Hello, book lovers! February has arrived, which means it’s time to celebrate Black history, break out the heart-shaped candy and bundle up — Punxsutawney Phil says we’ve got six more weeks of winter. And what better way to stay warm than under your coziest blanket with the company of a really great book? So, enjoy this exciting mix of stories from the book world.

Michelle Obama and Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Explore the Current Renaissance in Black Art: Obama asked Gorman about the surge in Black creativity over the past few years, about Gorman’s place in this movement, writing poetry and her success after performing “The Hill We Climb” for the entire country. “Poetry and language are often at the heartbeat of movements for change,” explains Gorman. “Never underestimate the power of art as the language of the people.” — TIME

A Collection 32 Years in the Making, Joan Didion’s Let Me Tell You What I Mean Enthralls With its Elegance, Astuteness and Foresight: “Powerfully voiced, remarkably prescient,” this essay collection dazzles readers with topics ranging from “the eerie, passive religiosity of Gamblers Anonymous meetings and the oddly touching contrivances of Nancy Reagan to an impassioned defense of Hemingway’s posthumous literary rights.” — BookTrib

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Just Made Discovering Books Easier With the Launch of its New App: Now, the RBC community can “stay up to date on the latest news, including book picks, surprise giveaways and merchandise drops.” The app aims to make accessing books easier by allowing users to purchase titles directly within the mobile platform in addition to offering other community features like virtual discussions and events. — PureWow

Dive Into a Bit of Literary Black History With Madeleine L’Engle and Ahmad Rahman, Her Former Black Panther Mentee: Rahman “had just received an honorable mention in the nonfiction category of the 1976 PEN America Writing Award for Prisoners,” when his request for a writing mentor found itself in the hands of A Wrinkle in Time author L’Engle. Their surviving letters, which exceed 200 pages, reveal a beautiful friendship that “worked through the obstacles of politics, class, race, religion, gender, and generation.” — Vanity Fair

Triumphant Titles: 7 Novels That Amplify Black Stories: Kick off Black History Month, literary style! Crack open a book from writers like James Baldwin and Angie Thomas or a new voice you’ve yet to discover. “Offering an expansive view of Black history from a variety of perspectives,” these exciting stories aim to “broaden your understanding of racial inequality” and spark positive change. — BookTrib

Nancy Johnson’s Debut The Kindest Lie Is Perfect for Fans of Tayari Jones and Jacqueline Woodson: A complex examination of race and class, Johnson writes of the “intersecting lives of Blacks and Whites … and their divergent understanding of each other.” This novel “is a tale of how lies and omissions can shape and warp us … about reconciliation, set against a backdrop of racism and resentments,” and “a meditation on family and forgiveness.” — The Washington Post

Mateo Askaripour’s Breakout Debut Black Buck Cleverly Analyzes the Intersection Between Race and Ambition: “Peppered with humor and chock full of guidance on how to excel in sales and life,” Askaripor “exposes what goes on in the workplace.” An “extremely intelligent, fun-to-read story,” the author hopes “his black and brown readers will feel seen and empowered.” Selected for Jenna Bush Hager’s January book club, this read will spur great discussion. — BookTrib

Love So Great It’s Out-of-This-World: 6 SFF Love Stories for a Magical Valentine’s Day: If you’re looking for a bit of romance with your space travel or spellcasting, you’ll be happy to know that it’s “always been a part of science fiction and fantasy.” Ranging from scheming, lovesick royals to sweet, middle-aged father figures that are head over heels for one another, these six couples offer all the other-worldly romance you crave.— Tor

A Feminist Reimagining of the Old West, Anna North’s Outlawed Intrigues Readers: A January Reese’s Book Club pick, North’s novel melds “the alternative history, feminist and Western genres” to create “an original work of fiction.” Despite its serious themes “the story is thick with adventure, chases on horseback, disguises, shooting, romance and saloons,” and yet these elements demonstrate North’s deft ability to engage readers “without minimizing the seriousness of the topics at hand.” — BookTrib

Snapshot Reviews of the “Wonderfully Flawed Female Narrators” in This Week’s Top Releases: “Melissa Broder … has produced one of the strangest and sexiest novels of the new year” with Milk Fed. Vendela Vida’s “chronicle of female friendship” in We Run the Tides “is a fast, addictive read.” And “Lauren Oyler’s delightfully wry, sharply observational prose” throughout Fake Accounts “turns the protagonist’s pity party into a lively affair.” — Entertainment Weekly

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