Books Coming Out in October 2020 You Should Have On Your Radar

Last month I posted a round up of my most anticipated new book releases of September and I really enjoyed sharing that list with you. It was the first time I’d written a post like that for my blog but I thought I might try and keep it up if you enjoy it so let me know. For now I’m going to share with you the books coming out in October that I’m the most excited about because there are a lot! If you have any titles to add let me know ;).

Save Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan (October 1st, Little Island) – As far as I’m concerned anything Deirdre Sullivan releases is gold! This novel is a feminist retelling of and Irish folktale known as the Children of Lir. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton (October 1st, Raven Books) – I absolutely adored Turton’s previous, and first, novel The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (it was a masterpiece). So if his new mystery is even half as good I’m going to be in for a treat. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

On Connection by Kae Tempest (October 1st, Faber & Faber) – Kae Tempest is possibly my favourite poet of all time so of course I am going to be excited for their first ever non-fiction title. This one explores creativity and the exploration of self-indentity through art. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee (October 1st, HMH For Young Readers) – This book is about a group of second generation Japanese teenagers in the US whose lives are irrevocably affected by the mass imprisonment of Japanese by the US as a result of WW2. This is a piece of history I know far too little about and am so pleased to see written about for a YA audience. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Cannibal by Safiya Sinclair (October 1st, Picador) – Allow me to include some poetry to shake things up. This debut collection is described as evoking ‘the poet’s Jamaican childhood and reach beyond to explore history, race relations in America, womanhood, otherness, and exile’. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston (October 1st, – I can always rely on Tor to release unique new titles that I immediately add to my TBR and this sounds no different. A multiple perspective story set in a magical world where poison is eating the land. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (October 1st, Swoon Reads) – This is one I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about so my excitement is entirely based on the buzz. A YA fantasy with a trans male lead, however, does sound blooming brilliant. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Ruby by Nina Allan (October 6th, Titan Books) – Literary horror? Mystery? Fictional biography? It sounds like this book is everything at once and I’m here for it. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Eventide by Sarah Goodman (October 6th, Tor Teen) – Orphaned sisters move to rural Arkansas in 1907 only to discover some dark and dangerous secrets may be lurking in the shadows? Yes please! – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (October 6th, Algonquin Young Readers) – I LOVE middle-grade mysteries especially when they’re set in the Victorian era and have fiesta female leads. Naturally, therefore, I was going to be drawn to this new series by Elizabeth C. Bunce. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron (October 13th, Simon and Schuster) – This is a fantasy novel set in Jim Crow era USA. The main character, Evie, has a magical ability passed down through the women in her family that has decided to rear its head at the most inconvenient of times. Yes I am ready. CHECK IT OUT HERE

The Winter Duke by Claire Eli Bartlett (October 13th, Titan) – Kylma wants nothing to do with her dangerous and nefarious family but when they are all struck my a sleeping curse she is dragged back into their lives where she also discovers her brothers intriguing bride… – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (October 13th, Saga Press) – I am actually in the middle of Trail of Lightning by Roanhorse as I write this post and as soon as I read the blurb of her new series I knew I’d be reading that too. It sounds like a magical epic that creates a speculative world inspired by real history. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk (October 13th, Erewhon Books) – A historical fantasy novel where women have to give up their magic upon ‘tying the knot’. This sounds like a fabulous feminist take on a magical past that I cannot wait to read. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Iron Heart by Nina Varela (October 14th, Harper Collins) – I’ve been excited for the sequel to Crier’s War ever since I read the first chapter of book one. Queer F/F fantasy is my jam and this is a fantastic example in an incredibly imaginative speculative world. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend (October 15th, Orion Children’s Books) – This is book three in the Nevermoor series, which is middle grade mastery as far as I’m concerned. It’s a magical series about a cursed child who is whisked off to a magical world where she must compete in a series of trials. Each book has just improved for me so I can’t wait to find out what’s next in store! – CHECK IT OUT HERE

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrrow (October 15th, Orbit) – Simply put this book is witches meet the suffrage movement in late 19th century Salem. Need I say anymore? – CHECK IT OUT HERE

