Happy October! It’s time for Fall, Halloween, and yet another opportunity to tackle your Reading Challenge for the year! Here’s a list of books — some golden oldies, some brand new releases — that I’m recommending to (pumpkin) spice up your TBR. No, I will not be apologising for that.
The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab
The upcoming release from SFF giant V.E. Schwab tells the story of Adaline “Addie” La Rue, a young french girl who makes a deal with the devil. She is granted eternal life, but with a catch — no one she meets will ever remember her. No one, that is, but the devil himself, and a young man she meets in an NYC bookstore one day. In true Schwab fashion, the novel is fantastical, whimsical, and has a dark edge to it. It’s also beautifully optimistic, and manages to cover an expansive fantasy that traverses countries and centuries in an intimate and profoundly human way.
Too Much & Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose
This essay collection by Indo-Canadian writer Durga Chew-Bose is meditative, vulnerable, and lyrical. The essays lean heavily personal and memoirist in style, and each acts not only as a beautiful little distillation of the experiences of immigrants and women of colour but as some genuinely wonderful personal narrative that is for writing voice alone a real pleasure to read and take your time with.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Rebecca Roanhorse’s upcoming fantasy novel, inspired by the civilizations of pre-Columbian America, is one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and promises to weave together political intrigue, adventure, and fascinating explorations of culture, power, and society in a massively promising series opener. Indigenous People’s Day is on October 12 and reading this Indigenous fantasy novel seems like one great way to celebrate and engage with Indigenous art.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
I repeat, it’s officially Spooky Season! Now there’s any number of horror books you could sink your teeth into, but Spooky isn’t just about scares, it’s also about vibes, and Daphne Du Maurier has those in spades. This classic novel about a young woman who finds the glow of a new marriage overshadowed by the constant specter of her husband’s deceased first wife is a Gothic staple, and ideal to get into the Halloween mood. If you need more incentive to pick this one up, an adaptation of the novel starring Lily James and Armie Hammer hits Netflix later this month!
Jade City by Fonda Lee
I’m admittedly late to this train so don’t repeat my mistakes. Don’t waste anymore time and get your hands on the explosive first book in Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Trilogy as soon as you possibly can. Lee describes the world of Jade City as “The Godfather with magic and kung-fu”, and marries elements of wuxia films with the classic gangster genre. Not only is this an absolute cracker of a richly imagined and atmospheric gangster novel with a complex and dynamic imagining of Asian fantasy, the characters — especially the central Kaul family — are some of the most three-dimensional and memorable protagonists I’ve encountered this year.
By: Meha Razdan