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New Arrivals for October: Notable Book Releases Updated Weekly

Tertulia •
Oct 30th, 2023

Notable releases for October include the latest by the freshly-minted Nobel Laureate, Carlo Rovelli’s time-bending journey into black holes, three-time Pulitzer finalist Alice McDermott’s new historical novel, the final posthumous book from the celebrated novelist Hilary Mantel, Jesmyn Ward’s new historical fiction novel, a guide for how to connect with others by David Brooks, Britney’s memoir and more.

Notable Releases for the Week of October 30, 2023


Septology by Jon Fosse

This seven part, one-sentence trilogy is considered the Nobel Laureate’s masterpiece and "the closest I have come to feeling the presence of God here on earth," according to critic Merve Emre. The entire collection drops in paperback today!

A Shining by Jon Fosse

The latest by the freshly minted Nobel Laureate is a dreamlike 75-pager about a lost man’s strange encounter in a forest that the Financial Times said “feels so momentous… You never quite know where you’re going. But it doesn’t matter: you want to follow, to move in step with the rhythm of these words.”

Absolution by Alice McDermott

The oft-overlooked story of American women on the fringes of the Vietnam War from a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Two corporate wives accompany their ambitious husbands to 1963 Saigon in a tale Oprah Daily found "damning and dazzling, this is the story of a Vietnam we never got in history class—a story of innocence lost, the bounds of womanhood tested, and our nation held to account."

The Body of the Soul: Stories by Ludmila Ulitskaya

In these soul-searching short stories by the acclaimed Russian novelist and short story writer, various characters confront life’s most vexing questions. Kirkus praised “centrifugal, pensive, often elusive stories by one of the greatest living Russian writers (and leading anti-Putinist). . . . The stories are marvels of economy and the unexpected twist, each a memorable tour de force.”

The Glutton by A. K. Blakemore

The author of The Manningtree Witches latest is set during the French Revolution and based on the remarkable story of an insatiable showman who could devour extraordinary amounts of food and other objects. "One of the best books of the year... The Glutton is remarkable for its beautiful language, for its hallucinatory imagery, and for its ability to mingle these things with the world of 18th-century poor folk," raved The Guardian.

When I'm Dead: A Black Harbor Novel by Hannah Morrissey

The third nail-biter in the Wisconsin-set mystery series follows a medical examiner racing to find her missing daughter and solve her best friend’s murder. “Bone-chilling. Read it while hugging a pillow to your chest,” declared Crime Reads.

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

The latest from the celebrated horror writer and UCLA Afrofuturism professor follows a gifted young boy sent away to a terrifying institution in Jim Crow era Florida. “A supernatural historical novel and a straight-up page-turner [that] invites us to consider what it means to be enthralled, even entertained, by a young man’s ethical dilemmas, and to find ourselves unexpectedly rooting for revenge, for the living and the dead,” hailed The New York Times.


White Holes by Carlo Rovelli

The influential physicist and bestselling author takes us on a fascinating, time-bending journey into a black hole. “Physics meets philosophy — and Dante — in possibly the most charming book by a mainstream scientist this year,” hailed The Financial Times.

Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs by Willie Nelson

The perfect gift for the Willie lover in your life. As he turns ninety, the ageless musical icon looks back on a lifetime of songs and the stories and people that inspired them like Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Dolly Parton and many more.  

Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook: A Cookbook by Sohla El-Waylly

The first cookbook from this chef and writer who hosts New York Times Cooking is a great guide for both beginners and more experienced home cooks looking to sharpen their skills. With chapters focused on techniques or ingredients like Getting to Know Dough or All About Butter, plus 200+ recipes like Charred Lemon Risotto and Masa & Buttermilk Tres Leches, it’s an accessible reference for those taking their first steps in the kitchen.

Being Henry: The Fonz . . . and Beyond by Henry Winkler

In an endearing memoir, the celebrated actor looks back on a remarkable career starting with his breakthrough performance as The Fonz in Happy Days through memorable turns on shows like Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, and Barry. 

Notable Releases for the Week of October 23, 2023


Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

The powerful story written by two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward is told through the eyes of Annis, a slave who has just been sold south by the white man who is both her enslaver and father. We follow Annis from the Carolinas to Louisiana as she copes with the horrors of her reality while seeking comfort in memories and visitations from spirits. The Washington Post calls this Kirkus Prize finalist “a triumph.”

