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PEOPLE’s Best Books to Read in February 2024: Remembering The Beatles, “The Golden Girls” Plus Leslie Jamison’s Memoir

See PEOPLE's picks for the best books to read this month

PEOPLE
PEOPLE's Best Books of February 2024

A memoir on motherhood, historical fiction with a bit of magic, and an intergenerational mystery  — see PEOPLE's picks for the best books of February.

'Splinters' by Leslie Jamison

'Splinters' by Leslie Jamison
'Splinters' by Leslie Jamison

In 2019 Jamison left the home she shared with her then husband and moved with their baby daughter to a nearby sublet. Here she looks back on that agonizing time and what it taught her about love’s limits, the remodeling of self that is motherhood, the “cruel politeness” of attempting amicability with her ex. “It was as if I’d stabbed him,” she writes, “and then offered him a plate of cookies.” Filled with heart, humor and unsparing insights, her searing memoir is a standout. — Kim Hubbard

'Ours' by Phillip B. Williams

'Ours' by Phillip B. Williams
'Ours' by Phillip B. Williams

A conjurer named Saint frees enslaved Black people from plantations and establishes Ours, a town she makes invisible to protect its inhabitants. But when two strangers arrive, the once invincible conjurer’s powers weaken, leaving the town in danger. A captivating, complex debut. — Wadzanai Mhute

'The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson' by Ellen Baker

'The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson' by Ellen Baker
'The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson' by Ellen Baker

Cecily Larson was plucked from an orphanage to join a traveling circus. As a teen, she has an illicit romance whose ramifications take 80 years plus DNA testing to unravel. Now she’s 94 and a great-grandmother, and her secrets finally come out. A sweeping tale of love and loss. — Claire Martin

'How To Live Free in a Dangerous World' by Shayla Lawson

<p>'How To Live Free in a Dangerous World' by Shayla Lawson</p>

'How To Live Free in a Dangerous World' by Shayla Lawson

Travel the globe through Lawson’s powerful prose as they explore farflung locations and deeply felt emotions. An illuminating journey.

'Slow Noodles' by Chantha Nguon with Kim Green

'Slow Noodles' by Chantha Nguon with Kim Green
'Slow Noodles' by Chantha Nguon with Kim Green

Chantha Nguon lost everything fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide but took solace in memories of her mother’s cooking. This memoir with recipes is delicious.

'I Heard Her Call My Name' by Lucy Sante

This affirming memoir of late-in-life transition examines the writer’s gender identity realization and her place in society. A gorgeous, essential read.

'I Saw Them Standing There: Adventures of an Original Fan during Beatlemania and Beyond' by Debbie Gendler

'I Saw Them Standing There: Adventures of an Original Fan during Beatlemania and Beyond' by Debbie Gendler
'I Saw Them Standing There: Adventures of an Original Fan during Beatlemania and Beyond' by Debbie Gendler

Author Debbie Gendler was among the lucky few who got to see the Fab Four at their historic Ed Sullivan appearance that launched them into musical stardom stateside. A must-read for Beatlemaniacs and music fans alike.

Related: She Saw Them Standing There: Beatles Fan Recalls Witnessing the Band's Historic Ed Sullivan Set Live (Exclusive)

'The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore' by Stan Zimmerman

'The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore' by Stan Zimmerman
'The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore' by Stan Zimmerman

Stan Zimmerman is likely a screenwriter behind some of your favorite shows. In this earnest, dishy memoir, the Golden Girls, Roseanne and Gilmore Girls writer takes readers behind-the-scenes into some of television's most beloved sitcoms – and his place amongst it all.

“You're lucky in a career if you're involved in one popular show, but I was lucky enough to be involved in three popular shows,” Zimmerman told PEOPLE of his star-studded career.

'What Have We Here?' by Billy Dee Williams

'What Have We Here?' by Billy Dee Williams
'What Have We Here?' by Billy Dee Williams

The acclaimed actor writes of his memorable Hollywood career, including his Star Wars reign as Lando — and the strong reactions he got from some fans.

“I'd go on an airplane and the airplane stewards would say, ‘You betrayed Han Solo!," Williams told PEOPLE of the experience, which is excerpted in the magazine's Feb. 19 issue.

'The Book of Love' by Kelly Link

'The Book of Love' by Kelly Link
'The Book of Love' by Kelly Link

Teens Laura, Daniel and Mo come back from the dead and must complete a series of magical tasks to remain among the living. But their reappearance attracts other supernatural forces to their small Massachusetts town, and the trio have to figure out how to use their new powers, keep their loved ones from learning where they’ve really been all year and save themselves — and their town — from death, or worse. It’s inventive, unputdownable and a ton of fun.

