I’m not entirely sure how it’s the second week of October. But, here we are! We’re edging ever closer to Christmas and right into the busiest weeks in the publishing and bookselling (and book buying) calendar. Expect a glut of gift books, celebrity memoirs and celebrity penned fiction hitting the shelves any day now.
With so many books being released each month, we in the AU Books Team like to do our bit to help, and pick out a few of our favourite and most anticipated books due for release over the next three months. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means. These are just some of the books we’re excited for in the near future. Hopefully they’re something a little bit different too.
We’ll be back in December to round up our favourite books of the year. Until then… happy reading!
Nordic Visions: The Best of Nordic Speculative Fiction – Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir
Rebellion | Pub Date: 10th October | Order HERE
Simon: Storytelling has been a major part of life in the Nordic countries for centuries. From the Icelandic Sagas to the Nordic Noir that packs out the crime and thriller section of our local bookshops telling stories is a big part of the cultural DNA of those countries. What we don’t often hear about is their speculative fiction — which is ridiculous when you think they’re the countries that gave the world trolls, trickster gods and elves.
This new collection from Rebellion, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir, aims to rectify that. The collection features sixteen stories from the best contemporary speculative authors from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Some of these stories are being published in English for the very first time. I’m really excited to get stuck into it and discover whatever strangeness awaits me.
Wise Creatures – Deirdre Sullivan
Allen & Unwin | Pub Date: 31st October | Pre-Order HERE
Jess: After a recent foray into some much darker fantasy, and falling in love with Krystal Sutherland‘s The House of Hollow, Deirdre Sullivan‘s Wise Creatures is giving me similar vibes and I’m all here for it.
Daisy is haunted by the ghosts of her troubled past, but she’s always done her best to shut them away. In her quest to lead a normal life, she shuts away the wise creatures that whisper to her from the walls. But when a humming in the house alerts her to the presence of something dark and unknown targeting her sister Nina, Daisy knows the wise creatures are back. And she knows that hauntings don’t begin with houses. They begin with people.
If spooky reads on Halloween are your thing, join me for a foray into the unknown!
Lilith – Nikki Marmery
Legend Press | Pub Date: 9th October | Order HERE
Jemimah: “In the Garden of Eden, at the beginning of time, an outrageous life is born: that women are inferior.”
Nikki Marmery’s new novel, Lilith, tells the story of Lilith, the first wife of Adam from the Bible. According to legend, Lilith was cast out of the Garden of Eden because she refused to submit to Adam. This is story, then, of how the lie that women are inferior to men was born. It is also the story of what Lilith does about it.
I’m really interested to see what Marmery does with story, and how it adds to the ever growing canon of books being rewritten from the point of view of maligned women.
Everyone On This Train is a Suspect – Benjamin Stevenson
Penguin | Pub Date: 17th October | Pre-Order HERE
Jemimah: Six crime writers are invited to the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society’s crime writing festival held about the Ghan – the famous train between Darwin and Adelaide.
Our debut author was hoping to find some inspiration for his second book — but got more than they bargained for as one of the writers is murdered, leaving the remaining five to solve the crime. But, how can you find a killer when all the suspects know how to get away with murder?
A whodunnit set on a train! Mysteries set on trains are always good (just ask Agatha), so I’m sure this one will be brilliant! I read Stevenson’s whodunnit debut – Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone – and thought it was a brilliantly written dark comedy mystery, so I can’t wait for this one.
So Late In The Day – Claire Keegan
Faber | Pub Date: 21st November | Pre-Order HERE
Simon: So Late in the Day is the new short story from the award-winning Irish author Claire Keegan. Not a collection mind, a story! It follows Cathal as he makes his way home on the bus after an uneventful Friday at the Dublin office. On the ride home his thoughts turn to a woman with whom he could have spent his life with, had he acted differently. All evening, thoughts of this woman and others, intrude on his mind.
