February 2024’s Must-Read Book Releases

The best novels, memoirs, and more to add to your reading list.

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Another month, another fresh set of book releases to devour. See NYLON’s monthly reading list, ahead.

Alphabetical Diaries by Sheila Heti - Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Feb. 6

Sheil Heti is a master of fiction. In Alphabetical Diaries, Heti kept a record of her thoughts over a 10-year period and then arranged the sentences from A to Z, creating, as the title suggests, an alphabetical diary filled despair, joy, and every feeling in between.

Set between Mexico and an elite East Coast university, this debut novel follows Daniel, a college freshman who finds his first queer love with his roommate. But when Daniel returns to Mexico for the summer, he’s left to reconsider who he is.

Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K. Reilly - Avid Reader Press, Feb. 6

Already a bestseller in New Zealand, Greta & Valdin now introduces the titular Māori-Russian siblings to U.S. audiences — along with their hilarious and neurotic queer longings, unrequited crushes, and messy family dynamics.

Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan - Little, Brown, and Company - Feb. 6

The critically acclaimed novelist and author Acts of Desperation is back with her second novel, a psychological family story about class and trauma. In Ordinary Human Failings, Megan Nolan traverses ‘90s London, following a 10-year-old suspect of a violent crime who forces a family to reckon with their past.

Plastic by Scott Guild - Pantheon, Feb. 13

Scott Guid’s debut novel is an apocalyptic crypto-romance about environmental and societal collapse that follows a girl living in a plastic world who has a chance at love in a VR simulation.

This debut novel is both a Black woman’s coming-of-age story and a music-driven twist on the friendship novel (think Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise meets Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity). Plus, it’s a love letter to punk, both past and present.

Greasepaint by Hannah Levene - Nightboat, Feb. 13

A truly original ode to ‘50s lesbian social culture, Greasepaint follows an ensemble of singing, dancing butch lesbians and Yiddish anarchists who play at a New York City bar every Friday night.

E-girls, sex workers, and college dropouts with BPD are the subjects of Rafael Frumkin’s five hilarious and debauchery-filled short stories about young queer people. Frumkin is also the author of Confidence, which has been described by Electric Literature as: “Theranos, but make it gay.” Sold!

The latest work from Brontez Purnell, artist and author of the influential and captivating 100 Boyfriends, is a format-breaking memoir in verse. Across 38 autobiographical pieces, Purnell chronicles the misadventures and absurdity of love, loneliness, Blackness, and sex.

About Uncle by Rebecca Gisler, translated by Jordan Stump - Two Lines Press, Feb. 20

In the English translation of Rebecca Gisler’s eerie and claustrophobic debut French novel, a young unnamed woman moves to a seaside town to take care of her aging uncle and becomes increasingly more enveloped in his bizarre daily machinations.

You could put the cost of this book towards an actual Rolex or you could get this coffee table book highlighting the ins and outs of 100 exceptional Rolex watches.

Piglet by Lottie Hazell - Macmillan, Feb. 27

Delicious food writing and subtle British class politics meet a pre-marital crisis? Sign us up!

Drawing on everything from Jennifer’s Body to the Tumblr-verse, Emmeline Clein traces an American obsession with thinness, uncovering the history of an epidemic though her own stories of disordered eating along with those of historical figures, celebrities, and her friends.

If there’s anyone who can make you feel less alone about mourning — and probably even laugh a little — it’s Sloane Crosley. In Grief Is for People, Crosley ruminates on loss following the death of her closest friend, making for a darkly funny and touching memoir to lighten even the darkest times.

Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange - Penguin Random House, Feb. 27

In the followup to his riveting Pulitzer Prize finalist novel There, There, Tommy Orange traces the dark and luminous legacy of a multi-generational family affected by the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.