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26 Cool New Books with Rave Reviews to Read in October 2021

new book releases, including novels and non-fiction books, coming out in October 2021

New month, new books! Book Light is our Dandelion Chandelier curated list of the most-anticipated new book releases every month, and next up is October 2021. If you ask us, the ideal October read is . So what are the best new books coming out in October 2021? Previously, we’ve shared our picks for the best fall reads this year. But – wait – there’s more! Our intrepid team kept exploring, and here’s what we found: 26 cool new books with rave reviews we can’t wait to read in October 2021, including novels and non-fiction.

what are the most-anticipated new book releases for October 2021?

Wondering what to read in October 2021 among all the new novels and new non-fiction books?

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new novels and books of poetry October 2021

On the list of the best new novels of October 2021, you’ll find new works from beloved authors like Amor Towles and Elizabeth Strout, and new poetry collections from brilliant writers like Tracey K. Smith. There’s also a new thriller from Hilary Rodham Clinton. And widely-praised debuts from Chibundu Onuzo, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Top new book releases, including novels and non-fiction books, coming out in October 2021.

new non-fiction books October 2021

The shelves of the non-fiction section will see lots of new books in October 2021, including memoirs from Billy Porter, Stanley Tucci, Katie Couric and Alan Cummings. David Sedaris has a new collection of essays. So do Questlove and Susan Orlean. And Missy Robbins has a new cookbook filled with delicious pasta recipes.

new book releases, including novels and non-fiction books, coming out in October 2021

Top new book releases, including novels and non-fiction books, coming out in October 2021.

26 of the best new books coming in October 2021

Here’s our pick of what to read from the crop of eagerly anticipated new book releases coming in October 2021. The best books from a range of genres, including novels, essay collections, and non-fiction. You can pre-order them now if you like.

The best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021.

New book releases on October 5, 2021

1. What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J A Chancy.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

One of the most buzzed-about new novels of October 2021 is What Storm, What Thunder, which begins the day an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Estimates are that the natural disaster killed 250,000 people. What follows are the stories of 10 souls whose lives are devastated – both the innocent and the guilty are swept up in the melee of the quake and its aftermath. Fiction like this is a powerful way to bear witness. And a reminder that mass tragedies occur one life at a time.

BUY NOW: $24.95.

2. Sankofa by by Chibundu Onuzo.

 

In the debut novel Sankofa, Anna is at a stage of her life when she’s beginning to wonder who she really is. She’s separated from her husband, her daughter has grown up, and her mother, a single parent, is dead.

While going through her mother’s belongings, Anna finds clues about the African father she never knew. His student diaries are filled with stories about his involvement in radical politics in 1970’s London. Ultimately, she discovers that her absent father eventually became the president—some would say dictator—of a small nation in West Africa. And he’s still alive.

BUY NOW: $21.99.

3. We Are Not Like Them by by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

We Are Not Like Them is an inventive novel about a timely and serious topic. Told from alternating perspectives, we’re immersed in the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is transformed by a tragic event. Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten, growing up in Philadelphia. As adults, they remain as close as sisters. But when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager, it falls to Riley to cover the story as a local television anchor. Both must weigh the value of their childhood friendship against the demands and allegiances of their adult lives.

BUY NOW: $18.99.

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4. Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

Set in the 1970’s in a Chicago suburb as Christmas approaches, Crossroads – the first in a planned trilogy – introduces the Hildebrandt family. Russell, an associate pastor whose ethical code is wavering, and Marion, who deals with long-buried traumas, are the patriarch and matriarch. And their marriage appears to be on its last leg. When their adult children return home for the holidays, the scene is set for a wide-ranging debate over fundamental moral and spiritual questions.

BUY NOW: $23.99

5. Reprieve by James Han Mattson.

 

The setting of the new thriller Reprieve is 1990’s Nebraska. A group of four contestants is close to completing the riddles of a notorious escape room. But when one of them is killed by an intruder, the survivors — including a love-struck international student who came to Nebraska to track down a former teacher, and a grieving teenage girl — are left to reckon with the aftermath, and to face the realities of guilt, race and power.

BUY NOW: $23.49.

6. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

Set over a 10-day stretch in 1954, the new novel from the author of A Gentleman in Moscow, The Lincoln Highway, follows a teenager trying to rebuild his life. Emmett has returned to Nebraska after serving a sentence for involuntary manslaughter, with plans to meet up with his younger brother and start fresh in California. But when he discovers two unexpected interlopers, he ends up taking a detour that leads him to New York City.

