October Adult Picks

October Adult Picks

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few hours whittling down my to-be-read list. I removed over a hundred books, and was feeling very proud of myself, despite the fact that there are still 247 books on my TBR. After reviewing everything that comes out in October, however, I could very well set myself back to square one. There are so many interesting titles being released this month, that I couldn’t even limit myself to 10 adult picks. Even picking a dozen was a struggle and I had to leave off some books that I’ve been eagerly awaiting for months.

So make sure you’ve staked out a good spot to read in (I’m finally buying a reading chair and ottoman for my bedroom), because October will provide plenty of excellent reading material.

originOrigin by Dan Brown (out October 3rd)
Do I really need to say anything about this? It’s 5th and latest installment in Brown’s hit Robert Langdon series. Set it Bilbao, Spain, it promises the twists, turns, and “extreme religion” that have made Dan Brown a bestseller.

gloriousA Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon (out October 3rd)
Quite frankly, constantly hearing about the celebrities and prodigies who make millions or reach the top of their field before they’re old enough to drink is bad for my self-esteem. I’m hoping that Congdon’s book, with its profiles, interviews, and essays from such women as Vera Wang, Julia Child, and Cheryl Strayed, will be as encouraging and inspiring as I anticipate.

from hereFrom Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty (out October 3rd)
Last month I read Doughty’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, about her time working in a crematory. Despite (or perhaps because of) the morbid topic, I found it incredibly thought provoking. In her newest book, which I just finished, Doughty travels the globe to see how other cultures care for the dead, searching for a remedy to the distance from death in modern American culture. I enjoyed this one even more than her first.

the sunThe Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (out October 3rd)
Kaur’s first poetry collection, Milk and Honey, spent 41 consecutive weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, and reached the number 1 spot. That’s a hard feat for any book to accomplish, much less a book of poetry. It was beautiful and relatable, and left me clamoring for more. The poet has posted some sneak peaks to her Instagram, which promise more of the affecting verse.

tenementsTenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City by Julia Wertz (out October 3rd)
I started reading comic books as a kid, before branching out into longer graphic novels as an adult. I love the format, so I’m hoping to get into more graphic nonfiction, like Wertz’s book on the history of New York City. I think this would be a good pick for someone who struggles to stay absorbed in longer nonfiction books, as the graphic format makes everything go faster.

pridePride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz (out October 17th)
This sounds like it’s going to tick all my boxes. I love books that are modern retellings of classic literature or fairytales. It’s genderbent the two main characters (Fitzwilliam Darcy is now Darcy Fitzwilliam, and Lizzie Bennet is now Luke Bennet). And it’s a Christmas centered romance, the likes of which I usually start devouring even before Halloween.

uncommonUncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks (out October 17th)
I know nothing about Tom Hanks as a writer and I’ve only seen 6 of his movies (three of which are from the animated Toy Story franchise). That being said, he seems like a really interesting, entertaining guy. So I’m definitely curious about his first short story collection.

courageCourage Is Contagious: And Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michelle Obama edited by Nicholas Haramis (out October 24th)
This book has been on my TBR since I first heard about it at the beginning of June. First of all, I adore Michelle Obama, so the opportunity to read 19 essays about her impact and influence is a treat. Second of all, the list of contributors is impressive: Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rashida Jones, Jon Meacham, Tracee Ellis Ross, Charlamagne tha God, and Cecile Richards.

an americanAn American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Khan (out October 24th)
Khan, perhaps better known as the Muslim American Gold Star Father attracted much attention when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention. In his memoir, he tells his story of growing up in Pakistan, and then immigrating to the United States, as well as the story of his son Army Captain Humayan Saqib Muazzam Khan, who was killed while serving in Iraq. I cannot imagine this book being anything other than a moving and important story of immigration and democracy.

smittenSmitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman (out October 24th)
I don’t like cooking, but I am getting a little tired of eating the same few meals in endless rotation. Perelman runs the popular Smitten Kitchen blog, and the reviews all mention that this book is great for busy people looking to put together delicious dinners without spending all night in the kitchen. I figure this should be a good place to start expanding my culinary horizons.

in the midstIn the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (out October 31st)
I already have Allende’s first novel, The House of the Spirits, on my TBR. I’m just a little bit intimidated by it’s 448 pages and the fact that it’s much more literary than my usual reading materials. Her latest novel is a more manageable 336 pages, follows a human rights professor, a young undocumented immigrant, and Chilean lecturer as their lives intersect. It moves from the present day back to the 1970s and from Brooklyn to to Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil.

nine lessonsNine Lessons I Learned from My Father by Murray Howe (out October 31st)
“Unlike his two brothers, Murray Howe failed in his attempt to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a professional athlete. Yet, his failure brought him to the realization that in truth, his dream wasn’t to be a pro hockey player. His dream was to be his father, Gordie Howe. To be amazing at something, but humble and gracious. To be courageous, and stand up for the little guy. To be a hero. You don’t need to be a hockey player to do that. What he learned was that it is a waste of time wishing you were like someone else. We need to identify and embrace our gifts.” I really can’t summarize this book about hockey legend Gordie Howe any better than this part of the jacket copy.