I am SO excited about the books on my TBR for October! Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, and a big part of that is the genres of books that I typically read this time of year. This month, my TBR’s central theme is witches & magic, although not every book on my list fits the theme. I’m also going to be diving into some poetry, as well as continuing to read my way through George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire (aka Game of Thrones) series.
Here’s a look at my October list:
What books are on your October TBR?
- The Lost Apothecary, by Sarah Penner (2021). “A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary. Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.”
- Wild Is the Witch, by Rachel Griffin (2022). “After a night of magic turns deadly, Iris Gray vows to never let another person learn she’s a witch. It doesn’t matter that the Witches’ Council found her innocent or that her magic was once viewed as a marvel – that night on the lake changed everything. Now settled in Washington, Iris hides who she really is and vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. And while she loves working at the wildlife refuge she runs with her mother, she loathes Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who inters with them. When Pike makes a particularly hurtful comment, Iris concocts a cruel curse for him. But just as she’s about to dispel it, an owl swoops down and steals the curse before flying far away from the refuge. The owl is a powerful amplifier, and if it dies, Iris’s dark spell will be unleashed not only on Pike but on everyone in the region. Forced to work together, Iris and Pike trek through the wilderness in search of the bird that could cost Pike his life. But Pike doesn’t know the truth, and as more dangers arise in the woods, Iris must decide how far she’s willing to go to keep her secrets safe.”
- The Drowned Woods, by Emily Lloyd-Jones (2022). “The right cause can topple a kingdom. Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict – and eighteen-year-old Mererid, or Mer, is well acquainted with both. As the last living water diviner, she can manipulate water with magic, and it’s a skill many would kill to possess. For years, Mer has been running from the prince who bound her into his service and forced her to kill hundreds with her magic. Now all Mer desires is a safe, quiet life far from power and politics. But that peace is disrupted when Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her abilities to bring down the very prince who abused them both. With a motley crew of allies – including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy – Mer must decide whether to run for the rest of her life or stand and fight for the true freedom she’s long desired.”
- Winterwood, by Shea Ernshaw (2019). “Be careful of the dark, dark wood… Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Cursed, even. Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman, the same boy who disappeared from the camp for wayward boys weeks ago – and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing. But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own – secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one who went missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.”
- Nettle & Bone, by T. Kingfisher (2022). “Marra never wanted to be a hero. As the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter, she escaped the traditional fate of princesses, to be married away for the sake of an uncaring throne. But her sister wasn’t so fortunate – and after years of silence, Marra is done watching her suffer at the hands of a powerful and abusive prince. Seeking help for her rescue mission, Marra is offered the tools she needs, but only if she can complete three seemingly impossible tasks: build a dog of bones; sew a cloak of nettles; capture moonlight in a jar. But, as is the way in tales of princes and witches, doing the impossible is only the beginning. Hero or not – and now joined by a disgraced ex-knight, a reluctant fairy godmother, and an enigmatic gravewitch and her fowl familiar – Marra might finally have the courage to save her sister, and topple a throne.”
- The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow (2020). “In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters―James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna―join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote―and perhaps not even to live―the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.“
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab (2020). “A life no one will remember. A story you will never forget. France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever – and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly three hundred years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins (2020). “Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price. It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.”
- You Better Be Lightning, by Andrea Gibson (2021). “You Better Be Lightning by Andrea Gibson is a queer, political, and feminist collection guided by self-reflection. The poems range from close examination of the deeply personal to the vastness of the world, exploring the expansiveness of the human experience from love to illness, from space to climate change, and so much more in between. One of the most celebrated poets and performers of the last two decades, Andrea Gibson’s trademark honesty and vulnerability are on full display in You Better Be Lightning, welcoming and inviting readers to be just as they are.”
- Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman (2021). “This book is a message in a bottle. This book is a letter. This book does not let up. The luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, these poems shine a light on a moment of reckoning and reveal that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.”