February To Be Read List

Every month, I plan what books I intend to read and post reviews for. And every month I am overly ambitious. So, it is fair to assume that this list is more aspirational than anything. I will definitely fit in many of these books. However, as a mood reader, I may veer off the list or not feel like a book on the list.

You may expect a February TBR to be filled with romance, but I only plan on reading a few. Instead, my month will be filled with new releases, previous books in series, January “leftovers”, and books I have been meaning to read for what feels like forever.

Newly Published

Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

A book I was not able to fit into my January reading.

Synopsis: A young Indian woman finds the false rumors that she killed her husband surprisingly useful—until other women in the village start asking for her help getting rid of their own husbands—in this razor-sharp debut.

Publication Date: January 3, 2023

Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen

I am trying to read my BOTM selections within a month. This is one of my January picks, which I was waiting to read until I could snap a picture at the NYC Lunar New Year parade.

Synopsis: This sweet, enemies-to-lovers debut rom-com filled with Chinese astrology will undoubtedly prove to be a perfect match with readers of Helen Hoang, Jasmine Guillory, and Helena Hunting.

Publication Date: January 10, 2023

Spare by Prince Harry

I unexpectedly received this book last month and started it. I am taking my time reading it since it deals with some heavy topics.

Synopsis: For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.

Publication Date: January 10, 2023

Central Places by Delia Cai

I ran out of time to squeeze this book in January. So I am hoping to read it at the beginning of the month.

Synopsis: A young woman’s past and present collide when she brings her white fiancé home to meet her Chinese immigrant parents in this vibrant debut from an exciting new voice in fiction.

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

The Drift by C.J. Tudor

Similarly, I also ran out of time to squeeze this book in January. I am planning on reading it in the first few days of the month.

Synopsis: Three ordinary people risk everything for a chance at redemption in this audacious, utterly gripping novel of catastrophe and survival at the end of the world, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man.

Publication Date: January 31, 2023

The Last Grudge (Ghosts of the Past #3) by Max Seeck

I received an e-galley of this book and am hoping to read it around its publication date, after I finish the other two books in the series.

Synopsis: While her colleagues investigate the brutal murder of a prominent businessman, Jessica Niemi must battle demons from her past in this terrifying new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch Hunter.

Publication Date: February 7, 2023

Gone Like Yesterday by Janelle M. Williams

Synopsis: A lyrical debut novel that asks what we owe to our families, what we owe to our ancestors, and what we owe to ourselves. Janelle M. Williams’s Gone Like Yesterday employs magical realism to explore the majestic and haunting experience of being a Black woman in today’s America.

Publication Date: February 14, 2023

On the Savage Side by Tiffany McDaniel

Despite my intention to read Tiffany McDaniel’s previous book, Betty, for several years, I still have not. But I am definitely reading this book in February.

Synopsis: Six women—mothers, daughters, sisters—gone missing. Inspired by the unsolved murders of the Chillicothe Six, this harrowing novel tells the story of two sisters, both of whom could be the next victims, from the internationally best-selling author of Betty.

Publication Date: February 14, 2023

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

I hoped to squeeze this book in last month. But I had too many unexpected books show up. I am so excited to dive in, having heard nothing but great things about this title.

Synopsis: The Plot meets Please Join Us in this psychological suspense debut about a young author at an exclusive writer’s retreat that descends into a nightmare.

Publication Date: February 14, 2023

We the Scientists: How a Daring Team of Parents and Doctors Forged a New Path for Medicine by Amy Dockser Marcus

Synopsis: A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s moving narrative of a group of patient advocates who are revolutionizing the way medical research is conducted.

Publication Date: February 14, 2023

It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce

I discovered Harriet Tyce a few years ago and have loved her other books, particularly The Lies You Told. I jumped at the opportunity to request this from NetGalley.

Synopsis: From the acclaimed author of Blood Orange, comes a thriller of a party spiraling into murder, when one guest’s plan to right old wrongs ends in blood, told with Tyce’s signature dark and propulsive twists.

Publication Date: February 21, 2023

Best Served Hot by Amanda Elliot

I absolutely adored Amanda Elliot’s debut novel, Sadie on a Plate. I am so excited to have an early copy of her sophomore novel!

