Haunted happenings aren’t the only things in store for this month. Fall into some spine-tingling tales of witches and ghouls, follow the story of a sister who can’t stop murdering her ex-boyfriends, and dig deep into commentaries on gender wrapped in tales of horror. Trick-or-treating may not be your thing this year—or maybe the pumpkin patch is just a little too far for your liking—but you can be sure that with us, you’re always going to be Fully Booked.
To submit titles for inclusion in this roundup, email us.
Recommended for: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like for future generations to live after a climate apocalypse, in a world where the only “land” to live on is really just heaps of floating garbage.
Our reviewer says: “Valente expands on her 2016 short story The Future Is Blue with an entertaining and moving peregrination that sometimes raises more questions than it answers.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you just want to go for the bad boy. The ridiculously hot, tattoo-having, motorcycle-riding bad boy who is soft and squishy on the inside, just for you.
Our reviewer says: “A classical musician struggling with professional burnout, family judgment, and a faithless long-term boyfriend gets her groove back in the beautifully melancholy and meditative latest from Hoang.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Science fic-cionados and those who have been thinking more deeply about gender and sexuality lately.
Recommended for: Fans of Crimson Peak, Rebecca, and marriages of convivence with a gothic horror twist.
Our reviewer says: “Starling captivates and horrifies by turn in this intricately plotted, deliciously bonkers secondary world gothic fantasy.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Creative writing majors (how’s that MFA degree treating you?) and other self-proclaimed writers out there. I know you’re definitely working on your next novel and not mindlessly scrolling through twitter. But if you need a break from thinking about that horrible writer's block, this one's for you.
Our reviewer says: “Jacob Finch Bonner, the hapless protagonist of this ingeniously twisty novel from Korelitz, teaches creative writing in a low-residency MFA program at Ripley College in Vermont.” Read more here.
Recommended for: If you’ve ever been told that your suspicions and fears are all in your head. Maybe they’re not.
Our reviewer says: “Although set largely in the black and Hispanic communities of Florida's Dade County, Due's first novel, a skillful blend of horror and the supernatural, poses questions about life and identity that transcend racial boundaries.” Read more here.
Recommended for: All you amateur detectives who love a good whodunit. (Psst. Cinema sleuths: There’s also a Japanese movie based on this book.)
Our reviewer says: “A multiple murder case confounds brilliant private detective Kosuke Kindaichi in this stellar whodunit set in 1940s Japan from Yokomizo.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Fans of witchy things and The Handmaid’s Tale, ever wonder that that crossover would look like? Well, have I got news for you.
Our reviewer says: “Henderson’s bewitching feminist fantasy debut draws readers into a world of harsh contrasts and dark magic.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you’re by yourself and can feel the eyes of a portrait follow you as you move about the room. Yes, just like in Scooby Doo.
Recommended for: Those who’ve been told to “feel lucky” as part of the model minority because “Asian stereotypes aren’t bad.”
Our reviewer says: “In this blistering essay collection, poet Hong interrogates America’s racial categories to explore the “under-reported” Asian-American experience.” Read more here.
The book: Hell of a Book by Jason Mott (Dutton)
Recommended for: When the lines between reality and fiction become blurred causing you to face the difficult truths you’ve been trying to ignore... or maybe try to be more understanding to the struggles people are around you are going through. That works too.
Our reviewer says: “Mott’s stunning fourth novel delves into the complex and fraught African American experience.” Read more here.
The book: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Riverhead)
Recommended for: Fans of Greek plays and retellings. This is based on the Greek play Antigone, but with a cast of Muslim characters.
Our reviewer says: “Shamsie’s memorable novel features timely themes in this epic tale of two Muslim families whose lives are entangled by politics and conflict.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those who never got past that fifth grade lesson on how mummies are embalmed, and those who are morbidly fascinated with death.
Our reviewer says: “Mortician Doughty catalogues rituals and cultural practices surrounding death from all over the world in this fantastic memoir, which is intended to ‘help us reclaim meaning and tradition in our own community’.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those who have been looking for a scary story to get into for the season but aren’t looking to stay up because of things that go bump in the night. Maybe instead you’ll stay up late thinking about how unfairly women’s bodies are treated.
Our reviewer says: “Machado creates eerie, inventive worlds shimmering with supernatural swerves in this engrossing debut collection.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those with a soft spot for New York’s Harlem, and who have ever wondered if the guy at the bodega around the corner could be more than just the owner of a bodega. (Spoiler alert: he probably is.)
Our reviewer says: “Two-time Pulitzer winner Whitehead returns with a sizzling heist novel set in civil rights–era Harlem.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you desperately want to understand why your close friend who you thought you knew is somehow taking the opposing side of an issue you strongly believe in.
Our reviewer says: “Piazza teams up with veteran book editor Pride for a blistering and incisive story of race, friendship, and police violence in Philadelphia.” Read more here.
The book: China Room by Sunjeev Sahota (Viking)
Recommended for: Those looking to learn more about the history of child brides and the repercussions the practice has on young women.