BUY NOW: $21.49.

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7. I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins.

 

In I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, an author (also named Claire Vaye Watkins) leaves behind her husband and child for a book event in Nevada. There, she re-encounters old friends, memories and, most important, desires.

BUY NOW: $23.99.

8. My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

My Monticello is a collection of debut fiction, including the novella that gives the book its title. Each of the entries deals with the searing effects of racism in America, viewed through the lens of a fictional near-future – a dystopian future that might be – but that can still be averted. For instance, in the titular story a diverse group of Charlottesville neighbors flee violent white supremacists, led by a young Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. They take refuge in Jefferson’s historic plantation home and hunker down to ride out the apocalypse.

BUY NOW: $18.89.

9. Such Color: New and Selected Poems by Tracy K. Smith.

 

Such Color: New and Selected Poems is an anthology of work by the former U.S. Poet Laureate. There are 30 pages of new poems in this collection, and they address head-on the tragedy of racism and injustice. But the new work is also filled with grace notes – and an enduring undercurrent of faith in the power of love and human connection to heal us all.

BUY NOW: $26.00.

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10. Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott.

 

Dasani was a precocious and spunky 11-year-old with limitless potential when the author, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist, first met her at a Fort Greene homeless shelter in 2012. That encounter led to a five-part series shadowing Dasani as she navigated child poverty in New York City. Invisible Child immerses us in the lives of Dasani and her family for eight years. We follow the thread of the family’s ancestry back to a North Carolina slave plantation, telling a wrenching story of life below the poverty line in America.

BUY NOW: $23.99.

11. Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

Long before he enthralled a world in lockdown with his cocktail-shaking videos, led viewers across Italy on CNN or starred in “Big Night,” Tucci was obsessed with food. In Taste: My Life Through Food, he returns to his childhood growing up in an Italian American family in the 1960s (yes, there are recipes).

BUY NOW: $21.24.

12. A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020) by David Sedaris.

 

A Carnival of Snackery is the latest essay  collection from Sedaris, and its a wide-ranging trip through decades of travel, political life, celebrity follies and petty street crimes. All described in his unique voice – and all intended to make us question how far we’ve really come since 2003.

BUY NOW: $25.49.

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New book releases on October 12, 2021

13. State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny.

 

See if the plot line of State of Terror sounds familiar, somehow: after four years of political turmoil, Ellen Adams joins a new Presidential Administration, headed by a former rival, as Secretary of State. At the president’s first congressional address, a State Department employee receives a coded threat — and before long, a wave of terrorist attacks threaten to upend the global order. Writing thrillers is spreading like wildfire through the Clinton family – Chelsea, we eagerly await yours.

BUY NOW: $20.99.

14. The Pessimists by Bethany Ball.

 

The Connecticut suburbs are the backdrop for The Pessimists, a new satire following three couples, anchored by an upscale school with a megalomaniacal headmistress. Before long, prepper impulses, wandering eyes and a cancer diagnosis emerge, and rattle each of the marriages.

BUY NOW: $24.30.

15. Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide by
Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras, Atlas Obscura.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

In Gastro Obscura, we are treated to a food journey filled with recipes, illustrations and delicious surprises. The world of food history is served up on a platter, and you’ll finish this lively new non-fiction in October 2021 feeling . . . hungry for more.

BUY NOW: $33.99.

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16. Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy’s Greatest Food, with Recipes by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi.

 

In Pasta, we’re treated to a stylish pasta master class from New York City’s premier pasta chef, Missy Robbins. The owner and chef at the acclaimed restaurants Lilia and Misi in New York City invites us into her kitchen for an incredible tutorial. Filled with recipes for 40 handmade pasta shapes and 100 Italian American, regional Italian, and modern dishes, this is the perfect way to get ready for the holiday entertaining season.

BUY NOW: $35.00.

17. On Animals by Susan Orlean.

 

“How we interact with animals has preoccupied philosophers, poets, and naturalists for ages,” Orlean writes in On Animals. In this collection of essays on the topic of animals, we see human-animal interactions of all kinds. From household pets to the animals we raise as food to the creatures who could eat us for dinner.

BUY NOW: $22.49.

