God I Feel Modern Tonight. Fake Accounts. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. The most anticipated books of February are a delicious mix of nonfiction, poetry, genre fiction, memoir, and literary fiction, so trust us: a book you'll love will land in a bookstore near you sometime in the next few weeks.
Some of fiction's biggest names return to store shelves this month.
The Nightingale author Kristin Hannah's new novel, The Four Winds, is out in February, as is Quiet in Her Bones, the next thriller from Nalini Singh. C.L. Polk brings her Kingston Cycle to a close with Soulstar, and Piecing Me Together author Renée Watson returns with Love Is a Revolution.
In nonfiction, everyone's talking about
Four Hundred Souls, the new collection edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, as well as Priyanka Chopra Jonas' memoir, Unfinished. Two memoirs exploring identity — Elizabeth Miki Brina's Speak, Okinawa and Georgina Lawton's Raceless — are due out this month, as is Ellen McGarrahan's true-crime memoir, Two Truths and a Lie.
Here are the most anticipated books of February 2021:
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Feb. 2 Wall Street Journal reporter Te-Ping Chen makes her fiction debut this month with Land of Big Numbers: a collection of 10 new, eye-opening stories that explore the length and breadth of China's past, present, and future. 2 Feb. 2
Stand-up comedian Catherine Cohen's debut poetry collection is a love-hate letter to the stereotypical Millennial lifestyle. Touching on everything from life after college to the grip of the pandemic,
God I Feel Modern Tonight will make you laugh as often as it makes you feel seen. 3 Feb. 2
When her husband is hospitalized on a work trip, Jill is left alone to parent their teenage sons, Sam and Charlie, aka "the wolves." With little support in their isolated home, located on an island off the coast of Maine, Jill weathers catastrophe after catastrophe in Susan Conley's taut new novel,
Landslide. 4 Feb. 2
Elle Cosimano makes her adult debut with
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It: a comedy of errors in which a thriller writer finds herself dragged into a stranger-than-fiction murder plot. When someone overhears Finlay and her agent discussing the author's next novel, they mistake her for a hitwoman, and, in a comedic turn of events, hire the unsuspecting Finlay to bump off a troublesome partner. 5 Feb. 2
Set in 1934 Texas, Kristin Hannah's
The Four Winds centers on Elsa: a wife and mother who must make a series of difficult choices when her family's farm succumbs to the perils of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, forcing her to strike westward to California in search of a better life. 6 Feb. 2
From Gallery Gurls founder Jasmin Hernandez comes this coffee-table book highlighting 50 artists of color. Full of lush photographs that document both the creators and their work,
We Are Here offers an enlightening and inspiring look at contemporary artists disrupting the art-world status quo. 7 Feb. 2
As a teenager, Ruth gave her newborn son up for adoption before leaving her decrepit Indiana hometown behind. Now she's 29 years old, and her husband wants to start a family. Ruth can't shake the thought of the son she doesn't know, however, so she returns home from Chicago find him, in spite of her grandmother's warnings.
8 Feb. 2
After a beachfront robbery gone wrong leaves a man dead,
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House spirals out from the murder, exploring the lives of two women: the wives of the perpetrator and his victim. 9 Feb. 2
Moving from 1619, when the first enslaved Africans set foot on American soil, to the present, this new "Community History" from Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain is unlike anything you've ever read before. Containing 90 essays, poems, and short stories,
Four Hundred Souls celebrates the lives of Black people living in the first 400 years of African American history. 10 Feb. 2
Growing up mixed-race and fat in a majority-white town has complicated 16-year-old Charlie Vega's self-image. It doesn't help that her best friend Amelia is thin and athletic, or that her mom keeps leaving not-so-subtle hints that Charlie should lose weight. When a classmate shows interest in dating her, Charlie's over the moon... until she finds out that Amelia already turned him down.
