See PEOPLE's picks for the best books to read this month
A memoir on motherhood, historical fiction with a bit of magic, and an intergenerational mystery — see PEOPLE's picks for the best books of February.
'Splinters' by Leslie Jamison
In 2019 Jamison left the home she shared with her then husband and moved with their baby daughter to a nearby sublet. Here she looks back on that agonizing time and what it taught her about love’s limits, the remodeling of self that is motherhood, the “cruel politeness” of attempting amicability with her ex. “It was as if I’d stabbed him,” she writes, “and then offered him a plate of cookies.” Filled with heart, humor and unsparing insights, her searing memoir is a standout. — Kim Hubbard
'Ours' by Phillip B. Williams
A conjurer named Saint frees enslaved Black people from plantations and establishes Ours, a town she makes invisible to protect its inhabitants. But when two strangers arrive, the once invincible conjurer’s powers weaken, leaving the town in danger. A captivating, complex debut. — Wadzanai Mhute
'The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson' by Ellen Baker
Cecily Larson was plucked from an orphanage to join a traveling circus. As a teen, she has an illicit romance whose ramifications take 80 years plus DNA testing to unravel. Now she’s 94 and a great-grandmother, and her secrets finally come out. A sweeping tale of love and loss. — Claire Martin
'How To Live Free in a Dangerous World' by Shayla Lawson
Travel the globe through Lawson’s powerful prose as they explore farflung locations and deeply felt emotions. An illuminating journey.
'Slow Noodles' by Chantha Nguon with Kim Green
Chantha Nguon lost everything fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide but took solace in memories of her mother’s cooking. This memoir with recipes is delicious.
'I Heard Her Call My Name' by Lucy Sante
This affirming memoir of late-in-life transition examines the writer’s gender identity realization and her place in society. A gorgeous, essential read.
'I Saw Them Standing There: Adventures of an Original Fan during Beatlemania and Beyond' by Debbie Gendler
Author Debbie Gendler was among the lucky few who got to see the Fab Four at their historic Ed Sullivan appearance that launched them into musical stardom stateside. A must-read for Beatlemaniacs and music fans alike.
'The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore' by Stan Zimmerman
Stan Zimmerman is likely a screenwriter behind some of your favorite shows. In this earnest, dishy memoir, the Golden Girls, Roseanne and Gilmore Girls writer takes readers behind-the-scenes into some of television's most beloved sitcoms – and his place amongst it all.
“You're lucky in a career if you're involved in one popular show, but I was lucky enough to be involved in three popular shows,” Zimmerman told PEOPLE of his star-studded career.
'What Have We Here?' by Billy Dee Williams
The acclaimed actor writes of his memorable Hollywood career, including his Star Wars reign as Lando — and the strong reactions he got from some fans.
“I'd go on an airplane and the airplane stewards would say, ‘You betrayed Han Solo!," Williams told PEOPLE of the experience, which is excerpted in the magazine's Feb. 19 issue.
'The Book of Love' by Kelly Link
Teens Laura, Daniel and Mo come back from the dead and must complete a series of magical tasks to remain among the living. But their reappearance attracts other supernatural forces to their small Massachusetts town, and the trio have to figure out how to use their new powers, keep their loved ones from learning where they’ve really been all year and save themselves — and their town — from death, or worse. It’s inventive, unputdownable and a ton of fun.
'Leaving' by Roxana Robinson
They haven’t seen each other in 40 years, but when Warren and Sarah run into each other at the opera, it’s clear their long-ago breakup was a mistake. If only it were that simple. As it navigates the chasm between responsibility and desire, this beautiful book will sweep you away. — Marion Winik
'This Disaster Loves You' by Richard Roper
Brian thinks he and Lily are happy running a pub on England’s Devon Coast — until one day Lily leaves without explanation. Still bereft years later, Brian seizes on a clue to her whereabouts and dashes off to find her, with unexpected results. Heartwarming and hilarious. — Robin Micheli
'This Is the Honey' edited by Kwame Alexander
By turns joyful, piercing and poignant, this gorgeous collection from some of today’s best Black poets and writers will persuade even the hesitant to try poetry.
'My Side of the River: A Memoir' by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez
At 15, the author stayed in the U.S. with her little brother after her parents were forced to remain in Mexico when their visas were denied. This is her affecting story.
'Neighbors and Other Stories' by Diane Oliver
These short stories confront living through racism in Jim Crow America in intimate, often chilling tales. An engrossing book by a talent lost too young.
'Flip Your Life' by Tarek El Moussa
The HGTV personality boldly reflects on fatherhood, house flipping and health scares, along with 2016 incident that eventually led to his separation from Flip or Flop costar Christina Hall.
“My mental health was as bad as it had ever been," he writes.
'The Women' by Kristin Hannah
Hannah again shines her light on overlooked women in history, this time the Army Nurse Corps who served in Vietnam. “Good girl” Frances “Frankie” McGrath follows her brother into war and finds confidence and purpose as a surgical nurse. (Her parents are less evolved, with her military father withholding a place for her on his Wall of Heroes.) The book is at its best when it focuses on the nurses in the evac hospital but doesn’t skirt the issues that plague military homecomings.
'A Love Song for Ricki Wilde' by Tia Williams
This sexy, modern New York City fairy tale between a quirky florist and a stoic jazz musician is brought to life by the beautifully rich history of the Harlem Renaissance. With humor, soulful prose and a touch of magical realism, Williams takes a creative chance with Ricki Wilde that’ll make it one of your most memorable reads of 2024. — McKenzie Jean-Philippe
'Greta & Valdin' by Rebecca K. Reilly
New Zealand siblings Greta and Valdin can’t catch a break. Valdin is getting over a messy breakup when he makes plans to see his ex-boyfriend during a work trip. Greta’s own love life is complicated by other antics, including her Māori mother’s secrets and her Russian father’s eccentricities. A heartfelt portrait of a complex family. — Carly Tagen-Dye
'Get the Picture' by Bianca Bosker
The Cork Dork author goes deep on why art lovers and artists are so passionate and what we can learn from them. The journey will change the way you see the world.
'Bride' by Ali Hazelwood
An outcast Vampyre named Misery is forced to marry a werewolf to keep the peace in this buzzy new supernatural romance. Another Hazelwood home run.
'Cahokia Jazz' by Francis Spufford
In this alternate 1920s history, ancient city Cahokia is a seat of Indigenous power. A body shows up and sets off a twisty detective noir that tests the loyalties of all involved.
'Outofshapeworthlessloser: A Memoir of Figure Skating, F---ing Up, and Figuring It Out' by Gracie Gold
Olympian Gracie Gold is more than an "ice princess," as she reveals in this riveting memoir, which details her experience with an eating disorder, depression and her high-stakes career.
“A lot of people in skating don’t really know me at all,” she told PEOPLE. “This book dives deeper into [who I am].”
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