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A biography of one of America’s best-known, but least understood, food world personalities; an acerbic look at some of Hollywood’s biggest films from the former Jezebel writer and author of Shrill; and an inspiring book on leadership from one of Silicon Valley’s first female African-American CEOs.
Here are five new books to consider reading in October.
Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Shellye Archambeau
Available Oct. 6
One of Silicon Valley’s first female African-American CEOs, Shellye Archambeau recounts in Unapologetically Ambitious (Grand Central Publishing) how she overcame the challenges she faced as a young Black woman, wife, and mother, managing her personal and professional responsibilities while climbing the ranks at IBM and subsequently in her role as CEO. Part memoir, part motivational business book, Archambeau details the risks she took and the strategies she followed to steer her family, her career, and her company toward success.
The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard by John Birdsall
Available Oct. 6
Written by former restaurant critic and food scribe (and James Beard Award winner), John Birdsall pens what could be the definitive biography of America’s best-known food personality and the national culinary landscape he shaped. In The Man Who Ate Too Much (W. W. Norton & Co.), the first biography of Beard in 25 years, Birdsall suggests Beard’s struggles as a closeted gay man directly influenced his creation of an American cuisine. Starting in the 1920s, Beard escaped loneliness and banishment by traveling abroad to places where people ate for pleasure, not utility, eventually finding acceptance at home by crafting an American ethos of food likewise built on passion and delight.
Available Oct. 20
In Shit, Actually (Hachette), New York Times columnist and bestselling author Lindy West unpacks the world of beloved rom-coms and other genre cult classics to dissect the culture (and monsters) they created. (If you’ve gotten this far, you probably know the name of the film being parodied in the book title.) From Dirty Dancing to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, West leans on her razor-sharp wit in dissecting some of the most well-known movies of the past several decades, some of which, it could be argued, define their generations, wading into the gray area between celebrating and criticizing these films. Not surprisingly, many famous quotes and characters haven’t aged well, but West suggests that doesn’t mean we have to abandon them altogether. Still, we can’t let them off the hook either.
Available Oct. 20
In recent years, the term “Latinx” has emerged as a gender-neutral alternative to Hispanic and Latino. And while it has been picked up in saturating detail by various news organizations, that doesn’t mean the people it claims to represent have embraced it. A Pew Research poll found in August that only one in four people who identify as Hispanic in the U.S. have heard of the term, and only 3% total use it. In Finding Latinx (Vintage), journalist and activist Paola Ramos embarks on a journey to find the communities of people defining the controversial term. From indigenous Oaxacans in upstate New York to “Las Poderosas” fighting for reproductive rights in Texas, Ramos chronicles how “Latinx” has given rise to a sense of collectivity and solidarity among Latinos unseen in this country for decades, asking the reader to expand their understanding of what it means to be Latino and what it means to be American.
Let’s Talk About Your Wall: Mexican Writers Respond to the Immigration Crisis edited by Carmen Boullosa and Albert Quintero
Available Oct. 27
Despite the U.S. media’s extensive coverage of the southern border and Trump’s proposed wall, many Americans have had little access to the multitude of perspectives from Mexico on the ongoing crisis. Novelist Carmen Boullosa and Alberto Quintero, editor-in-chief of Literalia, a digital publishing and translation platform for Mexican writers, address this imbalance with a collection of essays—translated into English for the first time—from journalists, novelists, and documentary-makers who are Mexican or based in Mexico. Let’s Talk About Your Wall (New Press) uses the controversial border wall as a starting point to discuss the history of U.S.-Mexican relations as well as questions of sovereignty and citizenship, while serving as a counterpoint to the racist bigotry and irrational fear that consumes the debate over immigration.
More must-read lifestyle coverage from Fortune:
“How I Built This” host Guy Raz on insights from some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs
The best things I bought in September to make working and living at home easier
Why an Olympic gold medalist and former NFL player cofounded a subscription coffee brand
A Q&A with the provocative mind behind watchmaker H. Moser
Book recommendations from Fortune’s 40 under 40 in media and entertainment
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com