Search icon

Books

28th Sep 2019

16 brilliant books we can’t wait to curl up with this October

Keeley Ryan

Fall has well and truly arrived.

And as the nights get darker quicker and much, much colder, it’s hard to resist the temptation of curling up on the couch with a good book – especially when it goes perfectly with a pumpkin spice latte or hot apple cider.

From mysteries to fantasy and everything in between, there’s been a number of incredible books hitting the shelves this season – and here are 16 of our favourites.

Barefoot Pilgrimage by Andrea Corr

Andrea Corr’s Barefoot Pilgrimage is a compelling and honest memoir.

In part, an exercise in coming to terms with and making sense of life and mortality following the loss of a beloved father; in part, a reflection on an unlikely journey with her siblings through the music industry; in part, a meditation on family, on music, and on creativity; and, in part, a shout-out for love and for hope.

Illustrated with personal photographs and with original poems interspersed throughout the text, this is a very personal – at times very funny, at times deeply moving – book from an iconic figure in popular music.

The Personals by Brian O’Connell

This fascinating collection of stories shows how classified ads can help unlock a door into Irish society, and brings us extraordinary experiences from ordinary people.

Why is a woman in rural Ireland selling high-tech eavesdropping equipment? Did someone really sell a pet monkey in the Evening Echo newspaper in Cork? Why was a wedding dress for sale ‘never worn’?

Classified ads are not just a few commercial lines of text – they can be a treasure trove of stories and human experience; stories of nostalgia, love, loss, loneliness, isolation and redemption. Brian uses online and newspaper ads as a way into people’s lives, both past and present, funny and poignant.

So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

Everyone is fighting a private battle we know nothing about. The new novel from Dawn O’Porter, the bestselling author of The Cows, questions just what a‘lucky’ life looks like – peeling back the filters we all apply with brilliant humour and irreverence, while celebrating the power of what can be achieved when women look out for one another.

I Carried A Watermelon by Katy Brand

I Carried a Watermelon is a love story to Dirty Dancing. A warm, wittyand accessible look at how Katy Brand’s life-long obsession with the film has influenced her own attitudes to sex, love, romance, rights and responsibilities.

It explores the legacy of the film, from pushing women’s stories to the forefront of commercial cinema, to its ‘Gold Standard’ depiction ofabortion according to leading pro-choice campaigners, and its fresh andpowerful take on the classic ‘coming of age’ story told from a naïve butidealistic 17-year-old girl’s point of view.

Part memoir based on a personal obsession, part homage to a monster hit and a work of genius, Katy will explore her own memories and experiences, and talk to other fans of the film, to examine its legacy as a piece of filmmaking with a social agenda that many miss on first viewing. One of the most celebrated and viewed films ever made is about to have the time of its life.

 

The Great British Bake Off: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes

This book is the ultimate cake-baking bible. Packed with everything from light and effortless sponges to celebration cakes, tray bakes and cupcakes.

With the emphasis on beautiful, inspirational creations clearly explained for making at home, the book is not only a trusted companion to the new series for die-hard Bake Off fans, but an essential addition to the shelves of any would-be star baker.

Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper

A fascinating insight into the Westboro Baptist Church, as featured in Louis Theroux’s 2007 BBC documentary ‘The Most Hated Family in America’, and its 2011 follow-up ‘The Most Hated Family in America in Crisis’.

The metamorphic journey of Megan Phelps-Roper: a young woman raised in a religious hate group, who has become an advocate for equality, diversity and tolerance.. From her first public protest, aged five, to her instrumental role in spreading the church’s invective via social media, her formative years brought their difficulties.

In November 2012, at the age of twenty-six, she left the church, her family, and her life behind. Unfollow is a story about the rarest thing of all: a person changing their mind. It is a fascinating insight into a closed world of extreme belief, a biography of a complex family, and a hope-inspiring memoir of a young woman finding the courage to find compassion for others, as well as herself.

Last Christmas by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise

When you think back to Christmases past, what (if anything) made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?

This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas, written by a unique plethora of voices from the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Kate Reese is a single mother fleeing an abusive relationship by starting over in a new town, with her young son Christopher.

But Mill Grove, Pennsylvania, is not the safe place they thought it would be… Their world begins to unravel after Christopher vanishes into the Mission Street Woods – where 50 years earlier an eerily similar disappearance occurred.

When he emerges six days later, unharmed but not unchanged, he brings with him a secret: a voice only he can hear and a warning of tragedy to come.

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hildebrand

A year ago; Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a plane crash.

But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life – and death – of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers. And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith

The first ever collection of stories from the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Swing Time and White Teeth. 

A disgraced cop stands amid the broken shards of his life, unable to move forward into a future that holds no place for him.

Moral panic spreads like contagion through the upper echelons of New York City – and the cancelled people look disconcertingly like the rest of us.

A teenage scion of the technocratic elite chases spectres through a premium virtual reality, trailed by a little girl with a runny nose and no surviving family.

Interleaving ten completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, Zadie Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction.

Find Me by André Aciman

In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, now a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train upends Sami’s visit and changes his life forever.

Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.

Aciman is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the nuances of emotion that are the substance of passion. Find Me brings us back inside the world of one of our greatest contemporary romances to show us that in fact true love never dies.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again follows the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes – sometimes welcome, sometimes not – in her own existence and in those around her.

Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine – and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life.

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

On a hot August night on Cape Cod, when Adrienne was 14, her mother Malabar woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me.

Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention; from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend.

The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a doomed marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life — and her mother — on her own terms.

 

The Lying Room by Nicci French

Neve Connolly is many things: a trusted colleague; a friend; a mother; a wife.

She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all.

But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger. She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared  to go to protect those she loves? And who does she really know? And who can she trust?

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse.

By age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies, well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than she ever imagined…


A good book can do just about anything; from taking you on a wild and fantastical adventure to making you feel like an all-knowing super sleuth (if you figure out the killer twist).

But what’s good to read? Each week, #Bookmarked will help you out – with an insight into the best novels hitting shelves right now and other faves that everyone needs to read at least once in their lives.

Topics:

Bookmarked,books