Autumn is here which means it’s officially reading season. All we want to do is curl up with a blanket by the fire (or radiator, as is the case in most London flats) and get lost in a good book.
October brings a fresh wave of both fiction and non-fiction to sink your teeth into – whether you’re looking for something lighthearted or a grisly thriller, this month’s releases have you covered.
From Dolly Alderton’s highly anticipated debut novel to the inside story of the rise and fall of tech giant WeWork and an excellent collection of essays from black female British writers, read on to see our pick of the best new books for October.
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
Dolly Alderton is perhaps best known for being the co-host of the wildly popular The High Low podcast and for her beloved millennial memoir, Everything I Know About Love . Ghosts is her first foray into fiction and, as the title suggests, it delves into the dating phenomenon of ‘ghosting’. Protagonist Nina has just turned 32, most of her friends are married with babies and her dad’s slowly succumbing to dementia. Ghosts is whip-smart, thanks to Alderton’s pacey prose, and a heartwarming tale of family and friendship.
£14.99 | Buy it here
Billion Dollar Loser by Reeves Wiedeman
In Billion Dollar Loser investigative journalist Reeves Wiederman gives the reader the inside story of the rise and fall of tech giant WeWork and delves into how the company’s culture became so toxic. This is a book for those fascinated by the ins-and-outs of Silicon Valley, the lives of ‘tech bros’ and who want to read the in depth story of how a start-up with so much potential came crashing down.
£20 | Buy it here
Failosophy by Elizabeth Day
Elizabeth Day knows How To Fail – it’s why she’s written a bestselling book and hosts a podcast by the same name. Now, in Failosophy, Day brings together the lessons she’s learned from conversations with guests on her podcast as well as stories shared by her readers and listeners. The timing of this guide couldn’t be better – as we’ve navigated all of the stresses that come with the pandemic – and Day’s advice is both practical and reassuring. It really is okay to fail.
£10 | Buy it here
The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
A beautiful coming-of-age story, The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is set to the backdrop of a small Ugandan village. Surrounded by strong women, protagonist Kirabo starts to miss the mother she never knew and the book follows her journey growing up and finding her place in the world. It’s a tale steeped in folklore and feminism, rebellion and longing.
£16.99 | Buy it here
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Longlisted for the National Book Award, Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam tells the story of two families who meet unexpectedly at a cottage in rural Long Island. Amanda and Clay head to the rented cottage with their teenage son and daughter when an older couple appear on their doorstep during the night claiming to own the cottage, saying they have escaped from New York City after a sudden power outage. The result is an epic thriller about trust, race, class and how we respond in moments of crisis.
£14.99 | Buy it here
Help Yourself by Curtis Sittenfeld
Off the back of her bestselling novel Rodham earlier this year, which reimagines what Hillary Clinton’s life would have been like if she hadn’t married Bill, Curtis Sittenfeld has released a collection of three short stories. Each of the stories in Help Yourself examines the human experience, with elements of envy, race and class peppered throughout. There’s a tale of suburban friends falling out due to a racist encounter, a film crew who fall victim to their own snobbery and young writers fighting about love and narrative style.
£8.99 | Buy it here
Friends and Enemies by Barbara Amiel
A juicy society memoir, Barbara Amiel’s Friends and Enemies is a look at her storied life in journalism and a blistering account of high society. Born during the Blitz, Amiel writes about her marriage to media baron Conrad Black (and his subsequent imprisonment), working as a journalist in the UK and Canada and the many famous faces she’s met along the way – including Elton John, Princess Diana and… Ghislaine Maxwell.
£25 | Buy it here
Loud Black Girls by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebenené
Edited and curated by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebenené, the excellent minds behind Slay In Your Lane, Loud Black Girls is a much-needed anthology of black British writing. It’s a compilation of 20 essays written by black authors, journalists, actors, activists and artists who explore what it means to be black today. It’s insightful, funny, heart warming and a must for your library.
£14.99 | Buy it here
The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale
A book guaranteed to keep you up at night, The Haunting of Alma Fielding details the true events that occurred to Alma Fielding in 1938. Living in Croydon, Fielding began to experience supernatural events in her home – crockery flying around, a wardrobe that was hurled on to a bed and a radio smashed on a tiled floor. Kate Summerscale’s retelling is gripping, and hinges on professional ghost hunter Nandor Fodor’s enquiry into the home at the time.
£18.99 | Buy it here
Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
Translated to English by Ginny Tapley Takemori, Earthlings is set in the wild Japanese Nagano mountains and follows child cousins Natsuki and Yuu. Years later, Natsuki feels out of place in the world and decides to return to the mountains, and to Yuu. It’s a heavy book – it deals with abuse – but also goes completely off-piste in parts, in both a good and confusing way.
£12.99 | Buy it here