Nonfiction You May Have Missed in 2017
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All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island
- Liza Jessie Peterson
Provides a behind-the-bars, personal glimpse into the issue of mass incarceration via an unpredictable, insightful and ultimately hopeful reflection on teaching teens while they await sentencing.
American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World
- David Baron
Documents the efforts of three scientists to observe the rare total solar eclipse of 1878, citing how the ambitions of James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison helped America's early pursuits as a scientific superpower.
Animals Strike Curious Poses
- Elena Passarello
With exuberant wit, Elena Passarello casts her gaze on famous historical animals, crafting an essay collection organized as medieval bestiary.
At the End of the World: A True Story of Murder in the Arctic
- Lawrence Millman
A sobering account of a series of obscure murders in the remote Belcher Islands and the unbalanced trial that followed stands as both a lamentation for a fading culture and a cautionary tale about the dehumanizing consequences of natural-world destruction.
Between Them: Remembering My Parents
- Richard Ford
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Bascombe novels presents a memoir in two parts on the lives of his parents in the Depression-era South that explores their motivations and dreams, his traveling salesman father's early death and the family's transient lives in a series of hotels.
Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, The FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty
- Melissa del Bosque
An award-winning journalist follows the very real and very dangerous attempts made by two FBI agents to bring down the fearsome leader of an infamous drug cartel, Miguel Treviñ of Los Zetas, in the border town of Laredo.
Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
- Annie Spence
A laugh-out-loud, deeply personal collection of love letters and break-up notes to the books in the librarian author's life explains the complicated reasons why libraries are keeping or removing books that either are no longer checked out by readers or have poor literary value.
Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother
- Kate Hennessy
The youngest grandchild of controversial Catholic and social activist Dorothy Day shares personal insights into her life and work that describe Day's experiences before and after conversion, her prolific writings and her sometimes radical perspectives.
From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon
- Mattias Boström
An in-depth look at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective includes tales of unexpected fortune, accidental romance, and inheritances gone awry, telling of the people who have transformed Sherlock Holmes over time.
Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone
- Richard Lloyd Parry
The award-winning correspondent and author of
In the Time of Madness
presents an account of the events and fallout of the 2011 tsunami in Japan that explores reports of ghosts and hauntings in a community tormented by devastating secrets.
Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913
- Daniel Wolff
After researching a 1913 tragedy described in a Woody Guthrie song, a lifelong Bob Dylan fan discusses the historical details of the event and how rage at the injustice inspired both musicians to create art from loss and fury.
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
- Souad Mekhennet
The Washington Post
national security correspondent who broke the "Jihadi John" story draws on her personal experience as a multicultural woman with unique access to the world of jihad to share insights into the rise of Islamic radicalism and the gap between the Muslim world and the West.
Oriana Fallaci: The Journalist, The Agitator, The Legend
- Cristina De Stefano
A biography of the most famous Italian journalist of the twentieth century covers her hatred of fascism, abrasive interview style, and many controversies.
Scandinavians: In Search of the Soul of the North
- Robert Ferguson
Chronicles the history of Scandinavia, from the Vendel era of prehistoric Sweden, to the Vikings and the Christian conversion and unified state of the Middle Ages, through the world wars of the past century, discussing the region’s society, politics and culture.
Some Bright Morning, I'll Fly Away: A Memoir
- Alice Anderson
A full-time wife and mother who left a lucrative career up north for her doctor husband in New Orleans, discusses his post-Katrina spiral into madness and the epic battle she faced trying to keep herself and her children safe.
Soonish: Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything
- Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
The creators of the popular Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic present an illustrated investigation into the technologies of the near future, from deep-space travel to 3D organ printing, to offer insight into how they will work and what is needed to advance their readiness.
Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home
- Amy Dickinson
The New York Times
best-selling author behind the popular "Ask Amy" advice column presents a follow-up to
The Mighty Queens of Freeville
in a collection of personal essays on such topics as her midlife romance, experiences as a step-parent and final moments with her late mother.
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
- Library of Congress
Perfect for booklovers everywhere, and featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers and archival photographs, the Librarian of Congress, paying tribute to the written word, takes readers into one of the world’s most famous libraries and the brilliant catalog system that has kept it organized for hundreds of years.
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
- Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
A National Endowment for the Arts fellow documents the story of how a summer job at a Louisiana law firm and the case of a convicted murderer and child molester changed her views about the death penalty and forced her to confront traumatic secrets in her own family.
The Glass Eye: A Memoir
- Jeannie Vanasco
After her father dies, the author becomes obsessed with her half-sister, who died before she was born and for whom she was named, and hunts for clues into the mysterious circumstances of her death.
The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers On the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own
- Veronica Chambers
A tribute to the First Lady as she leaves the White House presents a chorus of diverse voices--including Ava DuVernay, Damon Young, Roxane Gay, Jason Moran, Alicia Hall Moran, Marcus Samuelsson, and Brittney Cooper--with smart, engaging perspectives on Michelle Obama.
The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown
- Blaire Briody
An award-winning social justice reporter examines the negative impact of fracking on the sleepy farm community of Williston, North Dakota, tracing how the lure of the American Dream triggered the nation's biggest unregulated boom since the Gold Rush and gave way to regional violence, overcrowding and an impossibly high cost of living.
- Amy Liptrot
The author relates her return home to her family's Orkney sheep farm at the age of thirty, after a decade of heavy drinking in London, where she discovered the natural healing she needed to put her on the path to recovery from addiction.
The Song and the Silence: A Story About Family, Race, and What was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright
- Yvette Johnson
The granddaughter of Booker White—an unwitting icon of the Civil Rights Movement, whose murder was the basis for the documentary Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story —compelled to learn about her roots, travels back to Greenwood, Mississippi, where she confronts her own feelings surrounding race, family, forgiveness and faith.
Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul
- Jeremiah Moss
The writer behind the popular blog, “Vanishing New York,” discusses the unwelcome shift to gentrification taking root around Manhattan and provides a sad tour through beloved neighborhoods that have lost their treasured and unofficial landmarks.
We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria
- Wendy Pearlman
Chronicles the lives of ordinary Syrians during the 2011 Arab Spring through the ensuing civil war and resulting humanitarian catastrophe, based on the first-hand testimonies of displaced citizens who face their uncertain future with hope, courage and conviction.
Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China
- Alec Ash
Examines the lives of six Chinese youths as they grow up, attend college, find work and love, and navigate the pressure of their parents and society, and describes how youth culture reflects the larger issues confronting China today.
Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals
- Jeremy McCarter
The co-author of
Hamilton: The Revolution
explores the lives and achievements of five American radicals who fought for political, social and cultural reform, including social critic Randolph Bourne, poet-propagandist Max Eastman, liberal icon Walter Lippmann, suffragist Alice Paul and revolutionary John Reed.
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