October paperbacks to read

”The Boy from the Woods,” by Harlan Coben

A loner with a mysterious past goes in search of a missing girl whose disappearance rocks the local community.

”Girl,” by Edna O’Brien

The author of the Country Girls trilogy was prompted by the 2014 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping to write this unsparing account of a Nigerian teenager who escapes her captors.

”Grand Union,” by Zadie Smith

Smith’s first short-story collection is a chance to experiment with form and theme, all while employing the perceptive social commentary that has made her a literary success.

”Home Work,” by Julie Andrews with Emma Walton Hamilton

The Oscar-winning actress looks back on her life in Hollywood — filming “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins,” among other hits — and her humanitarian work in Vietnam.

”Imaginary Friend,” by Stephen Chbosky

A departure for the “Perks of Being a Wallflower” author, this lengthy horror novel explores a small town threatened by a supernatural force that only a young newcomer can thwart.

”Janis: Her Life and Music,” by Holly George-Warren

A thorough chronicle of Janis Joplin’s abbreviated life captures both her raw talent and the painstaking work she put into making unforgettable music.

”L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Mysterious Death of the ‘Female Byron’,” by Lucasta Miller

Miller resurrects the life and career of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, an accomplished poet in early 19th-century England whose scandalous private life turned her into a social pariah.

”Me,” by Elton John

John, one of the best-selling musicians of all time, delivers a funny and frank memoir about fame and addiction that doesn’t stint on the celebrity gossip.

”A Mrs. Miracle Christmas,” by Debbie Macomber

A struggling couple in search of a caregiver for a beloved grandmother hits the jackpot when Mrs. Miracle knocks on the door and turns their lives around.

”The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke,” by Jeffrey C. Stewart

The winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for biography chronicles the private struggles and public accomplishments of the “father of the Harlem Renaissance,” who helped launch the careers of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Jacob Lawrence.

”Ninth House,” by Leigh Bardugo

In Bardugo’s engrossing fantasy thriller, a recovering addict lands a full ride to Yale in exchange for keeping an eye on the supernatural — and dangerous — activities of the school’s secret societies.

”The Other People,” by C.J. Tudor

A man whose wife and daughter were murdered becomes convinced his child is still alive, leading him into a treacherous underworld that operates in the dark web.

”Royal Holiday,” by Jasmine Guillory

On vacation in England with her daughter, an American social worker falls for the queen’s private secretary.

”Shuggie Bain,” by Douglas Stuart

A National Book Award finalist and a Booker Prize contender, Stuart’s Glasgow-set debut follows a boy coming to terms with his sexuality while trying to care for his alcoholic mother.