Nonfiction books open our eyes to fresh perspectives, vital truths, and diverse world views. And while it’s been a banner year for nonfiction releases thus far, the best is yet to come. Here are nine fascinating new nonfiction books that we can’t wait to crack open this fall.
9 New Nonfiction Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall
These absorbing new reads belong on your autumn TBR list.
By Brandon Miller
Brothers on Three: A True Story of Family, Resistance, and Hope on a Reservation in Montana
By Abe Streep
In Brothers on Three, award-winning journalist Abe Streep writes about the Arlee Warriors, a high school basketball team from Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation that brought home the state championship title in 2017. Phillip Malatare and Will Mesteth, Jr. were both starters for the Warriors, and after leading their team to victory, the boys and their teammates became local heroes. Streep follows Phil and Will on their journey to the now-legendary championship game and beyond, introducing us to coaches, loved ones, and members of the Arlee community. The result is a "rich, expansive portrait of modern Indigenous life" (Washington Post) and a moving narrative that is just as much about growing up as it is about basketball.
Her Honor: My Life on the Bench...What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It
By LaDoris Hazzard Cordell
Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell was the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California. Over the course of her career, she’s seen true progress achieved within our legal system, as well as witnessing the many ways in which prejudice undermines justice. She knows what’s effective and what’s broken, and in her upcoming memoir, she outlines her vision for changing the system. Her Honor offers a rare insider’s account of life on the bench. Judge Cordell cites real-life cases to discuss rehabilitation versus punishment and racial bias in the criminal justice system, providing readers with an eye-opening look at the good, the bad, and the surprises that transpire behind closed courtroom doors.
The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times
By Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
In this exciting upcoming book, Dr. Jane Goodall, the celebrated naturalist and activist, explores the idea of “hope” through a candid conversation with co-author Douglas Abrams. Goodall draws on her years of experience studying chimpanzees and our natural world to offer an urgent yet optimistic meditation on how to create and nourish hope for ourselves and our children. Replete with rare photographs and accounts from Goodall’s extraordinary career, The Book of Hope will expand your worldview and inspire you to take action.
By Qian Julie Wang
Qian Julie Wang’s Beautiful Country is a stunning chronicle of the undocumented immigrant experience in the United States, as told by a woman who lived it firsthand. When she was just a child, Wang and her family left China for America. They settled in New York City, where her parents, who were previously professors, found work in Chinatown sweatshops. Wang, meanwhile, endured torment and hardship as she strove to fit in. Beautiful Country is an immigrant story without a rosy filter. Wang offers an intimate account of what it feels like to be physically present in the United States while never fully settled because of racism, xenophobia, and the threat of deportation.
On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint
By Maggie Nelson
In her newest release, award-winning poet and critic Maggie Nelson critiques the very notion of freedom — namely, how we understand, inhabit, and discuss it. She considers freedom by viewing it through four distinct lenses: art, sex, drugs, and climate. This allows for a wide-ranging discourse that touches on everything from sexual liberation and artistic liberty to the role of autonomy in addiction and the freedoms that are granted or withheld in response to the climate crisis. In On Freedom, Nelson once again “proves herself a masterful thinker and an unparalleled prose stylist” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
The Afghanistan Papers
By Craig Whitlock
In this “searing…rigorously detailed” new release (Publishers Weekly), Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock delivers a damning account of the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Whitlock, a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, interviewed more than 1,000 individuals while writing his book, from aid workers and on-the-ground soldiers to high-ranking officials in the Pentagon and the White House. The result is a shocking portrait of America’s longest-running war, one marred by mismanagement, arrogance, and deceit at all levels of leadership. Meticulously researched and more timely than ever, The Afghanistan Papers will open your eyes to America’s calamitous military campaign in Afghanistan and forever alter how the conflict is viewed.
Now Beacon, Now Sea: A Son’s Memoir
By Christopher Sorrentino
In his debut memoir, Christopher Sorrentino presents a moving account of familial grief that doubles as a love letter to his mother, Victoria, who passed away in 2017. Sorrentino traces Victoria’s journey through her eight decades of life — from her early years in the South Bronx and her time in New York’s downtown art scene to Stanford University and her secluded final years in Brooklyn. As Sorrentino explores his mother’s struggles with her racial identity, her tumultuous marriage, and her unfulfilled dreams, Sorrentino integrates his own memories and experiences to create a poignant memoir of love and loss that you won’t soon forget.
By Lydia Davis
Lydia Davis is a Man Booker Prize winner known for her finely crafted short stories and translations of writers like Marcel Proust, Gustave Flaubert, and Michel Leiris. In her newest collection, the acclaimed author and translator presents a suite of essays on the art of translation, learning a foreign language through reading, and her excursions through the city of Arles in the South of France. Essay Two is a follow-up to Davis’s acclaimed Essays One, offering yet another look inside the author’s remarkable literary mind.
The Least of Us
By Sam Quinones
In his powerful new book, Sam Quinones, the New York Times bestselling author of Dreamland, continues his reportage on the opioid epidemic — this time focusing on synthetic drugs such as fentanyl. Quinones travels across the country to track the spread of these highly potent products, chronicling the devastation and human loss with deep compassion and insight. The result is a harrowing account of drug traffickers, pharmaceutical companies, and the havoc and hope that course through small-town America.