9 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in October
Did you know that George Orwell was a prolific gardener? Do you frequently thank god that Instagram wasn’t around during your teenage years? Have you ever fantasized about a world with no men? Well you’re in luck, because those are just a few of the topics covered in nine of the most exciting new books publishing in October.
1. Femlandia by Christina Dalcher
Miranda always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But when the country sinks into total economic collapse and her husband walks out on her and her 16-year-old daughter, the two set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda's mother established decades ago. Though it initially feels like a safe haven, something isn’t right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they're all girls, leading Miranda to question how far her mother went to create this seemingly perfect and thriving society.
2. Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist by Sesali Bowen
In this witty memoir, entertainment journalist Bowen reflects on growing up on the south side of Chicago while navigating Blackness, queerness, poverty, sex work, self-love and more. Combining personal essay and cultural commentary, Bowen presents a searing interrogation of sexism, fatphobia and capitalism within the context of race and hip-hop.
3. Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit
Most people know English novelist and critic George Orwell as the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, but this fascinating new book by Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me) details Orwell’s passion for gardening. Interestingly, Solnit connects his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, and the natural world to his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power.
4. The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang
In 1965, an immigration law lifted a century of restrictions against Asian immigrants to the U.S. Over the next four decades, millions of Asians arrived, including New York Times Magazine writer Caspian Kang's parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. In this intimate and moving story, Kang chronicles his family’s journey from a housing project in Cambridge to an idyllic college town in the South and eventually to the West Coast.
5. Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo
Anna is beginning to wonder who she really is. She’s separated from her husband, her daughter is all grown up and her mother, who raised her alone, is dead. One day, she finds clues about the African father she never knew, discovering that he eventually became the president—some would say dictator—of a small nation in West Africa. And he’s still alive. Then, Anna decides to track him father down, and what follows is about addressing universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, the search for a family's hidden roots and more.
6. Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston
Jen Winston is bisexual…she thinks. Her whip-smart debut follows her attempts to make sense of herself as she explores the role of the male gaze, what it means to be "queer enough" and how to overcome bisexual stereotypes when you're the poster child for all of them. Drawing on personal experiences with sexism and biphobia, Greedy examines what it means to find stability in a state of flux and define yourself on your own terms.
7. 100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet by Pamela Paul
Love it or hate it, the internet has changed, well, everything. In this incisive glimpse into the pre-internet world, New York Times Book Review editor Paul reminds us of the ways—big and small—that our lives have changed. Think little things like postcards, an adolescence largely spared of documentation and genuine surprises at high school reunions and larger ones like weaker memories, the inability to entertain ourselves and the absence of privacy.
8. What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J.A. Chancy
At the start of this novel, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 hits Port-au-Prince, Haiti. From there, Chancy charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster, including Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in a camp for displaced people; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; and more.
9. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins
Leaving behind her husband and their baby daughter, a writer gets on a flight for a speaking engagement in Reno with a breast pump and a spiraling case of postpartum depression. Her temporary escape soon turns into an extended romp away from the confines of marriage and motherhood, and a seemingly bottomless descent into the past. It’s a bold and often hilarious reflection on motherhood and what happens when we confront our past.