The literary gods have blessed us.
Nonfiction books are coming out at a fast and furious pace in October. There will be a wave of new book releases on the first Tuesday of the month, and then more will follow at a steady, if slower, pace as it continues. We must have done something right to deserve this.
Many of October’s new titles come from authors you may already know and love. Comedians Phoebe Robinson, Abbi Jacobson, and Ellie Kemper are
all releasing essay collections, for example, and Michael Lewis — the journalist whose work inspired the films Moneyball, The Blind Slide, and The Big Short — is putting out his latest book. It’s OK if you’re not familiar, though; now is the perfect time to discover new authors.
There are some long weekends coming up this fall, so you’ll hopefully get a chance to get some extra reading done. This month’s sizable list could keep you occupied for a while, not that there's any rush, of course. Reading isn't supposed to be a high-stress activity, so just work on your TBR at your own pace.
Below, there are 20 nonfiction books set to hit shelves in October, for your reading consideration.
‘We Are the Nerds’ by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin (Oct. 2; Hachette)
We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet’s Culture Laboratory centers on one of the world’s most popular websites. Not only does the book chronicle the rise of its founders, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, it looks at the best and worst of Reddit, both in terms of its history and how it’s used. Click here to buy. ‘What If This Were Enough?’ by Heather Havrilesky (Oct. 2; Doubleday)
Heather Havrilesky ruminates on contemporary culture in
What If This Were Enough?: Essays. She looks at a variety of aspects of daily life, from our attitudes about food to happiness to consumption. Throughout, she makes the case that we’re surrounded by harmful messages and should ask ourselves an important question. Hint: It’s her book’s title. Click here to buy. ‘The Fifth Risk’ by Michael Lewis (Oct. 2; W. W. Norton & Company) ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics’ by Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore, with Veronica Chambers (Oct. 2; St. Martin’s Press) For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics is an account of four powerful black women’s time in politics. Written by the self-proclaimed “Colored Girls,” with the New York Times's Veronica Chambers, it centers on Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore. Together, they share their account of a period of U.S. history against the backdrop of their work. Click here to buy. ‘All You Can Ever Know’ by Nicole Chung (Oct. 2; Catapult)
Nicole Chung writes of her search for answers about her adoption in
All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir. Born in America to Korean immigrants and raised by white parents, she decided to seek out her birth parents as an adult, when she became a mother herself. Chung’s story shares what she learned and explores identity, belonging, family, and truth. Click here to buy. ‘A Dream Called Home’ by Reyna Grande (Oct. 2; Atria Books) A Dream Called Home: A Memoir tells how Reyna Grande not only became the first person in her family to go to college, but also became an award-winning author. At the same time, it’s also the story of her finding a place for herself in the United States after immigrating without documentation at age nine. Click here to buy. ‘Good and Mad’ by Rebecca Traister (Oct. 2; Simon & Schuster) Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger tackles female fury. Rebecca Traister offers commentary on how women’s anger has been treated throughout history and how it has powered change. That certainly seems timely, doesn’t it? Click here to buy. ‘The Reckonings’ by Lacy M. Johnson (Oct. 9; Scribner)
The Reckonings: Essays, Lacy M. Johnson reflects on justice and retribution and raises difficult questions, all while using own personal experiences with violence and injustice, as well as examples that affect the masses. Click here to buy. ‘My Squirrel Days’ by Ellie Kemper (Oct. 9; Scribner) This October, star Ellie Kemper releases her first book, an essay collection called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt My Squirrel Days. If you’re wondering about the title, it stems from the special connection she shared with the bushy-tailed creatures in her youth. Click here to buy. ‘The Library Book’ by Susan Orlean (Oct. 16; Simon & Schuster)
Susan Orlean examines a decades-old mystery in
The Library Book. The case in question involves a fire that ravaged the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 and may or may not have been set intentionally. Orlean’s book has true-crime elements but is also a celebration of the wonder of libraries. Click here to buy. ‘Liberated Spirits’ by Hugh Ambrose, with John Schuttler (Oct. 16; Berkley)
Hugh Ambrose shines a light on women’s involvement in both passing and repealing Prohibition in
Liberated Spirits: Two Women Who Battled Over Prohibition. Written with John Schuttler, the book focuses on two specific women, Mabel Willebrandt and Pauline Sabin. In spite of having very different backgrounds, both came to play key roles. Click here to buy. ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg’ by Jane Sherron De Hart (Oct. 16; Knopf Publishing Group)
Jane Sherron De Hart focuses on the most iconic U.S. Supreme Court justice in
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life. Written with Ginsburg’s cooperation, it is described as “comprehensive and revelatory.” You’ll get insight from RBG herself, plus her family, friends, and associates. Click here to buy. ‘Heavy’ by Kiese Laymon (Oct. 16; Scriber)
Kiese Laymon writes about his experience being a black man in the United States in
Heavy: An American Memoir. The title says it all when it comes to the type of stories he shares. He doesn’t shy away from hard topics, including oppression, sexual violence, and his difficult relationship with his mother. Click here to buy. ‘The Periodic Table of Feminism’ by Marisa Bate (Oct. 16; Seal Press)
Marisa Bate shares a history of women’s rights advocacy in her new book,
The Periodic Table of Feminism. She takes readers from the first wave to the fourth by spotlighting key figures. You’ll get a chance to learn about inspiring women from different generations and parts of the world. Click here to buy. ‘Almost Everything’ by Anne Lamott (Oct. 16; Riverhead Books)
Anne Lamott takes on the challenging task of trying to record everything she knows about most topics in her latest book. As you can imagine, that means that
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope covers a lot of ground. Expect her to provide unique wisdom, advice, and humor. Click here to buy. ‘Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay’ by Phoebe Robinson (Oct. 16; Plume) 2 Dope Queens’ Phoebe Robinson has penned another essay collection. Called Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, it humorously tackles topics that fellow millennials will definitely find familiar. Examples include body image, reality TV, and manspreading. Click here to buy. ‘I’ll Be There for You’ by Kelsey Miller (Oct. 23; Hanover Square Press)
Kelsey Miller revisits an iconic TV series in
I’ll Be There for You: The One About Friends. Described as the show’s “definitive retrospective,” the book digs deep into Friends’ history to offer insight, anecdotes, and interviews fans will love. Click here to buy. ‘I Might Regret This’ by Abbi Jacobson (Oct. 30; Grand Central Publishing) Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson muses about life in I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff. Born out of a solo road trip, the essays are personal and relatable, and they let readers in on her adventures behind-the-scenes. Click here to buy. ‘Well-Read Black Girl,’ Edited by Glory Edim (Oct. 30; Ballantine Books) Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves is a collection of essays from a group of celebrated, inspiring black women on finding themselves in literature. The list of contributors includes two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe, Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, and numerous others. Click here to buy.