Autumn Reads

10 October 2023

As the cold autumn nights approach, we all want to be wrapped up in a big blanket for a cosy evening of reading. And what better company than our latest season of fascinating non-fiction?

From the thrilling history of the Roman emperors, to the secret life of John le Carré, and eye-opening facts about healthcare inequality, read on to discover autumn’s most horizon-expanding reads!

What are you planning to read this autumn? Join us on X @profilebooks and Instagram @profile.books for daily bookish chat.


The Book at War by Andrew Pettegree (Out now)

From the bestselling author of The Library, The Book at War explores the unexpected ways in which written culture has shaped modern conflicts and why books have often found themselves on the frontline.

Divided by Annabel Sowemimo (Out now)

Out now in paperback, Divided is a vital exploration of race and health by activist, doctor, and patient Annabel Sowemimo. An urgent call for change, this book reinserts Black and Indigenous doctors into the historical narrative of our racist and colonialist medical system.

The Handover by David Runciman (Out now)

We built the artificial entities, known as states and corporations, that now rule our world. While they have made us richer, safer, and healthier, they will also never die and might one day destroy us. How did we give control of our lives to artificial entities and how do we reclaim our agency?


Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday (Out now)

The New York Times bestselling author tackles the ancient virtue of self-control – drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers and leaders including Toni Morrison, Queen Elizabeth II, and Martin Luther King Jr, who all understood the power of directing habits and setting limits. Find self-discipline and reap its rewards with Ryan Holiday’s latest Stoic manual.

Disobedient Bodies by Emma Dabiri (Out now)

Too often, beauty culture becomes yet another tool of oppression, encouraging self-loathing and conditioning us to critique and discipline our bodies. Disobedient Bodies finds inherent joy in unruliness and is an accessible manifesto for lasting change. Rebel and reclaim what beauty means to you with this radical essay from bestselling author Emma Dabiri. 

How to Leave a Narcissist… For Good by Dr Sarah Davies (Out now)

A practical guide to moving on and healing from relationships with narcissists from an experienced psychologist. Full of case studies and expert guidance, How to Leave a Narcissist… For Good helps you break the cycle of abuse and master self-care so you can look forward to future healthy relationships.

The Secret Life of John le Carré by Adam Sisman (Publishing October)

The spy-turned-novelist John le Carré fought to keep certain subjects hidden during his lifetime, especially from Sisman’s 2015 biography. This extraordinary secret history is the story of what was left out. Get inside the mind of the complex, driven, but restless John le Carré.

Emperor of Rome by Mary Beard (Out now)

Britain’s most famous classicist is back to shine the spotlight on Rome’s notorious figureheads – its emperors. But this isn’t the usual account. Emperor of Rome draws comparisons between the imperial elite and the modern world, as Beard explores what it really was to be Roman.

Fear by Robert Peckham (Out now)

World history has always been driven by fear and the panic it produces. Its impact has made it a coercive tool of power and a catalyst for social change. Cultural historian Robert Peckham traces a shadow of history from the Black Death to the current digital age in this fascinating alternative history of the world. How can a better understanding of fear equip us for the future?