The Princess and the Prick by Walburga Appleseed (October 15th, HQ) – This one is screaming Christmas gift guide to me (yes I’m already thinking about that). It’s a satirical collection of fairytale retellings that puts a feminist spin on some of your childhood favourites, which just sounds perfect! – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey (October 15th, Avon) – This is the third and final instalment in Tessa Bailey’s Hot and Hammered romance series. Book one was such light hearted fun that I’m looking forward to checking in with our previous protagonist’s sister and her love story. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (October 27th, Hodder & Stoughton) – A family of witches who run a restaurant? Sounds like bliss! Well until our main character’s sister is murdered and she teams up with an untrustworthy prince of hell to solve her murder. Now it just sounds exciting! – CHECK IT OUT HERE

Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard (October 31st, Subterranean Press) – Aliette de Bodard is one of my absolute favourite speculative authors. She has an incredible imagination and beautiful writing so naturally I’m excited for her latest literary offering. – CHECK IT OUT HERE

All publication dates given are based on Amazon or Netgalley.

September 2020 Releases To Get Excited About

You may or may not have noticed but September 2020 is a full month for publishing; September is often a popular month for publication but 2020 has hit new heights. Since it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of new titles to peruse if you’re looking for your next read, I thought I’d create a run down of some of my most anticipated titles for the month! I usually post my most anticipated releases over on twitter but there has never been this many so it felt like the perfect excuse to make use of my blog ;). So let’s get down to the nitty gritty:

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin (Sep 1st, Harper Collins) – the eagerly anticipated sequel to Serpent and Dove, a romantic fantasy set in a faux historical France where witches are hunted down and burned by the patriarchal church (I LOVED book one) – link for more info

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch (Sep 1st, Imprint) – opposites attract in an enemies to lovers f/f contemporary romance where two students compete for the same scholarship while unbeknownst to either of them they are actually anonymous partners in a fanfic web comic – link for more info

Fable by Adrienne Young (Sep 1st, Wednesday Books) – the first in a new fantasy duology about seventeen year old Fable who is abandoned on a legendary island by her father and must fight for what is rightfully hers – link for more info

A Dance With Fate by Juliet Marillier (Sep 1st, Ace) – my all time favourite fantasy author is gracing us with a new novel in her Warrior Bards series and I cannot wait, book one The Harp of Kings was a gorgeous medieval Irish adventure full of warriors, secret missions, and fair folk – link for more info

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (Sep 1st, Harper Collins) – a young adult novel that deals with the institutionalised racism that pervades the incarceration system where sixteen year old Amal finds himself in prison with only his art to turn to for escape – link for more info

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick (Sep 3rd, Simon and Schuster UK) – this thriller is about Anna who moves to a new town as a nanny but to her surprise she shares an eery resemblance with a local girl named Zoe who recently went missing… – link for more info

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar (Sep 3rd, Harper Collins) – this is the story of Sheetai, half mortal, half star, who in an attempt to save her mortal fathers live becomes her celestial family’s champion in a competition that will decide who rules the heavens – link for more info

Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates (Sep 3rd, Simon and Schuster UK) – Laura Bates is one of my favourite feminist non-fiction writers and her books are always inevitably emotional and enlightening, this one in particular deals the growing numbers of online misogynists who believe women should be subordinate to men – link for more info

I, Ada by Julia Gray (Sep 3rd, Anderson Press) – a novelisation of the life of Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, and visionary scientist in her own right that is aimed at young adults is a book I never knew I needed but I did – link for more info

After the Silence by Louise O’Neill (Sep 3rd, Quercus Books) – I don’t know how she does it but Louise O’Neill manages to nail EVERY genre she writes in and this time she has put her pen to an atmospheric mystery following a true crime documentary team on the hunt for answers – link for more info

The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas (Sep 7th, Swoon Reads) – a gang of criminal misfits adventuring through space, when has that concept ever let any of us down, bring it on – link for more info

Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine (Sep 8th, Allen Lane) – Claudia Rankine is one of my favourite poets and her new books is a collection of essays and poems that centre on the white aggressions towards black Americans – link for more info

Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos and translated by Hildegarde Serle (Sep 8th, Europa Editions) – finally the third instalment in the best selling French young adult fantasy series is available in English and I am so excited, books one and two were incredible and I can’t wait to find out what is next in store for our hero Ophelia – link for more info

Islands of Mercy by Rose Tremain (Sep 10th, Chatto & Windus) – queer historical fiction with a f/f relationship and set in 19th century Bath, how was I supposed to say no to that – link for more info

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (Sep 10th, Orbit) – this is the first in a new fantasy series set in an empire where the emperor’s daughter has lost her childhood memories, thus cloaking her own life in mystery, and I love this premise – link for more info

The Ippos King by Grace Draven (Sep 15th) – this is the third book in Grace Draven’s Wraith King series which began with Radiance, my ALL TIME favourite fantasy romance, if not just romance, novel so you know I’m reading this the day it comes out – link for more info

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (Sep 15th, Tor) – there was no way I wasn’t including Christopher Paolini’s new book as I’ve been a fan since I was 12 and Eragon first came out, this time, however, it’s space instead of dragons and as much as I miss Sapphira I am here for this new chapter – link for more info

Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour (Sep 15th, Dutton Books) – Mila is all alone so why not take a teaching job at a farm on an isolated stretch of the California coast line straight out of high school, even if she might be confronted by ghosts she didn’t expect to see – link for more info

Even if We Break by Marieke Nijkamp (Sep 15th, Sourcebooks Fire) – a group of friends, a mystery, a remote cabin, a deadly game, yup this is a thriller I can get on board with – link for more info

The Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwall (Sep 28th, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) – so I was first drawn in by this gorgeous cover but then I saw that it was a queer retelling of the Snow White and Rose Red fairytales, one of my childhood favourites, and it was immediately on my to read list – link for more info

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Sep 29th, Del Ray) – like many I’m sure I was so excited to see Naomi Novik was taking on the dark academia genre where magic and mystery are uncomfortable bedfellows at a school where you either graduate… or die – link for more info

*All publication dates are taken from the information provided on Amazon UK.

Reading, My Dad, and I


I am absolutely certain that I would not be the avid reader I am today if it was not for my dad. My dad read every day of his life. He read to learn. He read to relax. But he also read to hide from the world. I bought him books for Christmases, birthdays, and father’s days. If there was a wall in our house that you could stand a bookcase against then up one went. He visited the library at least once a week. We had to hunt down English language books on our holidays abroad when he inevitably read everything he had packed. If I needed a recommendation growing up, he could hand me something in an instant. And he was still reading huge tomes on that cruelly final day before the cancer took him two years ago, aged fifty-nine. Still when I picture my dad, he has a book in his hand. Everything about my dad’s relationship with books has affected my relationship with books. At this point it is impossible for me to disentangle one from the other.

But just as he was, in a way, always present when I was reading before he passed away, he remains present now, just in a different and often more difficult way. Every time I see a new release in a bookshop or press release that I know he would have loved I feel a pang of remorse that I cannot buy a copy, parcel it up, and post it up north to him in Scotland anymore. When I consider picking up the last few books by Terry Pratchett, ironically published after his own death, I feel frustrated that I get to read them, and my dad does not. And that is not to mention the stack of books that he bought before passing away, which are now sitting on his ‘to be read’ shelf with no hope of ever sharing with him what they have inside. Whenever I do read a book that he loved or recommended to me when he was alive, I am overwhelmed by grief remembering that I cannot talk to him about it or hear him explain why he chose it. When I pop into a bookshop, I wish he could be there. When I visit the library, I remember him taking me there. When I dog ear a page, I hear him telling me to put a bookmark there. And when I pick up a book, he is, in a sense, always there.

But reading is my greatest love. Just as my dad found solace in those tightly bound pages, I turn to books for comfort and relief. If you asked me where I would like to go at any given moment, I would be halfway to the bookshop already. And not a day goes by that I do not read a little bit of something. The library was my favourite place to visit as a child and really, I am still that same little girl two decades on. I am still my father’s daughter. And I do not want to be anything else.