Synopsis: Two restaurant critics learn their opposing tastes might make for a five-star relationship in the next foodie romantic comedy from the author of Sadie on a Plate.

Publication Date: February 21, 2023

Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist by Jennifer Wright

Madame Restell was someone I had never heard of until I received this book. She sounds fabulous and intriguing. I think this book will be right up my alley.

Synopsis: This is the story of one of the boldest women in American history: self-made millionaire, a celebrity in her era, a woman beloved by her patients and despised by the men who wanted to control them.

Publication Date: February 28, 2023

Books Published in 2022

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

I will be reading this for the Cornell Alumni Association book club.

Synopsis: A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Jackal by Erin E. Adams

I love thrillers, and someone I trust thought this was an incredible debut. Plus, I am always excited to feature thrillers by BIPOC authors since so few are published.

Synopsis: A young Black girl goes missing in the woods outside her white rust belt town. But she’s not the first—and she may not be the last. . . .

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi is one of my favorite authors. This was one of my most anticipated books of 2022… and then I failed to read it. I think I keep pushing it off, because I am scared it will not live up to my expectations or the hype.

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and “one of our greatest living writers” (Shondaland) reimagines the love story in this fresh and seductive novel about a young woman seeking joy while healing from loss.

Publication Date: May 24, 2022

Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation by Linda Villarosa

I have intended to read this book since it was published. I am hoping to finally read it since February is Black History Month.

Synopsis: From an award-winning writer at the New York Times Magazine and a contributor to the 1619 Project comes a landmark book that tells the full story of racial health disparities in America, revealing the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation.

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Backlist Books

The Ice Coven (Ghosts of the Past #2) by Max Seeck

This is a book left over from January. I ended up not getting to it but am determined to read this series in order.

Synopsis: A shocking murder in an affluent Helsinki suburb has ties to witchcraft and the occult in this thrilling U.S. debut from Finnish author Max Seeck.

Publication Date: October 27, 2020

The Ice Coven (Ghosts of the Past #2) by Max Seeck

I intended to read this in January but did not get to it. I am hoping to squeeze it in before the release of The Last Grudge.

Synopsis: Investigator Jessica Niemi is in a race against time to find the link between a body with strange markings that has washed up on a frigid shore in Finland and two baffling disappearances in this terrifying new novel.

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

My Name is Lucy Barton (Amgash #1) by Elizabeth Strout

My Booker of the Month (Booker Prize) book club is reading Oh, William! (Amgash #3) this month. I intended to read this for the past few months but failed to do so and am playing catch up. I am hoping to read the first three books in the series in February.

Synopsis: A simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter in this extraordinary novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys.

Publication Date: January 12, 2016

Anything is Possible (Amgash #2) by Elizabeth Strout

My Booker of the Month (Booker Prize) book club is reading Oh, William! (Amgash #3) this month. If I was on schedule, I would have read this in January.

Synopsis: An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this “compulsively readable” (San Francisco Chronicle) novel from #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

Publication Date: April 25, 2017

Oh William! (Amgash #3) by Elizabeth Strout

I am planning on reading this book for my Booker of the Month (Booker Prize) book club.

Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from—and what they’ve left behind. 

Publication Date: October 19, 2021

Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press

I have been reading this on audio as part of @the_bookish_sociologist’s bimonthly nonfiction book club. I am planning on finishing it before our February 16th meeting.

Synopsis: A groundbreaking, urgent report from the front lines of “dirty work”―the work that society considers essential but morally compromised.

Publication Date: August 17, 2021

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

I purchase this book back in November 2020. Despite not having read Migrations, I picked up McConaghy’s Once There Were Wolves when it was published in 2021. It ended up being one of my favorite books of the year. I think it is finally about time that I pick up Migrations.

Synopsis: Leaving behind everything but her research gear, Franny Stone arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica.

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

This is another one of those books that I have been intending to read for years. I am hoping that this will be the month that I finally read it.

Synopsis: In this beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. 

Publication Date: September 7, 2010

What book are you most excited to read this month?

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