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Book Buzzed: February 2020 Book Releases & Reading List

Are you looking for diverse, global, and historical fiction in 2020? Uncover some of our most anticipated February 2020 book releases and books that inspire travel to different places and times. See our current February reading list with older titles, too.

February 2020 New Releases Reading List

Although I love to read and point out older, hidden gems, The Uncorked Librarian feels a little left out this year. *Whimpers in a super whiny, fake sobbing voice*: I want to talk about upcoming new book releases too.

And why can’t I? ARCS are my b*tch.

Every year, publishers produce more and more international reads, books set during WWII, diverse and multicultural titles, and books that are heavily set in a location. AND I AM ON IT THIS YEAR!

The February 2020 book releases on NetGalley, Amazon, and Goodreads look amazing.

As a newer feature to TUL, I want to share the books that are in my NetGalley/Advanced Reading Copy queue for the upcoming months, new books that I’ve read, titles that look downright devour-worthy, and upcoming releases that I think are worth pointing out.

Some, I’ll try to read in advance to let you know if I think they are worth the hype, and others will remain on my wish list, too. Our 2020 reading challenge is keeping me pretty busy along with travel.

Then, keep scrolling to see what other books I am currently reading–both new and old–for January and February 2020.

P.S. After a ton of thought, my blogging bestie, Kathy at Tasty Itinerary, and I came up with a name for this new feature: Book Buzzed… Get it!? Buzz-worthy books for your wine buzz? DON’T SUE ME BOOK BUB.

6 February 2020 New Releases Books Pin
Add these upcoming February 2020 book releases to your TBR pile. Pin this reading list for later.

February 2020 Book Releases

What February 2020 new releases am I currently reading, eyeing, or thinking TUL readers *might* love?

*All books marked with an asterisk are upcoming releases and ARCs that I requested in exchange for a fair and honest review.

February 2020 Book Releases, The Light After The War by Anita Abriel

The Light After The War by Anita Abriel

February 4, 2020
WWII Historical Fiction

Inspired by a true story, The Light After The War is a February 2020 new release that I plan on reading for our September WWII reading challenge theme.

Two Jewish friends survive the Holocaust, escaping a train to Auschwitz and taking refuge on an Austrian farm. They must start their lives anew on a journey that sends them around the world. Amazon | Goodreads

Find even more Upcoming 2020 WW2 Book Releases here.

February 2020 Book Releases, The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

The Gravity Of Us by Phil Stamper

February 4, 2020*
LGBT YA Fiction

If you want to start your February 2020 off right with a sweet romance, you’ll love YA LGBT new release, The Gravity Of Us. On a dreary Asheville weekend, I needed this cuddly romance filled with NASA science, social media success, and teen love.

Cal dreams of becoming a world-renowned journalist with an upcoming BuzzFeed internship and a huge social media following. Cal’s jam is live streaming meaningful stories with unique perspectives.

With plans thwarted as his parents move the family from Brooklyn to Houston to work on a NASA mission to Mars, Cal imagines his life suddenly falling apart.

Instead, Cal finds himself falling head over heels for an astronaut’s son and with a new story to share with millions of young followers.

Cal takes on a sleazy reality show meant to help fund and spark interest in NASA’s newest launch. However, he believes there is another way to secure the program’s future instead of manipulating viewers with endless tears and drama–let’s call it integrity.

Can Cal save his dad’s and NASA’s future? What does his own future hold?

The Gravity Of Us is especially relevant for its take on mental health, social media’s role in society, and the way in which we see and report the news.

Cal and Leon’s romance is raw, sweet, and perfect in its imperfections. If the rest of 2020’s YA books are nearly as good, we are in for a great year. Amazon | Goodreads

February 2020 Book Releases, Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Things In Jars by Jess Kidd

February 10, 2020*
Literary Gothic and Historical Thriller | Mystery

TW: Animal Cruelty/Death

Mermaids and dancing tattoos? Yes, please.

Starring a female murder investigator and set on the streets of paranoid Victorian England, this unique 2020 February book release is both fantastical and a tad grotesque–but in a bizarrely good way.

Bridie Devine–who reminds me a lot of a red-headed Jessica Jones–must uncover who kidnapped Christabel Berwick, a girl with supernatural ‘powers.’ If you like impish mermaids, this Gothic story is for you.

