The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

by Melissa Ragsdale

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is which to read first. Seriously, you're not going to be able to pull me away from my TBR list for anything. No matter what kind of reader are, get ready for a spectacular month of new fiction.

Some authors you already love are delighting us with fresh new reads this month, including Jane Harper, Kristin Hannah, Amy Bloom, and Tayari Jones. If you're anything like me, once you find an author you adore, you want to eat up everything they write, so get those library cards ready. But there is also a slew of debut authors releasing books this month, so you're certain to find a new voice to add to your list of favorites.

And of course, it's fitting that the shortest month of the year is giving readers some fantastic short stories. A good short story is the perfect cure if you've got a case of the February blues. Go ahead, have a bite of something new.

February may be cold and hard, but a big stack of new books is just what the doctor ordered. Come snow or sleet, these reads will certainly keep you nice and warm all month long. Grab yourself a big fluffy blanket and a steaming mug of tea as you curl up with a wonderful new book.

'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones (Feb. 6; Algonquin Books)

In this exquisite novel, set in Georgia, we follow newlyweds Celestial and Roy — two characters you'll be drawn to immediately. One year into their marriage, Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime that Celestial knows he didn't commit, which sends their relationship down a gripping emotional path. Jones' writing is honey-rich, every word encapsulating the taste of the South.

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'The Great Alone' by Kristin Hannah (Feb. 6; St. Martin's Press)

After blowing everyone away with The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah is back with another stunning novel. Set in 1974, this is the story of a family who tries to build a new home in the wilderness of Alaska. This is moving read about family, community, and finding strength in unexpected places.

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'How To Stop Time' by Matt Haig (Feb. 6; Viking)

Hop aboard this heartfelt adventure! Tom may look like he's 47, but he's actually been alive for centuries. He's not immortal; he just ages very, very slowly, and his life has been... unconventional as a result. But he has one rule that keeps things from getting out of control: Don't fall in love.

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'Call Me Zebra' by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (Feb. 6; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

As a reader myself, I find books about other readers extraordinarily special. In this marvelous book, Zebra, a 22-year-old woman, uses literature to take refuge from her present and navigate her family's past. As she travels to Barcelona and retraces the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago, you'll fall in love with her and her story.

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'House of Impossible Beauties' by Joseph Cassara (Feb. 6; Ecco)

Take a dive into the drag world of 1980 New York City. Seventeen-year-old Angel is new to the scene, and falls in love with a man named Hector. Together, they form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem Ball circuit (an iconic place that exists in real life). But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, the responsibilities of the house fall to Angel. Compared to A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and filled with a cast of characters you'll come to know as family, this debut novel will absolutely blow you away.

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'Force of Nature' by Jane Harper (Feb. 6; Flatiron Books)

Didn't you just love The Dry? Jane Harper is back with another Aaron Falk thriller coming stateside to put you on the edge of your seat. In this book, five colleagues go into the woods for a corporate retreat, but only four come back, each with a slightly different story. Get ready for a great helping of twists and turns as you embark on this mystery.

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'The Friend' by Sigrid Nunez (Feb. 6; Riverhead Books)

Nothing quite compares to a "good boy," except for perhaps, a good book about a "good boy." In this touching story, a woman unexpectedly takes in the dog of a friend and mentor who has died. The two navigate their grief together, as everything around them seems to unravel.

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'Back Talk' by Danielle Lazarin (Feb. 6; Penguin Books)

This fantastic debut short story collection is filled with excellent stories of women and girls, centering on their lives in a way that feels refreshingly real. If you couldn't get enough of "Cat Person," this collection should be next on your list.

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'Asymmetry' by Lisa Halliday (Feb. 6; Simon and Schuster)

The first book from 2017 Whiting Award Winner Lisa Halliday, this bold new novel is split into three sections. The first section tells the story of an American editor and her relationship with a much older writer. The second section depicts a romance in New York during the early years of the Iraq War. The third section is about an Iraqi-American man who is detained by immigration. The three stories unwind and converge in unexpected ways, and you won't be able to put this book down.

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'Freshwater' by Akwaeke Emezi (Feb. 13; Grove Press)

In this powerful debut novel, readers follow Ada, a young Nigerian woman who develops separate selves within herself "as a result of being born with one foot on the other side." Moving through her childhood in the south of Nigeria to her time at college in America, readers are sure to hold their breath as Ada's alternate selves grow and take control.

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'White Houses' by Amy Bloom (Feb. 13; Random House)

This book tells the story of Eleanor Roosevelt's love affair with Lorena Hickok, and I am. Here. For. It. The remarkable Amy Bloom shares an intimate, fictionalized love story intertwined with American politics and history. You need to read this one.

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'Song of a Captive Bird' by Jasmin Darznik (Feb. 13; Ballantine Books)

Forugh Farrokhzad was an Iranian poet and feminist icon, whose passionate poetry broke innumerable barriers. Growing up in Iran at a time when women were expected to be silent, Farrokhzad developed her voice and published her work despite the scorn from society and her family. Drawing from Farrokhzad's verse, letters, films, and interviews, author Jasmin Darznik delivers a powerful account of the life of this inspiring woman.

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'Sadness Is a White Bird' by Moriel Rothman-Zecher (Feb. 13; Atria Books)

This book follows Jonathan, a young man set to join the Israeli army. But Jonathan's position is complicated by his deep friendship with a pair of Palestinian siblings and his lingering fears about having to monitor the disputed territories. Sadness Is a White Bird provides a thoughtful and personal lens to the hardships of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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'All the Names They Used for God' by Anjali Sachdeva (Feb. 20; Random House)

This phenomenal debut short story collection is filled with stories that bring the other-worldly to life and examine the strangeness of humanity.

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'Sunburn' by Laura Lippman (Feb. 20; William Morrow)

This complex crime noir from one of the masters of the genre is sure to light a fire under you. At the heart of the story is Polly, who has walked out on her family, taken a job at a bar and restaurant in the middle of nowhere, and started a steamy relationship with the handsome, mysterious chef who works with her. But there are plenty of lethal secrets hiding beneath this sizzling affair.

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