Our top 10 books of October 2023

October’s Top 10 list includes Alix E. Harrow’s best book yet, plus the long-awaited second novel from Ayana Mathis, a pitch-perfect romance from KJ Charles and a breathtaking debut memoir.
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Book jacket image for Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson

Remember Us

Jacqueline Woodson flawlessly intersperses explosive moments—and games of basketball—among quiet, reflective scenes while responding to her protagonist’s weighty fears with reassurance about the permeance of loving memories.

Book jacket image for Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang

Land of Milk and Honey

C Pam Zhang’s sentences are visceral and heated. She writes about food and bodies with frenzied truthfulness. There is nothing pretty in Zhang’s second novel, but there is outrageous beauty.

Book jacket image for The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis

The Unsettled

In The Unsettled’s short but perfectly paced chapters, Toussaint, Ava and Dutchess tell of not only their disappointment and despair but also their dreams, crafting a heartbreaking tale about Reagan’s America that deftly weaves the past and present into the possibility of a bright, if still-unfolding, future.

Book jacket image for The Cost of Free Land by Rebecca Clarren

The Cost of Free Land

Drawing on Jewish traditions of reconciliation, Rebecca Clarren seeks to find a path for meaningful reconciliation and reparation for the harm done to Native American people.

Book jacket image for A Man of Two Faces by Viet Thanh Nguyen

A Man of Two Faces

In his memoir, award-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen “re members” and “dis remembers,” excavating and reassembling memories as if working on his family’s portrait.

Book jacket image for How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair

How to Say Babylon

Safiya Sinclair’s memoir should be savored like the final sip of an expensive wine—with deference, realizing that a story of this magnitude comes along all too infrequently.

Book jacket image for Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

Starling House

Alix E. Harrow’s Starling House is a riveting Southern gothic fantasy with gorgeous prose and excellent social commentary.

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