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The Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 (A Year-End List Aggregation)

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“What are the Best Nonfiction books of 2018?” We aggregated 24 year-end lists and ranked the 334 unique titles by how many times they appeared in an attempt to answer that very question!

 

There are thousands of year-end lists released every year and like we do in our weekly Best Book articles, we wanted to see which books appear the most. The top 40 books, all of which appeared on 3 or more “Best Nonfiction” book lists, are ranked below with images, summaries, and links for more information or to purchase. The remaining 275+ books, as well as the top book lists are at the bottom of the page.

 

Make sure to take a look at our other Best of 2018 book lists:

You can also take a look at our Best Nonfiction books from last year as well as all the other Best 2017 articles!

 

Happy Scrolling!



Top 40 Nonfiction Books Of 2018



40 .) American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into The Business Of Punishment written by Shane Bauer

 American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into The Business Of Punishment

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • NPR
  • The New York Times

A groundbreaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country’s history. In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can’t understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still. The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison’s sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone. A blistering indictment of the private prison system and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.



39 .) And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready written by Meaghan O’Connell

 And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Electric Literature
  • NPR

Operating Instructions for the Millennial set: a fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up. Meaghan O’Connell always felt totally alienated by the cutesy, sanctimonious, sentimental tone of most writing about motherhood. After getting accidentally pregnant in her twenties, she realized that the book she needed–a brutally honest, agenda-less take on the emotional and existential impact of motherhood–didn’t exist. So she decided to write it herself. And Now We Have Everything is O’Connell’s brave exploration of transitioning into motherhood as a fledgling young adult. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O’Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the second adolescence of a changing postpartum body, the problem of sex post-baby, the weird push to make “mom friends,” and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity. Most unforgettably, O’Connell brings us into the delivery room as no writer has before, rendering childbirth in all its feverish gore and glory, and shattering the fantasies of a “magical” or “natural” experience that warp our expectations and erode maternal self-esteem. Channeling fears and anxieties that are, shockingly, still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and intimate motherhood story for our times, about needing to have a baby in order to stop being one yourself.



38 .) Barracoon: The Story Of The Last “Black Cargo” written by Zora Neale Hurston

 Barracoon: The Story Of The Last

Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR
  • Paste
  • TIME

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past–memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War. Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.



37 .) Dead Girls written by Alice Bolin

 Dead Girls

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Electric Literature
  • The New York Times

A collection of poignant, perceptive essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women. In her debut collection, Alice Bolin turns a critical eye to literature and pop culture, the way media consumption reflects American society, and her own place within it. From essays on Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, Bolin illuminates our widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster a man’s story. From chronicling life in Los Angeles to dissecting the “Dead Girl Show” to analyzing literary witches and werewolves, this collection challenges the narratives we create and tell ourselves, delving into the hazards of toxic masculinity and those of white womanhood. Beginning with the problem of dead women in fiction, it expands to the larger problems of living women—both the persistent injustices they suffer and the oppression that white women help perpetrate. Sharp, incisive, and revelatory, Dead Girls is a much-needed dialogue on women’s role in the media and in our culture.



36 .) Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America written by BETH MACY

 Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of America’s twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it’s a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched. Beginning with a single dealer who lands in a small Virginia town and sets about turning high school football stars into heroin overdose statistics, Macy endeavors to answer a grieving mother’s question-why her only son died-and comes away with a harrowing story of greed and need. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy parses how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm. In some of the same distressed communities featured in her bestselling book Factory Man, the unemployed use painkillers both to numb the pain of joblessness and pay their bills, while privileged teens trade pills in cul-de-sacs, and even high school standouts fall prey to prostitution, jail, and death. Through unsparing, yet deeply human portraits of the families and first responders struggling to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of the crisis comes into focus. In these politically fragmented times, Beth Macy shows, astonishingly, that the only thing that unites Americans across geographic and class lines is opioid drug abuse. But in a country unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Macy still finds reason to hope-and signs of the spirit and tenacity necessary in those facing addiction to build a better future for themselves and their families.



35 .) Enlightenment Now: The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism, And Progress written by Steven Pinker

 Enlightenment Now: The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism, And Progress

Lists It Appears On:

  • Escaping Plato’s Cave
  • NPR
  • The New York Times

The follow-up to Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.



34 .) God Save Texas: A Journey Into The Soul Of The Lone Star State written by Lawrence Wright

 God Save Texas: A Journey Into The Soul Of The Lone Star State

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • NPR
  • The New York Times

With humor and the biting insight of a native, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower explores the history, culture, and politics of Texas, while holding the stereotypes up for rigorous scrutiny. God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslims). The cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports. The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. And Wright’s profound portrait of the state not only reflects our country back as it is, but as it was and as it might be.



33 .) Heartland: A Memoir Of Working Hard And Being Broke In The Richest Country On Earth written by Sarah Smarsh

 Heartland: A Memoir Of Working Hard And Being Broke In The Richest Country On Earth

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly

An eye-opening memoir of working-class poverty in the American Midwest. During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness. Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences growing up as the daughter of a dissatisfied young mother and raised predominantly by her grandmother on a farm thirty miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor and working class Americans living in the heartland. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.