However, Things In Jars is less about Cristabel and more about a life of torment and perseverance. Most appealing is the ghostly sidekick and haunting romance paired with a long string of mysterious but not quite random murders.

Kidd weaves characters and timelines together seamlessly. With somewhat of a nightmarish surrealism, Things In Jars is incredibly vivid and dense in imagery and language, which is refreshing for an adult murder mystery/fantasy. P.S. This ain’t no cozy mystery.

February 2020 Book Releases, The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

February 18, 2020*
Paranormal Suspense & Thrilling Mystery

Back in 1982, Carly Kirk’s Aunt Viv mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down Motel in upstate New York.  With her mother’s recent death and a love for true crime, Carly heads off to the little cursed town of Fell to investigate her aunt’s disappearance from 30 years ago.

In a thrilling and chilling timeline that jumps back and forth between Carly’s story in 2017 and her Aunt Viv’s in 1982, meet the scary AF ghosts at the Sun Down Motel.  Smell the endless cigarette smoke, get locked in with the candy machine, and watch the drug deals and affairs go down while a young boy runs for the pool. 

Will Carly uncover the mystery of her aunt’s disappearance before getting caught up in a deadly tragedy of her own?

The Sun Down Motel is one of my favorite new February 2020 book releases, and one that you will devour into the night…with all of the lights on and doors tightly shut. I’m pretty sure The Sun Down Motel will be one of the top books of 2020.

If you like the My Favorite Murder podcast, the Ted Bundy Netflix series, or Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered book (mentioned below), you’ll love The Sun Down Motel. Amazon | Goodreads | Book Information→

February 2020 Book Releases, The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

February 18, 2020
Psychological Thriller

I’ve seen The Other Mrs. sitting in some book blogger’s DNF piles, but I’m still eyeing this one.

Sadie and Will have just moved from Chicago to small-town Maine. Soon after, Morgan Baines is found dead in her coastal home, putting everyone on edge. With Kubica’s usual twist and turns, find a novel full of lies and family secrets. Amazon | Goodreads

Join The Uncorked Reading Challenge Today

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Find vile cadavers, love, SNAILS, and camaraderie in Things In Jars here: Amazon | Goodreads

February 2020 Book Releases, The Splendid And The Vile By Erik Larson

The Splendid And The Vile by Erik Larson

February 25, 2020
WWII Biography and Historical Nonfiction

Erik Larson brings Winston Churchill’s courage, determination, and British leadership to life during WWII. Pulling from diaries and once-secret government documents, readers not only see Churchill as a political figure but also as a family man. Amazon | Goodreads

Upcoming Book Releases Posts That You May Also Love:

In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out January 2020 Book Releases here.
Grab our March 2020 Book Releases here.
See which April 2020 Book Releases we’ve already read.
Don’t forget to check out our master 2020 upcoming book releases.
Discover our most anticipated 2020 WW2 books.

February 2020 Upcoming New Releases
Loving this book list and book suggestions with 2020 new releases and mini-book reviews? Pin it for later!

Recent Reading List/Mini-Reviews

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

March 2017
Nonfiction Wine Books

I read Cork Dork as part of January’s Uncorked 2020 Reading Challenge’s theme: books that change your perspective.

Bosker is downright hilarious and taught me just how much training goes into becoming a sommelier. Readers gain a better appreciation and understanding of wine; yet, Bosker also addresses the skepticism and elitism behind the industry. Is wine tasting sometimes just BS?

If you want to learn about the underground world of sommeliers and service, Cork Dork is for you.

In Cork Dork, Bosker mentions the podcast, I’ll Drink To That. If you are interested in wine history, check it out. Although some of the wine talk is a bit over my head, I find the precision fascinating. The last episode I listened to talked about WWII and winemaking. Amazon | Goodreads

Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

March 2019
Self-Help, Motivation Nonfiction

It’s no secret that as part of the Uncorked 2020 Annual Reading Challenge, I read and then slammed down my opinions for Girl, Stop Apologizing.

The verdict: I didn’t understand the hype surrounding Hollis’ two new books, and I probably won’t be reading another by her. Hollis seemed to talk at the reader versus motivate, and I didn’t find her inspiration original, mind-blowing, or unique.

