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11 New Nonfiction Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer

By Kaitlyn Johnston
Five books are arranged on a pastel mosaic background. each book features distinct cover art, including lively fonts and vibrant colors, representing various genres from memoirs to essays.

Add these exciting reads to your summer 2024 TBR stack.

Summer’s just around the corner, and we’re already planning our vacation reading list. From moving family memoirs and music biographies to a revelatory journey into the world of medicinal psychedelics, here are 11 promising new nonfiction books coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Book cover titled "trippy" by ernesto londoño, featuring a psychedelic design. a vivid road leads through a rocky desert towards a large moon, framed by multicolored concentric circles and a pink sky.

Trippy: The Peril and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics

By Ernesto Londoño

Veteran New York Times journalist Ernesto Londoño delves into the use of psychedelics in mental health in his fascinating new account. In 2018, a deepening depression nearly ended Londoño’s life, prompting the author to travel to the Brazilian rainforest for a nine-day ayahuasca retreat. Londoño’s experience with ayahuasca not only opened a pathway forward in his personal life but sparked a fascination with the emerging field of psychedelic therapy. In Trippy, Londoño speaks to Indigenous elders, religious leaders, military veterans suffering from PTSD, dedicated clinicians, and others about the potential of mind-altering compounds in trauma treatment and healing, discussing the risks as well as the rewards. An excellent blend of in-depth journalism and first-person reportage, Trippy is an eye-opening read. “This journey inside the brain and around the world taught me more than any book I’ve read in a long time. It’s an important book, one that will save people’s lives” (Benjamin Moser, author of Sontag: Her Life and Work).

Publication date: May 7, 2024

This is the cover of the book "night flyer: harriet tubman and the faith dreams of a free people" by tiya miles. it features a monochromatic illustration of harriet tubman guiding a group of people at night.

Night Flyer: Harriet Tubman and the Faith Dreams of a Free People

By Tiya Miles

From American historian and National Book Award–winning author Tiya Miles, Night Flyer tells the story of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman and goes beyond the legend in search of a greater truth. Tubman is a larger-than-life hero, famous for her extraordinary work on the Underground Railroad smuggling enslaved men, women, and children to freedom. Miles brings the legendary figure back into vivid focus, detailing the stark realities of her world, examining her relationships with other enslaved women, and exploring the spiritual journeys they all went through. With her lyrical prose and her passionate attention to detail, Miles delivers a stunning true-to-life portrait of this American icon. 

Publication date: June 18, 2024

Book cover with the title "1974 a personal history by francine prose," featuring large, bold, multicolored numbers "1974" in a retro design on a cream background.

1974: A Personal History

By Francine Prose

A captivating mix of the personal and political, 1974 by Francine Prose is the award-winning author’s first memoir. The coming-of-age account traces Prose’s formative years in San Francisco and her relationship with activist Tony Russo — one of the men involved in releasing the Pentagon Papers that revealed America’s military and political involvement in Vietnam. Set against the turbulence of the early 1970s, Prose’s narrative brings to life frenzied night drives with Russo, a country embroiled in the Vietnam War, the women’s liberation movement, and the seismic impact of the Pentagon Papers leak. 

Publication date: June 18, 2024

Book cover of "woman of interest" by tracy o'neill featuring an artistic stack of three stones with a pink balloon squeezed in the middle, set against a pastel blue background.

Woman of Interest

By Tracy O’Neill

A searing examination of family mythology and identity, Woman of Interest by Tracy O’Neill is a genre-bending work that “expands the horizons of the memoir” (Chloé Cooper Jones, author of Easy Beauty). In her 30s and fresh out of a 10-year relationship, O’Neill decides it’s time to find her birth mother. So, she launches her own investigation into the mother she’s never met, first by hiring a PI, then by picking up the trail where the PI leaves off. It’s 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic is raging, but O’Neill chases down clues that take her to the other side of the world and lead her to self-understanding. 

Publication date: June 25, 2024

Book cover of "magical realism: essays on music, memory, and borders" by vanessa angélica villarreal featuring stylized illustrations with a large moon, roses, and a ladder reaching to the sky.

Magical/Realism: Essays on Music, Memory, Fantasy, and Borders

By Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

A brilliant collection of essays from award-winning poet Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, Magical/Realism examines migration and colonialism through the lens of music, media, and magical thinking. Across its pages, Villarreal seeks to recover what’s been lost to colonial erasure by weaving together memory, fantasy, and pop culture fragments. Her essays, which span cultural phenomena like Nirvana and Game of Thrones, test the border of what’s real and imagined in search of new ways of remembering, resulting in a “wondrous book that will change the way you think about fantasy and magic” (Kirkus, starred review). 

