Well Read: The 5 Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down This February

Contributing Food Editor By Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor
Liz Moody is a food editor, recipe developer and green smoothie enthusiast. She received her creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody is the author of two cookbooks: Healthier Together and Glow Pops and the host of the Healthier Together podcast.
collage of books to read in February 2019

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Reading is undeniably a key wellness practice—and one that many of us have ignored for far too long. It's proven to build empathy, reduce stress, and even lessen sugar cravings (yes, really!). With that in mind, we're excited to share Well Read, a column that curates the absolute best fiction and narrative nonfiction picks of the month. Here's what you should read this January. (Want more Well Read? You can find our past picks here.)

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

When Wang, a former lab researcher at Stanford, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she realized there was not just one version of the illness. This book of essays grapples with various parts of mental illness, veering from appearing "normal" to not being taken seriously by medical doctors to the roles of Lyme and PTSD in worsening symptoms. An illuminating, breathtaking look into the underexplored world of schizophrenia, with the rare perspective of someone who's actually been there. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang (February 5)

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson lives an enviable life. She's a successful painter married to a fashion photographer—but then, one day, she shoots him five times in the face before wholly ceasing to speak again. This book centers on her relationship with psychotherapist Theo Faber, tasked with figuring out why Berenson shot her husband. While you'll stay for answers (and the conclusion is satisfying and mind-boggling), the novel's exploration of mental health and the impact of trauma on people's psyches and relationships is what truly makes it sing. A quiet (see what we did there?) but riveting mystery. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (February 5)

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

One night, Abi Knight wakes up to the call that her teenage daughter, Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Olivia is brain dead but must remain alive because—surprise—she's also pregnant. As Knight tries to figure out what happened to her daughter and the origin of the mysterious bruises that circle her wrists (proof, Knight knows, that the police are wrong in declaring it an accident), the narrative shifts between Olivia in the months leading up to the fall and Knight in the past and present. While, yes, this is a mystery novel at its core (and the list of potential suspects is both long and compelling), it's powered by the exploration of daughter relationships and their unbelievable tenderness and complexity. The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald (February 5)

The Psychology of Time Travel: A Novel by Kate Mascarenhas

In 1967, four female scientists successfully invented time travel—but just before they debut their creation, one of the scientists suffers a mental breakdown and is exiled from the group. Years later, news of a murder that may involve one of the scientists emerges—and the story hops through time and perspectives to reveal its secrets. While the mystery powers the book, what makes it unique is its exploration of the psychological impacts of time travel, including what happens to the human mind when stretched too far. A fun and twisty read. The Psychology of Time Travel: A Novel by Kate Mascarenhas (February 12)

The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

Four friends go out for a night of heavy drinking—and at the end of the night, one is dead, a suicide note pinned to her. No one remembers exactly what happened, but the grief and shock of the situation are enough to tear the friend group apart. Ten years later, one of the girls, Lindsay, has her life together, but memories of the night haunt her. Was it really suicide, or a murder? Could she have had something to do with it? The novel deals with the impact of alcohol on our lives and friendships but, more importantly, grapples with how easy it is to lose things, whether it's a friendship, someone you love, a night of memories, or an entire decade of working with your head down. A fun, page-turning read that reads like HBO's Girls meets Girl on the Train. The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz (February 26)

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