Best Books of October | Starred Reviews

Starred titles reviewed in our October 2023 print issue, spanning audio, literary fiction, crime fiction, arts, history and more.










Chang, Elysha. A Quitter’s Paradise. Dreamscape Media.

Kelly, Mary Louise. It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs. Macmillan Audio.

Ryan, Maureen. Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood. HarperAudio.


Armstrong, Jess. The Curse of Penryth Hall. Minotaur: St. Martin’s.

Frost, Jacqueline. Stalking Around the Christmas Tree. Crooked Lane.

Jones, Stephen Mack. Deus X. Soho Crime.

Maleeny, Tim. Hanging the Devil. Poisoned Pen.

Sandford, John. Judgment Prey. Putnam.


Adams, Katharine J. Tonight, I Burn. Orbit.

Doctorow, Cory. The Lost Cause. Tor.

Fay, Constance. Calamity. Bramble.

Pokwatka, Aimee. The Parliament.


Kiefer, Jenny. This Wretched Valley. Quirk.

Piper, Hailey. A Light Most Hateful. Titan.


Glass, Seressia. Game On. Berkley.

Hawley, Sarah. A Demon’s Guide to Wooing a Witch. Berkley.

Mather, Adriana. Mom Com. Blackstone.

Segura, Jo. Raiders of the Lost Heart. Berkley.

Williams, Denise. Technically Yours. Berkley.


Adegoke, Yomi. The List. Morrow.

Coe, Jonathan. Bournville. Europa.

Porter, Michelle. A Grandmother Begins the Story. Algonquin.

Skármeta, Antonio. The Names of the Things That Were There: Stories. Other Pr.


Brubaker, Ed (text) & Sean Phillips (illus.). Where the Body Was. Image Comics.

Harkness, M.S. Time Under Tension. Fantagraphics.

Lieron, Cyril (text) & Benoit Dahan (illus.). Inside the Mind of Sherlock Holmes. Titan Comics.

Subitzky, Ed. Poor Helpless Comics!: The Cartoons (and More) of Ed Subitzky. New York Review Comics.


Azerrad, Michael. The Amplified Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. HarperOne.

The Best American Essays 2023. Mariner.

Bogle, Donald. Lena Horne: Goddess Reclaimed. Running Pr.

Eyman, Scott. Charlie Chaplin vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided. S. & S.

Gabriel, Mary. Madonna: A Rebel Life. Little, Brown.

Molanphy, Chris. Old Town Road. Duke Univ.

Murphy, Paul Thomas. Falling Rocket: James Whistler, John Ruskin, and the Battle for Modern Art. Pegasus.

O’Brien, Lucy. Lead Sister: The Story of Karen Carpenter. Rowman & Littlefield.

Robinson, Joanna & others. MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios. Liveright: Norton.

Royal, Sarah. A.K.A. Lucy: The Dynamic and Determined Life of Lucille Ball. Running Pr.

Semenya, Caster. The Race To Be Myself: A Memoir. Norton.

Williams, Marlena. Night Mother: A Personal and Cultural History of The Exorcist. Mad Creek.


Aron, Raymond. Liberty and Equality. Princeton Univ.

de Hamel, Christopher. The Manuscripts Club: The People Behind a Thousand Years of Medieval Manuscripts. Penguin Pr.

Hankir, Zahra. Eyeliner: A Cultural History. Penguin Bks.

Hilderbrand, Lucas. The Bars Are Ours: Histories and Cultures of Gay Bars in America, 1960 and After. Duke Univ.

Ito, Susan Kiyo. I Would Meet You Anywhere: A Memoir. Mad Creek.

Jenkins, Jedidiah. Mother, Nature: A 5,000-Mile Journey To Discover If a Mother and Son Can Survive Their Differences. Convergent.

Kaldellis, Anthony. The New Roman Empire: A History of Byzantium. Oxford Univ.

Lin, Jami Nakamura. The Night Parade: A Speculative Memoir. Mariner.

Morgan, Rachel. Sins of the Shovel: Looting, Murder, and the Evolution of American Archaeology. Univ. of Chicago.

Nguyen, Kim Hong. Mean Girl Feminism: How White Feminists Gaslight, Gatekeep, and Girlboss. Univ. of Illinois.

Varon, Elizabeth R. Longstreet: The Confederate General Who Defied the South. S. & S.


Rossi, Milo. The Encyclopedia of the Weird and Wonderful: Curious and Incredible Facts That Will Blow Your Mind. Wellfleet.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing