There are 30 new books out in October 2019 that you need to know, so get prepped for a month of marathon-reading.
Two important nonfiction accounts of the #MeToo movement are coming out this month. In Catch and Kill, journalist Ronan Farrow expands upon the reporting that won him a Pulitzer Prize in an incisive exploration of how powerful men get away with sexual misconduct and assault. Meanwhile, in Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was A Girl, author Jeannie Vanasco's recounts her experience with sexual assault at the hands of one of her best friends.
Not everything is quite so heavy this month. In the highly-anticipated sequel to Call Me By Your Name, André Acimen continues the love story of Elio and Oliver.
There are many other books by beloved authors to watch for, too, this month. Stephen Chbosky, who released his first and only book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in 1999, is dropping his second novel, and it's horror. Zadie Smith is returning with her first short story collection. Leigh Bardugo is making her adult fiction debut with a diabolical tale of power and privilege. And Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is back with a fresh take on her iconic heroine Olive Kitteridge.
There are quite a few debut authors to pay attention to, as well, most notably Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game, a memoir that will sweep you into the quiet glamour of Cape Cod and enthrall you from beginning to end.
Below, find the 30 books of October 2019 that you need to know:
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory (Oct. 1)
Rom-com queen Jasmine Guillory is back with a story inspired by the mother of Meghan Markle, Doria Ragland. In this timeline, the heroine is Vivian Forest, who accompanies her stylist daughter on a work trip to dress an English royal and ends up falling in love with the private secretary to the queen.
Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco (Oct. 1)
In Jeannie Vanasco's prodding, painful memoir, the author writes about her sexual assault in college and about the friend who assaulted her. In order to write about him, she decides to meet with him, and the transcripts of their conversations are frustrating, fascinating, and thought-provoking.
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson (Oct. 1)
You have probably heard before that Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is the foundation of modern science fiction, a genre which has always been, at its best and truest, unquestionably feminist. In Frankissstein, Winterson reimagines the tale with a distinctly modern flair in a story about creating new beings, about artificial intelligence, and about the nature of life itself.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruth Sepetys (Oct. 1)
Ruta Sepetys has, time and time again, used young adult fiction to explore real, horrifying moments in history. In The Fountains of Silence, she turns her attention to Franco's dictatorship over Spain in a story about two teenagers — Daniel, an aspiring American photojournalist, and Ana, a hotel attendant in Madrid — who have different experiences with an oppressive regime.
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake (Oct. 1)
The beating heart of Julia Drake's new young adult novel is Violet, who arrives in Maine to live with her Uncle Toby after a series of mentally and emotionally draining experiences, including the attempted suicide of her brother. In Maine, she hopes to find the answers she needs about her family history, her brother, and her self.
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (Oct. 1)
It's been 20 years since Stephen Chbosky published his first — and until now, only — novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In his highly-anticipated sophomore book, Chbosky turns his attention to the world of horror, with a story about a young boy who disappears for six days and returns with a strange ability and an even stranger mission. If he doesn't complete it by Christmas Day, his mother — and everyone in their town — will be at risk.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Oct. 8)
Leigh Bardugo's adult fiction debut is a dark, twisted exploration of Yale University's underbelly of privilege, power, and prestige. Her main character, Alex (short for Galaxy, not Alexandra), is at Yale on a unique scholarship: She is responsible for monitoring the activities of Yale's eight secret societies. But Alex — who has a past filled with drugs, homicide, and poverty — isn't quite prepared for the depravity and violence she encounters in New Haven.
Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church by Megan Phelps-Roper (Oct. 8)
Written by the granddaughter of the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, Unfollow is a harrowing account of Megan Phelps-Roper's journey from ardent believer to disgusted and ostracized former member.
Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger, Edited by Lilly Dancyger (Oct. 8)
You, like many women in the United States, are probably angry about politics, about society, about the wage gap, about the war on reproductive rights, about the lack of child care options, about... everything. In Burn It Down, authors like Leslie Jamison and Melissa Febos let their pens channel their flames in a series of essays about the rage that burns within them.
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (Oct. 8)
It's true: Vampires are back, and they're more seductive than ever. In Renée Ahdieh's newest young adult novel, 17-year-old Celine lands in New Orleans after fleeing from Paris, and finds herself immediately enchanted by the city's culture, fashion, and people — particularly Sebastian Saint German, the ruler of the underworld group La Cour Des Lions. But her life of glitz and glamour is shaken up when a serial killer sets his sights on her.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (Oct. 8)
You know Jojo Moyes as the author of Me Before You, but in her latest, she gives readers an entirely different kind of tale about a group of women who join Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling library and deliver books on horseback to people who never before had access to the written word.
Grand Union by Zadie Smith (Oct. 8)
You've read her novels and her nonfiction, but have you ever read the short stories of one of the most beloved writers of our age, Zadie Smith? In her first-ever story collection, Smith delivers a set of stories that span genre and setting, and show off the true range of her dazzling talent.
Where to Begin: A Small Book About Your Power to Create Big Change in Our Crazy World by Cleo Wade (Oct. 8)
Cleo Wade's new book Where to Begin is a hardcover treasure trove of the affirmations she has become famous for on Instagram, where over 500,000 people follow her for hopeful posts about therapy, friendship, activism, and self-love. This slim, small book will fit in any bag, so you can pull it out for a dose of optimism whenever you need one.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (Oct. 8)
The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this young adult novel about a society that fears its young women — so much so that they banish all young women during their 16th year to release their wiles away from the men they could tempt and lure. When they return — if they return — they are ready for marriage. But 16-year-old Tierney James wants something different for herself, and the other young women who've been exiled.