West Heart Kill by Dann McDorman

Everyone's a suspect in this locked room murder mystery set at a posh hunting lodge in upstate New York, which CrimeReads described as "The Ice Storm if it had been written by Borges and then solved by Chandler." It's a refreshing debut with a tantalizing twist on the classic whodunit.

Julia by Sandra Newman

A modern retelling of 1984 from the perspective of Winston Smith’s significant other. This timely revamp arrives at a time when many of the dystopian classic’s grim predictions have seemingly come to fruition, and was fully authorized by the George Orwell estate. “Julia is a welcome reminder of just how vital Orwell's text still is--and how much fun can be had in its unexplored corners,” declared Esquire. *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

America Fantastica by Tim O'Brien 

In this road trip romp, a desperate bank robber and his irrepressible hostage hit the road through Trump’s America in the National Book Award winning author’s first novel in decades. The Boston Globe hailed a “compulsively readable, cackle-worthy social satire about our truth-challenged times... Without letting anyone off the hook, America Fantastica holds a cracked mirror up to a poisoned zeitgeist and dares you not to laugh. Resistance is futile." *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

Organ Meats by K-Ming Chang

The National Book Foundation 5 Under 35-honored Gods of Want author delivers a poetic tale that straddles surrealist fantasy and folklore about two best friends who learn they descend from generations of dog-headed women and woman-headed dogs. But when the two girls are separated, they’ll go to extreme lengths to maintain their intimate bond. *Featured in this fall’s Tertulia First Dibs Picks of the most exciting new books coming out according to top book publishing editors.


The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

The troubled pop megastar covers everything from downing daiquiris with her mom as a teenager, romantic brawls with Colin Farrell, her abortion with Justin Timberlake, and plenty more in a juicy memoir that “reveals plenty about her life in the spotlight, and tempers well-earned bitterness with an enduring, insistent optimism,” according to The New York Times

A Memoir of My Former Self: A Life in Writing by Hilary Mantel

The final posthumous book from the celebrated novelist and essayist Hilary Mantel. Fans of the two-time Booker winner will delight in this compendium and memoir that features decades of her contributions to newspapers and journals, as well as reflections on her fascinating life. “This collection of essays and journalism is a poignant reminder of the novelist’s expansive mind, and of what more she might have achieved,” declared The Guardian.

Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World by Mary Beard

The acclaimed Roman Empire scholar and bestselling SPQR author turns her expert gaze on Caligula, Nero, Marcus Aurelius and other Roman leaders in “a masterly group portrait, an invitation to think skeptically but not contemptuously of a familiar civilization,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Upstairs Delicatessen: On Eating, Reading, Reading about Eating, and Eating While Reading by Dwight Garner

A humorous ode to the twin joys of eating and reading from a famed New York Times book critic. From his mayonnaise-heavy upbringing in West Virginia to discovering serious eating after marrying a food-savvy chef, it’s a “wonderful mix of culinary memoir, literary reference, how-to in indulgence. Grab some snacks and dig in," raved Kirkus Reviews. 

How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen by David Brooks

The longtime New York Times columnist breaks down the art and science of forging better connections to our fellow humans while drawing on psychology, neuroscience, theater, philosophy and history.

Tupac Shakur: The Authorized Biography by Staci Robinson

The first authorized biography of the legendary rapper and actor who was tragically gunned down nearly three decades ago, but whose legacy endures. “Along with scores of interviews, the book is stuffed with photocopies of the rapper’s personal writings. As if tucked between the pages, these hand-scrawled poems, raps and musings provide windows into his mind,” noted The New York Times. *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

Sonic Life: A Memoir by Thurston Moore

Fans of Patti Smith’s stellar Just Kids won’t want to miss this rocking memoir by the Sonic Youth frontman, that The New York Times found "electrifying” and “at its most evocative when describing the downtown music scene of the late 1970s and '80s New York." *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

Romney: A Reckoning by McKay Coppins

An authorized yet dishy bio of the conservative politician and Trump nemesis by an award-winning Atlantic politics writer who pored through hundreds of pages of the Utah senator’s personal journals and extensive interviews to deliver a “complex book about a complex man, one that provides an unusually revelatory look at a prominent political figure's private views and inner conflicts," according to The Boston Globe.

