— Things to put your eyes on

The release of these new books will add to your pile of February must-reads

Getty Images/Rekha Garton

Relationship dramas, heartbreaking histories, frothy, fun reads—February has it all! Here are the books that made us take note.

1A Separation, by Katie Kitamura

Amazon


At the start of this spellbinding novel, a couple has split up. But when the husband (a known serial cheater) goes missing in a remote region of Greece, the wife reluctantly agrees to look for him. As her search goes on, she discovers that she knew even less about the man she married than she thought. A profound examination of relationships with a dash of thrilling mystery, this taut novel doesn’t disappoint.

To buy: $18; amazon.com.

Released February 7.

Related article: These were the bestselling books of 2016, according to Amazon

2My (Not So) Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella

kinsella-life

Amazon

Katie Brenner is a whiz at branding. The daughter of a farmer, she has moved to London, where she works as a research associate at a marketing firm, and rebranded herself as Cat, a put-together woman with straight hair, glasses, and a posh accent. But behind her carefully curated Instagram feed, life isn’t as great as it seems: She’s living with terrible roommates, barely making ends meet, and struggling to stay in her boss Demeter’s good graces. When she hits it off with a cute coworker, things are finally looking up—until she gets fired. With her ego bruised and her wallet empty, Katie returns home to help her dad and stepmother launch their upscale glamping business. When Demeter shows up with her family to spend a relaxing weekend in a yurt, Katie learns that perhaps no one’s lives are exactly what they seem. Kinsella (Confessions of a Shopaholic) delivers another fun novel full of wit, charm, and quirky (but relatable) characters.

To buy: $18.50; amazon.com.

Released February 7.

3The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love, by Michael D. Lemonick

lemonick-now
Amazon

Scientific American opinion editor Lemonick explores our current understanding of memory through the case study of Lonni Sue Johnson. Johnson, a renowned artist who regularly produced covers for The New Yorker, contracted encephalitis in 2007 and the infection destroyed her hippocampus, leaving her severely amnesic. Now she lives permanently in the present: Her memories are wiped clean every 15 minutes and she can only remember parts of her past. Lemonick combines Lonni Sue’s story with another notable case study of amnesia on a patient who was known for years only as “H.M.” to help demonstrate the different ways our brains store information. Fans of Oliver Sacks will appreciate Lemonick’s ability to combine personal stories with science, which makes The Perpetual Now a compelling and approachable read.

To buy: $25; amazon.com.

Released February 7.

4 The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down, by Haemin Sunim

sunim-see

Amazon

Korean Buddhist monk Haemin Sunim delivers ancient Buddhist philosophy for the modern age in this book, which has sold more than 3 million copies in Korea. In short stanzas, Sunim offers profound but relatable wisdom on coping with the daily grind—and on keeping sight of what really matters. Leave this book on your nightstand to clear your head before bed.

To buy: $12.50; amazon.com.

Released February 7.

Related article: 10 banned books everyone should read

5All of Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai

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Amazon

You don’t have to be a sci-fi fan to become totally enthralled with this fresh, time-travel novel by screenwriter Mastai. In Tom Barren’s world, humanity has achieved a techno-utopia with the invention of the Goettreider Engine, which provides an unlimited supply of clean energy. No one is hungry, people travel in Jetson-style flying cars—and Tom doesn’t have much purpose. A disappointment to his genius father, Tom finds himself accepted into a revolutionary time-travel expedition out of pity. When a mishap causes Tom to travel back to the 1965 invention of the Goettreider Engine, his presence causes the experiment to go awry. He then finds himself stranded in our 2016 (the real world as we know it), which, for Tom, seems like a dystopian wasteland filled with war, poverty, and illness. But he also finds an alternate version of his life, one where his mother is still alive, his dad is kind, and he may have just met his soul mate. Does he try to go back and fix the course of history so that his utopian universe is restored? Or does he begin a new life in our unpredictable, dangerous world? Don’t get bogged down by the seemingly-complicated set-up—Mastai delivers an utterly clever, entertaining love story.

To buy: $17; amazon.com.

Released February 7.

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