10 Of The Most Anticipated Book Releases Of October 2020

Including Alice Hoffman's prequel to "Practical Magic," a collection of essays from Maggie Smith and a new book from author Tana French.

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You'll want to add these new fall book releases to your to-read list.
You'll want to add these new fall book releases to your to-read list.

It’s officially spooky season, and this month’s list of most anticipated books is on brand. This month’s newest book releases are brimming with fantasy novels ready to whisk you away to worlds with witches, mysterious deaths, magic and more.

If you don’t know, each month this year we’ve been teaming up with the literary experts at Goodreads to bring you each month’s most anticipated books of the year.

Readers really looking to dive into the Halloween spirit should check out “Magic Lessons” by Alice Hoffman and “The Once and Future Witches” by Alix E. Harrow. Want a healthy dose of mystery? Consider “Leave the World Behind” by Rumaan Alam, “The Devil and the Dark Water” by Stuart Turton or “The Searcher” by Tana French.

If you’ve had enough mystery and terror this year, there are a few great non-fantasy options this month, too. “Memorial” by Bryan Washington is a fictional story about how the unexpected impacts a couple’s tenuous relationship, and Maggie Smith’s series of poems and essays in “Keep Moving” offers inspiration for those that have suffered loss.

As always, be sure to see if these books are available at your local bookstore. To support local bookstores, we’re linking the books below to Bookshop, which lets you choose between donating profits from your purchase to a specific bookstore or into a collective fund that’s divided between independent bookstores. You can find all 10 books on Amazon, too.

Check out the 10 most anticipated new books coming out this October below:

1
“Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change” by Maggie Smith
Amazon
“Keep Moving” by Maggie Smith is an excellent COVID-19-era pick me up. In a series of essays and quotes, Smith writes about the beauty of transformation and new beginnings after loss. Atria/One Signal Publishers calls it the perfect read “for anyone who has gone through a difficult time and is wondering: What comes next?” Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
2
“Leave the World Behind” by Rumaan Alam
Amazon
Amanda and Clay decide it’s high time for a vacation. They pack their two teenagers into the car and head to a remote spot in Long Island. The family is just settling into their luxurious rental house when its owners, and older black couple named Ruth and G.H., frantically knock on the door with news that a sudden blackout has swept New York City. What follows is a suspenseful thriller detailing the complexities of parenthood, race and class. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
3
“Magic Lessons” by Alice Hoffman
Amazon
Alice Hoffman’s latest tale serves as the prologue to her popular “Practical Magic” and “The Rules of Magic.” “Magic Lessons” takes readers to the 1600s, where the Owens family bloodline begins. After learning the “unnamed arts” from her adopted mother, Maria Owens ends up in Salem, Massachusetts to pursue a man who has spurned her. It’s here that she learns a lesson in magic and invokes a curse that will haunt her family for years. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
4
“Memorial” by Bryan Washington
Amazon
Mike is a Japanese-American chef at a Mexican restaurant. Benson is a Black daycare teacher. Mike and Benson have been together for a few years, but are beginning to wonder if their relationship has run its course. When Mike suddenly flies to Osaka to be with his estranged and dying father, however, both men find themselves learning more about themselves, each others' pasts and what they want for the future. Will it bring them closer together? Or further apart? Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
5
“The Devil and the Dark Water” by Stuart Turton
Amazon
It’s1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may or may not have committed. Once at sea, however, chaos reigns: Mysterious signs appear on the sails, livestock is slaughtered and three passengers are marked for death. With Pipps confined, it’s up to his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, to solve this high seas whodunnit. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
6
“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab
Amazon
In a moment of desperation in 1714 France, Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil: Immortality with the caveat that she’ll be forgotten by everyone she meets. Over the next few centuries, Addie lives an extraordinary life, searching for ways to leave her mark on the world. After 300 years of this, however, things change when Addie stumbles into a bookstore and a young man who remembers her name. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
7
“The Searcher” by Tana French
Amazon
Tana French is back with another thriller in “The Searcher.” Cal Hooper is a retired detective who decides the best way to put his sleuthing days behind him is to move to a rural village in Ireland, where he’ll fix up a small cottage. When a local boy asks Cal for help finding his missing brother, Cal realizes his new small village might be anything but sleepy. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 6
8
“Black Sun” by Rebecca Roanhorse
Amazon
The first novel in a new series, “Black Sun” follows disgraced captain Xiala as her ship sets off for the distant city of Tova on the eve of a prophesied rare celestial event. She has only one passenger, a young man who is blind, scarred and cloaked in destiny. “Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts.” Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 13
9
“The Once and Future Witches” by Alix E. Harrow
Amazon
By 1893, witches are a thing of the past. Women must now claim power at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters — James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth and Beatrice Belladonna — join the suffragists of Salem, they begin to turn the women’s movement into the witches movement. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 13
10
“Plain Bad Heroines” by Emily M. Danforth
Amazon
Emily M. Danforth’s “sapphic-gothic-comedy” tells a story within a story, within a story — all centered around the Brookhants School for Girls. It starts in 1902, when two students, Flo and Clara, die on the grounds in a tragic and mysterious way. Over a century later, wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons writes a novel celebrating Brookhant’s queer, feminist history. In short order, her novel is turned into a movie. But when the actresses playing Flo and Clara show up on set to film, the past and present begin to blend in grim and odd ways. Read more about it on Goodreads and grab a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Expected release date: October 20