October reading list

Now that the weather is finally starting to cool off, there is no better way to spend your precious free time than curled up with a good book! Whether you want some creepy reads for the Halloween season, some bold debut literary fiction, or are trying to catch up reading some upcoming film adaptations, we’ve got all your October reading covered.

1. Out – Natsuo Kirino

One night, in a suburb of Tokyo, a young mother snaps. She strangles her deadbeat husband to death and then enlists the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body. Needless to say, this isn’t a book for the faint of heart.

Out combines a striking look at the psychology of violent crime with a peak at the grittier side of Tokyo, where yakuza roam and seasoned detectives cautiously poke at the shadows. If you’re looking for a creepy read to start of the Halloween season, this would be it.

2. The Ghostbride – Yangszee Choo

It doesn’t matter that Li Lan is the daughter of a genteel family. As long as they have no money, she has little hope for the future. So when the wealthy Lim family asks her to be the ghost-bride of their deceased, only son, Li Lan is intrigued.

As a traditional ghost bride, Li Lan is meant to bring peace to her deceased husband’s spirit. But between her increasing desire for the Lim’s new heir and the tug of the shadowy Chinese afterlife, Li Lan must uncover the truth about the Lim family before she hands herself over forever.

3. Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age Story – Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is the founder of MuslimGirl.com, the #1 Muslim women’s blog in the United States. Since launching the website while still in high school, Al-Khatahbeh has been featured in the New York Times, provides regular commentary for CNN and the BBC, and even found her way to Forbes “30 Under 30” list.

But before all that, she was just another Muslim American girl coming of age post 9/11.

This is a memoir about Al-Khatahtbeh’s personal struggles with growing up amid Islamophobia, the community of like-minded women she’s discovered through MuslimGirl.com, and about dispelling the myths about women that choose to wear a headscarf.

4. Hidden Figures: The Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race – Margot Lee Shetterly

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil Rights Movement, Hidden Figures tells the story of the amazingly intelligent African American women who helped make it possible to send rockets – and people – into space.

Hidden Figures is soon to be released as a film, so now is the perfect time to read this fascinating blend of oral history, scientific achievements, and the personal stories of five women who overcame a history of oppression to help change the world.

5. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

If you didn’t read The Girl on the Train when it was first released, now is your chance. This is another book with an upcoming film adaptation and you have just enough time to get started before it comes to a theatre near you.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. And every day she sees the same couple on their balcony, a seemingly perfect couple, which is enough to distract her from the life she just lost.

One morning, Rachel thinks she sees something horrible and goes to the police. But they don’t seem to believe her and Rachel is starting to wonder whether she can trust herself.

6. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

In the 1970s, Marilyn and James Lee are raising their family in small-town Ohio. They expect a lot out of their favorite daughter, Lydia, and hope she can accomplish the dreams they could never realize themselves. So when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the Lee family understandably begins to crumble.

With this multi-award winning novel, Celeste Ng burst onto the scene as one of the bright new voices of Asian American Literature. If this stunning family portrait is any indication, we can expect big things from Ng in the future.

7. The Wangs vs. The World – Jade Chang

Charles Wang is mad at America. He was successful, really, really successful, until he lost everything in the financial crisis. After foreclosing on his family’s LA home, Charles puts off returning to China to claim his ancestral land to road trip across the US with his family on a journey none of them will ever forget.

In this hilarious debut novel, Jade Chang explores what it means to belong in America and how losing everything can bring family together like nothing else.

8. Harmless Like You – Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Harmless Like You follows two different characters at two different times. In the past, Yuki Oyama struggles to become an artist and, in the present, her son Jay is forced to confront the mother who abandoned him when he was just two years old.

This is Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s debut novel and she’s already being heralded for more than just her beautiful prose. This is a novel about family, art, identity, and what it means to love and reconcile. Most importantly, you should pick this one up because everyone is talking about it.

9. The Reader – Traci Chee

Set in a world where the ability to read is the stuff of legends, The Reader is the first book in fantastical new young adult fiction experience.

Sefia has lived with her aunt Nin ever since her father was brutally and inexplicably murdered. The two women live on the run until Nin is captured and Sefia decides its time to make a stand. With the help of a mysterious book left behind by her father, pirates, and a mysterious stranger, Sefia journeys to rescue her aunt and, by learning to read, comes to understand that her story is just beginning.

April Editors

Actual Voice of Asian Women ❤︎
April Magazine is an online magazine for East & South East Asian Women in the World. We empower Asian women, one voice at a time.

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