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Oh my gourd, can you believe it’s October? Fall is officially here, though to be fair, we’ve been partaking in autumnal activities for weeks now. Between picking apples, selecting the perfect pumpkin, and cozying into oversized sweaters, there’s always time for our favorite fall pastime: curling up with a good book while we watch the leaves change. Welcome the season with October’s best new books.
'Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes)' by Mindy Kaling, out October 6th
Our favorite big sister is dropping a shiny new collection of essays—six, to be exact—through Amazon. A lot has changed since Mindy’s last essay collection, Why Not Me?, which came out in 2015: She became a mom; she starred in a movie with Oprah and Reese Witherspoon; she wrote and produced a movie and a number of TV shows. So yeah, she has a lot of new thoughts and wisdom to drop. There are six short Kindle books (with audio narration by Mindy herself): Kind of Hindu, Please Like Me (But Keep Away), Help Is on the Way, Searching for Coach Taylor, Once Upon a Time in Silver Lake, and Big Shot. Come for the iconic Nothing Like I Imagined book covers, stay for the heartfelt laughs.
'Vagina Problems: Endometriosis, Painful Sex, and Other Taboo Topics' by Lara Parker, out October 6th
It took Lara Parker years of pain and being dismissed by doctors to finally get a diagnosis that explained why her vagina hurt so badly: She had endometriosis. One in 10 women has endometriosis, yet nobody was talking about it. So Parker decided to change that.
In Vagina Problems, she opens up about everything from painful sex to vagina physical therapy to the medical community’s frustrating bias against women. Whether you have vagina problems or not, it’s a refreshingly honest read about living with chronic pain.
'Unfinished: A Memoir' by Priyanka Chopra Jonas
While you might know Chopra Jonas as a renowned actress and philanthropist, she's now adding "author " to her list of job titles with her book Unfinished: A Memoir. This vulnerable book explores Chopra Jonas's childhood in India, her Hollywood and Indian film career, and her personal relationships with her late father and Nick Jonas. This read will inspire you to persevere through your own life obstacles.
'Earthlings' by Sayaka Murata, out October 6th
If you were charmed by Convenience Store Woman, you’ll instantly fall for Earthlings. But don’t judge it by its cute cover, because it’s one of the most bizarrely dark, twisted books you’ll read all year—in the absolute best way possible. Murata has a gift for writing quietly complicated female characters and weaving complex, multilayered metaphors.
'Hush' by Dylan Farrow, out October 6th
Dylan Farrow is a passionate supporter of the #MeToo movement, and she regularly uses her voice to advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. Now, she’s using her voice in a new way: in a YA fantasy series. The first book, Hush, takes place in a world run by an all-male group called the Bards who silence people with magic. You’ll be hooked from the first page.
'Simmer Down' by Sarah Smith, out October 13th
You need more culinary rom-coms in your life, and you should start with Simmer Down. It’s about Nikki, the owner of a Filipino food truck, and Callum, the (hot) new food truck chef in town stealing her customers. It has all the sweetness you need in a romance (did we mention Callum is British?), plus a little bit of fire, too. Simmer Down is the perfect escape read.
'Goodnight Beautiful' by Aimee Molloy, out October 13th
It wouldn’t be October without at least one heart-pounding, page-turning, tension-filled thriller. We recommend Aimee Molloy’s latest, about a wife who discovers she can hear every word of her therapist husband’s at-home sessions through a vent in their new house. This book is as twisted as it gets.
'Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema' by Lindy West, out October 20th
In our opinion, Lindy West is the ultimate authority, and we agree with her on all matters—including her assessments of beloved iconic movies. In Shit, Actually, she shares thoughts, praises, and critiques of everything from Forrest Gump to The Lion King. And she does so with her signature sarcastic snark. Shit, Actually is the ultimate read for the pop culture-obsessed.
'Where the Wild Ladies Are' by Aoko Matsuda, out October 20th
You probably didn’t know you needed a short story collection of feminist retellings of classic Japanese ghost stories. But you do. Don’t worry, they’re not scary ghost stories; they’re comforting stories about womanhood filled with magic and heart.
'Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life' by Christie Tate, out October 27th
Reading about other people’s therapy is fascinating. It’s impressive when people dare to expose the rawest, most painful parts of themselves for the world to examine. Group is an honest, addictive memoir about a woman’s experience in group therapy. She held nothing back with them, and she holds nothing back with us.
'Memorial' by Bryan Washington, out October 6th
Memorial is a complex, intimate novel about two gay men of color, Mike and Benson, who are both struggling to define their fading romantic relationship. When Mike learns his estranged father is sick, he leaves to care for him, inviting his mother to stay with Benson in his stead. It’s an emotional, bittersweet read about different kinds of love and how we reach our limits with them.