True Story

35 Nonfiction Favorites Out in Paperback

Hello friends! This week I’m doing a bit of service journalism by bringing you a round-up of some nonfiction favorites that have come out in paperback over the last several months. Yay, paperbacks!

Before we jump in, a quick reminder to come share the ins-n-outs of your reading life in our Fall Reader Survey!

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In THE WRONG DOG, New York Times bestselling author David Elliot Cohen tells the humorous, engaging story of what happens when puppy pick-up instructions go disastrously awry and aboisterous rough-and-tumble ball of energy bursts onto the family scene. So begins the chronicle of the unexpected love between a big family and their giant lug of a high-spirited Lab that culminates in a once-in-a-lifetime road trip and revels in the glories of the human-canine relationship.

THE WRONG DOG is an insightful story filled with historical and geographic trivia and told with self-deprecating wit and mature perception.

  1. The World Broke in Two by Bill Goldstein – A look at the year 1922, the birth of modernism, and and the intersecting lives of Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster and D.H. Lawrence.
  2. Grit by Angela Duckworth – An argument for passion and persistence rather than talent as indicators of success.
  3. The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women by Elizabeth Norton – A look at the life cycles of Tudor women, based on the lives and examples of women like Elizabeth Tudor, Mary Howard, and Elizabeth Boleyn.
  4. The Hot One by Carolyn Murnick – A memoir of “friendship, sex, and murder” where a young woman investigates the death of a childhood friend she’d grown apart from.
  5. This Is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe – A memoir about growing up with a polygamous father, working as a phone sex “talker,” and an unconventional rise to fame as a movie star.
  6. A Light So Lovely by Sarah Arthur – A biography of beloved children’s author Madeleine L’Engle, including “her imagination, her faith, (and) her pattern of defying categories.”
  7. Morningstar by Ann Hood – A memoir about the transformative power of literature and an author’s most beloved novels.
  8. My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg – A collection of writings and speeches from the Notorious RBG herself.
  9. Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi – A memoir about “food and family, survival and triumph” that traces a path from an immigrant childhood to life in the spotlight.
  10. Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser – A Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie series.
  11. American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee – The story of the rise of O-Six, an alpha female in a pack of wolves who live in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley.
  12. Ranger Games by Ben Blum – A journalist investigates how a young cousin, an Army Ranger, could become involved in an armed robbery.
  13. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay – A memoir of “food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself” from the queen herself.
  14. Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun – A slim collection of essays on the truth of relationships and the challenges of marriage and modern coupledom.
  15. The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham – A story of twin brothers who leave El Salvador for California at 17, trying to make a new life after fleeing violence.
  16. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance – A memoir and exploration of white, working-class America written by a man who grew up poor in a Rust Belt town.
  17. The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan – The story of the Biltmore Estate, the largest and most impressive private residence in America, and a peek at life in the Gilded Age United States.
  18. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell – I’ll let the subtitle do the talking… “tales of a 6’4”, African American, heterosexual, cisgender, left-leaning, asthmatic, black and proud blerd, mama’s boy, dad, and stand-up comedian.”
  19. Hourglass by Dani Shapiro – A memoir about marriage, time, and how we make marriage last today.
  20. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann – The story of the birth of the FBI amidst the investigation of a series of murders in the Osage Nation, a group of Native Americans made wealthy after oil was discovered on their land.
  21. City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker – A true crime story of witches, poisoners, and priests who secretly influenced Paris in the 1600s and the first police chief tasked with stopping them.
  22. I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart – Life lessons from a comedian who grew up poor in North Philadelphia and now sells out football stadiums.
  23. The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel – The story of a Massachusetts man who left his home in 1986 to disappear into the woods, not speaking to another human for 27 years.
  24. American Fire by Monica Hesse – A true crime story about a series of arsons in a rural Virginia County, the communities affected, and the strange love story at the center of the crimes.
  25. I Was Told to Come Alone by Souad Mekhennet – A Muslim reporter who grew up in Germany goes behind the lines of jihad to understand the terrorists and freedom fighters behind the headlines.
  26. The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – A young lawyer explores her ideas about the death penalty and her own childhood trauma in this haunting true crime memoir.
  27. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui – An illustrated memoir of a family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States in the 1970s.
  28. My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul – The editor of the New York Times Book Review shares the story of her life in books through the notebook she’s kept for 28 years, listing every single book she’s ever read.
  29. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy – A stunning memoir by a writer who, after years of adventure and living her own life, loses both her marriage and her unborn baby in a moment.
  30. The Family Gene by Joselin Linder – After a mysterious illness ravages members of her family, a young woman tries to discover and the genetic mutation that explains their baffling symptoms.
  31. Cake: A Slice of History by Alysa Levene – A history of cake! What is not to love about this?
  32. How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana – A memoir of a young girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo who survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and addressed her trauma “through art and activism.”
  33. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant – An exploration of adversity, resilience, and joy in the face of immense loss.
  34. The Storied City by Charlie English – The story of Timbuktu, a city with a rich history and a history of those coming to it seeking riches for themselves.
  35. Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood – A memoir of a poet who returns home as an adult and her unconventional father, a Catholic priest who “lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies” and jams on the guitar.

If that didn’t topple your TBR, then there’s not much else I can do for you. You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading!