True Story

A Round Up of Best Nonfiction of the Year

It’s Friday, nonfiction friends! It’s also the last edition of this newsletter in 2019… how on earth did this happen? At the moment, I’m just hanging on through my last few days of work before taking next week off for a much-needed vacation and disconnect. I’m heading up to my parents’ house where I plan to read, eat, and nap as much as possible.

Picking out the books I want to bring on a vacation is one of my favorite things! I always try to pull together a mix of fiction and nonfiction that covers a range of topics and moods and styles. I haven’t settled on anything officially yet, but I anticipate The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Powers will be on my pile, along with a book I just picked up at the library, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal. But we’ll see, vacation reads are always a moving target until the moment I get out the door!

Given the impending holidays, it’s been a generally quiet week in the world of publishing news. I decided to use this last newsletter to bundle up a bunch of specific “best of the year” nonfiction lists all in one place:

I also wanted to point out the winners of this year’s 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards, which I usually like a lot because there’s such a variety of nonfiction represented in the different categories. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in the nonfiction winners this year:

I’m not sure what about that list is rubbing me the wrong way. I think maybe there’s just not much there that’s surprising or feels particularly innovative. C’est la vie.

And if that’s not enough, I also admire the work that went into LitHub’s ultimate list of best books of 2019, which tallies up multiple lists to find the ultimate winners. I was excited to see a few nonfiction books on a majority of the lists, including In the Dream House and Trick Mirror on 16 lists and Say Nothing on 14 lists.

And that’s all you’ll hear from me in 2019! Thank you, again, for inviting me into your inbox twice each week. I’ll be back with more new nonfiction and nonfiction news on Friday, January 3. In the mean time, you can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, on email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading! – Kim