Our Most Anticipated New Book Releases of October 2021

September was a huge month for highly anticipated new releases, but then October came in and said, “Just wait.” So, this October, the question is simple: What is it that you’re looking for? Is it food? Music? Graphic novels? Memoirs? A little bit of magic? You. Name. It. Because. We. Have. It! We’re serving up our much-anticipated new releases this October from the dynamic duo that is former president Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen, the magical conclusion from Alice Hoffman, a world 60 years in the making from the late John le Carré, the multi-layered literary stylings of Amor Towles, Stanley Tucci — with his wry humor and fabulous spectacles, and many, many more. Oh, and there’s this seasonal drink everyone’s talking about — we hear there may be actual pumpkins in it? Wild times.


Taste: My Life Through Food
Stanley Tucci

A delightful memoir by the actor and star of the CNN series: Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. Food has always been an important part of his life, playing a role in various key moments in his personal and professional career. With a few Italian cookbooks under his belt, it’s clear this is more than just a hobby to Tucci. With great wit and warmth, this memoir is a wonderful read that makes fans love him even more. “It’s impossible to read this without becoming ravenous!” Nigella Lawson

Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide
Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras, Atlas Obscura

The creative team behind the sensation Atlas Obscura brings us a food journey filled with recipes, illustrations and other surprises. As much as this book brings the world history of food to your table, there are so many things to explore about the land, people and the ingredients that make food so important in our lives. “This captivating book celebrates the incredible global diversity of food, ingredients, and cooking practices. What could be more important in this moment in time than to be so delightfully engaged in the many ways food cultivates—through sometimes eccentric means!—a profound sense of togetherness.” —Alice Waters, chef and author of We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto

Jonathan Franzen

No stranger to familial drama and multi-generational storytelling, Jonathan Franzen’s sixth and latest novel, Crossroads, is a complex and intertwined story about the Hildebrandts — a Chicago family in which each member finds themselves, figuratively speaking, at a crossroads. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoyed Find Me by André Aciman and The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel.

The Lincoln Highway: A Novel
Amor Towles

Buckle up for an unforgettable journey from master storyteller Amor Towles, set in the tumultuous year of 1954. Brothers Emmett and Billy are in for a shock when they discover two stowaways on their 10-day move from New York City to San Francisco. This novel perfectly encapsulates friends as the family we choose, and it’s a road trip, for once, you may not want to end. “An absolute beauty of a book. Every character is a gem, the many locations spring to vivid life, the book is an intricate and moving exploration of journeys and the infinite unexpected turns they can take—and somehow Towles makes it all seem effortless. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again.” Tana French, author of The Searcher

Oh William!
Elizabeth Strout

The inimitable character voice of Lucy Barton returns with reflections on her ex-husband, William, and their investigation into a guarded family secret in this absolute tour de force from award-winning author Elizabeth Strout. Strout tackles the human condition, and deftly describes the tethers that hold us to the special people in our lives. Not to be missed.

The Book of Magic: A Novel
Alice Hoffman

Beloved author Alice Hoffman brings the Owens family saga to its enchanting conclusion with book four in the Practical Magic series. Spanning the globe, The Book of Magic is a must-read finale that celebrates the power of love and family. “Full of Hoffman’s bewitching and lucid prose and vivid characters, The Book of Magic is ultimately about the very human magic of family and love and actions that echo through generations. Filled with secrets and splendor and light and dark, the novel works as well as a stand-alone as it does as a conclusion to a mesmerizing series. It casts a spell.”  Matt Haig, author of The Midnight Library

Sankofa: A Novel
Chibundu Onuzo

A beautifully paced novel that explores the complexities and complications of family relationships, Sankofa is a triumph. Anna’s search for identity is an enjoyable, surprising, and oftentimes funny exploration into the cultures and the people that influence who we become. Onuzo’s career will be one to watch. Perfect for fans of Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage.

Lore Olympus: Volume One (B&N Exclusive Edition)
Rachel Smythe

The webtoon sensation is finally in print, and it is a stunning celebration of one of the first love stories ever told. With her trademark wit and exquisite art, Smythe tackles the complicated relationship and origin story between Hades, god of the Underworld, and his beloved Persephone. We already cannot wait for book two.

