Litty Committee: 10 New October Books For You To Carry Around In Your Tote Bag & Pretend To Read

Best new books coming out in october
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Welcome back Litty Committee, it’s Soaliha (@soalihaofficial) here! This is our first iteration of our book club with our new co-chair Lachy (@l.achy), and we’re so excited for this new era! Buckle up because there are some truly exciting books coming out this October.

October is THE month for big-name authors, it seems: we have the latest Mona Awad thriller/horror (I screamed out loud when I received my review copy), Trent Dalton is back with another darkly funny and heart-wrenching novel, and Cassandra Clare of The Mortal Instruments fame has unveiled her foray into ~adult~ fiction (is it spicy? I can’t wait to find out).

Between these guaranteed hits and TikTok’s beloved sex historian Esmé Louise James dropping her first non-fiction book, we have some killer picks to show you. Let’s dive in!

Best fantasy books coming out in October

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare (Soaliha’s pick)

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare, fantasy book coming out in october

About the book:

Yes, you read that right: Cassandra Clare, author of both the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices trilogy, is back with an all-new epic fantasy — except this time, it’s adult fantasy. It’s so exciting when famed YA authors transition to adult fiction just as we grow into it. Also, Leigh Bardugo (AKA the author of Six of Crows, my fave fantasy book *ever*) gave it a glowing review, as if we needed to be more hyped. Watch this space!!!

Kel is an orphan, raised to become the Sword-Catcher — the body-double of royal heir of Castellane Prince Conor Aurelian. The two are close as brothers, but Kel knows he has one destiny: to die for Conor. No other future is possible. Lin Caster is one of the Ashkar, a small community who still possess magical abilities. They are forced to live behind walls in the city, but Lin, a physician, ventures out to tend to the sick and dying. However, she cannot heal her best friend without access to forbidden knowledge.

After a failed assassination attempt brings Lin and Kel together, they are drawn into the web of the ruler of Castellane’s criminal underworld. He offers them each what they want most; but as they descend into his world of shadow, they discover a conspiracy of corruption that reaches from the darkest gutters of Castellane to its highest towers. As long-kept secrets begin to unravel, they must ask themselves: Is knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? And will Lin and Kel’s discoveries plunge their nation into war and world into chaos?

Release date: October 10

After the Forest by Kell Woods (Soaliha’s pick)

After the forest by Kell Woods, dark fairytale fantasy book October release

About the book:

I have a weakness for dark fairytale adaptations that centre complicated, powerful women, so of course After the Forest made it into my most anticipated reads of the month. Also, look at that gorgeous cover! Hailed as “bitterly dark” and “intricately plotted”, this debut is perfect for historical fiction fans who like it a little weird and mysterious.

Ginger. Honey. Cinnamon. Flour. A drop of blood to bind its power.

1650: Fifteen years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their parents are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and their country is recovering in the aftermath of a brutal war. Greta has a secret, though: the witch’s grimoire whispering in her ear, and the addictive gingerbread recipe she bakes to keep her small family afloat.

But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her intoxicating gingerbread are a source of ever-growing suspicion and vicious gossip. And now, dark magic is returning to the woods. Greta’s own power — magic she is still trying to understand — may be the only thing that can save her… If it doesn’t kill her first.

Release date: October 4

Best new fiction books coming out in October

The Goodbye Cat by Hiro Arikawa (Soaliha’s pick)

The Goodbye Cat by Hiro Arikawa, one of the best fiction books to release in October

About the book:

I hadn’t even finished the first chapter of this book when I began sobbing my eyes out. Get the tissues ready because The Goodbye Cat is so deeply earnest and sweet, it’ll leave you puffy-eyed and blotchy-faced — not just because some of the stories are sad, but because their sincerity is so disarming. Puurrrfect if your soul needs a little nourishing in these trying times.

Against changing seasons in Japan, seven cats weave their way through their owners’ lives.

A needy kitten rescued from the recycling bin teaches a new father how to parent his own human baby. An elderly cat hatches a plan to pass into the next world as a spirit so that he and his owner may be together forever. A colony of wild cats on a holiday island shows a young boy not to stand in nature’s way. A family is perplexed by their cat’s devotion to their charismatic but uncaring father. A woman curses how her cat constantly visits her at night.

