Books of the Month: October 2020

Books of the Month: October 2020

Every month, The Bookseller's expert previewers highlight a selection of the new fiction, non-fiction, children's and paperback titles coming out. Here, we share their top picks for October's new releases.

  1. 1

    Fiction Book of the Month

    The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
    Publisher: Oneworld Publications
    RRP: £16.99
    Publication date: October 1st 2020
    ISBN:  9781786077882

    Books editor Alice O'Keeffe selected Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's The First Woman as her September Book of the Month. The second novel from the Ugandan-born author opens in 1975 in the small village of Nattetta, Uganda, where 12-year-old Kirabo Nnamiiro is being brought up by her paternal grandparents. Up until now, Kirabo has been perfectly content with her life at the heart of a prosperous, extended family, but now, on the verge of her teenage years, she is starting to feel the absence of her mother, a woman she cannot remember.

    O'keeffe said: "This is Kirabo's story and she is a wonderful heroine: headstrong, inquisitive and determined. The novel is rich with Luganda words, and steeped in ancient Ugandan folklore, making it an immersive read. I loved it. As one of the characters says: 'Stories have such power you cannot imagine.'"

    Subscribers can read the full October 2020 Fiction Previews here.

     

  2. 2

    Non-Fiction Book of the Month

    Cannibal by Safiya Sinclair
    Publisher: Picador
    RRP: £10.99
    Publication date: October 1st 2020
    ISBN: 9781529030235

    Safiya Sinclair's debut poetry collection Cannibal was Caroline Sanderson's Book of the Month. According to Sanderson, Sinclair uses Shakespeare's "The Tempest" as a powerful frame of reference and "riffs on this notion of savagery as she evokes her childhood in Jamaica and explores race relations in the US; womanhood and otherness; post-colonialism and life in exile." 

    Sanderson called the writer "an astonishing talent."

    Subscribers can read the full October 2020 Non-Fiction Previews here.

  3. 3

    Children's Book of the Month

    The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane
    Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd
    RRP: £14.99
    Publication date: October 1st 2020
    ISBN: 9780241444641

    "The most perfect book in which to escape the rigours of 2020" said Fiona Noble about her October Book of the Month.

    Evolving from an initial poem about the goldfinch, this volume celebrates the wonder and power of nature, and is a call-to-arms for what might be lost or forgotten. Though the summoning spells are familiar, Noble thought the format was more dynamic, and Morris' "exquisite" art particularly benefitted from the additional space.

    Noble also noted that The Lost Spells "is one of those rare books for all ages."

    Subscribers can read the full October 2020 Children's Previews here.

  4. 4

    Paperback Book of the Month

    The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu
    Publisher: Dialogue Books
    RRP: £8.99
    Publication date: October 8th 2020
    ISBN: 9780349701035

    Alison Flood chose Okechukwu Nzelu's The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney as her October Book of the Month. The title follows teenager Nnenna Maloney and her single mother Joanie in Manchester, as Nnenna starts to ask more questions about Maurice, the Nigerian father her white mother refuses to discuss.

    Flood said: "I am not much of a one for laughing out loud while reading, but it made me snort with laughter frequently... Nzelu brilliantly inhabits all of his protagonists to create a warm, funny, insightful debut which I absolutely raced through."

    Subscribers can read the full October 2020 Paberback Previews here.