32 .) How Democracies Die written by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

 How Democracies Die

Lists It Appears On:

  • Paste
  • Seattle Times
  • TIME

A bracing, revelatory look at the demise of liberal democracies around the world–and a road map for rescuing our own Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang–in a revolution or military coup–but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die–and how ours can be saved.



31 .) Impossible Owls written by Brian Phillips

 Impossible Owls

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Electric Literature
  • The Spinoff

A globe-spanning, ambitious book of essays from one of the most enthralling storytellers in narrative nonfiction In his highly anticipated debut essay collection, Impossible Owls, Brian Phillips demonstrates why he’s one of the most iconoclastic journalists of the digital age, beloved for his ambitious, off-kilter, meticulously reported essays that read like novels. The eight essays assembled here–five from Phillips’s Grantland and MTV days, and three new pieces–go beyond simply chronicling some of the modern world’s most uncanny, unbelievable, and spectacular oddities (though they do that, too). Researched for months and even years on end, they explore the interconnectedness of the globalized world, the consequences of history, the power of myth, and the ways people attempt to find meaning. He searches for tigers in India, and uncovers a multigenerational mystery involving an oil tycoon and his niece turned stepdaughter turned wife in the Oklahoma town where he grew up. Through each adventure, Phillips’s remarkable voice becomes a character itself–full of verve, rich with offhanded humor, and revealing unexpected vulnerability. Dogged, self-aware, and radiating a contagious enthusiasm for his subjects, Phillips is an exhilarating guide to the confusion and wonder of the world today. If John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead was the last great collection of New Journalism from the print era, Impossible Owls is the first of the digital age.



30 .) Into The Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, And The Sinking Of El Faro written by Rachel Slade

 Into The Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, And The Sinking Of El Faro

Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR
  • Paste
  • The New York Times

On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the worst American shipping disaster in thirty-five years. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish—until now. Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves—whose conversations were captured by the ship’s data recorder—journalist Rachel Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro. As she recounts the final twenty-four hours onboard, Slade vividly depicts the officers’ anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out Captain Michael Davidson’s increasingly bizarre commands, which, they knew, would steer them straight into the eye of the storm. Taking a hard look at America’s aging merchant marine fleet, Slade also reveals the truth about modern shipping—a cut-throat industry plagued by razor-thin profits and ever more violent hurricanes fueled by global warming. A richly reported account of a singular tragedy, Into the Raging Sea takes us into the heart of an age-old American industry, casting new light on the hardworking men and women who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.



29 .) She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity written by Carl Zimmer

 She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fiammetta Rocco
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The New York Times

Carl Zimmer presents a history of our understanding of heredity in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society–a force set to shape our future even more radically. She Has Her Mother’s Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that. Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities. . . . But, Zimmer writes, “Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are–our appearance, our height, our penchants–in inconceivably subtle ways.” Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors–using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates–but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world’s best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.



28 .) The Fifth Risk written by Michael Lewis

 The Fifth Risk

Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The New York Times

What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works? “The election happened,” remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. “And then there was radio silence.” Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them. Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do. Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview. If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.



27 .) The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles written by Gary Krist

 The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times

A vivid account of the birth of modern Los Angeles, a city founded on manifold fantasies by strong-willed visionaries, from bestselling author and masterful storyteller Gary Krist Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California was sleepy desert farmland. Then from it, nearly overnight, emerged one of the world’s largest and most iconic cities. The birth and evolution of Los Angeles–its seemingly impossible, meteoric rise–can be attributed largely to three ingenious but deeply flawed people. D.W. Griffith, the early film pioneer who first conceived of feature-length movies, gave Hollywood its industry. Aimee Semple McPherson, a young evangelist and radio preacher, infused the city with its spiritual identity as a hub for reinvention. And William Mulholland, an Irish immigrant turned ditch-digger turned autodidactic engineer, would design the massive aqueduct that made survival in the harsh climate feasible. But while Mulholland, Griffith, and Semple McPherson were all masters of their craft, each would self-destruct in spectacular fashion. D.W. Griffith, led by his ballooning ego, would go on to produce a string of commercial failures; Semple McPherson would be crucified in the tabloids for fabricating an account of her own kidnapping; and a dam designed by Mulholland would fail just hours after he gave it a safety inspection. Spanning from 1904 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and peddling fantasies.



26 .) The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping Of Sally Horner And The Novel That Scandalized The World written by Sarah Weinman

 The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping Of Sally Horner And The Novel That Scandalized The World

Lists It Appears On:

  • CBC
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times

7 Hours and 26 Minutes Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet, very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner. Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner’s full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records, and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita. Sally Horner’s story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel’s creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.



25 .) The Soul Of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels written by Jon Meacham

 The Soul Of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Escaping Plato’s Cave
  • NPR

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear — a struggle that continues even now. While the American story has not always — or even often — been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before” — as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.



