As October’s crisp air ushers in the season of falling leaves and eerie enchantment, we invite you to embark on a literary journey like no other. From the chilling mysteries of Agatha Christie’s “A Haunting in Venice” to the enigmatic crimes of Prasun Roy’s “Devi Mystery of the Calcutta Murders,” and the gripping suspense of Jodi Picoult’s “Mad Honey,” our carefully curated list of “10 Books to Read in October 2023” promises to captivate your imagination and keep you turning the pages long into the autumn nights. Delve into the secrets of the Deccan with Aditya Sinha’s “Death in the Deccan” and explore the power of idol worship with Amish Tripathi and Bhavna Roy in “Idols Unearthing the Power of Murti Puja.” Join us as we traverse through the realms of technology’s impending wave with Mustafa Suleyman’s “The Coming Wave” and uncover the mysteries of Habba Galli with Anuja Chauhan’s “The Fast and The Dead.” Accompany Cormoran and Robin on their perilous journey in Robert Galbraith’s “The Running Grave,” and gain deep insights into the human psyche with Scherezade Siobhan’s “That Beautiful Elsewhere.” This October, these books promise to transport you to other worlds, unravel enigmas, and inspire contemplation. Prepare to lose yourself in the magic of literature as you explore our selection of compelling reads for this bewitching month.
1. A Haunting in Venice by Agatha Christie
Unearth the origins of A Haunting in Venice, now a cinematic sensation. When a Halloween celebration takes a sinister turn, Hercule Poirot must uncover a cunning killer. Amidst the revelry and spooky games, Joyce Reynolds, who once claimed to witness a murder, is found lifeless in an apple-bobbing tub. Wrapped in a night of deceit and mystique, Poirot and Ariadne Oliver race to expose the true evil behind this ghastly murder. Halloween Party, the Agatha Christie novel that inspired the film directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, is presented in this special edition, with an introduction by screenwriter Michael Green.
2. Death in the Deccan by Aditya Sinha
Amidst the peak of a deadly pandemic, Inspector Mona Ramteke, in her pursuit of becoming an ACP in Hyderabad, unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a high-profile investigation. Four prominent employees of a major media company have mysteriously died in their office cabins on the same day, and Mona is called upon to crack the case. As she delves into the complex web of political feuds, information leaks, media-driven conspiracy theories, and corporate warfare, baffling links emerge, connecting the crimes to cricket and an Ayn Rand-inspired temple. The case becomes murkier by the day, and Mona must unravel the intricate mystery before more lives are claimed by the shadows of this enigmatic puzzle.
3. Devi: Mystery of the Calcutta Murders by Prasun Roy
Kolkata donned the festive attire of a bride for Durga Puja, but a startling twist occurred as fugitive magnate Durgacharan Mahesh was extradited from Spain to India via Kolkata, leading to his brother-in-law Vasudeva Patel’s mysterious murder with ‘DEVI’ scrawled in blood. This launched a series of perplexing crimes during Durga Puja, including the theft of a priceless gem-studded conch from a 260-year-old Durga idol. Each day brought new victims and cryptic clues, propelling the police commissioner and his team into a relentless investigation. Hidden secrets and a relentless killer intertwined in this thrilling crime narrative, culminating in a heart-stopping climax as the city erupted in Navami and Dashami celebrations, ultimately answering the question of who ‘DEVI’ was and unveiling the secrets behind the murders and their bizarre weaponry connections.
4. Hour of the Hounds by Roopam Kapoor
Surviving a deadly, unequal battle is the central challenge in this narrative set in the early 1990s when the underworld’s dominance was pervasive. Prakash, a novice customs officer, is assigned to Dapoli, a remote west coast station in India. Against all odds, he clashes with Salim, a ruthless Dubai-based underworld don and smuggler, as Prakash disrupts Salim’s criminal operations. This prompts the vengeful Don to target Prakash. As the seemingly one-sided conflict unfolds, an unlikely team rallies around Prakash, including Shelley, his college crush, Kabir, a principled police officer, and a few of Prakash’s loyal subordinates. Even Salim’s girlfriend, Shabnam, enamored by Prakash’s ideals, deserts Don’s ranks to join them, forming the ‘Howling Hounds’ and hunting down Salim’s operatives in India. They choose an unconventional path, breaking rules and ideals to spring a surprising trap on Salim.