11 Feb. 2
Private investigator Ellen McGarrahan previously worked as a journalist, and one story never left her mind — that of Jesse Tafero, executed by the state of Florida in 1990 for a double-murder he may not have committed. Decades after she originally covered Tafero's case, McGarrahan threw herself into an independent investigation to figure out what really happened on that February morning in 1976. She lays out her findings in her compelling true-crime debut,
Two Truths and a Lie. 12 Feb. 2
A retired physician, Dr. Martina McGowan embarks on a new career path this February with her debut poetry collection,
I Am the Rage. Composed in 2020 and partially inspired by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, McGowan's poetry reflects on her experiences as a Black woman living in the contemporary United States. 13 Feb. 2
What do you do when you find out your boyfriend writes conspiracy theories on the Internet? Run away to Berlin, of course.
Fake Accounts follows Oyler's protagonist as she participates in the 2017 Women's March and leaves the United States for continental Europe, where the strangeness of modern-day life causes her to withdraw from others, in this darkly funny debut. 14 Feb. 2
After their parents' early deaths, Lo's sister left her behind to join The Unity Project: a charitable organization known for its work in Upstate New York. Lo knows that The Unity Project has a dark underside, but she's struggled to uncover it... until now. A man claiming to have lost his son to The Project provides the young journalist with the opportunity to formally investigate the group, but she soon finds herself pulled into a deep web of uncertainty in Courtney Summers'
The Project. 15 Feb. 2
Piecing Me Together author Renée Watson comes Love Is a Revolution: a coming-of-age novel about a girl whose attempts to secure her relationship with her boyfriend might just spectacularly backfire. Nala thinks Tye is great, but she doesn't share his penchant for activism. Afraid he won't like her if he finds out, she starts to stretch the truth, but soon finds her story spinning out of her control. 16 Feb. 2
A straitlaced Homecoming Queen uncharacteristically acts out, committing a crime before disappearing into the night, in Alison Wisdom's debut novel,
We Can Only Save Ourselves. Alice has always been the model student, but when a charismatic man offers her a chance to find herself at his bungalow retreat, she leaves behind everything she's ever known to join a sisterhood of four other women living under his watchful eye. 17 Feb. 9
Actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas publishes her first memoir this month.
Unfinished explores Chopra Jonas' life on both sides of the camera, from her childhood and pageant career in India to her marriage to Nick Jonas and everywhere in between. 18 Feb. 9
Opening just after the death of Sen. Gregory Richardson,
Ladies of the House follows his surviving family members as they wrestle with his scandalous legacy. Richardson misused campaign funds to support his secret affair with a 27-year-old, and now his wife, Cricket, and their daughters, Daisy and Wallis, must navigate the cutthroat world of Washington, D.C. under a shameful spotlight. A modern-day Sense and Sensibility retelling, Lauren Edmondson's debut is a must-read for Janeites. 19 Feb. 9
Serving as his isolated community's only pharmacist, Mayor August Malone holds a lot of power in the mountaintop village he calls home. Marginally famous outside of his community, he gains an apprentice when a starry-eyed hopeful shows up on his doorstep. But as she studies under Malone, the young protagonist of Lucie Elven's debut finds that all is not as it seems in her new home.
20 Feb. 9
A girl cursed with golden blood searches for her place in the world and attempts to live up to her destiny in Namina Forna's
The Gilded Ones. When she comes of age, 16-year-old Deka learns that she is one of the alaki: immortal warriors who defend the whole empire from existential threats. As she settles into her new life, however, Deka learns that there may be more to her story yet in this compelling YA debut. 21 Feb. 9
Based on Norse legends about Loki's wife,
The Witch's Heart gives a voice to the titular jötunn. When she refuses to use her clairvoyance to help Odin, he curses her by removing her foresight and casting her out. She builds a new life with her fellow jötunn, Loki, but when her abilities begin to return, Angrboda must make a difficult choice in Genevieve Gornichec's debut. 22 Feb. 9
Calling all rom-com lovers! Loan Le's new YA novel centers on two star-crossed young lovers whose families' ongoing feud puts a real damper on their burgeoning relationship. Bao Nguyen and Linh Mai work long hours in their parents' pho restaurants, which compete for dominance in their neighborhood. They've never been friends, but when fate forces them together, they find they have much more in common than they've ever believed.
