Take a deep breath. Smell that? That’s a pumpkin spice latte. We can have those now that Waterford has a Starbucks. Oh yes. However, I am one of that strange breed of people who thinks coffee tastes like boiled clay, even with the trappings of whipped cream, nutmeg and cinnamon. What I’m looking forward to in October are woolly jumpers, boots, and curling up by the fire with a stack of books and, if I must have an autumnal beverage, a warming cup of chai. So, if you’re at a loss for what to read coming into the best of all seasons (fact), check out a few of these buzzworthy October book releases.
3 October – Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. Jennifer Egan is best known for taking the Pulitzer for her last novel, 2010’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. Her latest offering is a work of historical fiction opening in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, and later during wartime, when central character Anna Kerrigan’s father has disappeared and she begins to unravel his life and ties to mobster Dexter Styles. Described as ‘Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York’, this is definitely one to add to your TBR.
3 October – Origin by Dan Brown. The fifth book in the Robert Langdon series, I’m not personally planning on picking this one up but I know a lot of people can’t wait to get their hands on it. Once again, history, science and the fundamental questions of human existence pit Robert Langdon and another Hot Lady Sidekick against a mysterious and powerful enemy with a dangerous secret, uncovering clues and deciphering symbols along the way. Yes, it’s formulaic, but the puzzles are fun, the setting of Bilbao and Barcelona suitably rich and vibrant, and sometimes you just want to be entertained. As an escapist reader, I can totally appreciate that.
10 October – Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. A confession: I am a Nerdfighter (hi ANF!) who has only read Paper Towns. In fact, I created and admin Bookish Nerdfighters and I have only read Paper Towns. Honestly, I liked it but didn’t love it, and it didn’t spur me to read more of his work. However, John and his brother Hank are excellent people and I love the community they built, so I’m inclined to give him another shot. It looks like I might be doing that with Turtles All the Way Down, about a 16-year-old girl called Aza Holmes living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is something that has affected John’s own life since childhood, as well as mine, so I’m excited to see it represented in popular fiction.
20 October – Harry Potter – A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic are two books set to coincide with the British Library’s exhibition on Hogwarts and the history of magic in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Despite being disappointed The Cursed Child and only mildly amused by the Pottermore Presents trio, I am an avowed Potterhead and would probably buy Harry Potter’s grocery list if J.K. Rowling offered it up to me. The exhibit itself takes place in the PACCAR Gallery of the British Library from 20 October to the end of February and is only £16 for a standard adult ticket. It’s a celebration of the series’ 20th anniversary and looks like a fascinating collection for the Potter-obsessed – well worth dropping into if you’re in London.
24 October – The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano. Having already enjoyed the Chemical Garden series and The Internment Chronicles, as well as Lauren DeStefano’s hilarious Twitter musings, this is the book on the list that I have been looking forward to the most. My love for YA fantasy is no secret, and a banished princess with the power to turn people to stone sounds like so much fun. Early indications of great worldbuilding, well-developed characters and a villainous love interest (my magic words) have me waiting impatiently for this one to drop. Incidentally, Lauren also lives with OCD and wrote this pretty fantastic essay about it and the writing of The Glass Spare in a Goodreads review for the book. Please go and check it out – it is SUCH a worthwhile read.
Readers, what are you looking forward to in October?