24 .) The Souls of Yellow Folk written by Wesley Yang

 The Souls of Yellow Folk

Lists It Appears On:

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

One of the most acclaimed essayists of his generation, Wesley Yang writes about race and sex without the jargon, formulas, and polite lies that bore us all. His powerful debut, The Souls of Yellow Folk, does more than collect a decade’s worth of cult-reputation essays—it corrals new American herds of pickup artists, school shooters, mandarin zombies, and immigrant strivers, and exposes them to scrutiny, empathy, and polemical force. In his celebrated and prescient essay “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” Yang explores the deranged logic of the Virginia Tech shooter. In his National Magazine Award–winning “Paper Tigers,” he explores the intersection of Asian values and the American dream, and the inner torment of the child exposed to “tiger mother” parenting. And in his close reading of New York Magazine’s popular Sex Diaries, he was among the first critics to take seriously today’s Internet-mediated dating lives. Yang catches these ugly trends early because he has felt at various times implicated in them, and he does not exempt himself from his radical honesty. His essays retain the thrill of discovery, the wary eye of the first explorer, and the rueful admission of the first exposed.



23 .) There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir written by Casey Gerald

 There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • NPR
  • The New York Times

The testament of a boy and a generation who came of age as the world came apart–a generation searching for a new way to live. Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year’s Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather’s black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey–following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team–is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he’s never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme. There Will Be No Miracles Here has the arc of a classic rags-to-riches tale, but it stands the American Dream narrative on its head. If to live as we are is destroying us, it asks, what would it mean to truly live? Intense, incantatory, shot through with sly humor and quiet fury, There Will Be No Miracles Here inspires us to question–even shatter–and reimagine our most cherished myths.



22 .) Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World written by Anand Giridharadas

 Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

An insider’s groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite’s efforts to “change the world” preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can–except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; how they lavishly reward “thought leaders” who redefine “change” in winner-friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm. We hear the limousine confessions of a celebrated foundation boss; witness an American president hem and haw about his plutocratic benefactors; and attend a cruise-ship conference where entrepreneurs celebrate their own self-interested magnanimity. Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? He also points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world. A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.



21 .) 21 Lessons for the 21st Century written by Yuval Noah Harari

 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Escaping Plato’s Cave
  • Indigo
  • Mama Mia

In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today’s most pressing issues. How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive. In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis? Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.



20 .) Becoming written by Michelle Obama

 Becoming

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Mama Mia
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.



19 .) Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga Of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, And The Dream Of Becoming A World-Class Metropolis written by Sam Anderson

 Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga Of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, And The Dream Of Becoming A World-Class Metropolis

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

Award-winning journalist Sam Anderson’s long-awaited debut is a brilliant, kaleidoscopic narrative of Oklahoma City–a great American story of civics, basketball, and destiny. Oklahoma City was born from chaos. It was founded in a bizarre but momentous “Land Run” in 1889, when thousands of people lined up along the borders of Oklahoma Territory and rushed in at noon to stake their claims. Since then, it has been a city torn between the wild energy that drives its outsized ambitions, and the forces of order that seek sustainable progress. Nowhere was this dynamic better realized than in the drama of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team’s 2012-13 season, when the Thunder’s brilliant general manager, Sam Presti, ignited a firestorm by trading future superstar James Harden just days before the first game. Presti’s all-in gamble on “the Process”—the patient, methodical management style that dictated the trade as the team’s best hope for long-term greatness—kicked off a pivotal year in the city’s history, one that would include pitched battles over urban planning, a series of cataclysmic tornadoes, and the frenzied hope that an NBA championship might finally deliver the glory of which the city had always dreamed. Boom Town announces the arrival of an exciting literary voice. Sam Anderson, former book critic for New York magazine and now a staff writer at the New York Times magazine, unfolds an idiosyncratic mix of American history, sports reporting, urban studies, gonzo memoir, and much more to tell the strange but compelling story of an American city whose unique mix of geography and history make it a fascinating microcosm of the democratic experiment. Filled with characters ranging from NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook; to Flaming Lips oddball frontman Wayne Coyne; to legendary Great Plains meteorologist Gary England; to Stanley Draper, Oklahoma City’s would-be Robert Moses; to civil rights activist Clara Luper; to the citizens and public servants who survived the notorious 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, Boom Town offers a remarkable look at the urban tapestry woven from control and chaos, sports and civics.



18 .) Frederick Douglass written by David W. Blight

 Frederick Douglass

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • BookMarks
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

36 Hours The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely traveled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African-Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’ newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight’s Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.



17 .) Ninety-Nine Glimpses Of Princess Margaret written by Craig Brown

 Ninety-Nine Glimpses Of Princess Margaret

Lists It Appears On:

  • BookMarks
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

She made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando clam up. She cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor. Andy Warhol photographed her. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine. Gore Vidal revered her. John Fowles hoped to keep her as his sex-slave. Dudley Moore propositioned her. Francis Bacon heckled her. Peter Sellers was in love with her. For Pablo Picasso, she was the object of sexual fantasy. “If they knew what I had done in my dreams with your royal ladies” he confided to a friend, “they would take me to the Tower of London and chop off my head!” Princess Margaret aroused passion and indignation in equal measures. To her friends, she was witty and regal. To her enemies, she was rude and demanding. In her 1950’s heyday, she was seen as one of the most glamorous and desirable women in the world. By the time of her death, she had come to personify disappointment. One friend said he had never known an unhappier woman. The tale of Princess Margaret is pantomime as tragedy, and tragedy as pantomime. It is Cinderella in reverse: hope dashed, happiness mislaid, life mishandled. Combining interviews, parodies, dreams, parallel lives, diaries, announcements, lists, catalogues and essays, Ma’am Darling is a kaleidoscopic experiment in biography, and a witty meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.