The Death of Jane Lawrence (B&N Exclusive Edition)
Caitlin Starling

An uncanny, beguiling and captivating page-turner. So much atmosphere you will be lost in the night’s fog and rub your eyes and hope it’s not real … or that it is real. We still haven’t figured out which is less scary. “Starling’s gothic horror is a tale that haunts you even after you’re done. The Death of Jane Lawrence is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell with sharp teeth and a Crimson Peak you’re scared to look in the eye.” —Linden A. Lewis, author of The First Sister

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020)
David Sedaris

Picking up where Theft by Finding left off, a new set of laugh-out-loud diaries from the essayist. Now that we have a handle on Sedaris growing up, we see in these entries the sardonic writer being discovered and launching his now-famous (or infamous) career. His biting humor works whether he speaks about the mundane or the political. After reading it, you’ll find just how much has changed in the world.

The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family
Ron Howard, Clint Howard

Ron and Clint Howard, the former being the famous actor and director and the latter, a character actor living in the shadow of his brother, openly and repeatedly credit their father and mother, Rance and Jean, as the reason for their success. Rance, especially, is the hero of the book. He wanted to make it big in Hollywood but saw the early success of his kids and deferred his dreams to mentor his boys. Together, Ron and Clint’s parents gave them the steady foundation they needed to fulfill their Hollywood destiny.

House Fires
Connor Franta

YouTube star Connor Franta already has two bestsellers under his belt. In his third memoir, Franta speaks about the up-and-down journey he has been on where success remains a double-edged sword and fulfillment can be elusive. Fans will love this book because of his raw, honest storytelling sprinkled with a sense of humor and fun. If you enjoyed Franta’s Note to Self or Rupi Kaur’s Home Body, this one’s for you.

Music Is History (B&N Exclusive Edition)

This is the book that Questlove was destined to create. After a few books on food, Questlove turns his eye and ear to music with Music is History. Looking at the past 50 years, we are treated to a connoisseur and historian’s point of view as he explores which songs are representative of each year and how each song symbolizes the cultural and political moment of the time. The B&N Exclusive Edition features a special chapter: Music is History Extended Remix, a collection of exercises and questions about the songs.


The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
Dave Grohl

This book may have never happened if the pandemic didn’t force everyone indoors and into isolation for several months. Dave Grohl, the twice-inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member for his work with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, decided to tell stories about his life and music on social media. From there, the stories on social media began to coalesce into a whole which made a book possible. He has lived through and seen a lot, so these tales run the gamut from the halcyon Nirvana days, up to the present as a Foo Fighter. Clearly this is a great fan book but it’s also an amazing look at the grunge movement and the rock scene from the 80s and beyond.


John le Carré

John le Carré originally started this book in 2014 and then put it aside to work on his memoir The Pigeon Tunnel. Lucky for us, it was indeed finished and put into safe keeping. Our world stands to always need more of John le Carré’s world.

State of Terror: A Novel
Louise Penny, Hillary Rodham Clinton

If you are a fan of Mysteries, you are all too aware of Louise Penny’s work. We are big fans of her Inspector Armand Gamache series based in Three Pines. So, imagine our surprise when she teamed up with Hillary Rodham Clinton to write a political thriller. Did our hearts beat fast? YES. YES, THEY DID. With insight only HRC could provide and meticulously constructed twists only Penny could write, let’s just say we cannot wait for October!

On Animals
Susan Orlean

With a singular gracious inner rhythm, Susan Orlean enchants, subverting our expectations, reorienting our vantage, and disclosing connections we might never have pondered. In On Animals, her subjects range from lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) to chickens, dogs, mules, and a whale; not quite all the animals in the ark, but a delightful abundance of wild and domesticated creatures, and the humans with whom they come in contact. A total treat of a book!

Lucy Holland

A stunning, lyrical debut with an unforgettable trio of siblings, Sistersong is a tragic tale of the founding of a nation and the ultimate unraveling of a family relationship. A loose retelling filled to the brim with heartbreak and betrayal, this modern ballad is sure to become an immediate favorite for lovers of Song of Achilles and Ariadne.

Renegades: Born in the USA
Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen — “Barack” and “The Boss.”  Two friends whose words and songs so many have looked to for comfort, uplifting, and inspiration. Renegades is our golden ticket for a ringside seat, to listen in as these two men come together head-to-head and head-to-heart. Intimate, animated, funny, and introspective, come on in. It is a conversation you don’t want to miss!

Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern
Mary Beard

A sumptuously illustrated, beautifully designed, gloriously rich work of history from the distinguished classicist with a lively literary voice, an extraordinary eye for telling detail, and a grand sense of humor. Twelve Caesars is a masterful, brilliant work of detection, a joy to read.

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