Amazon's best books of October: This week's releases

Erin Kodicek on October 06, 2020
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Amazon's best books of October: This week's releases

CNN's Fareed Zakaria looks ahead at life post-pandemic, Tana French returns with a suspenseful standalone, Romy Hausmann offers a nail-biter for Gone Girl fans, and much more.     

Learn about these and all of our picks for the Best Books of the Month.


Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria

Whether or not it feels like it right now, we will eventually be living in a post-pandemic world. But other pandemics will follow. Zakaria, who personifies thoughtful, levelheaded judgement, lays out the lessons learned from COVID-19, citing the success stories and recommending improvements for a possible future where we are able to competently navigate similar threats. In part, he writes, it requires an approach where the people listen to the experts—and the experts listen to the people. —Chris Schluep


The Searcher by Tana French

Though its title recalls one classic Western, The Searcher has more in common with another classic: Shane. Ex-Chicago cop Cal Hooper rolls into town looking for a quiet life, but instead of Wyoming, this is a small, Irish mountain town. Soon, he’s strong-armed into finding the missing older brother of a local kid who’s formed an attachment to Cal. The Searcher is an atmospheric, detective story on island time, with a lesson to impart about not taking situations—or people—at face value. —Vannessa Cronin


Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

In the hands of Romy Hausmann, an age-old premise—a woman goes missing, only to be found years later after escaping a windowless cabin in the woods—is given a modern twist, which will make your heart beat fast and your palms go sweaty. Burning with anticipation, fear, and the disquieting revelation that not all is what it seems, this thriller is impossible to put down—just read it with the lights on. —Al Woodworth


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

In the 1700s, Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil—she will live forever, although her immortality comes with the curse of being forgotten by everyone. Addie moves through time and across continents; she learns to survive and even leave her mark on the world. Then one day she meets a man in a bookstore who remembers her name, and suddenly everything changes. This deeply satisfying and cinematic novel rivals contemporary classic The Time Traveler’s Wife in concept and scope. —Sarah Gelman


The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom by H.W. Brands

In this highly readable biography, Brands alternates between histories of John Brown and Abraham Lincoln, driving home just how much slavery was a part of the American fabric during their lifetimes. Although they never met, Brown—who believed God had chosen him to free the slaves—committed violent acts that would help to upend Lincoln’s attempts at political moderation. Brown’s activism ended at Harper’s Ferry—but he became a martyr to the North and demon to the South, as the nation lurched toward Civil War. —Chris Schluep


Golem Girl: A Memoir by Riva Lehrer

Born with spina bifida, artist and author Riva Lehrer’s childhood was spent in and out of hospitals in the shadow of her overly cautious mother, facing countless surgeries, mismanaged care, and the stigma of a society afraid of strange bodies. Told with the wisdom and subversive wit of self-reflection, Golem Girl is an extraordinary personal story about the transformational power of creativity and sexual exploration interspersed with hauntingly beautiful portraits that will challenge the way we view the human body. —Marlene Kelly


The Hidden Habits of Genius by Craig Wright

Craig Wright distills the insight he’s gained from his "Genius Course" at Yale in a fascinating examination of what made people like Einstein, Marie Curie, Beethoven and Steve Jobs tick. Alas, reading this book will not make you a genius (but, Wright points out, most geniuses are a**holes). It will, however, inspire you to cultivate the common traits that fuel their achievements: curiosity (with a capital C), pluck, and a willingness to break the rules in an increasingly risk-averse world. —Erin Kodicek


Missionaries by Phil Klay

An ambitious novel that follows the participants of war in Afghanistan and Colombia, Missionaries is like a punch to the heart and the mind. Read this for its intimate and expansive exploration of what it takes to fight, to live, and to survive, and how war can provide purpose and destroy it. —Al Woodworth


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