Bursting with empathy and love, The Goodbye Cat explores the unstoppable cycle of life as we see how the steadiness and devotion of a well-loved cat never lets us down.

Release date: October 10

Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton (Lachy’s pick)

lola in the mirror trent dalton book cover high resolution

About the book:

Trent Dalton is BACK. In his newest release, Dalton explains Lola in the Mirror as “..the story of my city, Brisbane, in the lead-up to hosting an Olympic Games in a state where homelessness has risen by 3 times the national average“. His previous book, Love Stories, was a research project for this novel after spending time on a street corner talking with people about love, loss and belonging. I am très excited to give this one a read!

A girl and her mother are on the lam. They’ve been running for sixteen years, from police and the monster they left in their kitchen with a knife in his throat. They’ve found themselves home inside an orange 1987 Toyota HiAce van with four flat tyres in a scrapyard on the edge of the Brisbane River.

The girl has no name but has a dream. A vision of life as an artist and a life outside of the Brisbane underworld drug queen ‘Lady’ Flora Box. A life of love with a boy in a brown suit. A life beyond the bullet with her name on it. Her name is Lola and she carries all the answers.

Release date: October 4

Green Dot by Madeline Gray (Lachy’s pick)

green dot madeleine gray book cover

About the book:

I devoured this in three days (a personal record). Despite having expectations for the ending, I was still ropable and threw the book against the wall (respectfully). Without exposing myself, Hera’s story was ✨relatable✨ and her character development was a joy but once the juicy stuff hit, my lord I was engrossed! Green Dot also speaks about self-discovery, relationships and navigating your mid-twenties. With connotations to the little green dot found next to our profile pictures holding a lot more power than we’d like to admit. Hera’s relationship follows this cycle of questioning “Are they thinking about me? I’ll leave them on read a little longer”. Trust me, add this to your TBR pile.

We follow Hera Stephen, a mid-20s bisexual from Sydney working as a comment moderator at a news website (we love community management IYKYK). Instead of money or stability, she has so far accrued one ex-girlfriend, several hangovers and a dog-eared novel collection.

While everyone around her has slipped effortlessly into adulthood, Hera has spent the years since school feeling that she is purposely rejecting traditional markers of success to forge a life of her own. Until she meets Arthur. An older man. Hera becomes intoxicated by the promise of ordinary happiness he represents, falling into a workplace romance that everyone, including Hera, knows is doomed to fail.

Release date: October 4

Best new romance releases in October

Wildfire by Hannah Grace (Lachy’s pick)

wildfire hannah grace book cover high resolution booktok recommendation

About the book:

#Booktok fiends unite! Hannah Grace is back with a new romance novel after Icebreaker which is also part of the Maple Hills series. If you’ve just scrolled across it, this is book #2. Cue ‘Can’t Keep My Hands To Myself’ by Selena Gomez because this one is steamy and our college king, Russ, is still adorable.

When Russ Callaghan and Aurora Roberts cross paths at a college party, a drinking game results in a passionate one-night stand. Never one to overstay her welcome (or expect much from a man), Aurora slips away before Russ has the chance to ask her full name. (This is a bit of me). Imagine their surprise when they bump into each other on their first day as summer camp counsellors, hoping to escape their complicated home lives for the summer break.

As the summer unfolds, the tension between them intensifies. The camp has a strict ‘no staff fraternising’ rule and Russ doesn’t want to risk breaking it, whereas, Aurora has never cared about rules. Can they co-exist? Or did that one night light a fire they can’t put out?

Release date: October 4

Best thriller releases coming out this month

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth (Soaliha’s pick)

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth, one of the best mystery books to release in October

About the book:

This was one of my most anticipated reads for the month, despite how much I didn’t like The Soulmate — the only other Sally Hepworth book I’ve read — and turns out I now love this author. Darling Girls is a compulsive yet cosy murder mystery; the type that has you up all night reading without even realising it and gasping loud enough to wake up your housemates, and it has so much heart. Perhaps that’s an odd way to describe a novel about child abuse in the foster care system, but there really is an earnestness to it. I’m pretty sure I’ve latched onto my new favourite comfort characters. 5/5 stars my friends, get into it!

