February is a drag, right? It's dark, snowy and there are cinnamon hearts everywhere. Behold the best new releases to put a warm glow in your heart...without being sickly sweet.
Still Me by Jojo Moyes
We could probably just leave this with with words "Jojo Moyes", because if ever there is an author guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and believe in humanity again (within the space of a single page) it's this best-selling Brit. But for the uninitiated, this is the third installment in the Louisa Clark saga, the first of which was the tear-jerker-par-excellence, Me Before You, which was turned into a film with Emilia Clarke. This sequel takes her to New York, and while there's a little bit of lovey-dovey stuff, it's mostly about Louisa learning to chase HER dreams, and not anyone else's.
We Own the Sky by Luke Allnut
This is a book about a man dealing with the death of his child—but before you say "no thanks, too sad" to another "cancer book", give this one a chance. For one, there's a twisty sub-plot about some potential cat-fishing, it's written with a dark humour, and third, the author himself battled cancer while writing this (he's in remission now). That means so many of the soppy tropes of the genre are absent - and what's left is a refreshingly wry read.
How To Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush by Emmy Abrahamson
This quirky Swedish love story is the antidote to all of those Hallmark movies you've been bingeing in the lead up to Valentine's Day (this is a safe space). It follows the story of Julia, who lives an unfulfilling live in Vienna teaching English, while secretly dreaming of being a capital W writer. Her humdrum life is upended when a chance conversation with a man in a park—who turns out to be a homeless Canadian—opens her world up to the unexpected.
Heart Talk by Cleo Wade
When the woman dubbed "the Millennial Oprah" publishes a book sub-titled "poetic wisdom for a better life", you should definitely pay attention. This one of those collections that's ideal for dipping in and out of, and would make a great end-of-day wind down read—a poem here, a motivational phrase there. Because we love you, we'll leave you with a favourite piece of ours: "Lean into the tough stuff. Growth is not always comfortable. That is why we call them growing pains, not growing pleasures".