Notable Releases for the Week of October 16, 2023


The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng

This recently Booker Prize-longlisted novel was inspired by famed author W. Somerset Maugham’s 1921 visit to Penang, and is set against the backdrop of a scandalous real life murder. The Booker judges called it "a magisterial and haunting tale of forbidden love and loss in the shadow of revolution and empire. This is historical fiction at its finest." *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

Tremor by Teju Cole

This anticipated novel by the author of Open City is told through the eyes of a West African photography teacher at an elite New England campus. It “moves like an essay, interweaving slices of life with musings on Malian guitar virtuosos, astronomical phenomena, films by Ingmar Bergman, and Abbas Kiarostami,” according to The New Yorker's Julian Lucas, who added, “Cole’s mind is so agile that it’s easy to follow him anywhere.”

Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind by Molly McGhee

This thought-provoking debut follows a self-proclaimed loser drowning in debt who lands a  mysterious government job cleaning up the dreams of others. hails it as “a look-our-problems-in-the-face novel,” adding that “McGhee's work here is not to be ignored, with inventive prose that perfectly captures the feeling of trying to keep trying even when capitalism makes you feel worthless.” *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

One Woman Show by Christine Coulson

A stylish and inventive novel told through museum wall labels, from a writer who spent 25 years working at New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art. Via Instagram, Sarah Jessica Parker raved, "Been waiting for this one!!!" and urged her followers to pick up this latest artsy offering by the bestselling Metropolitan Stories author.

The Exchange by John Grisham

Nearly three decades after The Firm instantly made him one of America’s favorite storytellers, the master of the legal thriller returns with a sequel to the blockbuster book that put him on the map. It’s now fifteen years later, and this time crusading lawyer Mitch McDeere must negotiate the release of an associate kidnapped in North Africa.


Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism by Rachel Maddow

Inspired by research for her podcast, Rachel Maddow investigates the rise of American authoritarianism emerging from far-right politics over the past century. This history of the efforts to preserve American democracy dating back to World War II is deeply resonant and relevant in the post-January 6 era.

Worthy by Jada Pinkett Smith

A juicy celebrity memoir that dishes on everything from the actor’s rebellious Baltimore upbringing, to her relationship with Tupac, mental health struggles, Hollywood fame, and of course, her superstar (and now separated) husband’s infamous Oscar’s slap. Time magazine declared, “Anyone who has seen an episode of Red Table Talk knows that she isn't afraid to speak her mind, which means readers should expect her to clear the air about a lot of things."

Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir by Curtis Chin

An activist and writer reflects on growing up in his family’s Chinese restaurant in 1980s Detroit that Kirkus called "a charming, often funny account of a sentimental education in a Cantonese restaurant...Chin is a born storyteller with an easy manner, and this memoir should earn him many readers."

Black Friend: Essays by Ziwe

We can practically hear the buzz on this popular comedian’s essay collection over the past two days. Ziwe reflects on topics like pop culture, race and discrimination in humorous essays that Vulture called “a precious glimpse into how Ziwe's uniquely fearless mind functions." 

The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination by Stuart A. Reid

An executive editor of Foreign Affairs lays bare the secret US plot to kill the democratically-elected leader of Congo after it gained independence from Belgium. Kirkus praised the book as "a powerful account. The author casts tremendous clarity on this important period and how essentially the world looked away. An evenhanded work of deep scholarship that clearly elucidates a largely hidden piece of U.S. foreign policy." *A Tertulia staff pick for October.

Artificial: A Love Story by Amy Kurzweil

Many dedicated New Yorker readers will recognize this author’s clever cartoons. But they may not know she’s the daughter of famed futurist Raymond Kurzweil, who stars in her latest graphic memoir about resuscitating a dead relative using art and AI.

Notable Releases for the Week of October 9, 2023


Roman Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri

Rome plays the muse in a collection of short stories by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Interpreter of MaladiesVogue was delighted by this “delectable, sun-washed treat… the stories have the beating heart of the city itself, a place of magnificent decay and vibrant, varied life.”

Blackouts by Justin Torres

The latest from the We the Animals author was just announced as a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. In the desert, a young hustler tends to a dying older man from his past in a tale that book critic Hamilton Cain called “a transfixing collage of gorgeous prose and manipulated illustrations, with themes of cultural erasure and the effervescence of lust and love… it's easily 2023's sexiest novel.”

Family Meal by Bryan Washington

A food-filled love story about two friends reuniting following a tragic loss. Eater praised the Memorial author for his "exceptional ability to write about cooking and eating in a way that always feels natural and hunger-inducing, even in the most emotionally devastating scenes. That's especially true in his latest, Family Meal."

