Best literature and fiction of October

Erin Kodicek on October 20, 2020
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Best literature and fiction of October

Here is what some of the Amazon Books editors had to say about the fantastic fictions on offer in October, including a Sliding Doors-esqe novel, an examination of the complicated toll of modern warfare, the latest in Marilynne Robinson's much lauded Gilead series, and more.

Click here to see all of our literature and fiction picks or browse the rest of the Best Books of the Month


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

When the death of her cat proves the final straw, Nora decides to check out on life, and finds herself at the Midnight Library. "Even death was something Nora couldn't do properly, it seemed." But each book at this library tells the story of a life she could have had. Part It's a Wonderful Life, part Oona Out of Order, this charming, funny, inventive novel is about regret, the choices we make, and taking the bitter with the sweet. —Vannessa Cronin


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


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


Jack by Marilynne Robinson

Jack provides the backstory for two characters Robinson introduced in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gilead. In that novel, John Ames Boughton ("Jack") returns to Gilead to see if he and his common law wife, a Black woman, can raise their child there (this is the 1950s, and pearl-clutching ensues). Jack covers his and Della Miles' complicated courtship. Asked by Deborah Treisman in the New Yorker why Robinson wanted to thresh out their story, particularly Jack's, she said: "His voice was in my head." —Erin Kodicek


The Silence by Don DeLillo

Slim but powerful, Don DeLillo's latest novel is set in 2022 when a world crisis has hit (all the computers are down), and it was reportedly finished just before the pandemic started. The Silence focuses on science and technology, our relationships to each other in a marred world, and on what is and isn't important when society starts to break down. —Chris Schluep


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