queens with her possessive husband. But then her former boss dies in a car accident — and she leaves the car she died in to Leah. So Leah returns to San Francisco to claim the car, and she's forced to revisit her past life and past loves.
10. Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes (October 18; Pamela Dorman Books)
That's right: Jojo Moyes, author of the beloved book Me Before You, is coming out with a new book this month. At the heart of this collection is a 96-page story called "Paris for One" about a woman whose boyfriend fails to show up for their mini-vacation, forcing her to discover Paris (and herself) on her own.
11. The Loved Ones by Sonya Chung (October 18; Relegation Books)
This book is the definition of heart-wrenching. In the face of an unexpected pregnancy, Charles marries his girlfriend in an attempt to do "the honorable thing." Years later, uneasy in his marriage, he forges a connection with their 13-year-old babysitter, Hannah Lee, a girl with plenty of her own secrets. When tragedy strikes, these characters are pushed to their limits.
12. Mister Monkey by Francine Prose (October 18; Harper)
Pivoting around a problematic off-off-off-off Broadway children's musical and a performance that goes particularly awry, this book's dark humor and sharp perspective will take you for a fantastic ride. Told from a variety of character perspectives, Mister Monkey will captivate you in the best of ways.
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