Welcome to gray days, colder nights, cozier reading nooks, and the influx of holiday gift shopping (let’s not get into that just yet). October new releases are abundant and some of the season’s best sellers. But let’s not forget the real reason for the season: ghosts.
Let’s get reading!
Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger (Horror, Scribner, October 6, 2015) Haunted houses, spectral chills, and of course, the odd cat… This is Audrey Niffenegger’s eclectic collection of the very best and creepiest ghost stories, by writers including M. R. James, Saki, Rudyard Kipling, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Edith Wharton and many more. Eerie, uncanny, witty and weird, welcome to a world most ghostly. A spookily beautiful hardback, designed and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger herself.
Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy by Joe Hill (Editor) and John Joseph Adams (Series Editor) (Sci-fi/Fantasy, Mariner Books, October 6, 2015) Science fiction and fantasy enjoy a long literary tradition, stretching from Mary Shelley, H. G. Wells, and Jules Verne to Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, and William Gibson. In The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy award-winning editor John Joseph Adams delivers a diverse and vibrant collection of stories published in the previous year. Featuring writers with deep science fiction and fantasy backgrounds, along with those who are infusing traditional fiction with speculative elements, these stories uphold a longstanding tradition in both genres—looking at the world and asking, What if . . . ?
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (Fantasy, St. Martin’s Griffin, October 6, 2015) Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl. Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything. Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan (Middle Grade Fantasy, Disney Hyperion Books, October 6, 2015) Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die…
All I Want (Animal Magnetism #7) by Jill Shalvis (Romance, Berkley, October 6, 2015) Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler. Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going…
Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie (Sci-fi, Orbit, October 6 ,2015) For a moment, things seem to be under control for the soldier known as Breq. Then a search of Atheok Station’s slums turns up someone who shouldn’t exist – someone who might be an ancillary from a ship that’s been hiding beyond the empire’s reach for three thousand years. Meanwhile, a messenger from the alien and mysterious Presger empire arrives, as does Breq’s enemy, the divided and quite possibly insane Anaander Mianaai – ruler of an empire at war with itself. Anaander is heavily armed and extremely unhappy with Breq. She could take her ship and crew and flee, but that would leave everyone at Athoek in terrible danger. Breq has a desperate plan. The odds aren’t good, but that’s never stopped her before.
Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by Lauren Layne (Romance, Loveswept, October 6, 2015) Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her. Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.
The Toymaker’s Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith (Middle Grade Fantasy, GP Putnam Sons Books for Young Readers, October 13, 2015) Stefan Drosselmeyer is a reluctant apprentice to his toymaker father until the day his world is turned upside down. His father is kidnapped and Stefan is enlisted by his mysterious cousin, Christian Drosselmeyer, to find a mythical nut to save a princess who has been turned into a wooden doll. Embarking on a wild adventure through Germany, Stefan must save Boldavia’s princess and his own father from the fanatical Mouse Queen and her seven-headed Mouse Prince, both of whom have sworn to destroy the Drosselmeyer family. Based on the original inspiration for the Nutcracker ballet, Sherri L. Smith brings the Nutcracker Prince to life in this fascinating journey into a world of toymaking, magical curses, clockmaking guilds, talking mice and erudite squirrels.
Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton (Photography, St. Martin’s Press, October 13, 2015) In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project -to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York. His audience steadily grew from a few hundred followers to, at present count, over twelve million. In 2013, his book Humans of New York, based on that blog, was published and immediately catapulted to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List where it has appeared for over forty-five weeks. Now, Brandon is back with the Humans of New York book that his loyal followers have been waiting for: Humans of New York: Stories. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he’s had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor. Let Brandon Stanton and the Humans of New York he’s photographed astonish you all over again next fall.
Everything I Left Unsaid (Everything I Left Unsaid #1) by Molly O’Keefe (Romance, Bantam, October 13, 2015) I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me. And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time. His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Literary Fiction, Knopf, October 13, 2015) The all-too-human individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s biggest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Sam, two Long Island teenagers seduced by downtown’s nascent punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter; his spunky, West Coast-transplant neighbor; and the detective trying to figure out what they all have to do with a shooting in Central Park. From post-Vietnam youth culture to the fiscal crisis, from a lushly appointed townhouse on Sutton Place to a derelict squat on East 3rd Street, this city on fire is at once recognizable and completely unexpected. And when the infamous blackout of July 13th, 1977 plunges it into darkness, each of these entangled lives will be changed, irrevocably.
You Don’t Have to Like Me by Alida Nugent (Memoir/Feminism, Plume, October 20, 2015) Alida Nugent’s first book, Don’t Worry It Gets Worse, received terrific reviews, and her self-deprecating “everygirl” approach continues to win the Internet-savvy writer and blogger new fans. Now, she takes on one of today’s hottest cultural topics: feminism. Nugent is a proud feminist—and she’s not afraid to say it. From the “scarlet F” thrust upon you if you declare yourself a feminist at a party to how to handle judgmental store clerks when you buy Plan B, You Don’t Have to Like Me skewers a range of cultural issues, and confirms Nugent as a star on the rise.
Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers, Guy A. Sims, Dawud Anyabwile (Illustrator) (Contemporary Graphic Novel, Amistad, October 20, 2015) A stunning black-and-white graphic novel adaptation of Walter Dean Myers’s Michael L. Printz Award winner and New York Times bestseller Monster, adapted by Guy Sims and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile. Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story about Steve Harmon, a teenager awaiting trial for a murder and robbery. As Steve acclimates to juvenile detention and goes to trial, he envisions the ordeal as a movie. Monster was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist. Now Monster has been adapted into a graphic novel by Guy Sims, with stunning black-and-white art from Dawud Anyabwile, Guy’s brother. Fans of Monster and of the work of Walter Dean Myers—and even kids who think they don’t like to read—will devour this graphic adaptation.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Young Adult Sci-fi, Knopf Books for Young Readers, October 20, 2015) This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (Fantasy, Harper Perennial, October 20, 2015) From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “KING CITY” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it. Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “KING CITY”. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures…if they can ever find it.
The Big Girl’s Guide to Buying Lingerie (Bluebonnet Texas #4) by Amie Stuart (Romance, Dancehall Diaries Ltd., October 20, 2015) My name is JADE BALLARD, and this is the story of how a freak accident with a cookie changed the life of a semi-reformed people-pleaser (that’s me!). After a disastrous marital near-miss Jade Ballard retreats to San Antonio, cutting herself off from the world in general and more specifically her family’s country club lifestyle, which she no longer wants any part of. She takes comfort in food and the safety of an internet love affair. Rowdy Yates is a semi-reformed womanizer who’s leery of long-term entanglements. Until Jade, he never seriously considered anything beyond a “Wife-For-A-Night.” After months of flirting on the internet the couple meets, only to discover they already know one another. Rowdy has always mistaken Jade’s shy reserved nature for snobbishness, and Jade has always viewed the woman-loving Rowdy as a Redneck Casanova. But the seven months they spent getting to know one another formed an attraction neither can fight.
Wake of Vultures (The Shadow #1) by Lila Bowen (Fantasy, Orbit, October 27, 2015) Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand. And just like that, Nettie can see. But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding — at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin… if the monsters along the way don’t kill her first.
Playing for Keeps (Sultry Southern Nights #2) by Deborah Fletcher Mello (Romance, Dafina, October 27, 2015) As an accomplished architect, single dad of teenage twin girls, and co-owner of The Playground, Raleigh’s hottest jazz and blues club, it’s an understatement to say Malcolm Cobb has his hands full. Add to that an ex-wife who knows how to bring the drama, it’s no surprise he has little time or inclination for a personal life. But when he spots stunning, voluptuous Cilla Jameson, he’s suddenly considering rearranging his schedule and setting aside his concerns… Independent and successful, Cilla would love to be in love. But when it comes to men, she has a lengthy list of requirements. And “no children” is at the top. Yet she can’t help being intrigued by Malcolm. He’s handsome, fascinating, respectful–and up for a challenge. But is Cilla? After all, the man has baggage–and it is fully packed. Can she handle the ex who’s determined to keep him single? Or the twins who are not quite the angels Malcolm thinks? She’ll have to decide, if she wants to play for keeps…
After Alice by Gregory Maguire (Fantasy, William Morrow, October 27, 2015) When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance? In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.
The Multiversity (The Multiversity Complete) by Grant Morrision, Frank Quitely (Illustrations), and Ivan Reis (Illustrations) (Superhero Graphic Novel, DC Comics, October 27, 2015) The biggest adventure in DC’s history is here! Join visionary writer Grant Morrison, today’s most talented artists, and a cast of unforgettable heroes from 52 alternative Earths of the DC Multiverse! Prepare to meet the Vampire League of Earth-43, the Justice Riders of Earth-18, Superdemon, Doc Fate, the super-sons of Superman and Batman, the rampaging Retaliators of Earth-8, the Atomic Knights of Justice, Dino-Cop, Sister Miracle, Lady Quark, and the latest, greatest Super Hero of Earth-Prime: YOU! THE MULTIVERSITY is more than a multipart comic-book series. It’s a cosmos spanning, soul-shaking experience that puts YOU on the frontline in the battle for all creation against the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry!
Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Sci-fi, Saga Press, October 27, 2015) Hope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever: Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland. Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter. Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret. Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve. But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, factions will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over…
The Queen (The Original Sinners #8) by Tiffany Reisz (Erotica, Mira, October 27, 2015) Out of money and out of options after her year-long exile, Eleanor Schreiber agrees to join forces with Kingsley Edge, the king of kink. After her first taste of power as a Dominant, Eleanor buries her old submissive self and transforms into Mistress Nora, the Red Queen. With the help of a mysterious young man with a job even more illicit than her own, Nora squares off against a cunning rival in her quest to become the most respected, the most feared Dominatrix in the Underground. While new lovers and the sweet taste of freedom intoxicate Nora, she is tempted time and time again by Søren, her only love and the one man who refuses to bow to her. But when Søren accepts a new church assignment in a dangerous country, she must make an agonizing choice—will the queen keep her throne and let her lover go, or trade in her crown for Søren’s collar?