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (Oct. 15)
Just weeks after the release of She Said by Pulitzer Prize winners Jodi Kantor and Megah Twohey, journalist Ronan Farrow — who shared the Pulitzer Prize with them for their collective reporting on Harvey Weinstein — is dropping his book about powerful abusers and the systems, people, and privileges that protect them.
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (Oct. 15)
Adrienne Brodeur's memoir Wild Game reads like a novel and plays out with all the drama of a CW series. The book begins on the night that Brodeur's larger-than-life mother struck up an affair with a family friend. Over the next few decades, Brodeur acted as a confidante and co-conspirator, two roles she later regretted. This is the book to read if you want a juicy story set on Cape Cod and plenty of lush descriptions of the rich meals her mother, a chef, prepared over the course of her affair.
A Year Without A Name by Cyrus Grace Dunham (Oct. 15)
The sibling of Girls creator and author Lena Dunham, Cyrus Grace Dunham has long lived just off to the side of the spotlight. In their memoir, they center themselves in the light and tell the moving story of the year of their gender transition.
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Oct. 15)
In 2009, Maine native Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for her Maine-set novel about a woman and the eccentric friends and townspeople she encounters. Later, that book, Olive Kitteridge, was adapted into an HBO mini-series that won eight Emmy Awards. Olive, Again is the sequel you didn't know you needed.
Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha (Oct. 15)
Mystery writer Steph Cha is dropping an explosive story of race, identity, and violence this October, set in Los Angeles, a city on edge after the police shooting of a black teenager. Grace Park is outraged about the shooting but sheltered from the violence — until her mother is shot in a drive-by shooting, and it becomes known that, years earlier, she played a role in the 1991 shooting of an unarmed black woman by a Korean shopkeeper. Suddenly, Grace must come to terms with her own family's role in perpetuating cycles of racism and violence. Meanwhile, Shawn Matthews, who lost his sister to murder, is forced to reckon with a past he has long tried to forget.
If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman (Oct. 15)
Audrey is dying of cancer and determined to do two things before her death: reunite her estranged daughters and introduce her two teenage granddaughters, who have never met. But there's a big problem: Neither Audrey nor her youngest daughter knows what caused the rift between sisters in the first place. What follows is a devastating, poignant novel about family, secrets, and the redeeming power of love.
Good Things Happen to People You Hate by Rebecca Fishbein (Oct. 15)
An essay collection that will definitely be discussed in your group chat, Good Things Happen to People You Hate is a relatable, conversational examination of all the things that make young adulthood suck so much — bad jobs, bad friends, bad partners, bad apartments, bad mental health — and an exploration of the societal harms that have made it so terrible.
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong (Oct. 15)
In a series of hilarious, affirming letters to her daughter, comedian and actress Ali Wong writes about all the things she wishes she had known before she launched her career, fell in love, had kids, and started living life on her own terms.
Initiated: Memoir of a Witch by Amanda Yates Garcia (Oct. 22)
Amanda Yates Garcia, the daughter of witches, was formerly initiated into her Wiccan community at the age of 13. But in the years that followed, she also experienced many versions of initiation. In this stunning memoir, she recounts her experiences with sex work, poverty, sexism, and more, and writes about the magic of community, healing, and love.
All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg (Oct. 22)
Like Jami Attenberg's last novel, All Grown Up, this is one you won't want to put down until you're finished. The novel kicks off with a punch: The family patriarch, Victor, is dying, and his children and their partners, his grandchildren, and his wife all must reflect on how powerfully their lives have been shaped by him. It's a harrowing task, to be sure, made even more difficult by the fact that he was a toxic person who lied, stole, cheated, and abused.
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (Oct. 22)
If second chance romance is your trope of choice, Christina Lauren's latest is the book for you this fall: Twice in a Blue Moon, about two former lovers — one, an aspiring actress who happens to be the secret daughter of one of Hollywood's biggest stars; the other, the confident man she revealed her secret to — who reconnect 10 years after the worst heartbreak of their lives.
Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac by Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky (Oct. 29)
Follow the Astro Poets on Twitter, then pick up their guide to all-things Zodiac, a Scorpio baby with poems, musings, and warnings about all 12 signs. Authors Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky are published poets with a flair for the mystical, and their astrology guide is like none you've read before.
The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly (Oct. 29)
For 25 years, Angela Kelly has worked for the queen of England — initially as her senior dresser, now as her personal adviser, curator, wardrobe, and in-house designer. In The Other Side of the Coin, Kelly invites readers behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace and reveals to the world a never-before-seen side of the royal family.
Find Me by André Acimen (Oct. 29)
Sound the alarms: André Aciman's highly-anticipated sequel to Call Me by Your Name is coming this October, though it probably isn't quite what fans of the movie will be expecting. The first section of the book focuses on Elio's father, while the latter sections center on 20-something Elio and middle-aged Oliver.
Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz (Oct. 29)
In this coming-of-age memoir, Jaquira Diaz explores all the nuances that make a life: her Puerto Rican identity, her sexuality, her struggles with her mother's schizophrenia, her own struggles with depression, and the hope and love that carry her through it all.
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett (Oct. 29)
A young adult novel written by an actual teen, Full Disclosure is an exploration of the ups-and-downs of adolescence through the lens of a young girl who is HIV-positive. Simone, the new girl at school, has big plans to make friends, direct the student production of Rent, and win the heart of her crush, Miles. There's a big problem, though: An anonymous bully is threatening to tell the entire school about her HIV-positive diagnosis.