'Leaving' by Roxana Robinson

'Leaving' by Roxana Robinson
'Leaving' by Roxana Robinson

They haven’t seen each other in 40 years, but when Warren and Sarah run into each other at the opera, it’s clear their long-ago breakup was a mistake. If only it were that simple. As it navigates the chasm between responsibility and desire, this beautiful book will sweep you away. — Marion Winik

'This Disaster Loves You' by Richard Roper

'This Disaster Loves You' by Richard Roper
'This Disaster Loves You' by Richard Roper

Brian thinks he and Lily are happy running a pub on England’s Devon Coast — until one day Lily leaves without explanation. Still bereft years later, Brian seizes on a clue to her whereabouts and dashes off to find her, with unexpected results. Heartwarming and hilarious. — Robin Micheli

'This Is the Honey' edited by Kwame Alexander

'This Is the Honey' by Kwame Alexander
'This Is the Honey' by Kwame Alexander

By turns joyful, piercing and poignant, this gorgeous collection from some of today’s best Black poets and writers will persuade even the hesitant to try poetry.

'My Side of the River: A Memoir' by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

'My Side of the River: A Memoir' by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez
'My Side of the River: A Memoir' by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

At 15, the author stayed in the U.S. with her little brother after her parents were forced to remain in Mexico when their visas were denied. This is her affecting story.

'Neighbors and Other Stories' by Diane Oliver

'Neighbors and Other Stories' by Diane Oliver
'Neighbors and Other Stories' by Diane Oliver

These short stories confront living through racism in Jim Crow America in intimate, often chilling tales. An engrossing book by a talent lost too young.

'Flip Your Life' by Tarek El Moussa

'Flip Your Life' by Tarek El Moussa
'Flip Your Life' by Tarek El Moussa

The HGTV personality boldly reflects on fatherhood, house flipping and health scares, along with 2016 incident that eventually led to his separation from Flip or Flop costar Christina Hall.

“My mental health was as bad as it had ever been," he writes.

'The Women' by Kristin Hannah

'The Women' by Kristin Hannah
'The Women' by Kristin Hannah

Hannah again shines her light on overlooked women in history, this time the Army Nurse Corps who served in Vietnam. “Good girl” Frances “Frankie” McGrath follows her brother into war and finds confidence and purpose as a surgical nurse. (Her parents are less evolved, with her military father withholding a place for her on his Wall of Heroes.) The book is at its best when it focuses on the nurses in the evac hospital but doesn’t skirt the issues that plague military homecomings.

'A Love Song for Ricki Wilde' by Tia Williams

'A Love Song for Ricki Wilde' by Tia Williams
'A Love Song for Ricki Wilde' by Tia Williams

This sexy, modern New York City fairy tale between a quirky florist and a stoic jazz musician is brought to life by the beautifully rich history of the Harlem Renaissance. With humor, soulful prose and a touch of magical realism, Williams takes a creative chance with Ricki Wilde that’ll make it one of your most memorable reads of 2024. — McKenzie Jean-Philippe

'Greta & Valdin' by Rebecca K. Reilly

'Greta & Valdin' by Rebecca K. Reilly
'Greta & Valdin' by Rebecca K. Reilly

New Zealand siblings Greta and Valdin can’t catch a break. Valdin is getting over a messy breakup when he makes plans to see his ex-boyfriend during a work trip. Greta’s own love life is complicated by other antics, including her Māori mother’s secrets and her Russian father’s eccentricities. A heartfelt portrait of a complex family. — Carly Tagen-Dye

'Get the Picture' by Bianca Bosker

'Get the Picture' by Bianca Bosker
'Get the Picture' by Bianca Bosker

The Cork Dork author goes deep on why art lovers and artists are so passionate and what we can learn from them. The journey will change the way you see the world.

'Bride' by Ali Hazelwood

'Bride' by Ali Hazelwood
'Bride' by Ali Hazelwood

An outcast Vampyre named Misery is forced to marry a werewolf to keep the peace in this buzzy new supernatural romance. Another Hazelwood home run.

'Cahokia Jazz' by Francis Spufford

'Cahokia Jazz' by Francis Spufford
'Cahokia Jazz' by Francis Spufford

In this alternate 1920s history, ancient city Cahokia is a seat of Indigenous power. A body shows up and sets off a twisty detective noir that tests the loyalties of all involved.

'Outofshapeworthlessloser: A Memoir of Figure Skating, F---ing Up, and Figuring It Out' by Gracie Gold

'Outofshapeworthlessloser: A Memoir of Figure Skating, F---ing Up, and Figuring It Out' by Gracie Gold
'Outofshapeworthlessloser: A Memoir of Figure Skating, F---ing Up, and Figuring It Out' by Gracie Gold

Olympian Gracie Gold is more than an "ice princess," as she reveals in this riveting memoir, which details her experience with an eating disorder, depression and her high-stakes career.

“A lot of people in skating don’t really know me at all,” she told PEOPLE. “This book dives deeper into [who I am].”

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