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19 New Books By Women And Nonbinary Authors To Read In October 2018

by Erika W. Smith

A new month is here, and it’s a great month for books! See which October books by women and nonbinary authors we’re most excited about—we’ll note when we’ve reviewed or covered them, or have coverage planned.

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung

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Nicole Chung’s debut memoir tells the story of growing up as a Korean adoptee in an all-white town, and her search for her birth family as an adult. Out October 2. Read our review here.

What If This Were Enough?: Essays by Heather Havrilesky

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Heather Havrilesy, who writes the popular Ask Polly column on the Cut, urges readers to rethink what’s “enough” in this debut essay collection. Out October 2. Read our review here.

Good And Mad: The Revolutionary Power Of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister

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New York magazine writer and All The Single Ladies author Rebecca Traister explores the power of female rage in this nonfiction book. Out October 2.

Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

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The Color Purple author Alice Walker’s latest releases is bilingual book of poetry, featuring almost 70 poems written in both English and Spanish. Out October 2.

Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan

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This short story collection focuses on the microcosms of relationships, as in a story about a woman obsessed with her boyfriend’s stories about his exes. Out October 2.

Read & Riot: A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism by Nadya Tolokonnikova

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Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnnikova shares her experiences protesting Putin—and being jailed for her actions—and her advice for political resistance in this nonfiction book. Out October 9. See BUST’s October/November print issue for review. 

Training School for Negro Girls by Camille Acker

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Camille Acker’s debut short story collection is centered around black women and girls living in Washington, DC. Out October 9. See BUST’s August/September print issue for review. 

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

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Our Endless Numbered Days author Claire Fuller’s latest novel follows a woman who befriends a mysterious couple in the summer of 1969. Out October 9.

White Dancing Elephants: Stories by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

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This short story collection spotlights women of color and their experiences with sexism and racism. Out October 9.

Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson

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Phoebe Robinson’s second essay collection is just as funny and thoughtful as her first, with chapter titles like “Feminism, I Was Rooting For You; We Were All Rooting For You” and “LOL. Wut?: An Incomplete List Of All The Ways Being A Woman Is Ridic.” Out October 16. Stay tuned for further coverage on

She Wants It: Desire, Power, And Toppling The Patriarchy by Jill Soloway

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In this memoir, Jill Soloway explores how their parent coming out as trans led Jill to create the Amazon series Transparent—and to reconsider their own conceptions of gender and sexuality and come out as queer and nonbinary. Out October 16.

Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories from Young Female Voices by Girls Write Now

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This collection of personal essays written by high school girls participating in the nonprofit after-school program Girls Write Now will give you hope for the future. Out October 16. See BUST’s October/November print issue for review.

Unsheltered: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

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The Poisonwood Bible author Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel follows two families at precarious times in different centuries. Out October 16.

This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Philipps

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BUST’s October/November cover gal releases a memoir covering her encounters with sexism in Hollywood, her experiences with postpartum anxiety and motherhood, and her work on beloved TV shows like Freaks & Geeks. Out October 16. Read a sneak peek of our cover story here.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s debut book of short stories explores the racism and “painful absurdities” black men and women face in the US, and has earned praise from Colson Whitehead and Roxane Gay. Out October 23.

Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across: Poems by Mary Lambert

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Singer Mary Lambert—known for songs including “She Keeps Me Warm” and “Secrets”—turns to poetry with this book of verse dealing with sexual assault, mental illness, and body acceptance. Out October 23. Stay tuned for further coverage on

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss

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Gabrielle Moss revisits teen paperback series of the ’80s and ’90s—such as the Babysitters’ Club and Sweet Valley High—and examines the culture they were published in. Out October 30. Stay tuned for further coverage on

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, edited by Glory Edim

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Glory Edim, founder of the book club and newsletter Well-Read Black Girl, curates this anthology of essays by black women writers including Jesmyn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson, Tayari Jones, Morgan Jerkins, and Gabourey Sidibe. Out October 30.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

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The Wedding Date author Jasmine Guillory’s second book opens with a very public and unexpected proposal—and rejection—at a Dodgers game. Luckily, there’s a new love interest in the audience. Out October 30.

More from BUST

Nicole Chung’s “All You Can Ever Know” Is A Must-Read Memoir About Trans-Racial Adoption: Review

Heather Havrilesky Asks “What If This Were Enough?” In Her First Essay Collection: Review

12 New Books By Women Released In September 2018 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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