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5 Books to Watch For in October

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

I am simultaneously alarmed that it is already October and excited that October is here, because this month has more amazing new releases than any other month this year. Wanna hear about five of the best? C’mon, let’s go!

hag-seedHag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Part of Hogarth’s Shakespeare series, in which authors reimagine works of Shakespeare, Atwood has outdone the wonderful previous installments with her take on The Tempest. Set during a staging of, er, The Tempest, at a prison, Atwood gleefully weaves a wonderful plot of revenge and retribution. You can tell she enjoyed herself while writing this one.


The Mothers by Brit BennettThe Mothers by Brit Bennett
One of the year’s most astonishing debuts, newly-awarded National Book Award 5 Under 35 recipient Bennett has written an emotional, beautiful story of two friends, secrets, heartbreak, and forgiveness. Nadia is a teenager when she becomes pregnant with the child of the local pastor’s son. Choosing to keep it a secret from everyone, including her best friend, Aubrey, will impact their friendship for many years to come, and draw the friends into a complicated love triangle.

ghostlandGhostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

In his fantastic new book, Dickey hits on all the fascinating things you could want to know about our country’s haunted history. I came away from Ghostland wishing my own house was haunted because he makes it seem so interesting. Colin Dickey is a mad genius, and reading one of his books is as close to a look at his brilliant brain as we will get without use of a bone saw.

all that man isAll That Man Is by David Szalay
Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, Szalay has drawn nine portraits of men in different stages in their lives across Europe. A unique, challenging book that tells their stories from youngest to oldest, it is a fascinating and sometimes disturbing look at common experiences between different classes and what it means to be a man in the modern world.

do not say we have nothingDo Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Also shortlisted for the Man Booker prize is Thien’s intimate, magnificent tale of two generations of an extended family in China, from those who lived during Mao’s cultural revolution to their children who protested in Tiananmen Square. Marie and Ai-Ming are young women in present-day Vancouver whose search into their family’s past drive the narrative Thien’s wonderful novel.