23 Feb. 9
Spanish writer Elvira Navarro makes her English-language debut this month with
Rabbit Island: a collection of 11 short stories centering on liminal experiences with the surreal and the all-too-real. 24 Feb. 9
Cate Quinn, who also writes as C.S. Quinn, has a powerful domestic thriller landing in a bookstore near you this February. When their husband dies on a fishing trip, and his body is discovered with suspicious wounds, three widows — Rachel, Tina, and Emily — have their world upended by a police investigation. Someone knows who killed Blake, but none of his wives can trust the others, in
Black Widows. 25 Feb. 16
María José Ferrada examines the Pinochet regime through the eyes of a traveling 7-year-old in
How to Order the Universe. Traveling salesman D is his daughter, M's, whole world. But readers will catch the subtle shifts taking place around them in Chile, even if the novel's young protagonist does not. 26 Feb. 16
Evelyn Caldwell has made award-winning contributions to the study of cloning, but that doesn't stop her own clone, Martine, from complicating her life. Unlike Evelyn in almost every imaginable way, Martine has fallen into an affair with the researcher's husband. But when he dies suddenly, both women will be put to the test, in
The Echo Wife. 27 Feb. 16
Although she appears to lead a picture-perfect life, a 15-year-old equestrian longs for escape in Susan Mihalic's debut. Sexually molested by her father, who is also her coach, Roan has maintained a sort of tunnel-vision as she vies for the Olympic spotlight. But when she embarks on a relationship with a teenage classmate named Will, Roan begins to realize what her life could be like, outside of her father's control.
28 Feb. 16
C.L. Polk's Kingston Cycle ends with
Soulstar. In this new adventure, a witch who has spent years hiding who she is finds herself pulled into a revolution. As imprisoned magic-users take to the streets in protest of Aeland's harsh policies, Robin gets caught up in a whirlwind of emotion that will force her to confront the pain of a long-ignored past. 29 Feb. 16
From the author of
Amatka comes The Memory Theater: a dark, new fairy tale about the haves and the have-nots. The masters rule the Gardens, where their lives are filled with endless merriment and luxury at the expense of their servants, destined to die before they come of age. When best friends Dora and Thistle escape from the Gardens, however, they're plunged into a race against the clock to find the only person in our world who can save them from their grisly fate. 30 Feb. 23
The American daughter of a Vietnam vet and a Japanese war bride, Elizabeth Miki Brina grew up straddling lines of race and nationality. Feeling like an outsider in her Upstate New York hometown, but unable to form a meaningful connection with her mother's native culture, Brina details the fraught legacy of her birth in
Speak, Okinawa. 31 Feb. 23
A woman wrestling with writer's block turns to a Parisian residency to get her creative juices flowing, with grim consequences, in Tatiana de Rosnay's
Flowers of Darkness. Alone in her swanky, if temporary, apartment, Clarissa can't escape the feeling that she's under surveillance. She pulls her granddaughter in to help her, but soon comes face to face with the secrets of her own past, in this tense thriller. 32 Feb. 23
Georgina Lawton never had any reason to question her ethnicity. After all, if her parents, siblings, and neighbors were all white, it would stand to reason that she would be, too. But when her father's death dredged up unanswered questions, Lawton set out to solve them in the journey of self-discovery that formed the basis for her new memoir,
Raceless. 33 Feb. 23
Wonder Woman's sister takes center stage in this #OwnVoices graphic novel from L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith. Born with powers similar to those of Queen Hippolyta's more famous daughter, Nubia has grown up as an outsider — and not just because of her super strength. Her neighbors view the Black teenager as a threat, no matter how helpful she tries to be. But when her BFF needs her, Nubia rises to the occasion, putting her own safety on the line for her friend, in
Nubia: Real One. 34 Feb. 23
A tight-lipped community of wealthy and powerful families is shaken to its very core when a long-dead body turns up nearby. Ever since Nina Rai vanished, her former neighbors told themselves she was just one more dissatisfied trophy wife. Now, confronted with the reality of her disappearance, her cul-de-sac must deal with her son's investigation, in Nalini Singh's
Quiet in Her Bones.