16 .) Small Fry written by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

 Small Fry

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The New York Times

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents–artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs–Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be. Small Fry is Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes. Scrappy, wise, and funny, young Lisa is an unforgettable guide through her parents’ fascinating and disparate worlds. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.



15 .) The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches From The Border written by Francisco Cantú

 The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches From The Border

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • BookMarks
  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly

For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Cantú tries not to think where the stories go from there. Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story. Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River makes urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line.



14 .) The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War written by Ben Macintyre

 The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

Lists It Appears On:

  • Fiammetta Rocco
  • Independent
  • Indigo
  • Seattle Times

The celebrated author of A Spy Among Friends and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Cold War-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union. If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union’s top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States’s nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky’s name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain’s obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky’s nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre’s latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man’s hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.



13 .) Heart Berries written by Terese Marie Mailhot

 Heart Berries

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • Bustle
  • CBC
  • Electric Literature
  • NPR

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame. Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.



12 .) Heavy: An American Memoir written by Kiese Laymon

 Heavy: An American Memoir

Lists It Appears On:

  • Electric Literature
  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse. Kiese Laymon is a fearless writer. In his essays, personal stories combine with piercing intellect to reflect both on the state of American society and on his experiences with abuse, which conjure conflicted feelings of shame, joy, confusion and humiliation. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of growing up in a nation wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we’ve been. In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free. A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.



11 .) How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence written by Michael Pollan

 How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

Lists It Appears On:

  • 52 Insights
  • NPR
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times

When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.



10 .) The Library Book written by Susan Orlean

 The Library Book

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • BookMarks
  • Bustle
  • NPR
  • The New York Times

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who? Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before. In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.



9 .) All You Can Ever Know written by Nicole Chung

 All You Can Ever Know

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Electric Literature
  • NPR
  • Paste
  • Seattle Times
  • TIME

What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them? Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From early childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes of giving her a better life; that forever feeling slightly out of place was simply her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as she grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth. With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.



8 .) Feel Free written by Zadie Smith

 Feel Free

Lists It Appears On:

  • BookMarks
  • Bustle
  • Electric Literature
  • NPR
  • Paste
  • The New York Times

Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right. Arranged into five sections—In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free—this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network, and Facebook itself, really about? “It’s a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore.” Why do we love libraries? “Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.” What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? “So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we’d just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.” Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, Joy, and, Find Your Beach, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.



7 .) The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath written by Leslie Jamison

 The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath

Lists It Appears On:

  • BookMarks
  • Bustle
  • Electric Literature
  • Electric Literature
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Spinoff

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Empathy Exams, an exploration of addiction, and the stories we tell about it, that reinvents the traditional recovery memoir. With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and journalistic reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction–both her own and others’–and examines what we want these stories to do, and what happens when they fail us. All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, David Foster Wallace, and Denis Johnson, as well as brilliant figures lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here. For the power of her striking language and the sharpness of her piercing observations, Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag. Yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come.



6 .) These Truths: A History of the United States written by Jill Lepore

 These Truths: A History of the United States

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Escaping Plato’s Cave
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—”these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism. Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. “A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history,” Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. “The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden,” These Truths observes. “It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it.”



5 .) Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup written by John Carreyrou

 Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times
  • TIME
  • What She Reads

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.



4 .) Calypso written by David Sedaris

 Calypso

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • BookMarks
  • Electric Literature
  • NPR
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times
  • The Spinoff

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book. If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong. When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself. With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future. This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best.



3 .) How to Write an Autobiographical Novel written by Alexander Chee

 How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Lists It Appears On:

  • BookMarks
  • Electric Literature
  • NPR
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • TIME

From the author of The Queen of the Night, an essay collection exploring his education as a man, writer, and activist—and how we form our identities in life and in art. As a novelist, Alexander Chee has been described as “masterful” by Roxane Gay, “incendiary” by the New York Times, and “brilliant” by the Washington Post. With How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, his first collection of nonfiction, he’s sure to secure his place as one of the finest essayists of his generation as well. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is the author’s manifesto on the entangling of life, literature, and politics, and how the lessons learned from a life spent reading and writing fiction have changed him. In these essays, he grows from student to teacher, reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend. He examines some of the most formative experiences of his life and the nation’s history, including his father’s death, the AIDS crisis, 9/11, the jobs that supported his writing—Tarot-reading, bookselling, cater-waiting for William F. Buckley—the writing of his first novel, Edinburgh, and the election of Donald Trump. By turns commanding, heartbreaking, and wry, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel asks questions about how we create ourselves in life and in art, and how to fight when our dearest truths are under attack.