So, I am learning. I am learning take comfort in the books he loved even when he cannot tell me why. I want to be able to pick up Émile Zola and remember that it was my dad who recommended I read him in the first place. I want to be able to engross myself in the kind of prose my dad always cherished and experience them for myself. I do not want to push the memory of my dad to the side and clamber to find my complete independence as a reader. I still want to share everything about this beautiful and enlightening pastime with him, even if he cannot be here himself. I want to embrace all of these emotions, this sadness and love, and find joy in the fact that reading was a gift my dad gave me and that one of the best parts of me was a part of him as well.

The Best Audiobooks Currently on Scribd

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I recently joined Scribd – an app that allows you to listen to unlimited audiobooks and read unlimited ebooks for a set monthly price. Like with anything else my instant instinct since signing up has been to troll their catalogues for books that spark my interest, in particular audiobooks because it’s a massive saving listening this way. As an avid audiobook listener, however, where was I to start – their selection seems endless. So apart from searching the app I’ve been asking on Twitter for recommendations, and using google to look for other Scribd users favourite audiobooks. During this proccess it occured to me that if you are looking for something, chances are, someone else is too. And since I’m asking for your help I thought perhaps I could also lend a hand of my own. Which brings us to this blog post where I’m going to share my selection of the best audiobooks currently available on Scribd (this may vary depending on the country you’re listening in). Most of these I have already listened to either prior to downloading Scribd or since I installed the app but a few are books I’m incredibly excited to listen to myself in the coming weeks and months. I hope you find some recommendations from this list and do let me know what audiobooks on Scribd you would recommend.

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Binti by Nnedi Okorafor


Title: Binti

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Publisher: Tor

Feeling: Expansive


I knew finally signing up to my local library in London would be a good thing! Binti has been on my radar for a few years; it consistently pops up on sci-fi readers’ channels on BookTube and in particular Elizabeth from BooksandPieces sells this story with infectious passion. Now I’m no hard-core science fiction reader. I enjoy John Wyndham and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy plus I’ll devour any dystopian novel you hand me. Aside from Douglas Adams, my experience with stories sent in space itself, however, extends as far as Dr. Who, Star Trek: Next Generation and Firefly. It’s not something I’ve actually read a terrible amount of. But if anything could convince me to do so it is Binti.

This book blew me away with the emotional impact it was able to have in less than one hundred pages. A novella as opposed to a full-length novel this book is the first in a series, of which two more are already available (and I’m half way through number two). It follows our protagonist Binti, a member of the Himba people who are one of multiple cultures that live on Earth. The Himba tend to remain in their own community and never do they leave Earth. Binti, however, is the first of her people to have been offered a place at Oomza University, situated on a planet other than her own, and she is not about to turn it down.

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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Author: Libba Bray

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Feeling: Longing


This is the first book I have read by Libba Bray who is, in fact, quite the prolific author and incredibly popular amongst fans of Young Adult literature. My interest was peaked in Bray’s writing after reading an article she had written here for EW that Monica from SheMightBeMonica shared online. Upon reading Bray’s article I immediately ordered both A Great and Terrible Beauty and Beauty Queens by the author. Seeing her discuss the influences and objectives of her young adult work made me see them in a much more complex light than perhaps the blurbs alone would have. Not only did my first foray into her work not disappoint, it far exceeded all of my expectations. A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first in her Gemma Doyle series and what a beginning it is.

The year is 1895 and our story follows Gemma Doyle, a young woman from a wealthy English family who has spent her entire life thus far growing up in India. After tragedy strikes, however, her life is uprooted and she is sent to board at a girls’ finishing school in England. Her life in England is far more than elocution lessons and keeping up with this season’s latest fashions; Miss Doyle is haunted by visions of another world, one both terrifying and beautiful.

This book melds together 19th century Britain, female friendships, sexual awakenings and magic. The story and characters are engaging and mysterious with so much more bubbling under the surface. There is so much I enjoyed about this first book in the series that it is difficult to condense my feelings for you in one blog post, but here I go.

