Now Read This: February

Top 10 books to watch for this month

The shortest month of the year brings no shortage of compelling, engrossing, and often mystifying new books. Here are 10 of the most anticipated highlights slated for publication in February. 

by Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough by Lara Elana Donnelly

A covert agent, his smuggler lover, and a cabaret dancer must take a risk trusting one another as they fight a fascist regime in a vintage cabaret setting. It’s a fun debut novel full of espionage and adventure, with double dealings and daring missions.

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories
by Mariana Enríquez

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

Magnificently weird and slightly disturbing, Enríquez’s stories bring a bit of the unusual and surreal to normal life. Fans of Kelly Link and Shirley Jackson are sure to love this collection of stories about everyday terrors that lie in wait.

by Steve Erickson

Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson

One of the most provocative writers working today, Erickson’s new novel imagines a world in which the Twin Towers suddenly reappear in South Dakota 20 years after their destruction. And even weirder, they appear to be singing. And even weirder, Elvis Presley’s stillborn twin brother is alive and well on the 93rd floor. Abandon all reality, ye who enter here.

Swimming Lessons
by Claire Fuller

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

Fuller adds another wonderful novel under her belt, this time about a woman who writes letters to her husband and hides them in books, until the day she writes her last letter and disappears. Twelve years later, their daughter seeks answers, not knowing the answers have been in the house the whole time.

A Separation
by Katie Kitamura

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

When Christopher goes missing in Greece, his estranged wife flies to the country to look for him. But she knows something no one else does: Christopher was unfaithful, and they had recently split, a decision they were keeping a secret. This book is fantastically dark and suspenseful, and you should read it before the movie comes out.

by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Beginning in Korea in the early 1900s, Lee details the story of one family’s move to Japan and highlights the discrimination Korean immigrants faced in Japan throughout the 20th century. It’s a powerful meditation on what it means to try and find your place in the world. Lee is a marvelous storyteller.

The Refugees
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Written over a two-decade period, Pulitzer winner Nguyen’s thoughtful, precise stories wonderfully explore the longing, excitement, and fears of being away from your home and surrounded by the unfamiliar while making a new home for yourself.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel
by Heather O’Neill

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill

Two talented orphans — one a piano prodigy, the other a dancer — are abandoned at a Montreal orphanage and separated as teens. When they are reunited after the Great Depression, they seek to fulfill their dreams of stardom. “The Lonely Hearts Hotel” is a magical tale of hopes and dreams set in dark cities and bright theaters.

Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

This is a mesmerizing, heartbreaking story about the death of Willie Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, and the ghosts in the cemetery where Willie’s body is temporarily held. No one expected anything less than an absolute work of genius from Saunders, and he delivered. It’s simply one of the year’s best novels.

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter is the only witness to the police shooting of her unarmed best friend. But will people believe what she has to say? And can it make a difference? This is a sensitive, smart look at violence and racism in America, and is recommended reading for teens and adults alike.