2 .) I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer written by Michelle McNamara

 I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Bustle
  • Indigo
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • What She Reads

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case. “You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.” For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic—capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim—he favored suburban couples—he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.



1 .) Educated: A Memoir written by Tara Westover

 Educated: A Memoir

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Page
  • Bustle
  • Independent
  • NPR
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Seattle Times
  • The New York Times
  • TIME
  • What She Reads

An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.




The 275+ Additional Best Nonfiction Books Of 2018



#BooksAuthorsLists
41A Life Of My Own: A MemoirClaire TomalinNPR
Seattle Times
42Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a ManThomas Page McBee52 Insights
Fiammetta Rocco
43American Dialogue: The Founders and UsJoseph J. Ellis
Escaping Plato’s Cave
The New York Times
44
Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America
 Seattle Times
The New York Times
45Arthur Ashe: A LifeRaymond ArsenaultNPR
The New York Times
46Beneath A Ruthless Sun: A True Story Of Violence, Race, And Justice Lost And FoundGilbert KingNPR
Seattle Times
47Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life And Mysterious Genius Of Edward GoreyMark DeryNPR
Paste
48Chesapeake Requiem: A Year With The Watermen Of Vanishing Tangier IslandEarl SwiftNPR
Seattle Times
49Churchill: Walking with DestinyAndrew RobertsIndependent
The New York Times
50
Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
 Amazon
Seattle Times
51Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her SuperpowerBrittney CooperBustle
NPR
52Fear: Trump In The White HouseBob WoodwardNPR
Seattle Times
53How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide For The Stranded Time TravelerRyan NorthCBC
NPR
54In PiecesSally FieldNPR
The New York Times
55Leadership: In Turbulent TimesDoris Kearns GoodwinAmazon
NPR
56
Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce
 Financial Times
Seattle Times
57One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our DemocracyCarol AndersonBustle
NPR
58SickPorochista KhakpourBustle
Electric Literature
59So You Want to Talk About RaceIjeoma OluoBustle
Paste
60Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to SayKelly CorriganBook Page
Bustle
61The Coddling of the American MindGreg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
Escaping Plato’s Cave
The New York Times
62The Cost of LivingDeborah Levy
Electric Literature
The New York Times
63The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of TrumpMichiko KakutaniBustle
Paste
64The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Search for the Earth’s Ultimate TrophyPaige Williams
Publishers Weekly
The New York Times
65
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
 Amazon
Book Page
66The Field Of Blood: Violence In Congress And The Road To Civil WarJoanne B. FreemanNPR
The New York Times
67The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary HouseNorman EisenBook Page
Publishers Weekly
68The Order of TimeCarlo Rovelli
Escaping Plato’s Cave
TIME
69The Poison SquadDeborah BlumBustle
The New York Times
70The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of LifeDavid Quammen
Publishers Weekly
The New York Times
71The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent Of Angels In AmericaIsaac Butler and Dan Kois
Electric Literature
NPR
72
Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing
 Booklist
Seattle Times
73To Throw Away Unopened: A MemoirViv AlbertineNPR
The Spinoff
74We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil RightsADAM WINKLERSeattle Times
The New York Times
75What If This Were Enough?Heather HavrileskyBustle
Publishers Weekly
76
1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List
 Seattle Times
7712 Rules for Life 
Francesco D’Alessio
781947: Where Now BeginsElisabeth Åsbrink, translatedNPR
79A Carnival Of Losses: Notes Nearing NinetyDonald HallNPR
80A Gift From DarknessPatience Ibrahim and Andrea C. HoffmannNPR
81A Hard Rain: America In The 1960s, Our Decade Of Hope, Possibility, And Innocence LostFrye GaillardNPR
82
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
 Seattle Times
83A New Reality: Human Evolution For A Sustainable FutureJonas Salk and Jonathan SalkNPR
84A Short History of EuropeSimon JenkinsIndependent
85A Song for the RiverPhilip Connors
Publishers Weekly
86Achtung Baby: An American Mom On The German Art Of Raising Self-Reliant ChildrenSara ZaskeNPR
87After Man: A Zoology of the Future Turnaround
88Against Memoir by Michelle Tea Turnaround
89AI SuperpowersKai-Fu Lee52 Insights
90
Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America