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Hollow Pike by Juno Dawson

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Author: Juno Dawson

Publisher: Orion Books

Feeling: Secretive


Rarely does an author’s debut novel accomplish everything it sets out to do. Hollow Pike sets up a premise, introduces us to its characters and takes us on a journey that ticks every box the reader is looking for it to fulfill. The novel itself first came out in 2012 and is not my first foray into Juno Dawsons’s writing. I had previously read Say Her Name when it was released in 2014, a novel which also falls into the Young Adult Thriller/Horror genre, and shortly before picking up Hollow Pike I had finished listening to the audiobook of Dawson’s first adult nonfiction work The Gender Games. In fact, it was listening to The Gender Games that had me itching to finally pick Hollow Pike up from my shelf having acquired it shortly after finishing Say Her Name. This is not a review of The Gender Games but I think it is safe to say that the book had to be pretty good to have me jumping straight into another work by that same author.

Hollow Pike, as I have mentioned, is a Young Adult book that could be described as a thriller or even horror novel. Due perhaps to the flexibility of Young Adult writing, where Dawson herself feels authors are freed from the confines of a single genre, Hollow Pike offers a little more than goosebumps. The book follows Lis who has recently moved from her high school in Wales to one in Hollow Pike, Yorkshire, after a bad bought of bullying at her last school. Bullying, moving, new environments, making friends and first romances are all prevalent themes throughout the novel; all accompanied by a good, creepy mystery.

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Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo


Title: Stay With Me

Author: Ayobami Adebayo

Publisher: Canongate Books

Feeling: Astonishing


This book was first put on my radar when it was longlisted for The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction this year (2017). And let me tell you, I will be forever grateful it did. For me, the experience of reading this book demonstrates what is so magical about the Women’s Prize for Fiction, as without it I may never have picked Stay With Me up. Which would, I assure you, have been a great loss for me.

The book itself takes place in 1980s Nigeria and predominantly follows Yejidi, whose husband Akin, in the very first few pages of the book, takes a second wife without informing Yejidi that he is about to do so. Although he is not alone in their circle of family and friends to marry multiple women he did so against the express wishes of his first wife. The reason that Yejidi’s life is suddenly turned upside down is due to her inability thus far in their marriage to conceive a child and the pressure that has incurred from Akin’s family to find a wife who can. From that point on nothing unfolds as you might predict.

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10 Books Reading Challenge

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That’s right everyone, I have met my Goodreads reading goal for 2017! We are two months into the year and I’ve already hit that coveted goal, so why bother reading any more for the next ten months? Bring on the TV binge watching.

I know that last year when I changed my Goodreads reading goal to 10 books I had a few questions about why I’d set my challenge to such a ‘low’ target. Since this is a number I have decided to stick with I thought I might address the issue of ‘why’ in a wee blog post.

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The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley


Title: The Arrival of Missives

Author: Aliya Whiteley

Publisher: Unsung Stories

Feeling: Expectant


Prior to reading this novella I had read Aliya Whiteley’s other short novel The Beauty and a selection of her short stories; all of which deeply unsettled and disturbed me (The Beauty genuinely gave me nightmares). This is not a criticism, however, Whiteley’s writing is beautifully addictive and I was ready to read anything she wrote. I, therefore, instantly requested a copy of The Arrival of the Missives upon its release. For one reason or another, it took me a few months before I actually got a chance to read it but as soon as I arrived back at my parents home in Edinburgh for Christmas, where my books currently reside, I picked it up off the shelf. A decision I do not regret! I sped through this book, I quite literally could not put it down and it has made me all the more excited to see what Whiteley comes out with next.

The premise of the story begins with our protagonist Shirley, a 17-year-old girl about to complete her schooling and living on a farm in rural, post World War 1 Britain. We are made aware from the offset of the novel that she has feelings for her 24-year-old school teacher Mr. Tiller who returned from the war permanently injured. It is her intention, however, to make her feelings known to him now that her schooling is coming to an end in order for them to be together. From that point on absolutely nothing goes as you would expect it to.

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