5 new books I’m looking forward to this October


Lately, my reading list has been dominated by Charles Dickens and books for young readers, with a murder-mystery and a few non-fiction books thrown in for variety (I do love reading variety!). This month, I’m planning to reread “A Tale of Two Cities,” but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking for new books to fill out my TBR pile.

Here are five that have caught my eye:

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition” by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay (Oct. 6)

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” isn’t new, of course, but this illustrated edition by Kate Greenaway-award winning artist Jim Kay is. Kay created more than 100 full-color illustrations of Rowling’s beloved book, and from the previews I’ve seen online, they’re lovely. I’m not even going to tell you how many copies I have of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone.” After tomorrow, I have a feeling I’m going to be adding one more to the collection.

“A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic” by Lisa Papademetriou (Oct. 6)

This book’s pretty cover was what first caught my eye, but the story sounds equally intriguing. Two girls are enjoying summer adventures on opposite sides of the globe, Kai in Texas and Leila in Pakistan. Each discovers a blank book in her bedroom called “The Exquisite Corpse.” When one girl writes in her book, the other can read it in her book across the world. The unfolding story reveals a long lost romance that ends up connecting the girls to each other in unexpected ways. Kirkus calls it, “A beguiling tale of… enduring love and nascent self-discovery.”

“The Secret Chord” by Geraldine Brooks (Oct. 6)

I love how Brooks’s novels bring the long-ago to vivid life, taking me deeply into the hearts and minds of characters whose daily realities are so distant from my own. Her latest reaches all the way back to Second Iron Age Israel and the life of David. In the Washington Post, Alice Hoffman said of the book, “In her skillful hands the issues of the past echo our own deepest concerns: love and loss, drama and tragedy, chaos and brutality.” Though I haven’t read the book, Hoffman’s description of it expresses what I’ve often felt about Brooks’s work. Ergo, I’m adding “The Secret Chord” to my list.

“Humans of New York: Stories” by Brandon Stanton (Oct. 13)

Begun in 2010 to create a “photographic census” of New York, Stanton’s Humans of New York blog now has some 15 million followers and has spawned three books, including this one. Along with Stanton’s stunning photos, “Stories” presents longer, well, stories about the humans who populate my hometown. This is just the kind of book I love to have on hand to provide counterpoint to the classic literature I’m reading these days.

“Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear” by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall(Oct. 20)

Did you know “Winnie-the-Pooh” was inspired by a real life bear? I did not! So I’m excited to read this nonfiction children’s book about veterinarian Harry Colebourn, told by his real-life great-granddaughter. In 1914, Colebourn was on his way to tend World War I horses when he found and rescued a baby bear that he named Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg. The bear traveled from Canada across the sea to an English army base and, after the war, to a London zoo, where he met a little boy called Christopher Robin.

What books are on your to-be-read list for October?