 Seattle Times
91Ali: A LifeJONATHAN EIG
The New York Times
92All Our RelationsTanya TalagaCBC
93All The AnswersMichael KuppermanNPR
94
All the Dreams We’ve Dreamed: A Story of Hoops and Handguns on Chicago’s West Side
 Booklist
95All Things ConsoledElizabeth HayCBC
96American Eden: David Hosack, Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early RepublicVICTORIA JOHNSON
The New York Times
97American Hate: Survivors Speak OutArjun Singh SethiNPR
98An American Marriage Book Page
99Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us And Undermines DemocracySiva VaidhyanathanNPR
100Any Ordinary DayLeigh SalesMama Mia
101Atomic Habits 
Francesco D’Alessio
102Bachelor Nation: Inside The World Of America’s Favorite Guilty PleasureAmy KaufmanNPR
103Back, After The BreakOsher GunsbergMama Mia
104Be BoldEmily HensonIndependent
105Be PreparedVera BrosgolNPR
106Beastie Boys BookMichael Diamond and Adam Horovitz (and friends)Paste
107
Because We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought
 Seattle Times
108Belonging: A German Reckons With History And HomeNora KrugNPR
109Big Game: The NFL In Dangerous TimesMark LeibovichNPR
110Big Lonely DougHarley RustadCBC
111Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star—The War Years, 1940–1946Gary Giddins
Publishers Weekly
112Boys Will Be Boys: Power, patriarchy and the toxic bonds of mateshipClementine FordThe Spinoff
113Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian WarMARWAN HISHAM AND MOLLY
The New York Times
114Burning Down the Haus Book Page
115Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian Booklist
116Cake: A CookbookMaira Kalman and Barbara Scott-GoodmanNPR
117Can You Tolerate This?Ashleigh YoungBustle
118Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, And One Intact Glass CeilingAmy ChozickNPR
119Che: A Revolutionary LifeJon Lee Anderson, illustratedNPR
120Chernobyl: History of a TragedySerhii Plokhy
Fiammetta Rocco
121Circe Book Page
122CliffordHarold R. JohnsonCBC
123Coddling of the American MindGreg Lukanioff and Jonathan Haidt52 Insights
124Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, And The Anatomy Of IntrigueRyan HolidayNPR
125Contact High: A Visual History Of Hip-HopVikki TobakNPR
126Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the WorldADAM TOOZE
The New York Times
127Creative QuestQuestloveNPR
128Crux: A Cross-Border MemoirJean GuerreroNPR
129Dancing Bears: True Stories Of People Nostalgic For Life Under TyrannyWitold Szablowski, translatedNPR
130
Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Journey Without End
 Financial Times
131
Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations.…
 Indigo
132Darwin Comes To Town: How The Urban Jungle Drives EvolutionMenno SchilthuizenNPR
133Dear Current OccupantChelene KnightCBC
134Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine And Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, And SickMaya DusenberyNPR
135Dopesick Book Page
136
Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
 Seattle Times
137Everything I Know About LoveDolly AldertonMama Mia
138Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and LossStephanie Wittels Wachs
What She Reads
139Exposure Turnaround
140Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkHans Rosling
Escaping Plato’s Cave
141Famous Father Girl: A Memoir Of Growing Up BernsteinJamie BernsteinNPR
142Fascism: A WarningMadeleine AlbrightNPR
143Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther and the Fight for the Western MindMICHAEL MASSING
The New York Times
144Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White HouseMichael WolffThe Spinoff
145
Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women. By Roseanne Montillo
 Booklist
146
First, We Make The Beast Beautiful: A New…
 Indigo
147Fisherman’s Blues: A West African Community at SeaAnna BadhkenPaste
148Fly GirlsKEITH O’BRIEN
The New York Times
149Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFLJeff Pearlman
Publishers Weekly
150Freshwater Book Page
151
From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia
 Amazon
152From the Corner of the Oval OfficeBeck Dorey-SteinThe Spinoff
153Full DisclosureStormy DanielsNPR
154Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948RAMACHANDRA GUHA
The New York Times
155Ghosts In The Schoolyard: Racism And School Closings On Chicago’s South SideEve L. EwingNPR
156Gin Made Me Do It: 60 Beautifully Botanical CocktailsJassy DavisIndependent
157
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing The Lies…
 Indigo
158Good & MadRebecca TraisterBustle
159Good And Mad: The Revolutionary Power Of Women’s AngerRebecca TraisterNPR
160Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back)Mara Altman
What She Reads
161Hang Time: My Life in Basketball Booklist
162
Hard Frost: Structures of feeling in New Zealand literature, 1908-1945
 The Spinoff
163Helen Oxenbury: A Life in IllustrationLeonard C MarcusIndependent
164
Hello World: How to Be Human in the Age of Algorithms
 