 

Publication date: May 14, 2024

Cover of the book "becoming earth: how our planet came to life" by ferris jabr, featuring a circular, detailed illustration of earth with vibrant flora and textured landscapes against a beige background.

Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life

By Ferris Jabr

In Becoming Earth, science writer Ferris Jabr explores the wondrous tapestry of life on planet Earth, tracing the threads that connect microscopic organisms to human beings to the planet itself. We aren’t mere inhabitants of Earth, Jabr argues, we are Earth, evolving symbiotically throughout billions of years into a coexistent state of being. A mesmerizing narrative packed with mind-blowing facts, Becoming Earth invites us to reconsider our understanding of the planet and our lasting impact on it. “A glorious paean to our living world” (Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of An Immense World).

 

Publication date: June 25, 2024

Book cover of "accordion eulogies" by noé alvarez featuring an illustration of a hand playing an accordion, surrounded by green leafy designs, set against a textured teal background.

Accordion Eulogies: A Memoir of Music, Migration, and Mexico

By Noé Álvarez

Noé Álvarez embarks on a riveting trip of self-discovery in Accordion Eulogies. Growing up in Washington State, Álvarez never knew his grandfather — only the family stories that depicted more of a character than a person. What the author did know, though, is that his grandfather played the accordion, so he took up the instrument and set off across the country and into Mexico to learn more about himself and his roots. A moving chronicle of finding yourself through music, Álvarez’s memoir is a “poignant blend of personal and cultural history” (Publishers Weekly). 

 

Publication date: May 28, 2024

Book cover titled "psychological warfare and the american mind: stories are weapons" by annalee newitz. the text is styled in bold, fragmented red and blue letters on a light blue background.

Stories Are Weapons: Psychological Warfare and the American Mind

By Annalee Newitz

In Stories Are Weapons, bestselling author Annalee Newitz examines the stark history of psychological warfare in America and its corrosive influence on the domestic culture wars of the present day. Tracing the development of psyops and disinformation campaigns over the centuries, Newitz explores how storytelling becomes weaponized and is used to disenfranchise marginalized groups and poison political discourse into toxic us-vs.-them battles. While the assessment is grim, not all hope is lost: Through conversation with researchers and activists working against this trend, Newitz presents an encouraging alternative. A crucial work, Stories Are Weapons shines a light on the war in our heads and offers a pathway off the battleground. 

Publication date: June 4, 2024

Cover of "foreskin's lament" by shalom auslander, depicting a biblical scene with moses raising his hand among a crowd of followers, with a serene sky in the background.

Feh

By Shalom Auslander

A funny memoir from acclaimed author Shalom Auslander, Feh is about overcoming a story and, hopefully, writing a new one. Raised in the Orthodox community, Auslander was taught at an early age about the fallibility of man — that he is broken, fallen, and disgraceful. But as the author reaches midlife, he’s determined to cleanse himself of the old narrative before he passes it on to his children. So Auslander sets out to replace his programming with a new story, one that improbably involves Arthur Schopenhauer, Wolf Blitzer, and GHB. Thought-provoking and uproariously profane, Feh is a story of escape and rebirth. 

 

Publication date: July 23, 2024

A book cover titled "traveling on the path of joni mitchell" by ann powers, featuring a black and white photo of joni mitchell smiling and playing a guitar on a city street. vibrant red and yellow text overlays the image.

Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell

By Ann Powers

Joni Mitchell has captivated generations of listeners with her singular musical talent. In Traveling, music critic Ann Powers seeks to gain insight into the icon by taking a closer look at her life’s many journeys. Through interviews with Mitchell’s peers and collaborators, along with deep dives into the archives of the singer–songwriter’s life, Powers maps Mitchell’s musical evolution, as well as her early years and relationships along the way. The result is “a daring, intimate book about a daring, intimate artist” (The New Yorker).

 

Publication date: June 11, 2024

Book cover of "rebel girl" by kathleen hanna featuring a close-up portrait of a woman with short, dark hair against a bright pink background, with title and author's name in bold white letters.

Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk

By Kathleen Hanna

Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna delivers an electrifying memoir in Rebel Girl. Hanna narrates the experiences that formed her, from her childhood and college years to fronting a ’90s “girl band” in the punk scene and the dangers that came with it. A target of male violence and hostility, Hanna held to her feminist beliefs and drew on the support of her bandmates and other relationships to become the artist she is today. Hanna also gets real about her struggle with Lyme disease, her other musical projects, and her views on the Riot Grrrl movement. 

 

Publication date: May 14, 2024

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