We made it to February, dear readers; how many times have you had to reset your New Year’s resolutions?! Well, there won’t be any do-overs here because we just got a new pile of paperbacks in—they’re sitting on the table, spines out, waiting to be read. We’ve rounded up an eclectic list of titles for you this month: New York Times bestsellers, a moving memoir about the complexities of family, and the glamour of the 16th-century royal court from the great Philippa Gregory. Now, let’s jump right in!
While Alinor waits in a graveyard during the Midsummer’s Eve of 1648 for a ghost to free her from an abusive husband, she instead meets James, a young man on the run who will dramatically change the course of their lives for many years to come. So begins the compelling multigenerational saga set against the backdrop of the English Civil War from one of today’s literary masters. Gregory’s usual meticulous attention to detail will have readers eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.
This New York Times bestseller from “one of the great storytellers of our time” (San Francisco Book Review) turns from the glamour of the royal courts to tell the story of an ordinary woman, Alinor, living in a dangerous time for a woman to be different.
On Midsummer’s Eve, Alinor waits in the church graveyard, hoping to encounter the ghost of her missing husband and thus confirm his death. Until she can, she is neither maiden nor wife nor widow, living in a perilous limbo. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run. She shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marshy landscape of the Tidelands, not knowing she is leading a spy and an enemy into her life.
England is in the grip of a bloody civil war that reaches into the most remote parts of the kingdom. Alinor’s suspicious neighbors are watching each other for any sign that someone might be disloyal to the new parliament, and Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her as a woman who doesn’t follow the rules. They have always whispered about the sinister power of Alinor’s beauty, but the secrets they don’t know about her and James are far more damning. This is the time of witch-mania, and if the villagers discover the truth, they could take matters into their own hands.
“This is Gregory par excellence” (Kirkus Reviews). “Fans of Gregory’s works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale” (Library Journal, starred review) that is “superb… A searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages” (People).
Roya and Bahman are to be married, but their world is forever changed by the onset of violent unrest in 1950s Tehran. Separated for more than sixty years, Roya, now married to someone else, finds Bahman in a nursing home and is finally able to ask him the questions that have haunted her for decades. In THE STATIONERY SHOP, Kamali effortlessly immerses readers in the blossoming love of teenagers amidst the sights, sounds, and culture of Iran.
A poignant, heartfelt new novel by the award-nominated author of Together Tea—extolled by the Wall Street Journal as a “moving tale of lost love” and by Shelf Awareness as “a powerful, heartbreaking story”—explores loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.
Roya, a dreamy, idealistic teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood stationery shop, stocked with books and pens and bottles of jewel-colored ink.
Then Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—and she loses her heart at once. Their romance blossoms, and the little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.
A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square when violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she moves on—to college in California, to another man, to a life in New England—until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did you leave? Where did you go? How is it that you were able to forget me?
Rudy wakes one morning ten months after the sudden death of his wife, unsure of how to move forward with his life. With his depression spiraling out of control, Rudy suffers a mental breakdown and is hospitalized. Lolly Winston takes an honest look at grief, portraying the importance of having the courage to love again.
This “winsome story with charm to burn about second acts and second chances” (Jennifer Weiner, New York Times bestselling author) from the New York Times bestselling author of Good Grief asks us how soon is too soon to fall in love again?
Rudy never expected to be a widower at fifty-four-years-old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he’s still struggling with how to move on from the overwhelming tragedy—but at least his new job is helping.
After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. As the piano player at Nordstrom, Rudy finds immense joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn’t hurt that Sasha, the men’s watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then.
Just when Rudy and Sasha’s relationship begins to deepen, the police reveal a shocking update about Rudy’s wife’s untimely death and now they want a second look at him, too. With Sasha’s husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy’s daughter confronting her own marital problems, life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Sasha could have ever imagined.
Perfect for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman, Me for You is “an immensely readable, emotionally honest examination of the aftermath of grief and loss. Lolly Winston masterfully weaves humor with pathos in this story of second chances, all-too-human foibles, unlikely love, and an uplifting message of hope” (Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author).
Engaging educational writer Roxanna Elden combines eleven years of teaching with speaking engagements shedding light on the plight of the public education system and its students. An insider’s perspective on testing culture and the threat of charter schools, delivered with a sizable amount of humor and snark.
A debut novel told with humor, intelligence, and heart, a “funny but insightful look at teachers in the workplace…reminiscent of the TV show The Office but set in an urban high school” (The Washington Post), perfect for fans of Tom Perrotta and Laurie Gelman.
Roxanna Elden’s “laugh-out-loud funny satire” (Forbes) is a brilliantly entertaining and moving look at our education system.
Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.
English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, but tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she struggles to parent her daughter, while Coach Ray hustles his troubled football team toward another winning season. Recording it all is idealistic second-year history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose anonymous blog gains new readers by the day as it drifts ever further from her in-class reality. And this year, a new superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting the whole place down.
Like comfort food, this novel will satisfy your hunger for a home-cooked meal served family style. Tembi and Saro fall in love, but his traditional Sicilian family does not approve of him marrying a black American woman. The couple doesn’t allow that to stop them; they adopt a baby girl and continue to build a love-filled life together. When a rare form of cancer takes Saro’s life, Tembi is left to pick up the pieces, journeying back to Sicily, where she unexpectedly finds family waiting for her.
This Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller is “a captivating story of love lost and found” (Kirkus Reviews) set in the lush Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hours.
It was love at first sight when actress Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did not approve of his marrying a black American woman. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forged on. They built a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships, and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopted at birth. Eventually, they reconciled with Saro’s family just as he faced a formidable cancer that would consume all their dreams.
From Scratch chronicles three summers Tembi spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as she begins to piece together a life without her husband in his tiny hometown hamlet of farmers. Where once Tembi was estranged from Saro’s family, now she finds solace and nourishment—literally and spiritually—at her mother-in-law’s table. In the Sicilian countryside, she discovers the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close knit community, and timeless traditions and wisdom that light a path forward. All along the way she reflects on her and Saro’s romance—an incredible love story that leaps off the pages.
In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a death—in Tembi Locke’s case, it is both. “Locke’s raw and heartfelt memoir will uplift readers suffering from the loss of their own loved ones” (Publishers Weekly), but her story is also about love, finding a home, and chasing flavor as an act of remembrance. From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and those who needed a powerful reminder that life is...delicious.
A blended family of a father and mother, each with a child from a previous relationship, makes its way cross-country to Arizona to study the history of the Apache. Along the way, they experience a noticeable change in their relationships and a shift in their perspective on the immigrant crisis gripping America. The study of the past atrocities committed against Native Americans acts as a parallel to the current immigration system. Luiselli takes a deep, contemporary look at the great American road trip.
Smith sets out to fulfill his friend Iris’s dying wish of turning her blog posts about the last six months of her life into a book. Before he can honor her final request, he must first get permission from her older sister, Jade, who is having a hard time dealing with the loss of Iris. Told using a series of emails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, and text messages, WHEN YOU READ THIS lovingly uses Iris’s virtual life to bring those she left behind closer together.