My Work by Olga Ravn

The Danish author of the Booker-nominated novel The Employees returns with an inventive story about a new mother dealing with her profound anguish after giving birth. The Brooklyn Rail praised, “a truly unique project which is not so much a story as it is an accumulation. It is all the selves, shed and grown, that mothers and birthing people encounter in the slippery aftermath of childbirth; it is the documentation of the mother/art monster problem, a problem that in Ravn's telling, is as much about addition as it is subtraction.” 

The Leftover Woman by Jean Kwok

In the Searching for Sylvie Lee author’s latest, the paths of two mothers from opposite ends of the globe collide over an adopted Chinese daughter. “Kwok has woven an impeccably plotted domestic thriller that culminates in a profoundly satisfying ending, and I must insist that everyone pick this one up,” raved CrimeReads senior editor Molly Odintz.


Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business by Roxane Gay

Acclaimed novelist, opinion-writer and essayist Roxane Gay gathers her best nonfiction work over the past decade in this anthology. The book provides thought-provoking and snackable reading on her signature eclectic range of topics—politics, feminism and civil rights, the culture wars and more. “You look at a cultural moment through Gay’s eyes and, by the end, you see the world differently,” remarked The Observer.

Breaking Through: My Life in Science by Katalin Karikó

Fresh off her recent Nobel Prize for medicine, the visionary scientist whose groundbreaking work on mRNA vaccines saved countless lives during the pandemic shares her inspiring journey from humble beginnings in post-war Hungary to the heights of scientific achievement. “She fought back, kept going, left, came back—and now here she is,” gushed novelist Bonnie Garmus, who was awed by the memoir. “A Nobel Prize winner and literal lifesaver.”

On Human Slaughter: Evil, Justice, Mercy by Elizabeth Bruenig

This critically-acclaimed exposé of capital punishment in America garnered the Atlantic writer her second Pulitzer Prize nomination in 2023 for “sharp reporting…strengthened by vivid, harrowing accounts of the multiple executions she's witnessed firsthand," per Publisher's Weekly. "Anti-capital punishment activists will appreciate having these heartfelt pieces all in one place."

Madonna: A Rebel Life by Mary Gabriel

An engrossing close-up of the Material Girl by the Pulitzer nominated author of Ninth Street Women, who “has managed to wrestle this complex, sprawling, eventful life into a book that rarely flags and conveys its subject’s wider significance without tipping into hagiography. We come to understand Madonna the person as well as Madonna the concept,” mused The Guardian.

Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir by Werner Herzog

The famed Fitzcarraldo filmmaker looks back on his iconoclastic life in typically non-traditional fashion. According to Vulture, the result is a memoir that’s "as singular as his films, rich with weird and indelible images and poetic ruminations."

On Divas: Persona, Pleasure, Power by Spencer Kornhaber

What makes a diva a diva? Atlantic staff writer Spencer Kornhaber breaks down the phenomenon of divadom in this thought-provoking essay collection that looks at figures that inspire awe, adoration and resentment—from Beyonce to Donald Trump.

On Thinking for Yourself: Instinct, Education, Dissension by Caitlin Flanagan

Thinking for yourself does not always come naturally in this age of media inundation and overbearing ideological extremes. In seven provocative essays, author of Girl Land and Atlantic social critic Caitlin Flanagan sings the virtues of critical thinking to arrive at independent-minded ideas.

More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen: A Cookbook by Molly Baz

More fun in the kitchen with the playful LA-based Youtube personality, who puts her indulgent credo on display in her follow up to Cook this Book. There’s more than 100 bold recipes that encourage risks and eschew the stuffiness of precise measurements to produce fare like Crispy Rice Egg-in-a-Hole, Drunken Cacio e Pepe, The Only Meatloaf that Matters, Miso-Braised Chicken and Leeks plus sweets like Ooey Gooey Carrot Cake. 

Other New Releases This Week:


Touched by Walter Mosley 

The Hive and the Honey: Stories by Paul Yoon

Notable Releases for the Week of October 2, 2023


The MANIAC by Benjamin Labatut

A mesmerizing dive into the mind and legacy of the brilliant mathematician John von Neumann from the Chilean author of the International Booker Prize-nominated When We Cease to Understand the World. “From the atom bomb to AI, this semi-fictional oral history explores science, faith and madness through the ideas of one extraordinary physicist,” declared The Guardian.

