October 2023’s Must-Read Book Releases

Featuring the latest from Melissa Broder, Ben Fama’s debut novel, and Britney Spears’ highly-anticipated memoir.

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Another month, another fresh set of book releases to devour. See NYLON’s monthly reading list, ahead.

Death Valley by Melissa Broder (Scribner) — October 3

Death Valley is Melissa Broder at her funniest. Broder’s third novel is a propulsive, semi-meta journey of an author balancing the sorrow of a sick husband and a father in the ICU with a looming novel deadline. When she leaves the safety of a Best Western to find a grand, yet peculiar, cactus in the California desert, she inadvertently begins an unforgettable fight for her life.

Monica by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics) — October 3

The Ghost World and Patience cartoonist creates a genre-bending thriller of interconnected narratives that tell the life stories (yes, plural) of its title character. A new Daniel Clowes release is always a cause for celebration — and with Monica, it’s another career highlight.

Our Strangers by Lydia Davis (Bookshop Editions) — October 3

Literary titan Lydia Davis returns with a new collection of short stories — diving into marriage, tiny insects, aging, and more — for a rewarding, artfully observant addition to her vault.

I Care a Lotta, I Wear Collina Strada (Rizzoli) — October 3

The definite guide to wacky and freeing world of Collina Strada, the New York-based fashion line from Hillary Taymour — plus a forward by Washington Post fashion writer and Opulent Tips creator Rachel Tashjian.

If I Close My Eyes by Ben Fama (Sarka) — October 10

In If I Close My Eyes, Jesse and Mars are two strangers who get close after surviving a mass shooting at Kim Kardashian book signing. Ben Fama’s debut is a tender, hyper-contemporary satire of Hollywood and digital life, of grief and addiction. “Because we are ‘survivors’ Jesse,” writes Fama. “Of the gun epidemic. Of pop culture. Who knows.”

Family Meal by Bryan Washington (Riverhead Books/Penguin Putnam) — October 10

A melancholic and intimate novel about grief, love, and food, following a man who moves back to his hometown of Houston and into the orbit of his former best friend and his bakery.

Black Friend by Ziwe (Abrams Image) — October 17

For anyone still mourning the loss of Ziwe comes Black Friend, Ziwe’s debut collection of essays that further propel the comedian across pop culture commentary, identity, and beyond.

Vengeance Is Mine by Marie NDiaye (Knopf) — October 17

A quiet Bordeaux lawyer unlocks hidden childhood wounds when a man shows up at her office asking her to defend his wife, who is accused of a horrific crime. Vengeance Is Mine is a psychological slow burn on the torment of memory — and how quickly it can unravel a life.

Artless by Natasha Stagg (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) — October 24

Natasha Stagg dives deep into the warped world of branded identity and “authenticity” in Artless, her latest sharp and searing work, comprised of stories, fragmentary essays, and even press releases written by Stagg herself.

Organ Meats by K-Ming Chang (Penguin Random House) — October 24

All bets are off when a group of stray dogs with the mysterious ability to communicate with humans tells best friends Anita and Rainie that they, too, can turn into dogs. The girls take on the opportunity, only to open a dreamworld with filled with ghosts and entrails, in K-Ming Chang’s intimate and visceral new novel.

The Woman In Me by Britney Spears (Gallery Books) — October 24

The day Britney Spears was released from her strict, 13-year-long conservatorship, the world knew a frank, tell-all memoir was imminent. Now, Spears is getting her chance to tell her side of the story — one of pop stardom, inner strength, and love. (Regardless of whether or not her exes allegedly tried to stall its release!) The Woman In Me is the Spears on her own terms, at last.

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