Three new books to read in October

New long reads to spend your evenings with
Praying to the West: how Muslims shaped the Americas by Omar Mouallem
(Courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

Praying to the West: How Muslims shaped the Americas

By Omar Mouallem (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 21)

Edmonton journalist and filmmaker Mouallem always saw his Muslim identity as something imposed upon him by his family and wider society. But in the age of “ISIS and Trumpism, Rohingya and Uyghur genocides, ethnonationalism and misinformation,” he visited mosques from the Arctic Circle to Amazonia, exploring Islam’s deep roots in himself and the Americas and crafting a striking portrait of both.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
(Courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

Cloud Cuckoo Land

By Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 28)

Characters from three storylines, linked with subtle intricacy over vast gulfs of time and space—and a literal time bomb ticking all the way through—form the spine of Doerr’s latest book. His first novel since 2014’s All the Light We Cannot See, which topped bestseller lists and won the Pulitzer Prize, spins a riveting story about the human need for stories.

Em by Kim Thúy
(Courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada)


By Kim Thúy (Penguin Random House Canada, Sept. 28)

All Thúy’s exceptional novels share setting (the Vietnam War era), theme (the treachery of memory), brevity and one-syllable titles, but Em may be the Montreal author’s finest yet. More assured in her writing and less concerned about blurring the boundary between factual and fictional truth, Thúy is mesmerizing in this tale of a Saigon street urchin who adopts an abandoned baby girl.