8 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in February

So many exciting debut novels

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It’s cold, it gets dark at 5 p.m. and we’re mighty tempted to just stay home, curl up under our warmest blanket and crack into a new book. From a twisty thriller set on a remote Thai island to a funny debut for fans of Schitt’s Creek, here are seven of the most fabulous new books to read in February.

A Fake Engagement Turns into Something More in This Feel-Good Debut Novel

february books ochs

1. The Resort: A Novel by Sara Ochs

Twisty thriller alert. In law professor Sara Ochs’s debut novel, Cass, a diving expert, has been living on a remote island in Thailand for nine years. In that time, the island has been the perfect place to run from her troubled past alongside the so-called Permanents, a group of expats who don't linger on who they were before the island. But when a dive student is found dead, Cass’s paradise comes crashing down. Someone knows who Cass is and they're ready to make sure justice is finally served—even if it leads to more deaths.

february books fletcher

2. And How Does That Make You Feel?: Everything You (N)ever Wanted to Know About Therapy by Joshua Fletcher

Fans of the smash hit 2019 self-help book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone will delight in this new title from psychotherapist and host of the podcast Disordered, Joshua Fletcher. Structured around four client case studies, Fletcher lifts the veil of secrecy around therapy, which he believes is an often-misunderstood profession. While detailing his clients’ nonlinear paths to healing, he also chronicles the voices in his own head that act both as a hindrance and a guide in his treatments. Vulnerable, honest and funny, And How Does That Make You Feel? offers surprising revelations about psychotherapy in the hopes of normalizing the conversation around mental health.

february boooks baker

3. The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson: A Novel  by Ellen Baker

In 1924, 4-year-old Cecily Larson’s mother reluctantly dropped her off at an orphanage in Chicago. She promises to return once she’s made some money, but never does, so when Cecily turns seven, she’s sold to a traveling circus. Cecily finally feels she’s found the family she craves, but when she falls in love as a teenager, she finds her life thrown onto a dangerous course. Decades later, it’s 2015 and 94-year-old Cecily is living a quiet life in Minnesota with her daughter, granddaughter and great-grandson. But when her family decides to surprise her with an at-home DNA test, the unexpected results throw into question everything about the family she’s claimed as her own for nearly 70 years.

february books reilly

4. Greta & Valdin: A Novel by Rebecca K. Reilly

Billed as a mix of Schitt’s Creek and Sally Rooney, this funny debut centers on the misfortunes of two siblings. A year after getting dumped by his ex-boyfriend, Valdin is doing…fine. He’s living in Auckland with his sister, Greta, and doing well at work. But when his job sends him to Argentina (where his ex now lives), Valdin is forced to confront the feelings he’s been trying to ignore. Meanwhile, 20-something Greta would love to focus on her own floundering love life, but her chaotic family life won’t stop intruding. Funny and relatable, Greta & Valdin is about complicated romances, sibling relationships and the dynamics of an eccentric, Māori-Russian-Catalonian family.  

february books quindlen

5. After Annie by Anna Quindlen

The latest by New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen (Rise and Shine, A Short Guide to a Happy Life) is about hope and the unexpected power of adversity to change us in indelible ways. When Annie dies suddenly, her husband, children and closest friend are left to find a way forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Her husband is overwhelmed without his beloved wife, their eldest daughter has to grow up overnight to care for her younger brothers and her best friend wrestles with the bad habits Annie had helped her overcome. Over the course of the next year, what saves them all is Annie, who teaches those closest to her that no one beloved is ever truly gone.

february books crosley

6. Grief Is for People by Sloane Crosley

The months leading up to the pandemic were fraught for acclaimed writer Crosley (Cult Classic, I Was Told There’d Be Cake). First, her apartment is burglarized, upending her sense of security. Exactly a month later, her best friend and former boss dies by suicide. Her memoir draws parallels between the aftershock of both of these events, set against the backdrop of early Covid. A meditation on grief, friendship and even the publishing industry, Grief Is for People is intimate, whip-smart and darkly humorous.

february books bosker

7. Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See by Bianca Bosker

Bianca Bosker is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and more. In her second book (after 2017’s Cork Dork), Bosker turns her focus to the competitive and elitist art world. Probing everything from cave paintings to Instagram posts, and from the science of sight to the importance of beauty in our culture, economy and hearts, Get the Picture combines juicy art world gossip with higher-level philosophical musings to help us understand why art matters and how we can engage with it more deeply.

february books gee

8. National Geographic Bucket List Family Travel: Share the World With Your Kids on 50 Adventures of a Lifetime by Jessica Gee

A family of five, the Bucket List Family has visited more than 90 countries around the world, swimming with whales in Tonga, sleeping in castles in Ireland, eating breakfast with giraffes in Kenya and everything in between. Now, mom Jessica Gee brings her tips and tricks in this ultimate expert’s guide to traveling as a family. Including how-tos for picking a destination, packing, budgeting and surviving unexpected travel nightmares, it's a guide to fulfilling your own family’s bucket list.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...