After reading her debut novel, Small Things Like These, I now won’t look past a new Keegan. Her entire published catalogue of five books runs to a mere 700 pages; but she accomplishes so much with so little. It’s no surprise, then, that in a recent interview with the Guardian she revealed that she loves to “see prose being written economically” and that “elegance is saying just enough”. So Late in the Day has been described as understated and quietly devastating. Can’t wait!
Sonic Life – Thurston Moore
Faber | Pub Date: 31st October | Pre-Order HERE
Simon: Sonic Life is the long-awaited memoir of iconic American musician and Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore. It promises to be a music obsessed retrospective, following his journey from his childhood introduction to rock ’n’ roll in the early 1960s, to his exploration the subversive world of the 1970s punk and avant grade scene in New York, and through to the founding of Sonic Youth. It’s a journey that is populated by a veritable who’s who of artists and musicians, including Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, Nirvana, Jean Michel Basquiat and more.
Music memoirs can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes they’re simply an exercise in name dropping and score settling. But, I’m hopeful this is something more than that, especially given Moore’s reputation as an artist who was always progressing, always exploring and looking to push boundaries. Either way this is surely essential reading for fans of Sonic Youth and alternative rock.
Bookshops & Bonedust – Travis Baldree
Pan Macmillan | Pub Date: 14th November | Pre-Order HERE
Jess: Travis Baldree‘s hit cosy fantasy Legends & Lattes totally consumed me and I have been excited about this new edition to the series ever since it was first announced!
Bookshops & Bonedust is a prequel, set early in Viv’s adventuring career when she was working for a mercenary company called Rackam’s Ravens. Although working for them hasn’t quite gone to plan and she’s packed off against her will to the sleepy seaside town of Murk after being injured on a hunt for a powerful necromancer.
With nothing to do in Murk, Viv ends up spending her time in a struggling bookshop run by a foul-mouthed proprietor. But adventure isn’t far away. A suspicious traveller in grey, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling and an improbable number of skeletons make Viv’s recovery more eventful than she might have expected.
I’m looking forward to once again losing myself in a fun, Dungeons & Dragons-inspired fantasy world with charming characters and heartwarming lessons. I’ve literally booked the day of its release off so I can spend it reading!
Jemimah: Baldree’s Legends & Lattes was a wonderful, cosy slice of life story, and this looks to be very similar. I’m interested to see where Baldree takes the vibe he’s cultivated in the cosy genre.
Songs on Endless Repeat – Anthony Veasna So
HarperCollins | Pub Date: 5th December | Pre-Order HERE
Simon: Songs on Endless Repeat is the new essay collection from the late Anthony Veasna So, who’s debut award-winning short story collection Afterparties took the world by storm.
Songs on Endless Repeat gathers essays from outlets such as The New Yorker and The Millions alongside some previously unpublished fiction. I’m a sucker for a good essay collection, especially when it explores pop culture and intersectionality, and Songs on Endless Repeat really looks like it’s going to hit the spot.
With wit and an unflinching eye So examines and explores ideas of family, queer desire, pop culture, community, race, grief and longing. The book isn’t getting a physical release in Australia until 2024, but you can grab the eBook from December 5th.
A River of Golden Bones – A.K. Mulford
Harper Collins | Pub Date: 7th December | Pre-Order HERE
Jess: The blurb for this book gives me fairytale crossed with epic adventure vibes. Twins Calla and Briar have spent their entire lives hiding. Two dangers exist in the world for them – humans, who don’t take kindly to Wolves like them, and the evil sorceress who destroyed their entire kingdom. Briar is set to marry the prince of an ally pack and save the Golden Court. Calla’s purpose is to remain a secret and be her twin’s shadow – the backup plan.
But when the two finally venture finally journey out of hiding for Briar’s wedding, all their plans go awry. It’s up to Calla to save their sister, their kingdom and their own legacy.
The blurb promises a story that explores adventure, love, gender exploration and self-discovery, so I guess I’ll be reading this by the poolside over summer.
Thanks to Jemimah Brewster and Jess Gately for their contributions to this article.