18. Music is History by Questlove.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

In Music is History, Questlove casts his eye over the past 50 years and shares his fascinating take on one song per year. A connoisseur and historian, his unique point of view on which songs are representative of each year and how each song symbolizes the cultural and political moment of the time make for a riveting and educational read.

BUY NOW: $25.49.

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19. All of the Marvels: A Journey to the Ends of the Biggest Story Ever Told by Douglas Wolk.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

All of the Marvels attempts to wrestle with the Marvel Comics universe, a web so expansive that almost no one has bothered to read all of its half-million pages (and counting). The author, though, perused originals he found at garage sales, abandoned copies at his local Starbucks and even collections on show at Burning Man. The result is 400 pages of insights — for Marvel fans and casual readers alike — and what they reveal about American dreams and fears over the past 60 years.

BUY NOW: $24.26.

20. The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang.

 

In his essays and commentaries the author of The Loneliest Americans has been interrogating the ideas underpinning Asian American identity for years. His nonfiction debut is a culmination of these efforts, blending memoir, historical writing and reportage as he questions the usefulness of this identity in describing people who live profoundly different realities conditioned by class, language and ethnicity.

BUY NOW: $23.99.

New book releases on October 19, 2021

21. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout.

 

The best new books coming, both novels and non-fiction, and book releases for October 2021

In one of the most highly-anticipated new novels being released in October 2021, the Pulitzer Prize winner delves deeper into the life of her character Lucy Barton, the protagonist in her Amgash series, in Oh William!, This third installment focuses on Lucy’s first marriage, which dissolves rather quickly. Despite their divorce, the bond between Lucy and her ex-husband William remains strong throughout their lives. So when William appears unexpectedly to ask Lucy to join him on a trip to excavate his past, she agrees. What they find will cast everything that came before it in a new light.

BUY NOW: $21.49.

22. Monster in the Middle by Tiphanie Yanique.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

Monster in the Middle is the story of the present-day romance between Fly, a musician, and Stela, a science teacher, in New York City. The record of their encounters, however, is interspersed with tales of their ancestors’ past loves and losses. The locations range from the Virgin Islands to Ghana to the United States.

BUY NOW: $23.99.

23. Unprotected by Billy Porter.

 

“This is not a coming-out story,” says Porter of Unprotected. Known for his roles in “Pose” and “Kinky Boots,” here he offers his account of growing up Black and gay in Pittsburgh. “By the time I was 5, it was all too clear to me that something was wrong with me,” he writes. “Everyone knew it, and I knew it too.” He delves into the therapy intended to “fix” him, the bullying and sexual abuse that shaped his childhood, the inspiration he received from his mother and how he found his voice along the way.

BUY NOW: $19.69.

New book releases on October 26, 2021

24. Going There by Katie Couric.

 

Best new books and book releases, fiction and non-fiction, in October 2021

For decades, through interviews with Supreme Court justices, prime ministers, presidents and countless ordinary individuals, Couric has brought us the life stories of other people. In Going There, she examines her own life — career highs and lows, experiences with sexism, her first husband’s death from colon cancer, her daughters’ reckoning with their father’s enthusiasm for the Confederacy and the demise of her friendship with her former “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer.

BUY NOW: $21.49.

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25. Art Record Covers by Francesco Spampinato.

 

In this unique anthology, Art Record Covers, we delve into a fascinating slice of cultural history. With 450 covers and records by visual artists from the 1950s through to today, this is an exploration of how modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, postmodernism, and various forms of contemporary art practice have informed this field of visual production. The role of art in the marketing and distribution of music by creating defining imagery has been vital – and this is a enjoyable tour through the impact of the visual on the aural.

BUY NOW: $45.39.

26. Baggage: Tales From a Fully Packed Life by Alan Cumming.

 

Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life is the second memoir from the Scottish actor. In it he writes, “At some of my greatest career highs I have been my most unhappy and confused. At my most celebrated I have felt the lowest self-esteem.” Cummings goes on, “This is a book about my career, my struggles with mental health, my many forays into love and sexuality and everything in between.”

BUY NOW: $22.49.

most anticipated releases of new novels and non-fiction books in October 2021

Those are our picks for what to read this month: 26 of the best and most anticipated new book releases coming in October 2021. So many options to answer the pressing matter of what to read in October 2021 . . .  What’s at the top of your list? Whatever you decide, stay safe and have a good month, dear reader.

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