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21 October Releases We’re Excited About

And what you can read in the meantime

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • September 21, 2023

Reading ahead

Our TBR shelves may be spilling out, but we keep finding new books we want to pile on. From forensic thrillers to immersive fantasies to celebrity tell-alls, October’s most anticipated list is filled with must-reads! Here are 21 upcoming releases across a mix of genres. These titles are available for preorder, but in the meantime, peruse our recommendations for similar reads that you can enjoy now.

Literary fiction 

The Leftover Woman by Jean Kwok (Oct. 10)

Jasmine Yang comes to New York City on a desperate search for her daughter who was taken from her at birth. Publishing executive Rebecca Whitney is living a charmed life, along with the adopted Chinese daughter she adores. This evocative family drama sets these two very different women on a shocking collision course.

What to read first:  Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Everything is Not Enough by Lola Akinmade Åkerström (Oct. 24)

This highly anticipated sequel continues the loosely intertwined and messy lives of three Black women as they navigate life, love, and prejudice in Sweden. Kemi, Brittany, and Yasmin each confront their own thorny questions about how to find happiness and fulfillment in an unequal society.

What to read first:  In Every Mirror She's Black by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Mystery, thriller, and horror 

Judgment Prey by John Sandford (Oct. 3)

Investigators Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers team up again, this time to find answers surrounding a grisly triple murder that has turned the St. Paul community on its head. Alex Sand, a wealthy federal judge, was at home playing basketball with his two young sons when all three were shot in cold blood.

What to read first: Ocean Prey by John Sandford

Obsession by Stuart Woods and Brett Battles (Oct. 10)

Teddy Fay: ex-CIA, master of disguise, and a gentleman not known for abiding by legal niceties in his pursuit of justice. The newest volume in this electrifying series finds Teddy in scenic Santa Barbara, California where he is trying to track down the kidnapped wife of a Croatian tech billionaire.  

What to read first: Smooth Operator by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall

The Exchange: After the Firm by John Grisham (Oct. 17)

What became of Mitch and Abby McDeere after they exposed the crimes of Memphis law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke and fled the country? Find out in this riveting sequel set fifteen years later. When a mentor asks Mitch for a favor, he finds himself at the center of a sinister plot with worldwide implications.

What to read first: The Firm by John Grisham

The Secret: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child and Andrew Child (Oct. 24)

All across the US respectable, upstanding citizens are showing up dead. These deaths don't appear to be connected—until a fatal fall from a high-floor window attracts some unexpected attention. An interagency task force is assembled to investigate—with Jack Reacher at the helm.

What to read first: Killing Floor by Lee Child

Dirty Thirty by Janet Evanovich (Oct. 31)

Things quickly get complicated as Trenton's hardest working bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, hunts for two men suspected of robbing a local jewelry store. It won't be easy for Stephanie to keep herself clean when everyone else is playing dirty. Luckily, she isn't afraid of getting a little dirty too. 

What to read first: Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich

Sci-fi and fantasy

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson (Oct. 3)

In their own ways, both Yumi and Painter have always faced the world alone. Suddenly flung together, they must unravel the mystery of what brought them here before it's too late. Otherwise, they risk forever losing not only the bond growing between them, but the very worlds they're trying to protect.

What to read first: Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub (Oct. 3)

In this exuberant retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the much-maligned youngest Bennet sister tells her side of the story. Some of the facts are well known. But Lydia is dealing with an entirely different set of concerns and she has yet to learn that for a witch, promises have power.

What to read first: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Sethe Grahame-Smith

Dark Memory by Christine Feehan (Oct. 3)

Evil has come to Safia's small coastal Algerian town and she is terrified she will not be able to protect the ones she loves. As her family's "chosen one," she has always believed she would face this task alone—until her family reveals she has been promised to a warrior who will join her. An outsider.

What to read first: Dark Prince by Christine Feehan

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare (Oct. 10)

It's the start of a riveting epic series from the bestselling author of The Shadowhunter Chronicles. In Clare's first fantasy for adults, two outcasts find themselves caught in a web of forbidden love, dangerous magic, and dark secrets that could change the world forever.

What to read first: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Historical fiction 

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward (Oct. 24)

From the two-time National Book Award winner comes this heartrending story of an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War. Sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, Annis opens herself to a world teeming with spirits; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take.

What to read first: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Other Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Goddaughter by Denny S. Bryce (Oct. 3)

With a brilliant mind and a fierce will to survive, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a kidnapped African princess, was rescued from enslavement at seven years old and presented to Queen Victoria as a "gift." This sweeping saga tells the stunning true story of her search for home, family, love, and identity.

What to read first: Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini


The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella (Oct. 10)

When Sasha decides to take a well-earned vacation to the seaside resort she loved as a child, she is dismayed to find herself at a dilapidated hotel, sharing the beach with a grumpy guy named Finn. Sparks fly in this delightful novel about two burned out professionals trying to unwind on the British seaside.

What to read first: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

King of Greed by Ana Huang (Oct. 24)

Dominic Davenport clawed his way up from nothing to become the King of Wall Street. But now his blind ambition has driven away the only person who saw him as enough. After years of quietly supporting him, his wife Alessandra has finally decided to put herself first. And he's willing to do anything to win her back. 

What to read first: King of Wrath by Ana Huang


A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Oct. 3)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer rewinds the film of his own life in this profound and brilliant work. He expands and deconstructs the genre of the personal memoir by acknowledging the larger stories of refugeehood, colonization, and ideas about Vietnam and America.  

What to read first: The Displaced by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Oct. 10)

The world's greatest bodybuilder. The world's highest paid movie star. The leader of the world's sixth largest economy. That these are the same person sounds like the setup to a joke. But this is no joke. Part memoir, part self-help, this book provides an inspirational tour through Arnold's toolkit for a meaningful life.

What to read first: What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots by Reba McEntire (Oct. 10)

The actress and country music legend takes you behind the scenes and shares (in her own words) "some simple, not-that-fancy truths I live by and a bunch of good stories, photos, and recipes that go along with them." This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys an easygoing Western lifestyle.

What to read first: Frontier Follies by Ree Drummond

Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones by Dolly Parton (Oct. 17)

In this beautifully illustrated celebration, the global superstar shares, for the first time, the story behind her lifelong passion for fashion. With entertaining personal stories and 450 full-color photographs, including exclusive images from her private costume archive, she reveals how she developed her own distinct, iconic style.

What to read first: Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears (Oct. 24)

In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others. Now she reveals for the first time her own story, on her own terms, at last.

What to read first: True You by Janet Jackson


No Brainer by Jeff Kinney (Oct. 24)

Up until now, middle school hasn't exactly been a joyride for Greg Heffley. So when the town threatens to close the crumbling building, he's not too broken up about it. But then Greg realizes this means he'll be at a different school than his best friend and he changes his tune. Can he save his school before it's too late? 

What to read first: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Hopefully there’s something here that you want to add to your TBR list! Let us know which new books you’re most excited about this month.

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