3 October book releases I’m anxiously awaiting From three very different yet talented authors.

Sometimes the waiting really is the hardest part (right, Tom?). For some of the most highly-anticipated book releases, just like with movies or any other type of entertainment, really, the announcement for the publication comes months in advance.

That strategy works well for the publisher, providing ample time to promote the books and create enough interest leading up to release day, but for the rest of us, the fans, it can feel like an eternity. Sometimes I just wish they would say, “Oh, by the way, we’re releasing [Excellent Author’s] book on Tuesday,” and I’d be the first in line.

But until that day comes, we’ll have to continue anxiously awaiting publication dates. Here are three October 2017 new releases that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while.

1. The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash (Oct. 3)

Wiley Cash was an author I stumbled upon in a bookstore one day having never before heard of him. I picked up a copy of his first novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, and it was brilliant — exactly the type of novel I was hoping to find.

A couple years later, when he published This Dark Road to Mercy, I read it immediately, and while I’d still put his first novel ahead of it, this follow-up book was still entertaining and well written.

Now, three years later, Cash’s third novel is almost here. The Last Ballad, which was inspired by true events from his hometown of Gastonia, North Carolina, is Cash’s first stab at historical fiction.

Here is the full description from Google Books:

For twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins life is tough. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with the only work she can find, the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina

When union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family forever.

Paying tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers, The Last Ballad is lyrical, heartbreaking and haunting, and the novel which confirms Wiley Cash’s place among America’s finest writers.

2. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Oct. 10)

There’s this relatively unknown author out there, he dabbles in young adult fiction, and his name is John Green.

Just kidding (obviously) about him being “unknown,” but on a real note, Green has finally, after five years, decided to follow-up his No. 1 best-selling novel The Fault in Our Stars, giving us Turtles All the Way Down.

There’s part of me that finds Green a little annoying, particularly on his vlog and other videos that he posts, but I’ll be the first to admit he’s a creative and engaging storyteller, and I am thoroughly looking forward to this new release.

Here’s the full description from Google Books:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred thousand dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

3. Fresh Complaint: Stories by Jeffrey Eugenides (Oct. 3)

I was a sophomore at the University of Michigan when I discovered Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex during one of my English courses. Though I haven’t read any of his other books (The Virgin Suicides and The Marriage Plot are on my list), Middlesex was so good that it put Eugenides on my radar for future books.

Now, he’s back with a collection of short stories. He’s an incredibly gifted writer, who weaves as much humor and wit into his stories as drama and plot.

Here’s the full description from Google Books:

Jeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be American in our times. The stories in “Fresh Complaint” explore equally rich—and intriguing—territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of “Baster” to the dreamy, moving account of a young traveler’s search for enlightenment in “Air Mail” (selected by Annie Proulx for Best American Short Stories), this collection presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real-estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; a clavichordist whose dreams of art founder under the obligations of marriage and fatherhood; and, in “Fresh Complaint,” a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her immigrant family lead her to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged British physicist. Narratively compelling, beautifully written, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, these stories chart the development and maturation of a major American writer.


  1. Thanks for the tip off! I hadn’t thought of the Middlesex author (Eugenides) since I read it years ago. He’s great. Wouldn’t have known about the short stories coming out if it weren’t for you. Will likely read them now. Thank you!

  2. I’ve been on the waitlist for Wiley Cash’s new book at the public library for months — ever since it showed up on their “on order” list. Thanks for the other two recommendations.


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