For as long as they can remember, Jessica, Norah and Alicia have been told how lucky they are. Rescued from family tragedies and raised by a loving foster mother on an idyllic farming estate, they were given an elusive second chance of a happy family life.

But their childhood wasn’t the fairy tale everyone thinks it was. And when a body is discovered under the home they grew up in, the foster sisters find themselves thrust into the spotlight as key witnesses. Or are they prime suspects?

Release date: September 26

Rouge by Mona Awad

Rouge by Mona Awad, a dark gothic fairytale and satire based on colonial beauty standards. It releases in october

About the book:

Mona Awad is back with yet another weird and creepy satire about the dark sides of girlhood. Rouge is all about the sinister nature of the beauty industry and the grip it has on young women — especially its undertones of white supremacy. I hadn’t read Awad’s famous novel Bunny when I dived into Rouge, so I was NOT ready for what a fever dream this dark gothic fairytale is. I suspect its style (and sometimes insufferable main character) might be polarising to readers, but don’t let that stop you from giving this a go — its themes of colonial beauty standards and its exploration of complex mother-daughter dynamics are why you should give this a read.

For as long as she can remember, Belle has been insidiously obsessed with her skin and skincare videos. When her estranged mother Noelle mysteriously dies, Belle finds herself back in Southern California, dealing with her mother’s considerable debts and grappling with lingering questions about her death.

The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother’s demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. With the help of a pair of red shoes, Belle is lured into the barbed embrace of La Maison de Méduse, the same lavish, culty spa her mother to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother’s) obsession with the mirror—and the great shimmering depths (and demons) that lurk on the other side of the glass.

Best non-fiction releases for October

Kinky History by Esmé Louise James (Lachy’s pick)

kinky history esme louise james book cover high resolution

About the book:

I consider myself a little freak in the sheets but also a huge history nerd so this was directly up my alley. Kinky History had a firm grip on me since spotting the chapter titled “Rimming: Talking in Tongues”. But, on a more serious note, this also became an education (we love). Esmé Louise James provides a deep discussion on the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, down to the literal ‘+’ at the end of the acronym, which I really responded to as an openly gay man. Truly a book I wish I had growing into my twenties. Particular highlights mentioned are the concept of lettuce semen and historical figures sending love letters of farts. So, if that tickles your fancy, strap in (or on 😉). You’re in for a treat.

It’s time to take your seat for a dinner party like no other. Discover the long, long history of the dildo. Hear James Joyce celebrate the beauty of his wife’s farts and read about Albert Einstein‘s thoughts on marital relations.

Kinky History draws on Esmé Louise Jame’s successful TikTok series, which explores scandalous stories in the ancient world and the saucy secrets of the famous. Alongside Dr Susan James (statistician mother), the pair explore five ‘kinks’ that challenge our thinking about sex. From masturbation, fetishes and porn, strap yourself in (or on?) for a liberated, sex-positive future.

Release date: October 3

The Year I Met My Brain by Matilda Boseley (Lachy’s pick)

the year i met my brain matilda boseley book cover high resolution

About the book:

In the spirit of Mental Health Month, I’m excited to share this new release with you all. As the friend of many who received their diagnosis during their mid-twenties, this book became a resource for understanding the true definition of ADHD. I enjoyed learning how to identify its triggers and how I can be a support system for those around me. It’s in my entire being to learn and understand mental illness, the class I’m still taking to better myself. I encourage you to pick this one up.

At 23, award-winning Guardian reporter Matilda Boseley learned she had ADHD from an unexpected source: TikTok. Her formal diagnosis came as a relief but upturned her world.

Boseley finally had a word to explain all the odd things in her life now, and some medication to help, but didn’t really understand what was happening in her brain. The Year I Met My Brain shines a light on the often misunderstood topic of adult ADHD. Consider this a manual on how to make life doable when your brain doesn’t quite work the same as that of everyone around you.

Release date: October 3