5. Idols: Unearthing the Power of Murti Puja by Amish Tripathi and Bhavna Roy
What motivates people to venerate idols, and why does this practice persist despite centuries of prejudice and intolerance? Can idol worship guide us toward our true life purpose and lasting peace? In “Idols,” a companion to the bestselling “Dharma,” Amish and Bhavna explore the essence of idolatry, offering simple interpretations of myths and religious texts. They delve into the symbolic essence of Ishta Devata, the merits of bhakti, and the importance of religion in society. Their work reveals the philosophy behind idol worship, demonstrating how it can lead us to experience the unity of God through transformation, acceptance, and love, both intellectually and within our hearts.
6. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
Dive into a tale of personal choices, as Olivia McAfee finds herself rebuilding her life in her New Hampshire hometown, while Lily Campanello seeks a fresh start in the same place. Their lives intertwine as Olivia’s son, Asher, and Lily develop a connection, leading to momentary happiness but also casting doubt. When tragedy strikes, Olivia is convinced of Asher’s innocence, though she can’t ignore his father’s shadow. As the legal case unfolds, she discovers Asher’s hidden secrets. “Mad Honey” is a gripping suspense novel, a compelling love story, and an exploration of the secrets we guard and the risks we take to find our true selves.
7. The Coming Wave: Technology, Power and the Twenty-First Century’s Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman, Michael Bhaskar, et al.
Presented by Penguin, here is an urgent cautionary message: Brace for the imminent and unparalleled threats posed by rapidly advancing technologies to global stability and learn how we can proactively mitigate these risks while the opportunity remains. This insight comes from Mustafa Suleyman, a co-founder of the innovative AI firm DeepMind. We stand on the cusp of a transformative moment in human history, where artificial intelligence is set to revolutionize daily life, managing businesses, generating boundless digital content, and even overseeing essential government functions. This impending world includes DNA printers, quantum computers, engineered pathogens, autonomous weaponry, robot assistants, and abundant energy, signifying an unprecedented leap in human capabilities. However, our lack of preparedness is alarming. Suleyman, a key figure in this technological revolution, predicts that the next decade will be defined by these powerful, rapidly proliferating technologies, offering solutions to global challenges but also carrying the potential for unparalleled upheaval. In “The Coming Wave,” Suleyman outlines how these forces jeopardize the foundations of global order, presenting an existential dilemma: unchecked openness leading to unprecedented harm on one side and the looming threat of intrusive surveillance on the other. Can we navigate a path between catastrophe and dystopia? In this groundbreaking book, Suleyman establishes “the containment problem” as the defining challenge of our time—an essential endeavor to control these formidable technologies.
8. The Fast and The Dead by Anuja Chauhan
The serenity of Habba Galli, Shivajinagar, was shattered when the eccentric Dondi Pais, armed with a double-barreled shotgun, dispelled a raucous pack of stray dogs on Karwa Chauth night. Shockingly, a stray bullet fatally struck a malevolent jeweler the following morning. The devout residents suspected divine wrath, as the jeweler’s wife had broken her fast prematurely. However, earthly motives abounded, with Bollywood star Haider Sait vying for the affections of Jhoomar Rao, a now financially strained but talented veterinary surgeon. ACP Bhavani Singh, conveniently present, initiated an investigation, as corpses accumulated in the bustling bazaar. He pursued his instinct that these deaths were not accidents or divine acts but meticulously planned murders.
9. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
In the gripping seventh entry of the Strike series, Cormoran and Robin confront the perilous clutches of a cult as they race to save a trapped man. Private Detective Cormoran Strike answers the plea of a concerned father whose son, Will, has vanished into a religious cult in Norfolk. Despite the Universal Humanitarian Church’s facade of promoting a better world, Strike uncovers sinister secrets and unexplained deaths lurking beneath. To rescue Will, Strike’s partner, Robin Ellacott, boldly infiltrates the cult, journeying to Norfolk and living among its members incognito, but she faces unforeseen dangers and personal sacrifices. “The Running Grave” propels Strike and Robin’s narrative, delivering a heart-pounding seventh installment in the series.
10. That Beautiful Elsewhere by Scherezade Siobhan
Scherezade Siobhan, a practicing psychiatrist, artfully combines her deep insights into the human psyche with her professional experiences to create a poignant collection of essays. Each narrative portrays the real-life struggles of individuals, from grappling with bipolar disorder to confronting the enduring aftermath of abuse. Skillfully interweaving these stories, the author unveils the diverse challenges faced by individuals and communities, including the intricacies of Indian family dynamics, the confines of traditional masculinity, and the complexities of modern relationships. In sharing her own trauma, she endeavors to craft a sanctuary for readers to explore and understand themselves better. These journeys towards improved mental health showcase the resilience of the human mind, offering a brighter path to recovery.
Which of the above 10 books do you plan to read in September 2023? Tell us in the comments below!