The 16 Best New Nonfiction Books To Read In October

Fall is in full swing, bringing new books as we head into a season of long, cold evenings. Luckily, October’s new releases in nonfiction will be the perfect accompaniment for your pumpkin spice lattes and mugs of hot apple cider. That should serve as at least some consolation to those of you who, like me, are loath to see summer end.

However you feel about autumn, though, there’s no arguing that October is ideal for creepy reads. With Halloween at the end of the month, they’ll help you get in the spirit. Fittingly, some of October’s authors explore gloomy topics like death and murder. Others provide a different variety of scares for readers, with their focus on politics, infidelity, and shaming, among other subjects.

If you want to lose yourself in less disturbing reading material, you’re definitely not out of luck. There are inspiring options that delve into from how failure can beget success and why you (yes, you!) should consider running for office, for example. With different strokes for different folks, this month’s selection of new releases has wide-ranging appeal.

You’re going to want to fall into October nonfiction, especially the 16 nonfiction books below, so be sure to take note.

'From Here to Eternity' by Caitlin Doughty (Oct. 3; W. W. Norton & Company)

Let’s talk about death, baby. Mortician Caitlin Doughty examines different cultures’ death rituals in her new book From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. She details a variety of practices from around the globe that are sure to fascinate.

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'Dear World' by Bana Alabed (Oct. 3; Simon & Schuster)

You may remember hearing about Bana Alabed, a seven-year-old girl whose tweets went viral as Aleppo was destroyed around her in a horrifying siege. She continues to tell her painful yet hopeful story in Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace. The book also features chapters written by her mother, Fatemah, giving a fuller picture of how their family, along with many others, have been affected by the ongoing war.

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'The Glass Eye' by Jeannie Vanasco (Oct. 3; Tin House)

Jeannie Vanasco writes about her personal struggle with grief and obsession in The Glass Eye. Her memoir reveals how she spiraled after her father’s death, in part because she had been named after her dead half-sister. Her story isn’t always comfortable for the reader, but it is captivating.

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'Shame Nation' by Sue Scheff, Melissa Schorr (Oct. 3; Sourcebooks)

The digital world isn’t always a kind one. Internet safety expert Sue Scheff looks at online shaming in Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate, written with Melissa Schorr. The book covers a variety of topics, including revenge porn, cyberbullying, and backlash-inspiring gaffes, and shares strategies for protecting yourself.

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'The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump' by Bandy X. Lee (Oct. 3; Thomas Dunne Books)

If you’re worried about the current administration, Bandy X. Lee’s new book will do nothing to calm your fears. Called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, it breaks down the myriad of symptoms that health professionals have observed in the president, along with their diagnoses. Beyond that, you’ll learn about his behavior’s impact on the rest of us, so it’s scary stuff indeed.

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'Run for Something' by Amanda Litman (Oct. 3; Atria Books)

Don’t get discouraged if you’re unhappy with the state of the country today — instead, read Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself. Written by Amanda Litman, a former Clinton campaign staffer, the book reminds us that we can be the change we want to see in the world. Specifically, Litman focuses on local positions, such as on school boards or city councils. With the guidance she provides, you might just find yourself answering her call to action.

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'Things Are What You Make of Them' by Adam J. Kurtz (Oct. 3; TargerPerigee)

Whether or not you’re artsy, you’ll find helpful wisdom in Adam J. Kurtz’s new book, Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives. It aims to teach valuable lessons, such as how to get over particular fears and how to stop comparing yourself to others. As a bonus, you can even tear out the perforated pages so you can hang them around your workspace or share them with others.

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'We Were Eight Years In Power' by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Oct. 3; One World)

Between the World and Me author Ta-Nehisi Coates is back with a collection of essays — some written for The Atlantic, some new — about race, justice, and politics in America. It's a searing reflection on the presidency of Barack Obama, as well as a biting examination of the election of Donald Trump, and the forces that brought him to power.

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'Lady Killers' by Tori Telfer (Oct. 10; Harper Perennial)

Tori Telfer debunks the idea that female serial killers don’t exist in her new book, Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History. She goes through 14, in particular, showing just how vicious and deadly the women were. On top of that, Telfer takes on the way each of the killers has been portrayed, so you’ll get feminism with your horror.

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'Code Girls' by Liza Mundy (Oct. 10; Hachette Books)

Women did more than take care of the home front during WWII. Liza Mundy shines a light on the military’s little-known female code breakers in Code Girls: The Untold Story of the Women Breakers of WWII. You’ll be inspired by their impact on the war and professional accomplishments.

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'The Romance of Elsewhere' by Lynn Freed (Oct. 10; Counterpoint, LLC)

Lynn Freed explores the question of what makes a home in The Romance of Elsewhere: Essays. She does so by bringing us through many different points of her life, including studying abroad, getting married, seeking out new cities, and more. With her essays spanning decades, Freed covers a range of topics, such as health, love, and aging.

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'Permission to Screw Up' by Kristen Hadeed (Oct. 10; Portfolio)

In Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned to Do Everything, Kristen Hadeed recounts how she unintentionally started her company, Student Maid. Her journey is full of entertaining missteps that ultimately benefited her business and led to her becoming an expert on improving company culture. As such, Hadeed will help you let go of the idea that perfection is the only path to success.

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'The State of Affairs' by Esther Perel (Oct. 10; Harper)

Couples’ therapist Esther Perel takes on a taboo topic in The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. She makes the case that affairs teach us about our expectations and hopes, and also examines how attitudes vary across cultures. Throughout, she uses real-life stories that will keep you engrossed.

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'We’re Going to Need More Wine' by Gabrielle Union (Oct. 17; Dey Street Books)

In We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories, actress Gabrielle Union is candid about everything from race to puberty to beauty. She brings us from her childhood in a white, suburban part of California to her Hollywood success, opening up about her struggles and triumphs in between. You’ll appreciate her humor and thoughtful insight.

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'F*cked' by Corinne Fisher, Krystyna Hutchinson (Oct. 24; HarperOne)

Comedians Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson delve into sex, love, and relationships in F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed. Like their podcast, Guys WeF--ked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast, F*cked takes a hilarious, no-nonsense approach. This is the book you need if you’re looking for guidance on butt stuff, relationship faux pas, dealing with shaming, and much more.

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'Dare Not Linger' by Nelson Mandela, Mandla Langa (Oct. 24; Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Although Nelson Mandela didn’t manage to finish his second memoir before he died, acclaimed writer Mandla Langa completed the important job. The result is Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years. It gives us more wisdom from the late leader and a new look at the challenges he overcame in office.

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