Death Valley by Melissa Broder

One of fall’s most anticipated novels is this darkly funny desert survival story, which Elle found “funny, brilliant, gutting, and easily devoured over the course of one blissful afternoon." And The Los Angeles Times mused, “It’s as if M.C. Escher and Thich Nhat Hanh made installation art, but because it’s Broder, author of the hilariously dark oddball novel Milk Fed, the boundary-pushing hallucinatory musings make sense.”

Brooklyn Crime Novel by Jonathan Lethem

The Motherless Brooklyn author is back on familiar turf with this 1970s crime caper. The Atlantic’s Xochitl Gonzalez felt “moved by its insights about all that we've lost: the wild abandon of kids running the streets, the vital awareness they had of one another's lives. . . . I was raised in Brooklyn too. . .and [Lethem] remains, among my childhood friends and I, somewhat of a literary patron saint: the Brooklyn boy who did us proud by immortalizing our borough in contemporary fiction." 

Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror ed. by Jordan Peele

The Oscar-winning director of Get Out, Us, and Nope has assembled an anthology of brand new Black horror stories teeming with spine-tingling thrills and powerful social commentary, featuring the work of stars like P. Djèlí Clark, Tananarive Due, N. K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Tochi Onyebuchi and more. “Real life (traffic stops) and real history (Freedom Riders, lynch mobs) meet speculative fiction and the supernatural in this bone-chilling collection,” declared Time


Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon by Michael Lewis

Right now, former crypto boy-wonder Sam Bankman-Fried is in a Brooklyn jail preparing to go on trial for a jaw-dropping criminal scheme. Just as the disgraced MIT grad prepares to go to court, the acclaimed The Big Short author drops a timely behind-the-scenes stunner tracing the rise and fall of the former FTX billionaire, which makes the perfect companion for crypto insiders, courtroom junkies, and curious onlookers alike. 

Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution by Cat Bohannon

A fascinating and long overdue exploration of human evolution from the female perspective by a Columbia Ph.D. “A page-turning whistle-stop tour of mammalian development that begins in the Jurassic Era, Eve recasts the traditional story of evolutionary biology by placing women at its center...The book is engaging, playful, erudite, discursive and rich with detail," remarked The New York Times.

How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair

A critically-acclaimed Jamaican poet’s Kirkus Prize-nominated reflections on her oppressive Rastafarian upbringing. The New York Times called it a "breathless, scorching memoir," adding that Sinclair’s Montego Bay “drips with tender sensuality and complexity that seduces you like a fresh wound to slow pokes and feels.” 

Extremely Online by Taylor Lorenz

One of our era's leading authorities on Internet culture, Taylor Lorenz tempts us to turn off our phones and tune in to her deep examination of how online influence came to upend the culture and economy as we know it. From mommy bloggers to TikTok creators, this revealing social history of influencers is a serious look at one of the most disruptive changes to occur in our modern capitalist system.

A Man of Two Faces by Viet Thanh Nguyen

This “intensely personal reflection of the Vietnamese refugee experience” was longlisted for the 2023 National Book Award, with the National Book Foundation hailing “a complex meditation on Nguyen’s life as a father and a son, and an exploration of the murkiness of memory and necessity of forgiveness."

Lou Reed: The King of New York by Will Hermes

A vivid portrait of the charismatic rock and roll icon dropping a decade after his death. “There have been many biographies of the late Lou Reed, but Will Hermes’ may be the most definitive yet…from his stature as a rock god to his contentious dialogue with fans, critics and fellow artists. His partnerships with fellow icons like David Bowie, Andy Warhol and Laurie Anderson all get their due, as does the story of downtown New York itself where Reed rose to artistic greatness,” declared W Magazine.

Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America by Steve Inskeep

You probably recognize this author as a long-time host of NPR's Morning Edition. In this forthcoming book, he contributes a unique portrait on the life and legacy of Lincoln that stands out In a raft of books about this towering figure. Inskeep illuminates Lincoln’s life, philosophy and sublime talent for storytelling through the story of 16 encounters with a person who differed from the president.

Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America: A Cookbook by Sandra A. Gutierrez

From an acclaimed food scholar featured in the Smithsonian comes this hefty 500+ page ode to the culinary treasures of everyday Latin American cuisine. It’s a story-filled and recipe-rich journey stacked with classics like tortillas, arepas, arroz con pollo, tres leches cake, and other mouthwatering hits from Mexico all the way down to the tip of Argentina.

Other New Releases This Week:


The List by Yomi Adegoke

Second ACT by Danielle Steel

A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand


A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy by Nathan Thrall

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