I also found Hollis a tad condescending, overly prideful in her stories, and unconsciously spoiled/privileged. I rolled my eyes more than a few times.

However, I know that Hollis has also changed women’s lives for the better. My more positive takeaways include immediately responding to emails if you open them, only saying yes if it’s a ‘hell yes,’ and making time; we will always never find the time, otherwise.

Hollis also recommends letting go of toxic people, even if they are blood-related, or fixing that sh*t ASAP. Along with working out and drinking water, I can get on board with some of her self-help actions. Amazon | Goodreads

Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered Book

Stay Sexy And Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

May 2019
Memoir, Self-Help & Motivational Nonfiction

If you follow TUL on Facebook, you may have seen the Read This, Not That graphic. For readers in a time crunch, if you have to choose between Girl Stop Apologizing or Stay Sexy And Don’t Get Murdered, I’d pick Stay Sexy.

With their true crime and hit podcast, My Favorite Murder, Kilgariff and Hardstark tell us all how not to victim blame, still stay safe, and be ourselves.

Additionally, if you want a blast into your 80s childhood past like me, follow along with the authors as they come of age, ride Vespas, overcome obstacles including sex and drugs, and ultimately become the sensations that they are today.

Hilarious and witty–and full of curse words–you’ll learn how to hopefully be a better, more confident person while maybe even deciding you like true crime. Amazon | Goodreads | Book Information→

My friend Sheree over at KUWTP fully reviewed Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered here.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recursion by Blake Crouch

June 2019
Time Travel Science Fiction & Suspense/Thriller

TW: Suicide

A 2019 Goodreads Choice award-winner for Science Fiction, Recursion introduces time traveling via memories.

Detective Barry Sutton will never forgive himself for the day his daughter died. Even though his marriage falls apart and he falls into a depression, his current life isn’t so bad. But what if he could go back and change that timeline?

When Barry is captured and forced into a sick memory experiment–one that started with good intentions to cure Alzheimer’s Disease–he finds himself in a loop of even more troublesome timelines. Pairing up with the scientist who accidentally started it all, can they stop the corrupt time loop and survive? Or, will they be trapped forever?

You’ll love this sci-fi thriller, especially if time travel is your jam. I read Recursion in two days flat. Thought-provoking yet dangerous, I highly recommend Recursion. Amazon | Goodreads

What February 2020 book releases are you looking forward to?

I hope this new feature on TUL with upcoming book releases and mini book reviews better prepares you for a month of fabulous reading and introduces you to new books. Which of these new 2020 books are you most looking forward to? Have you happened to snag an early copy of any of them? What do you think? What other upcoming books are you eyeing?

See you in March for another round of new releases. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a post.

CJ | A Well-Read Tart

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

I'm sorry, but I am so over WW2 books. I've read some great ones, but I find them so depressing, and I seriously can't take it anymore. I know that's kinda the point -- to make you realize how horrific WW2 and Nazis were -- and they definitely do that, but I need a break. Plus, I feel like the market is oversaturated with WW2 books. I need to experience other time periods.

That Victorian one sounds good, but I can't do animal cruelty. Thanks for the TW in that one! *nopenopenope*

I am soooooo excited The Sun Down Motel. I love Simone St James, and I have been hearing nothing but spookily good things about her newest book! I have been trying to get an ARC of it, to no avail. I only read print books, so I haven't tried NetGalley or anything. Guess I'll have to wait for February...thankfully, it's almost here!

And, The Other Mrs sounds pretty intriguing. I think I'll try that one, as well.

Thanks for sharing!!!


Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

AHAHA, I love that you posted this comment the day that I put out a teen WW2 list...and, um, I might have another one on the way. Dang it!!! I am so sorry! BUT I TOTALLY GET IT, TOO!!! You should see how many WW2 books are coming out this year. I'm torn because I kind of love the genre, but I love them more when they are set in unique or untold places, like the Baltic States, and shed light on lesser-known stories like with Ruta Sepeteys' novels.

I picture WW2 novels like the steady influx of time travel novels...another guilty pleasure.

This year, I am trying to focus a little more on historical fiction along with the books set in places since it seems like people love the international appeal tied with history--but not all from a single place all at once.