Our reviewer says: “Sahota’s engaging latest follows a teenage bride in rural Punjab during the British Raj.” Read more here.
The book: Evening by Nessa Rapoport (Counterpoint)
Recommended for: When your sister is driving you up the wall and you seriously wonder if you ever want to talk to her again.
Our reviewer says: “Rapoport’s smart, darkly funny novel considers the travails of a Jewish family in contemporary Canada.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those with an interest in French Jewish art, or in how art and assimilation play a role in the shaping of identity.
The book: Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour (Dutton)
Recommended for: When you’re offered a job that seems too good to be true, but you take it anyway because what else have you got to lose? Turns out it’s your sanity and a possible haunting. But the benefits are nice!
Our reviewer says: “Mila, 18, is thrilled to leave behind four years of foster care when she is given the opportunity to live and work at a picturesque coastal farm in Northern California whose owners, Terry and Julia, care for adopted children of all ages and bring on interns to share the workload.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you remember how fun digging up things in the backyard was and you fantasized about being an archeologist one day so you could unearth things for a living. But maybe you should’ve stopped when you saw a “Dig Here” sign.
Our reviewer says: “In this excellent thriller from bestseller Jewell, Tallulah and Zach, both 19, disappear after a date night that starts at a pub and takes the unmarried couple to a country estate in Surrey, England.” Read more here.
The book: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (Flatiron)
Recommended for: Those familiar with the Greek myth of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth; this time, the tale is told through the eyes of King Minos’ daughter.
Our reviewer says: “Saint’s enchanting debut retells the myth of the minotaur through the eyes of Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those nights when you want to read something meaty and thought provoking but you don’t want to commit to another 400 page book.
Recommended for: When you’re the “responsible friend” everyone always calls in the time of crisis and you joke that you’d be the first one called if anyone ever needed to bury a body. Well, you'd better have a shovel and an extra pair of rubber gloves for...gardening.
Our reviewer says: “Braithwaite’s blazing debut is as sharp as the knife that twists in the chest of Femi, the now-dead boyfriend of Ayoola, whose boyfriends, curiously, seem to keep winding up dead in her presence.” Read more here.
The book: Bewilderment by Richard Powers (Norton)
Recommended for: If Flowers for Algernon rings a bell in you and you’ve been hunting for something along that same vein.
Our reviewer says: “Pulitzer winner Powers offers up a marvelous story of experimental neurotherapy and speculations about alien life.” Read more here.
The book: On Animals by Susan Orlean (Avid Reader)
Recommended for: Friends of pet owners who talk about their animal companions so frequently you can’t tell if they’re actually just a cute and grouchy human in disguise (does a dog really need a whole baby stroller?) and at this point, you’re too afraid to ask.
Our reviewer says: “New Yorker staff writer Orlean delivers an entertaining and informative look at various animals in this clever collection of essays.” Read more here.
The book: Hold Still by Sally Mann (Little, Brown)
Recommended for: When you’re considering rooting through that old photograph album in the back of your closet with the box of trinkets you’ve saved through the years for what you hope is a nice walk down memory lane.
Our reviewer says: “Photographer Mann’s sensuous and searching memoir finds her pulling out family records from the attic, raising questions about the unexamined past and how photographs ‘rob all of us of our memory,’ and calling upon ancestry to explain the mysteries of her own character.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you need to get away but you realize you’ve got two stowaways in the backseat of your car and you really don’t want to waste gas driving everyone home.
Our reviewer says: “Towles’s magnificent comic road novel follows the rowdy escapades of four boys in the 1950s and doubles as an old-fashioned narrative about farms, families, and accidental friendships.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you’ve got that brilliant idea for a startup that you know would make it big but you just don’t know where to start.
The book: Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzu (Catapult)
Recommended for: Anyone who has wondered who they truly are and has struggled with trying to find a way to form their own identity.
Our reviewer says: “A middle-aged, mixed-race woman struggles with several crises in Nigerian writer Onuzu’s spellbinding latest.” Read more here.
The book: Jade War by Fonda Lee (Orbit)
Recommended for: If you’re in the mood for some action and adventure in an Asia-inspired world (or your eyes just need a rest from bingeing way too many Asian dramas).
Our reviewer says: “In this ambitious fantasy, which takes place in an Asia-inspired alternate present, rival clans battle for dominance over their island home, waging an economic, political, and physical war over the course of several years.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Fans of American rapper Logic.
The book: Matrix by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)
Recommended for: Fans of the 12th century poet Marie de France, and anyone who likes stories of women who refuse to change because of their surroundings but instead bring about change themselves. (Also, if feminist medieval nuns tickle your fancy.)
Our reviewer says: “Groff fashions a boldly original narrative based on the life and legend of 12th-century poet Marie de France.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you’re looking for something to read, can’t decide on just one genre, and don’t want to carry multiple books with you on the train.
Our reviewer says: “This imaginative and precise collection shows Beard at her best.” Read more here.