New in Paperback: 9 October Reads More Exhilarating Than a Haunted House

October 18 2021
Share New in Paperback: 9 October Reads More Exhilarating Than a Haunted House

With the leaves starting to turn and the nights growing chilly, it’s time to settle into the best season for reading: autumn! This October, these ten titles new to paperback offer enough variety to please even the most voracious reading appetite. From slow-burn psychological thrillers to historical deep-dives, and from far-reaching family epics to light-hearted laugh riots, these books provide plenty to feast on. So, wrap yourself in your favorite plaid, grab a mug of something warm, and get ready to dig in.

Good Neighbors
by Sarah Langan

Life in the picture-perfect neighborhood of Maple Street on Long Island is not as happy and secure as it appears. The Wilde family, with its ex-rocker dad Arlo, flashy Brooklyn mom Gertie, and oddball kids, is new the neighborhood and already outcasts after Gertie let something too personal slip to the neighborhood’s Queen Bee Rhea at a party. But when Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls in a nearby sinkhole, accusations abound, and the tension mounting will only be solved with blood in this cutting and ruthless suburban nightmare.

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Good Neighbors
Sarah Langan

Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this “wickedly funny, unnerving puzzle box of a novel” (Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will) about the downward spiral of a Long Island community after a tragedy exposes its residents’ depths of deception.

Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.

But menace skulks among this exclusive enclave. When the Wilde family arrive, they trigger their neighbors’ worst fears. Dad Arlo’s a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie’s got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself.

Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder—a lonely professor repressing a dark past—initially welcomed Gertie, but relations plummeted during one summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts.

As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.

Riveting and ruthless, Good Neighbors is “a chilling, compulsively readable novel that looks toward the future in order to help us understand how we live now” (Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here).

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MENTIONED IN:

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6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 18, 2021

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
by Marie Benedict

For eleven days in 1926, Agatha Christie went missing. The only clues to her whereabouts were her car at the edge of a pond, some tire tracks, and a discarded fur coat. After an unprecedented manhunt failed to find her, she appeared again days later with no explanation of her whereabouts. Now, Marie Benedict explores the circumstances of those days—of Christie’s unfaithful veteran husband, of the murky historical mysteries—through in-depth research and historical fiction narration to parse the truth behind what was real and what was mystery.

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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
Marie Benedict

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MENTIONED IN:

New in Paperback: 9 October Reads More Exhilarating Than a Haunted House

By Alice Martin | October 18, 2021

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Faye, Faraway
by Helen Fisher

Faye is a loving wife and a dedicated mother to her daughters. But when she wakes up one morning in the past in 1977, Faye realizes she has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reconnect with the mother she lost when she was seven. Day by day, Faye begins to befriend her mother, pretending to be another adult, but she soon realizes she will have to decide between the people she loved in the past and those she’s responsible to in the present in this emotionally poignant story that will appeal to fans of THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE.

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Faye, Faraway
Helen Fisher

Heartfelt and irresistible—“a lovely, deeply moving story of loss and love and memory made real” (Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author)—this enchanting debut follows a woman who travels back in time to be reunited with the mother she lost when she was a child.

Every night, as Faye puts her daughters to bed, she thinks of her own mother, Jeanie, who died when Faye was eight. The pain of that loss has never left her, and that’s why she wants her own girls to know how very much they are loved by her—and always will be, whatever happens.

Then one day, Faye gets her heart’s desire when she’s whisked back into the past and is reunited not just with her mother but with her own younger self.

Jeanie doesn’t recognize grown-up Faye as her daughter, even though there is something eerily familiar about her. But the two women become close friends and share all kinds of secrets—except for the deepest secret of all, the secret of who Faye really is. Faye worries that telling the truth may prevent her from being able to return to the present day, to her dear husband and beloved daughters. Eventually she’ll have to choose between those she loved in the past and those she loves in the here and now, and that knowledge presents her with an impossible choice.

If only she didn’t have to make it....

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MENTIONED IN:

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Dark Horses
by Susan Mihalic

Haunting and gripping, DARK HORSES is perfect for fans of V.C. Andrews’s FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. Fifteen-year-old Roan’s life has always been dedicated to her equestrianism. Her domineering father-turned-coach demands obedience from her in all aspects of life, and there was hardly ever a time when their relationship wasn’t abusive. When Roan develops a relationship with a boy her own age, she begins to see how life can be more than what she knows.

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Dark Horses
Susan Mihalic

A “sweeping and raw story of courage, resilience, and clear-eyed grace” (Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author) about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father in the vein of My Absolute Darling and Room.

Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan’s relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision.

“[A] heart-pounding, can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it debut novel” (O, The Oprah Magazine), Dark Horses explores the themes of abuse and resilience in a way that will leave you transfixed. This is “a provoking and needed book” (Booklist, starred review).

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MENTIONED IN:

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6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

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The Woman Outside My Door
by Rachel Ryan

In this twisty psychological thriller, working mom Georgina is unsettled when her seven-year-old son Cody returns from the park one day talking about a friend he met called “New Granny.” Her husband Bren assures her that the “friend” is just a figure of Cody’s overactive imagination, but with the death of Georgina’s mother still so recent, she wonders if this replacement “New Granny” might be more than just a game. But never could she have fathomed the jaw-dropping truth . . .

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The Woman Outside My Door
Rachel Ryan

From “a bright new voice in psychological thrillers” (Erin Kelly, USA TODAY bestselling author of He Said/She Said), The Woman Outside My Door is an unputdownable page-turner about a young mother who can’t shake the feeling that her son’s “imaginary” friend is putting him in very real danger—perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Mary Kubica.

All children have imaginary friends, Georgina tells herself. It’s perfectly normal, and they all grow out of it in the end. But when her seven-year-old son, Cody, tells her about New Granny, the friend he’s met in the park, Georgina is instantly suspicious. Something—call it maternal instinct—tells her he isn’t making it up.

But maybe Georgina is losing her mind. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all. And with her own mother’s recent death leaving her bereft and trying to cope with life as a busy working mom, it’s no wonder she’s feeling paranoid that Cody has invented a “New Granny” to replace his beloved grandmother.

Her husband, Bren, becomes the voice of reason, assuring Georgina that it’s just a game, the product of their son’s overactive imagination. But what if Cody’s imaginary friend is not so imaginary after all?

“Packed with jaw-dropping moments, The Woman Outside My Door is a twisty thriller with hidden depths” (Robyn Harding, internationally bestselling author of The Party) that will keep you guessing until the shocking last page.

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MENTIONED IN:

New in Paperback: 9 October Reads More Exhilarating Than a Haunted House

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Eleanor
by David Michaelis

The first single-volume biography of the iconic Eleanor Roosevelt in over six decades, ELEANOR explores the famed first lady’s transformative life. After living a secretive Gilded Age childhood as the orphaned niece of Theodore Roosevelt, she married her fifth cousin Franklin. And while the two would not make each other happy, they would make the most powerful partnership of their generation. Spanning Eleanor’s own sexual awakenings, her relationship with her children, and her journey to becoming the proxy for the president, ELEANOR depicts a woman more intimate, aggressive, and noble than we’ve ever known.

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Eleanor
David Michaelis

The New York Times bestseller from prizewinning author David Michaelis presents a “stunning” (The Wall Street Journal) breakthrough portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving First Lady, an avatar of democracy whose ever-expanding agency as diplomat, activist, and humanitarian made her one of the world’s most widely admired and influential women.

In the first single-volume cradle-to-grave portrait in six decades, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis delivers a stunning account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s remarkable life of transformation. An orphaned niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, she converted her Gilded Age childhood of denial and secrecy into an irreconcilable marriage with her ambitious fifth cousin Franklin. Despite their inability to make each other happy, Franklin Roosevelt transformed Eleanor from a settlement house volunteer on New York’s Lower East Side into a matching partner in New York’s most important power couple in a generation.

When Eleanor discovered Franklin’s betrayal with her younger, prettier, social secretary, Lucy Mercer, she offered a divorce and vowed to face herself honestly. Here is an Eleanor both more vulnerable and more aggressive, more psychologically aware and sexually adaptable than we knew. She came to accept her FDR’s bond with his executive assistant, Missy LeHand; she allowed her children to live their own lives, as she never could; and she explored her sexual attraction to women, among them a star female reporter on FDR’s first presidential campaign, and younger men.

Eleanor needed emotional connection. She pursued deeper relationships wherever she could find them. Throughout her life and travels, there was always another person or place she wanted to heal. As FDR struggled to recover from polio, Eleanor became a voice for the voiceless, her husband’s proxy in the White House. Later, she would be the architect of international human rights and world citizen of the Atomic Age, urging Americans to cope with the anxiety of global annihilation by cultivating a “world mind.” She insisted that we cannot live for ourselves alone but must learn to live together or we will die together.

This “absolutely spellbinding,” (The Washington Post) “complex and sensitive portrait” (The Guardian) is not just a comprehensive biography of a major American figure, but the story of an American ideal: how our freedom is always a choice. Eleanor rediscovers a model of what is noble and evergreen in the American character, a model we need today more than ever.

