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Tertulia Staff Picks: 10 Books Coming in February That We Can't Wait to Read

Tertulia staff •
Jan 30th, 2024

Every month, we share the books we can't wait to read. This month we've got a Booker Prize longlisted novel that extends from the ocean floor to the cosmos, a Harlem Renaissance valentine from Tia Williams, and the return of beloved poet Anne Carson, and more.


In Ascension by Martin MacInnes (Feb. 27)

The plot of this 2023 Booker Prize longlisted novel stretches from the deepest depths of the ocean floor to the brittle ground of the Mojave Desert, and eventually to the infinite cosmos looming above our heads. I'm curious to see how author Martin MacInnes taps into the mind-boggling question of how we fit into the grand (and humbling) mysteries of the natural world. The Guardian review called it, "Beautifully written [and] richly atmospheric" and said it captures "a numinous, vatic strangeness that hints at genuine profundities about life." (Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben)

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams (Feb. 6)

It’s February, love is in the air, and Tia Williams is my go-to for a smart, fun, romantic escape! This time around, Harlem plays the setting as a florist chasing her dreams discovers not just romance in the arms of a mysterious stranger, but the history and spirit of her new neighborhood’s Renaissance past. (Fernanda Gorgulho)

Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan (Feb. 6)

There must be something magical in the water in Ireland. How else could this country of about 5 million people turn out so many acclaimed poets, writers, musicians, and actors this regularly? Similar to many of her more famous contemporary compatriots, Nolan explores the intricacies of class, family, and trauma through the experiences of a young Irish girl who is suspected of murder by her less than welcoming English neighbors. The book has been praised for depicting mundane and ordinary life and interactions in a powerful way, which is a quality I especially admire in the books I read. (Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben)

Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K. Reilly (Feb. 6)

Billed as a charmingly tender and compelling story, this novel is told from the perspectives of twenty-something Greta and her older brother Valdin as they navigate queer love and heartbreak as well as their messy yet lovingly supportive Maori-Russian-Catalonian family. I think this is the kind of book that I'm going to get so overly-attached to that I'll carry it with me everywhere to snatch a few pages whenever I can. (Laurann Herrington)


Get the Picture by Bianca Bosker (Feb. 6)

Are you curious, like me, about what the art world's real-life drama is really all about? Well lucky for us, The New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork was too, so she dove headfirst into the secretive world of artists, curators, gallerists and collectors for her latest behind-the-scenes book. After reading a compelling outtake in The Atlantic, which vividly recounts her first experience working at the Untitled art fair during Miami’s over-the-top annual art week, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to read the rest of this rollicking insider art world chronicle. (Fernanda Gorgulho)

The Freaks Came Out to Write by Tricia Romano (Feb. 27)

In its heyday, the Village Voice was not only the epitome of cool (the first paper to cover hip hop!) but a model for journalism about underreported social and cultural movements. I actually remember camping outside columnist Wayne Barrett's office to get his advice when I was a baby journalist. Plus, I was one of so many East Village kids who stood outside their offices to grab copies hot of the press for sublet classifieds and concert listings. Can't wait to pick up this history of "The Voice" from one of its former writers. (Lynda Hammes)

Why We Remember by Charan Ranganath (Feb. 20)

I've always been fascinated with memory and how exactly an experience becomes part of us. This book is billed as a tour of the mind that reveals the powerful role memory plays in every day choices, learning, trauma and healing. I'm certain that deepening my understanding of what we remember will make my decisions each day that much more intentional. (Iliyah Coles)

This American Ex-Wife by Lyz Lenz (Feb. 20)

The cover alone is hilarious, but I especially am intrigued by Lenz's intent to reframe the narrative around divorce. While the popularity of polyamory or the pros of staying single are widely discussed as alternatives to traditional marriage, the vast majority of people are still signing up—and so many of them divorce for the same reasons as Lenz's: they are stuck in an unequal partnership. (Iliyah Coles)

Splinters by Leslie Jamison (Feb. 20)

With the same keen eye and sensitivity for nuance shown in her other books such as the bestselling The Empathy Exams and The Recovering, Leslie Jamison's latest explores dating post-divorce and single parenting while juggling various, seemingly conflicting identities—artist, mother, teacher. After reading an outtake of the book in The New Yorker, I was already hooked on this intimate peek into her interior life. (Laurann Herrington)


Wrong Norma by Anne Carson (Feb. 6)

I have long been waiting for the return of one of my favorite poets, Anne Carson, whose last original work in one compiled book was in 2016. I'm banking on this collection of poetic prose pieces (plus images created by Carson) to be every bit as introspective and original as her previous work. Wrong Norma hopskotches in topic from Guantánamo to her father to Joseph Conrad, which I love - I'd read Carson on any topic. (Sam Haecker)

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