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The Best Books We Read in February

best books 12.1.23
Farewell, February! The shortest month of the year went by pretty fast—but we aren’t complaining, given that spring’s now right around the corner. February wound up being a busy month for me, and I didn’t read nearly as much as I would’ve liked. Luckily I had Claire Keegan’s “So Late in the Day” to keep me from feeling too unproductive. A collection of three of the author’s short stories, it was a quick read that nevertheless featured Keegan’s spare, elegant prose in abundance. I especially liked the story “The Long and Painful Death,” the tale of an author enjoying a peaceful writer’s retreat on the Irish coast, up until her trip is interrupted by an uninvited guest. Between the beautiful descriptions of the coastal setting and insights into the creative process—like how much of the writing process takes place away from the page itself—it’s a story that stuck with me for days.

More books Fable editors loved in February

Here are the books our editors couldn’t put down this month. We’d love to know: what was the best book you read? Hayley: “Outdrawn” by Deanna Grey is a sapphic romance novel following rival artists who must work together to relaunch their company’s famous webcomic. It is such a fun book—it had me giggling and kicking my feet the whole time. In addition to the romance being absolutely delicious, the book has great discussions about struggling with burnout and perfection as a creator, and I really appreciated and felt seen by it. Sapphic, Black romances will always have my heart, and this one is definitely a new favorite of mine!Desiree: “Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop” by Hwang Bo-Reum is one of the coziest books I’ve read in a while, and yet it’s also incredibly raw and touches all those little doubts I kept hidden in the back of my mind. It follows a cast of characters that all find solace in the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop. From the bookshop owner, Yeongju, to her barista, to the high schooler who doesn’t know what to do after graduation, to the middle-aged woman who just quit her job. All characters are lost in life, not quite sure what they’re doing, and simply trying to exist. It brought me immense comfort to know that it’s okay to be lost. Sometimes that’s what we need to find the right path, without even knowing we were looking for it. Jason: The best book I read last month was actually a re-read (and yes, I always count re-reads toward my monthly reading wrap, I know opinions differ on this!). To prepare for the upcoming Netflix adaptation, I read Cixin Liu’s first book in a mind-shattering trilogy: “The Three-Body Problem.” I was very happy to discover that it is still one of my favorite books of all time, even after a second reading. The science fiction series begins during the Cultural Revolution in China, but takes us through thousands of years of future human history. Every 50 pages or so, Liu drops a Big Idea that will rock the way you think about reality. I’m going to re-read all three books before the series drops on March 21st on Netflix. Cameron: “Bride” by Ali Hazelwood exceeded all expectations. I was hesitant to read another vampire romance (the Twilight of it all), but was absolutely astonished by how intricate this world-building was. Ali Hazelwood completely reinvents vampire lore. Gone are the days of vampires that sparkle or werewolves that imprint on innocent young babies. Instead, she creates a new species based on her love for fanfiction and science. Rather than asking, “wait, why do these vampires live forever?” Hazelwood contrives an original but oh-so-plausible reason for their need for human blood. Combine that with the enemies-to-lovers trope and a marriage of convenience, and you’ve got a unique page-turner. On top of that, it has all the steam and spice of “The Love Hypothesis,” which is by far the best book I read in 2021.
So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan digital book - Fable

So Late in the Day

By Claire Keegan

From Booker Prize Finalist and bestselling author of “pitch perfect” (Boston Globe) Small Things Like These, comes a triptych of stories about love, lust, betrayal, and the ever-intriguing interchanges between women and men.

Outdrawn by Deanna Grey digital book - Fable

Outdrawn

By Deanna Grey

Outdrawn is a slow-burn, rivals-to-lovers sapphic romance.

Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum digital book - Fable

Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop

By Hwang Bo-reum

The Korean smash hit available for the first time in English, a slice-of-life novel for readers of Matt Haig's The Midnight Library and Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of AJ Fikry.

The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu digital book - Fable

The Three Body Problem

By Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience the Hugo Award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Bride by Ali Hazelwood  digital book - Fable

Bride

By Ali Hazelwood

A dangerous alliance between a Vampyre bride and an Alpha Werewolf becomes a love deep enough to sink your teeth into in this new paranormal romance

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