I am TERRIBLE with animal cruelty. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get through Things In Jars because no one warned me. Once I started, I was like, OH CRAP. But, you can kind of tell when the scenes are coming...there is a little foreshadowing here and there, so I tried to skip that page(s). It wasn't a huge part of the story, but man, I started one book last year: on the very first page, a cat was not having a good day...I was DONE. It looks like Things in Jars might keep going too. Also, why is it that Gothic fiction always seems to torture animals?! Have you noticed that too?

The Sun Down Motel, I swear, is going to be one of the top new releases of 2020. I don't do murder mysteries that well because they scare the crap out of me. However, it was SO good. As you are reading it, you know something is not as it seems. Only at the end, the secret is revealed, and I think the book is a spooky genius! You don't always know who to trust. Plus, it's a page-turner. I hope you LOVE it too.

I struggle with ebooks, as well--although I don't like requesting physical copies either--unless they are from the library. I prefer physical books, but I don't like collecting/hoarding them. Every time we move, I have 100s to donate.

The Other Mrs. seemed super hit or miss for everyone. Thanks!

Macey @ Brine & Books

Sunday 19th of January 2020

The Light After the War is right up my alley!! I'm realllly looking forward to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes; May 19th needs to get here already! You & Kathy definitely did a good job coming up with a catchy name haha, I love it :)


Monday 20th of January 2020

Thanks so much! I am thinking each month, I will add anything and everything that is "Buzz Worthy," including links to great blogs, new releases, books I love, podcasts, etc. So far, this new series has been immensely popular, and I am SO thrilled--casually talking about what I love and think readers will enjoy is so much fun!

Ohhh, I hadn't heard about The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I am going to have to look that one up. OK, I JUST DID. I HAD NO IDEA COLLINS WAS DOING A THE HUNGER GAMES prequel!? HOW DID I MISS THAT?! Thanks so much for the tip.

I'm just about to start reading March 2020 new releases along with books set in Iceland for the reading challenge and books set in Switzerland for our upcoming trip. I think I am going to have to map out my reading time lol!

Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins

Wednesday 15th of January 2020

I feel like I'm going to see The Sun Down Motel EVERYWHERE already - it's going to be one of the big ones this year, I think! I loved Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered too (my own review coming soon...!), and I'd love to check out Recursion.


Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Yesss!! Agreed!

I cannot wait to see what you think about Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered.

Recursion was only on my radar because of the Goodreads Choice Awards, and I am so glad that I picked it up.

Kathy | Tasty Itinerary

Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered is SO ON MY LIST.

Thank you for the mention. I feel so accomplished coming up with the word Buzzed for this awesome feature on your blog. I'm so looking forward to reading what TUL is buzzing about, besides the wine. Well, I come here to hear about the tipsy, buzz-worthy stories too. You always crack me up with your one-liners.


Wednesday 15th of January 2020

I cannot wait until you read Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered. I want to know what you think--and I know you'll be real about it! I'm glad that you are liking Heller's book, too. I meant to check back in with you about that one to see how it is going.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the fabulous name. I love it. Now, I just need some special graphics for it or something.

Maybe I can buzz about other things too: like wine, podcasts, and good blog posts from everyone. I love it SO MUCH!


Tuesday 14th of January 2020

The Light After the War is in my NetGalley queue too! I love WWII fiction but I want to request some more domestic fiction too, especially after we were talking about niching down! Things in Jars sounds amazing too tho.

I love this addition to your blog. Mini reviews ways help, especially since I don't have time to read anything I really won't be in to. We clearly have simikar taste, especially after our talks about Hollis haha!! And you know I loved Cork Dork!


Wednesday 15th of January 2020

I'm trying to save The Light After The War for the reading challenge, but we will see. I did request The Prisoner's Wife, which is also a WWII novel publishing in June (I know you saw that one too). I am looking forward to reading both!

Yes, domestic fiction: your latest book list was fabulous! I cannot wait to see what else you select. If I see any titles that I'd think would be perfect, I'll let you know.

Things in Jars is SO good so far. It's very whimsical but also a little dark and creepy. I love that one of the ghosts has tattoos that move, hehe. Things in Jars is so well-written, too--it's that 'dense' fantastical writing that I feel is lacking from a lot of the books in that genre lately. Like it's smart! If that makes sense.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Oh, Hollis... She's becoming my Voldermort. lol