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MENTIONED IN:

Author Picks: 6 Literary Quotes That Stuck with Me

By Ash Davidson | November 29, 2021

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Staff Picks: 5 Books We’re Extra Thankful For This Year

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Close
The Silence
by Don DeLillo

Super Bowl Sunday in 2022. Five people convene in an Upper East Side apartment for dinner: a physics professor, her husband, her former student, and a couple arriving from Paris. Suddenly, all the world’s digital connections are severed, throwing the entire globe into virtual silence. The conversation that follows explores the profound boundaries of what makes us human. By one of the most resonant and lasting voices in American literature, THE SILENCE examines what happens to our society when a catastrophic event threatens to separate us all.

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The Silence
Don DeLillo

From the National Book Award–winning author of Underworld, a “daring…provocative…exquisite” (The Washington Post) novel about five people gathered together in a Manhattan apartment, in the midst of a catastrophic event.

It is Super Bowl Sunday in the year 2022. Five people, dinner, an apartment on the east side of Manhattan. The retired physics professor and her husband and her former student waiting for the couple who will join them from what becomes a dramatic flight from Paris. The conversation ranges from a survey telescope in North-central Chile to a favorite brand of bourbon to Einstein’s 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity.

Then something happens and the digital connections that have transformed our lives are severed.

What follows is a “brilliant and astonishing…masterpiece” (Chicago Tribune) about what makes us human. Don DeLillo completed this novel just weeks before the advent of the Covid pandemic. His language, the dazzle of his sentences offer a kind of solace in our bewildering world. “DeLillo’s shrewd, darkly comic observations about the extravagance and alienation of contemporary life can still slice like a scalpel” (Entertainment Weekly).

“In this wry and cutting meditation on collective loss, a rupture severs us, suddenly, from everything we’ve come to rely on. The Silence seems to absorb DeLillo’s entire body of work and sand it into stone or crystal.” —Rachel Kushner

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MENTIONED IN:

Author Picks: 6 Literary Quotes That Stuck with Me

By Ash Davidson | November 29, 2021

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By Sarah Woodruff | November 24, 2021

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By Sarah Walsh | November 23, 2021

6 Book Club Novels Where Past and Present Collide

By Holly Claytor | November 22, 2021

6 Intriguing Novels About Lesser-Known Historical Figures and Events

By Chris Gaudio | November 19, 2021

Staff Picks: 5 Books We’re Extra Thankful For This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 18, 2021

Close
Infinite Country
by Patricia Engel

Teenaged Talia is being held at a correctional facility after an outburst of violence and is desperate to return to her father. Years earlier, her parents fall in love in the midst of a civil war. Years later, her siblings fight to discover themselves in America while facing deportation. Through it all, Patricia Engel’s critically acclaimed storytelling takes us through urban centers and mythical realities, moments of triumph and lingering regrets. In this kaleidoscopic family epic, one family seeks reunion while being torn between different countries and different worlds.

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Infinite Country
Patricia Engel

A REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK and INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A profound, beautiful novel.” — People * “Poignant.” —BuzzFeed * “A breathtaking story of the unimaginable prices paid for a better life.” —Esquire

This “heartbreaking portrait of a family dealing with the realities of migration and separation” (Time) is “a sweeping love story and tragic drama [and] an authentic vision of what the American Dream looks like in a nationalistic country” (Elle).

I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family.

How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia’s parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogotá with their firstborn, Karina, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States on a temporary visa, and we see the births of two more children, Nando and Talia, on American soil. We witness the decisions and indecisions that lead to Mauro’s deportation and the family’s splintering—the costs they’ve all been living with ever since.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself a dual citizen and the daughter of Colombian immigrants, gives voice to all five family members as they navigate the particulars of their respective circumstances. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality of the undocumented in America, Infinite Country “is as much an all-American story as it is a global one” (Booklist, starred review).

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Woolgathering
by Patti Smith

In WOOLGATHERING, a child learns her people’s honored task of woolgathering, a calling that helps her to discover the pleasures of calling up memories and piecing them back together, of wandering and stargazing, and the pleasures of being an artist. In this new edition, revisited for the first time since the 1992 edition by National Book Award–winning author Patti Smith, this new paperback includes an afterward that further illuminate’s Smith’s meditations on the sacred nature of language in this joyful childhood memoir.

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Woolgathering
Patti Smith

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MENTIONED IN:

New in Paperback: 9 October Reads More Exhilarating Than a Haunted House

By Alice Martin | October 18, 2021

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