Fiammetta Rocco
165Hey, KiddoJarrett J. KrosoczkaNPR
166Hiking With Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You AreJohn KaagNPR
167Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, And The Fate Of The Great Mexican-American MigrationAlfredo CorchadoNPR
168HomesAbu Bakr Al Rabeeah with Winnie YeungCBC
169House of Broken Angels Book Page
170I’m Afraid of MenVivek ShrayaCBC
171I’ve Been Meaning to Tell YouDavid ChariandyCBC
172I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya Turnaround
173I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for WhitenessAustin Channing Brown
What She Reads
174I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This Turnaround
175Ice Diaries by Jean McNeil Turnaround
176If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Daughter’s Opioid AddictionMaureen Cavanagh
What She Reads
177
Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age
 
Fiammetta Rocco
178In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie ColvinLindsey HilsumIndependent
179In My Mind’s Eye: A Thought Diary Financial Times
180Indianapolis: The True Story Of The Worst Sea Disaster In U.S. Naval History And The Fifty-Year Fight To Exonerate An Innocent ManLynn Vincent and Sara VladicNPR
181Inner City Pressure: The Story Of GrimeDan HancoxNPR
182Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins And Their Rendezvous With American HistoryYunte HuangNPR
183Just The Funny Parts: …And A Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into The Hollywood Boys’ ClubNell ScovellNPR
184Karori ConfidentialLeah McFallThe Spinoff
185Ko Taranaki te Maunga: My mountain is TaranakiRachel BuchananThe Spinoff
186Lands of Lost BordersKate HarrisCBC
187Like A Mother: A Feminist Journey Through The Science And Culture Of PregnancyAngela GarbesNPR
188
LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media
 Amazon
189Little Book Page
190Look Alive Out There: Essays Seattle Times
191Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine HansberryIMANI PERRY
The New York Times
192Mad About the HouseKate Watson-SmythIndependent
193MakeTime 
Francesco D’Alessio
194MamaskatchDarrel J. McLeodCBC
195
Māori Made Easy: For everyday learners of the Māori language
 The Spinoff
196Maps of the United KingdomRachel Dixon and Livi GoslingIndependent
197Mastering Fear: A Navy SEAL’s GuideBrandon Webb and John David MannNPR
198Matty Matheson: A Cookbook Indigo
199Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul In Music’s HometownRobert GordonNPR
200Monsoon MansionCinelle BarnesBustle
201Multi-Hyphen Method 
Francesco D’Alessio
202My Life As A Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular CultureGuy BranumNPR
203My Life, My Fight The Spinoff
204My Own Devices: True Stories From The Road On Music, Science, And Senseless LoveDessaNPR
205Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, And Radicalization In American PoliticsYochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal RobertsNPR
206
Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City
 Booklist
207Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the WorldChristina Rickardsson
What She Reads
208Night MovesJessica HopperNPR
209Ninth Street WomenMary GabrielTIME
210No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in AmericaDARNELL L. MOORE
The New York Times
211No One Tells You ThisGlynnis MacNicolCBC
212No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime SyriaRANIA ABOUZEID
The New York Times
213
Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border
 Amazon
214Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture editedRoxane GayPaste
215On The Other Side Of Freedom: The Case For HopeDeRay MckessonNPR
216Packing My Library: An Elegy And Ten DigressionsAlberto ManguelNPR
217Palaces For The People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, And The Decline Of Civic LifeEric KlinenbergNPR
218Patriot Number One: American Dreams in ChinatownLAUREN HILGERS
The New York Times
219Patterson: Houses of AotearoaAndrew PattersonThe Spinoff
220Paul Simon: The LifeRobert Hilburn
Publishers Weekly
221Picnic Comma LightningLaurence Scott52 Insights
222Playing Changes: Jazz For The New CenturyNate ChinenNPR
223
PoC||GTFO Volume 2 by Manul Laphroaig
 Turnaround
224
Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations
 Seattle Times
225Portrait of Britain Turnaround
226Presidents of War Seattle Times
227Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More UnequalAlexandra Natapoff
Publishers Weekly
228
Questioning Minds: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner
 Seattle Times
229Rage Becomes Her: The Power Of Women’s AngerSoraya ChemalyNPR
230Reagan: An American JourneyBob Spitz
Publishers Weekly
231Red Clocks Book Page
232Reporter: A MemoirSeymour M. Hersh
Publishers Weekly
233Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted AssassinationsRONEN BERGMAN
The New York Times
234
Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist
 Seattle Times
235Rising: Dispatches from the New American ShoreElizabeth Rush
Publishers Weekly
236Room to DreamDavid Lynch and Kristine McKennaThe Spinoff
237
Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump
 Seattle Times
238Sam Hunt: Off the RoadColin HoggThe Spinoff
239SeductionKarina LongworthBustle
240See What Can Be Done BookMarks
241Severance Book Page
242SharpMichelle DeanNPR
243She Begat This: 20 Years Of The Miseducation Of Lauryn HillJoan MorganNPR
244Simple The Spinoff
245Small Animals: Parenthood In The Age Of FearKim BrooksNPR
246
Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance
 Seattle Times
247Son of a CritchMark CritchCBC
248Split ToothTanya TagaqNPR
249Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford AmericaAlissa Quart
What She Reads
250Stealing The Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing TelevisionJoy PressNPR
251Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—And Those Fighting to Reverse ItSteven Brill
Publishers Weekly
252Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty QuestionsValeria Luiselli
What She Reads
253Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution And Triumph Of Modern Female FriendshipKayleen SchaeferNPR
254
The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy
 Seattle Times
255The Art Of Gathering: How We Meet And Why It MattersPriya ParkerNPR
256The Artful Evolution Of Hal & Mal’sMalcolm White, illustratedNPR
257The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He CreatedJane Leavy
Publishers Weekly
258The Boy on the BeachTima KurdiCBC
259
The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation
 Amazon
260
The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right
 Seattle Times
261The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical WorldCATHERINE NIXEY
The New York Times
262The End of the End of the Earth Financial Times
263The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer And The Plot To Kill HitlerJohn HendrixNPR
264The FightersC.J. ChiversNPR
265The Flame Indigo
266
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After
 Seattle Times
267The Great Believers Book Page
268
The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America
 Seattle Times
269The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family In The New WestJohn BranchNPR
270The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity Seattle Times
271
The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife 1965-2005
 Financial Times
272The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in SchoolsVanessa Siddle Walker
Publishers Weekly
273The Mars Room Book Page
274The Most Dangerous Man In America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon And The Hunt For The Fugitive King Of LSDBill Minutaglio and Steven L. DavisNPR
275The New Creative Home – London StyleTalib ChoudhryIndependent
276The New Negro: The Life of Alain LockeJeffrey C. Stewart
Publishers Weekly
277The Overstory Book Page
278The Personality Brokers: The Strange History Of Myers-Briggs And The Birth Of Personality TestingMerve EmreNPR
279
The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy
 Seattle Times
280The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s ManualWard Farnsworth
Escaping Plato’s Cave
281The Prison Letters Of Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela, Sahm Venter (editor)NPR
282
The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West
 Amazon
283The Red And The Blue: The 1990s And The Birth Of Political TribalismSteve KornackiNPR
284
The Rise And Fall Of The Dinosaurs: A New…
 Indigo
285
The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind
 Seattle Times
286The Skeptics’ Guide to the UniverseDr. Steven Novella
Escaping Plato’s Cave
287The Strange Case Of Dr. Couney: How A Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands Of American BabiesDawn RaffelNPR
288The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck 
Francesco D’Alessio
289The Sun Does Shine Book Page
290The Tour According to G: My Journey to the Yellow JerseyGeraint ThomasIndependent
291The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global EconomyMariana Mazzucato52 Insights
292The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches From The Forgotten AmericaSarah KendziorNPR
293
The Warm South: How the Mediterranean Shaped the British Imagination
 Financial Times
294The Widower’s Notebook Book Page
295The Wife’s TaleAida EdemariamCBC
296
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World
 Seattle Times
297
The Women’s Atlas & What I Talk About When I Talk About Rape
 Turnaround
298The Woo-WooLindsay WongCBC
299Theo Schoon: A biographyDamien SkinnerThe Spinoff
300There There Book Page
301This is Going to HurtAdam KayIndependent
302
Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas
 Booklist
303Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story Booklist
304Tigers & Tea With ToppyBarbara Kerley and Rhoda Knight Kalt, illustratedNPR
305TinderboxMegan DunnThe Spinoff
306
Together: Our Community Cookbook: £9.99, Waterstones
 Independent
307Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans EqualitySarah McBride
What She Reads
308Tonight I’m Someone ElseChelsea Hodson
Electric Literature
309Transcription Book Page
310Trump’s ABC Turnaround
311Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, And Their Journey Into The Syrian JihadÅsne Seierstad, translatedNPR
312Underbug: An Obsessive Tale Of Termites And TechnologyLisa MargonelliNPR
313Unstoppable: My Life So Far Booklist
314Up: My Life’s Journey to the Top of EverestBen Fogle & Marina FogleIndependent
315Virgil Wander Book Page
316Walls: A History of Civilisation in Blood and BrickDavid FryeThe Spinoff
317Warlight Book Page
318Washington Black Book Page
319
We Can Make a Life: A memoir of family, earthquakes and courage
 The Spinoff
320What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American CityMONA HANNA-ATTISHA
The New York Times
321
What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America
 Seattle Times
322What We Talk About When We Talk About RapeSohaila Abdulali
Publishers Weekly
323What You Are Getting Wrong About AppalachiaElizabeth Catte
What She Reads
324When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World and Why We Need ThemPhilip CollinsPaste
325White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About RacismRobin DiAngeloNPR
326Who Is Michael Ovitz?Michael OvitzNPR
327Why Art?Eleanor DavisNPR
328Why Baseball Matters Seattle Times
329Why Comics?: From Underground to EverywhereHILLARY L. CHUTE
The New York Times
330XXXXX Turnaround
331You are AwesomeMatthew SyedIndependent
332
You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar
 Turnaround
333You’re On An Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing MemoirParker PoseyNPR
334Your Black Friend And Other StrangersBen PassmoreNPR



24 Best Nonfiction Books Of 2018 Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
52 Insights Our Favourite Non-Fiction Books Of 2018
Amazon Best nonfiction of 2018
Book Page Best Books 2018 Nonfiction
Booklist Booklist Online
BookMarks The Best Reviewed Books of 2018: Nonfiction
Bustle The 25 Best Nonfiction Books Of 2018
CBC The best Canadian nonfiction of 2018
Electric Literature 15 Best Nonfiction Books Of 2015
Escaping Plato’s Cave The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018
Fiammetta Rocco The Best Nonfiction Books of 2018
Financial Times Best books of 2018: Literary non-fiction
Francesco D’Alessio The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2018
Independent Best Nonfiction Books 2015
Indigo Top 10 Best Non-Fiction of 2018
Mama Mia The 5 best non-fiction books women have been loving in 2018.
NPR Our Guide To 2018’s Great Reads
Paste The 16 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018
Publishers Weekly Best Books Nonfiction 2018
Seattle Times 50 best nonfiction books of 2018
The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018
The Spinoff Absolute fact: These are the 20 best non-fiction books of 2018
TIME The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018
Turnaround The Turnaround Blog
What She Reads The best nonfiction books of 2018