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15 New Books Coming in October

Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus, by David Quammen

Quammen’s deeply reported book gives the story of Covid-19, including portraits of the experts and heath care workers fighting it. The author of “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic,” he focuses this time on the science of Covid as well as the disease’s future.

Simon & Schuster, Oct. 4

Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, by Maggie Haberman

Haberman, a Times journalist, has covered Trump for decades. To understand his political and cultural ascent, she looks to his childhood in Queens, N.Y.; to the culture of 1980s New York real estate; and to his coterie of advisers, including Roy Cohn and Rudy Giuliani.

Penguin Press, Oct. 4

Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

In her new novel, the author of “The Poisonwood Bible” borrows from Charles Dicken’s “David Copperfield” to tell the story of an Appalachian boy.

Harper, Oct. 18

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir, by Paul Newman

Newman, who died in 2008, left behind recorded conversations about his life, which have been turned into a posthumous autobiography of sorts. His daughters participated in the project, which features Newman’s reflections on parenthood, his career and marriage.

Knopf, Oct. 18

Illuminations: Stories, by Alan Moore

Best known as the author of the “Watchmen” series, Moore retired from comics a few years ago. Now he is releasing his first story collection, a showcase for many of his signature themes.

Bloomsbury, Oct. 11

Liberation Day: Stories, by George Saunders

Saunders built a following for his surrealist, funny and moral stories, and returns to the form with this collection. Selections leap from the Hell-themed section of an amusement park to a reckoning between two women during a hailstorm, with plenty of weirdness in between. Several of the stories have been published in The New Yorker.

Random House, Oct. 18

Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

Bird, a Chinese American adolescent, is living a dystopian existence: The United States is grappling with an uptick in hate crimes and violence targeting Asians as it enforces strict policies to uphold “American culture.” And there’s grief at home, too, as he mourns his missing mother and his father, a librarian, struggles in a country where books are pulped and turned into toilet paper. As our reviewer, Stephen King, put it, the novel’s chief preoccupations are “the power of words, the power of stories and the persistence of memory.”

Penguin Press, Oct. 4

The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy’s first novel since “The Road” (2006) tells the story of two siblings grappling with family guilt — their father helped to invent the atom bomb — and obsessive love for each other. A companion book, “Stella Maris,” will arrive in December.

Knopf, Oct. 25

Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story, by Joe Coscarelli

A Times reporter who focuses on pop music, Coscarelli looks at Atlanta’s outsize influence on modern rap — and how racism and economic exploitation shape its culture.

Simon & Schuster, Oct. 18

README.txt: A Memoir, by Chelsea Manning

Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, became known after sharing classified documents about American military operations with WikiLeaks. This autobiography links those efforts to her fight for equal rights as a trans woman, and reaches back to her childhood to tell her story.

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Oct. 18

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman, by Alan Rickman

Beloved for his roles in “Love Actually” and “Die Hard” — and as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies — Rickman, who died in 2016, also kept a diary for over 20 years. Readers will find his thoughts on acting and the theater, of course, but also politics and friendship.

Henry Holt, Oct. 18

Seven Empty Houses, by Samanta Schweblin. Translated by Megan McDowell

Schweblin’s previous book, “Little Eyes,” was an unsettling domestic thriller which imagined robotic pets controlled by users miles away who could surveil their hosts. Now, in linked stories, she returns to the theme, with each selection focusing on a disturbance (emotional, paranormal) inside the home.

Riverhead, Oct. 18

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Mukherjee’s 2011 book, “The Emperor of All Maladies,” a wide-ranging history of cancer, won the Pulitzer Prize. In this forthcoming book, the author — who is an oncologist and academic — brings to life the history of cells and their importance to understanding human biology.

Scribner, Oct. 25

Uphill: A Memoir, by Jemele Hill

A sports journalist at The Atlantic, Hill reflects on her childhood and career — including her 2017 suspension from ESPN after she criticized the politics of the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, and called President Trump a white supremacist.

Henry Holt, Oct. 25

When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm, by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe

A yearslong investigation of the global consulting firm by two Times reporters exposes some of the company’s secret deals, including its role in the opioid crisis.

Doubleday, Oct. 4

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