10 New Books to Read in February

This month's new releases include the final installment in the 'War for the Rose Throne' series and a present-day look at Alabama's Africatown.
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Photo by Aung Soe Min on Unsplash

February may be the shortest month, but you wouldn’t know if by the sheer number of great books making their debut. Let’s just say there are lots of new releases to love. Here are the books we’re hoping will be ours in February.

The following information is provided courtesy of the Arlington Public Library.


World We MakeThe Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3
By Kira Yarmysh, translated by Arch Tait

Sentenced to 10 days in a Moscow jail after being wrongfully arrested at an anti-corruption rally, Anya gets to know her five cellmates, all of whom are in for petty crimes. But the longer she’s there, the more jail time begins to affect Anya’s grip on reality. Author Kira Yarmysh has first-hand experience with Russian imprisonment, having served as opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s press secretary. // Available February 7. Library catalog link here.

Punishment Of A HunterTake the Lead
By Alexis Daria

Professional dancer Gina has been on The Dance Off for four seasons and is determined to win. Meanwhile Stone, the star of a reality show about the Alaskan wilderness, never pictured himself dancing, but his show could use the ratings boost. Beneath the faux-authenticity of reality shows, Gina and Stone make a real connection, but are unsure how to make it work in the face of TV’s demands and their separate goals and aspirations. // Available February 14. Library catalog link here.

Before Your Memory FadesPriest of Crowns
By Peter McLean

The fourth and final installment of the War for the Rose Throne series finds Tomas Piety trying to retain control as unrest roils the nation and a Skandian war looms. Piety must come to grips with the man he has become since the last war as he sets his plans in motion, both in the criminal streets and the highest corridors of power. This gritty, gangster fantasy series has a page-turning end. // Available February 14. Library catalog link here.

Factory GirlsMurder your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide
By Rupert Holmes

McMaster’s Academy for Applied Arts will teach you how to kill, but only those who most deserve it. Three students work their way through the curriculum and then go out into the world to complete their final projects—getting away with murder. Full of screwball antics and wordplay, this tale offers a fun twist on the traditional murder mystery. // Available February 21. Library catalog link here.


Ruin Of All WitchesHijab Butch Blues: A Memoir
By Lamya H

Growing up in the Middle East, Lamya takes comfort in Maryam, who is also uninterested in men. Later, while attending college in the U.S., she faces Islamophobia, even in the queer circles she hoped would offer acceptance. But, just like Nuh built his ark, Lamya builds a community of queer Muslims while still engaging with her faith in this witty and uplifting memoir. // Available February 7. Library catalog link here.

Fatty Fattty Boom BoomThe Diary Keepers: World War II in the Netherlands, As Written by the People Who Lived Through It
By Nina Siegal

Author Nina Siegal presents a collection of diary entries from various people living in the Netherlands through World War II, from Jews trying to survive to enthusiastic collaborators and apolitical teens. She steps in to add context and background, yielding a multi-faceted first-hand look at life under occupation. // Available February 21. Library catalog link here.

Lego StoryComet Madness: How the 1910 Return of Halley’s Comet (almost) Destroyed Civilization
By Richard J. Goodrich

Every 76 years, Halley’s comet appears in the sky. Throughout history, it’s been interpreted as a portent of doom—from the Norman Conquest following its appearance in 1066 to fears of humanity being wiped out in 1910. Knowing fear sells, media outlets have propagated bad science and misinformation, resulting in cultural panic that unscrupulous businesses have readily exploited. Author Richard Goodrich presents a fascinating look at lessons we should have learned a century ago. // Available February 15. Library catalog link here.

Dickens And PrinceAfricatown: America’s Last Slave Ship and the Community it Created
By Nick Tabor

Though the African slave trade was deemed illegal in 1807, slavery still flourished in parts in the United States, and enslaved people were still regularly smuggled into the country. In 1860, the last slave ship, the Clotilda, arrived in Alabama carrying 110 people. Emancipated five years later, the ship’s survivors established a community outside Mobile, which still exists today, but is threatened by industrial pollution and political disenfranchisement. Many readers learned about Africatown from Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon. Author Nick Tabor brings the story to the present day. // Available February 21. Library catalog link here.

Middle Grade

Sir CallieMomo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind
By Misa Sugiura

After she is attacked by a shikome (death hag) and helped by a magical fox, Momo Arashima learns her mother is actually a Shinto goddess—and that  yo kai demons are escaping into the human realm. It’s now up to Momo, her ex-friend Danny and Niko the Fox to travel across heaven and earth to find a magical sword that can defeat the escaped demons. // Available February 28. Library catalog link here.


WhiteoutShe is a Haunting
By Trang Thanh Tran

Jade’s father is restoring an old French Colonial house to open a bed-and-breakfast. Jade and her father have never been close, but he promises that if she travels to Vietnam for five weeks to help him with the renovations, he’ll pay for her college tuition. Once in Vietnam, Jade starts to notice eerie things and sees ghosts in her dreams. The house doesn’t want them there and seems intent on making them leave in this Gothic horror novel. // Available February 28. Library catalog link here.

February is Black History Month. The library has many book lists for all ages exploring Black Voices with African American authors, history, experiences, culture and more.

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