Books of the Month February 2023
Although February is the shortest month, our readers wasted no time getting in some extra reading. With no shortage of great books to choose from, there was something for everyone in every genre. Here are the books that impressed enough readers to earn a coveted spot in the Books of the Month for February 2023.
Six of Hearts
by L. H. Cosway
Six of Hearts is the first book in the Hearts series by L.H. Cosway. The story follows the romance between Jay Fields, a world-renowned illusionist, and Matilda Brandon, who works in her father’s law office. The two encounter each other when Jay tries to hire Matilda’s father to sue a newspaper for defamation. Even though her father does not take the case, Matilda is determined to discover the true story behind Jay, especially after he becomes an unexpected roommate.
Best Action & Adventure
Ellie Dwyer’s Great Escape
by Diane Winger
Ellie Dwyer’s Great Escape by Diane Winger is the first novel in the Ellie Dwyer series. The protagonist, Ellie, is 61 years old and is convinced that bad luck comes in threes after dealing with two natural disasters and a husband of nearly forty years suddenly vanishing from her life without a clue. However, Ellie is determined to reinvent her life, and setting out on a journey across the country before buying a camper and befriending a remarkable octogenarian might just change her luck.
Best Mystery & Thriller
The Carnation Murder
by Tam May
The Carnation Murder is the first book in the Adele Gossling Mysteries series by Tam May. It is an absorbing mystery set in Northern California at the turn of the 20th century, where a forward-thinking woman tries to help the police solve a murder. Adele Gossling ends up trading the big city of San Francisco for the small town of Arraojo after her father’s death. However, her plans of living a life of peace and small pleasures running her own stationary shop are interrupted by the death of her neighbor. Believing in the innocence of the young man who the police suspect is the murderer, Adele and her clairvoyant new friend Nin Branch set out to solve the mystery.
Best Children’s Book
Mr. Body and Mr. Feeling
by Shira Shaked
Mr. Body and Mr. Feeling by Shira Shaked is a heartwarming, sensitive story for teaching kids emotional balance. This wholesome tale is written by a therapist for children ages four to ten and sees a young boy named Johnny waking up with a bad feeling in his stomach. His mother helps Johny as he gets to know Mr. Body and Mr. Feeling, who teaches him the importance of paying attention to emotions and his body. In addition to teaching children the essential skill of managing their emotions, the book also contains a worksheet for parents and their children to apply Shira Shaked’s Five Steps to Relief method to complex life situations.
Best Young Adult
by Simcha B. Werner
The Bureauctopus is a lighthearted story by Simcha B. Werner that is aimed at helping children grow into socially and morally aware adults. It is set deep in the forest, where a lazy and corrupt lion is crowned king of the animals. To ensure quiet and peace in the animal kingdom, the lion hires a many-tentacled octopus as his assistant for handling the day-to-day bureaucracies needed. Unfortunately, despite being eager and willing, the octopus creates chaos instead of order. The animals soon discover that the octopus has an uncontrolled impose to grow and increase its power and control, which spurs them into action.
Angel From The Rust
by Jason Link
Angel from the Rust is the first novel in the Earth Medieval series by Jason Link. It is set six hundred years after the destruction of the old world, and the technology of the past is now feared as forbidden magic. The protagonist is a young musician named Corvala, who is on the run from the law. While she had no intention of getting mixed up with history, she is forced to do so when a murderer falls from the heavens and sets himself up as a god. After being driven into the wilderness, Corvala discovers the secret of her bloodline and that a code of immense power is embedded in her DNA. However, while it could save thousands, it could also plunge her into madness.
Best Historical Fiction
The Partisan’s Daughter
by Michael Behagen
The Partisan’s Daughter by Michael Behagen is a novel that was inspired by unbelievable true events. It is the story of Aaron, a man who, along with his wife Raizel, made the impossible decision to leave their daughter in the care of a local Christian family in an effort to save her from the horrors of the Holocaust. However, when he returns to his ruined hometown three years later, having survived the Holocaust and the death of his wife, he assumes the worst after seeing the ruins of his once peaceful home. It is also the story of Magda, a catholic Polish woman who, in 1942, found the unconscious body of a young girl on the banks of the Vizsla river and risked her own life taking the girl in.
The First Seal
by Sean Deville
The First Seal by Sean Devile is part of The Apocalypse Prophecies series that is set in the end of days. A secret order of devoted religious assassins known only as inquisitors are up against the Antichrist, a man whose goal is to smash open the gates of hell. Lilith has been a member of the Inquisition since she was just a child and dedicated her life to slaughtering the demonic hordes that have invaded Earth for centuries. However, Lilith finds herself on the cusp of the final and desperate battle for humanity when the balance shifts.
Best Literary Fiction
The Existence of Amy
by Lana Grace Riva
The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva is a book about what it is really like to live with mental illness. Amy has a seemingly everyday life with good friends, a good job, and a nice enough home. Unfortunately, her real life, the only one that her brain will let her lead, is a very different one. It is a life of struggles where even just getting out of bed and going to work takes effort. While Amy’s story is fictional, it is based on the reality faced by many with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression.
Best Science Fiction
by Colin Dodds
Ms. Never by Colin Dodds is a novel that touches on many thought-provoking themes. Farya Navurian is a seemingly ordinary woman, apart from her disturbing power to destroy time and space if she lets her attention wander. Her ability has caused her to annihilate much of the world and its history, leaving her guilt-ridden and depressed. Her life changes when she meets Bryan, a divorced telecom CEO who harbors an equally disturbing secret. However, when they fall in love and start a life together, they are forced to confront their secrets in an effort to save themselves and possibly reality itself.
by V S Nelson
The Archivist by V S Nelson is set in a world without an afterlife waiting for the deceased, only a dimension of insatiable hunger known as the Aether. However, thanks to special beings called Archivists, it is possible to cling to the physical world after death. This is possible thanks to their special ability to capture the essence of people in the final moments before death. The story follows a newly-realized 18-year-old Archivist who finds himself at the center of a spate of suicides committed by schoolgirls after meeting a wayward teenager named Sun-young Kang. Together they must unpick the mystery of the suicides while also dealing with a plan to entrap the Archivist.
On Her Terms
by Yael Izaku
On Her Terms by Yael Izaku highlights the stories of 22 women who are all different and took unique paths in their lives to reach full self-realization. Their success range from realizing a childhood dream to following their hearts and changing their occupations. Through their stories, it is clear that they all made brave decisions leading them to a place of wholeness and happiness. This book shows that there is more to success than wealth and that it can be achieved on your own terms instead of through what society dictates.