From 'American Dirt' to 'Why We Can't Sleep': 20 of the best books out this February

From non-fiction works on American politics to Harry Potter knitting patterns and fictionalised goings-on in Mexico, these are the top books to read now

Clockwise from top left: 'When You See Me' by Lisa Gardner; 'Interior Chinatown' by Charles Yu; 'Harry Potter: Knitting Magic' by Tanis Gray; 'American Dirt' by Jeanine Cummins; 'A Long Petal of the Sea' by Isabel Allende; 'Humble Pi: A Comedy of Math Errors' by Matt Parker; 'Why We're Polarized' by Ezra Klein; 'Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death' by David G Marwell
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Are you still on a mission to read a tome (or two) a month after making all those New Year's promises to yourself? This new batch of books will have you exceeding that limit in no time.

From the greatest works of non-fiction and a set of intriguing novels, these are the best books out on shelves this February.

Why We're Polarized

by Ezra Klein

'Why We're Polarized' by Ezra Klein

The co-founder of Vox offers a framework for understanding the American political system, from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift and the politicisation of everyday culture.

When You See Me

by Lisa Gardner

'When You See Me' by Lisa Gardner

Three of the bestselling author's most beloved characters come together in a twist-filled new thriller that sees the trio investigate a mysterious murder from the past, and uncover a deceased serial kidnapper's most sinister secret yet.

Interior Chinatown

by Charles Yu

'Interior Chinatown' by Charles Yu

Charles Yu playfully yet masterfully incorporates Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes in this deeply personal novel that explores matters of race, pop culture and escaping the roles society expects us to adopt.

Mengele: Unmasking the 'Angel of Death'

by David G Marwell

'Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death' by David G Marwell

A former Justice Department official, who was chief of investigative research at the Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s, unpicks the life of one of the world's most notorious war criminals: Josef Mengele. This biography of the infamous Nazi doctor comes from a man who worked his case, interviewed his victims and visited the scenes of his crimes.

Harry Potter: Knitting Magic

by Tanis Gray

'Harry Potter: Knitting Magic' by Tanis Gray

If you thought there was no angle left to explore in the Hogwarts universe, this book is here to prove you're wrong. It's the first official Harry Potter knitting book, with a guide to creating more than 25 themed knits based on the beloved series. Think school scarves and even Mrs Weasley's Christmas sweaters. It's a true fan must-have.

A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America

by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker

A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America by PHILIP RUCKER and CAROL LEONNIG published by Penguin Press. Courtesy Penguin Random House

The Pulitzer Prize winners provide a new insider narrative of Donald Trump’s presidency. The book relays scores of exclusive new interviews with some of the most senior members of the Trump administration and also take a closer look inside Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and the president's defense.

American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins

'American Dirt' by Jeanine Cummins

On the one hand, this book was hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times", while on the other Latin American critics accused it of stereotyping and racism. Nonetheless, American Dirt has had people talking. It follows a mother and her son Luca as they flee their Mexican hometown after her husband publishes a tell-all profile about the boss of the city's newest drug cartel. It explores the hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for hope.

A Long Petal of the Sea

by Isabel Allende

'A Long Petal of the Sea' by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, author of bestseller The House of the Spirits, really shows off her writing chops in this epic piece of historical fiction that spans decades and continents, following two young people as they escape the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and look for somewhere to call home. She explores topics of hope, exile and belonging.

Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World

by Matt Parker

'Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World' by Matt Parker

If, at school, you wondered when you'd ever end up using what you'd learnt in maths class, then this book is for you. Matt Parker uncovers strange ways maths has tripped us up in the past – with examples involving the internet, big data, elections, lotteries and even the Roman Empire – and what this reveals about its essential place in our world.


by William Gibson

'Agency' by William Gibson

From the writer who coined the term "cyberspace" and popularised it in his 1984 novel Neuromancer comes this new science-fiction thriller heavily influenced by current events. It's a thought-provoking piece taking place in the years 2017 and 2136 with the complex concept of virtual time travel across parallel universes via remote telepresence (and in the form of avatars) at its heart.

Choose Wonder Over Worry

by Amber Rae

Choose Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae. Courtesy Griffin

In the words of renowned author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra: "Amber Rae's very personal journey of moving from self-limiting beliefs to her true self offers inspiring insights and lessons for anyone wanting to unfold their infinite potential."

The Conference of the Birds

by Ransom Riggs

The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs. Courtesy Penguin Random House

The newest installment in the bestselling Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series sees Jacob Portman's story take a brave leap forward as he endeavours to save Noor Pradesh, the subject of an ancient prophecy that foretells a looming apocalypse.

Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump – and Democrats from Themselves

by Rick Wilson

Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves by Rick Wilson published by Crown Forum. Courtesy Penguin Random House

The longtime Republican strategist and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies is back with a no-holds-barred guidebook to making Donald Trump a one-term president, something he says can only happen if the Democrats run to win in 2020.

Uncanny Valley

by Anna Wiener

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener published by MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Courtest Macmillan

Anna Wiener left a job in publishing to join the world of startups in Silicon Valley and now she's penned this defining memoir for the digital age. It offers a first-person glimpse into an ambitious, reckless startup culture at a time when it was barely regulated. Part coming-of-age story, part portrait of a bygone era, Uncanny Valley is a cautionary tale.


by Megan Angelo

Followers by Megan Angelo published by Graydon House. Courtesy Harlequin Enterprises

Social media star wannabes Orla and Floss live 35 years behind Marlow, who has 12 million followers and resides in a monitored California village built just for celebrities. But Followers traces their paths as they wind towards each other and a cataclysmic event. It's a darkly funny story that reminds us that what we actually crave in life is genuine human connection.

Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis

by Ada Calhoun

Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun. Courtesy GROVE ATLANTIC

When Ada Calhoun began experiencing her midlife crisis, she set out on a mission to find answers, and discovered Generation X women, the ones raised to "have it all", are mostly miserable, exhausted and overwhelmed. She opens up the cultural and political contexts behind this predicament.

Lady Clementine

by Marie Benedict

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict. Courtesy Sourcebooks

The New York Times bestselling author is back with a novel that focuses on Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston, an ambitious woman who did not flinch as the darkness of war descended.

Long Bright River

Liz Moore

Long Bright River by Liz Moore. Courtesy Penguin Random House

Two once-inseperable sisters have found themselves at odds in the midst of America's opioid crisis. Kacey is an addict, while Mickey joined the police. When Kacey disappears at the same time as a mysterious string of murders begins, Mickey becomes obsessed with finding the culprit – and her sister.

Martha Stewart's Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines

by Martha Stewart

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Martha Stewart's Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines by Martha Stewart. Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Move over Marie Kondo, as one of America's most trusted lifestyle authorities offers guidance, methods and DIY projects for organising in and around your home. From room-by-room strategies to seasonal advice, this might just become the new go-to bible for organisation in 2020.

The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy

by Elizabeth Kendall

THE PHANTOM PRINCE: MY LIFE WITH TED BUNDY, UPDATED AND EXPANDED EDITION By Elizabeth Kendall. Contribution by Molly Kendall. Courtesy Abrams Press

This updated edition of Elizabeth Kendall's 1981 memoir about her relationship with one of the world's most notorious serial killers includes a new introduction and afterword, never-before-seen photos and a chapter from Kendall's daughter, Molly, who is sharing her story for the first time.


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