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8 Books We Want to Read in February

We love helping readers find the best books each week in our e-newsletter, via our quarterly reading guides, and through our many book lists.  Despite all our best intentions, we can’t read all the books – even though we wish we could!  Plus sometimes we miss out on early copies and we have to wait until books are available in bookstores.  So this book list is filled with those books we can’t wait to get our hands on this month.  Besides, it’s time to renew and get started on your New Year’s resolution to read more books.  After all, January was your free trial month.  Lucky for you, the excellent selection of new books coming out in February will make achieving your goal a hell of a lot easier.

My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee

Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion–on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense.

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist.  Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.

Four Hundred Souls Edited by Ibram X. Kendi, Keisha N. Blain

A chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell one of history’s great epics: the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith–instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.

City of a Thousand Gates by Rebecca Sacks

A novel of great humanity, compassion, and astonishing immediacy, this inventive and unique debut captures the emotional reality of contemporary life in the West Bank and the irreconcilable Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a collage of narrative voices and different viewpoints centered on a particular set of events. The novel introduces a large cast of characters from various backgrounds in a setting where violence is routine and where survival is defined by boundaries, walls, and checkpoints that force people to live and love within and across them.

A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein

Christopher Marlowe, a brilliant aspiring playwright, is pulled into the duplicitous world of international espionage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I. A many-layered historical thriller combining state secrets, intrigue, and romance. Thrillingly written, full of poetry and danger, A Tip for the Hangman brings an unforgettable protagonist to new life, and makes a centuries-old story feel utterly contemporary.

Zorrie by Laird Hunt

A poignant novel about a woman searching for her place in the world and finding it in the daily rhythms of life in rural Indiana.  Spanning an entire lifetime, a life convulsed and transformed by the events of the 20th century.  A novel that offers a profound and intimate portrait of the dreams that propel one tenacious woman onward and the losses that she cannot outrun. Set against a harsh, gorgeous, quintessentially American landscape, this is a deeply empathetic and poetic novel.

American Delirium by Betina González, Translated by Heather Cleary

In a small Midwestern city, the deer population starts attacking people. So Beryl, a feisty senior and ex-hippie with a troubled past, decides to take matters into her own hands, training a squad of fellow retirees to hunt the animals down and to prove to society they’re capable of more than playing bingo. A dizzying, luminous English-language debut about an American town overrun by a mysterious hallucinogen and the collision of three unexpected characters through the mayhem.

The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin

Life for Ethan and Zo used to be simple. Ethan co-founded a lucrative media start-up, and Zo was well on her way to becoming a successful filmmaker. Then they moved to a rural community for a little more tranquility–or so they thought. Startling, witty, thought-provoking, and wise, an exciting debut novel offers the shock of recognition as it deftly illuminates some of the biggest issues of our time.

What do you think about the books on this list?

Are any of these books on your TBR?  What books are you looking forward to reading in February?  What books would you add to the list?