10 New Nonfiction Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall

By Kaitlyn Johnston

The season for blockbuster memoirs, eye-opening history and biographies, and thought-provoking nonfiction has arrived.

Get ready to discover some incredible new books this fall! Whether you’re in the mood for a moving personal memoir, a riveting historical narrative, or an eye-opening biography, the new nonfiction books in this reading list offer something for every reader.

Flee North

By Scott Shane

In Flee North, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Scott Shane tells the incredible story of Thomas Smallwood, an unsung American abolitionist from the 1800s who freed himself and countless others and coined the term “underground railroad.” Smallwood was born into slavery in 1801. After buying his freedom at the age of 30, he established his own shoemaking business. He then teamed up with Charles Torrey, a white activist, and together they began orchestrating escapes for enslaved people to reach freedom in the North. As slave traders and plantation owners raced to maintain their control, Smallwood and Torrey guided hundreds of men, women, and children to safety. Afterward, Smallwood chronicled his victories in taunting, satirical newspaper articles that took aim at the ruthless enslavers and their lot. Thoroughly researched and infused with rousing, real-life heroism, Flee North is a powerful work of American history.

Publication date: September 19, 2023

While You Were Out

By Meg Kissinger

From the outside, the Kissingers embodied the American dream. Mom, dad, and eight kids in tow — they seemed a lively and loving family, the quintessential big happy bunch in 1960s suburban Chicago. Behind closed doors, however, reality was far from picture-perfect. In While You Were Out, Meg Kissinger explores the hardships of growing up in a family besieged by mental illness and the culture of silence and judgment that compounded their struggle. Part candid memoir and part work of investigative journalism into the critical shortcomings of healthcare in America, While You Were Out is told with insight, unexpected levity, and lots of family love. 

Publication date: September 5, 2023

Magic: The Life of Earvin “Magic” Johnson

By Roland Lazenby

This dazzling new biography is a slam dunk for sports fans, history buffs, and pop culture enthusiasts alike. In Magic, lauded sports writer Roland Lazenby details the legendary ascent, controversial fall, and determined return of an astonishing athlete and beloved sports icon. With his unparalleled athleticism and sparkling charm, Magic Johnson not only launched himself into the nation’s spotlight, he bolstered the popularity of professional American basketball, propelling the game from a peripheral sport to a prime-time athletic spectacle. Then, in 1991, Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive. The revelation shocked the public and destabilized his career. Yet it also brought much-needed awareness to sexually transmitted diseases and set the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Johnson’s life. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with coaches, teammates, loved ones, and opponents, Lazenby constructs a full portrait of Johnson and the American story he represents. 

Publication date: October 24, 2023

Being Henry: The Fonz … and Beyond

By Henry Winkler

Everybody knows “The Fonz” — the charismatic greaser from Happy Days — but in Being Henry, audiences finally get to meet the man behind the iconic character. In his charming and candid new memoir, Emmy Award–winning actor Henry Winkler shares his remarkable Hollywood journey — from his formative years and struggles with dyslexia to the highs and lows of Happy Days superstardom and the challenges of moving forward once you’ve made your dreams a reality. Winkler has embodied an array of unforgettable characters over the course of his career. In Being Henry, the role he celebrates most is being himself. 

Publication date: October 31, 2023

Hidden Potential

By Adam Grant

Hidden Potential by Adam Grant is an education on how to get better at, well, getting better. Though society is quick to celebrate natural-born talent, Grant pushes the perspective that not only do we all have the capacity to develop a skill, but it’s the journey of improvement that’s truly impressive. With a combination of astute commentary and in-depth research, Hidden Potential offers valuable insight into personal growth and maximizing your potential.

Publication date: October 24, 2023

Father and Son

By Jonathan Raban

A story of two struggles separated by decades, Father and Son by Jonathan Raban champions our capacity to adapt under the most trying of circumstances. After a massive stroke, Raban worked to relearn how to go about his daily life — everything from walking to writing was a fresh challenge to overcome. Alongside the story of his recovery, Raban recounts his father’s own fight for survival in the trenches of World War II. Told with heart and candor, Father and Son expertly weaves together two narratives into a singular memoir of strength and humanity.

Publication date: September 19, 2023

Class

By Stephanie Land

In Class, Stephanie Land, the New York Times bestselling author of Maid, chronicles the next chapter of a mother determined to make life better for herself and her child. Land takes readers with her as she tackles her college degree and pursues a career in writing — all while navigating a convoluted loan system and striving to keep afloat as a mother below the poverty line. A bracing confrontation of parenting, creativity, and America’s flawed education system, Class delivers a “stirring personal history from one of the foremost chroniclers of 21st-century economic anxiety” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). 

Publication date: November 7, 2023

To Free the Captives

By Tracy K. Smith

In To Free the Captives, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith crafts a lyrical rumination on the condition of Black life in America. Smith draws on her family’s personal history and the nation’s fractured past in order to capture the present and consider the future. Beautifully written and resonating with a profound spiritual depth, To Free the Captives is an evocative and necessary read.

Publication date: November 7, 2023

Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant

By Curtis Chin

Detroit in the 1980s was a tumultuous place to come of age. Yet one spot offered shelter to anyone who stepped inside: Chung’s Cantonese Cuisine. In Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant, filmmaker and activist Curtis Chin reflects on his formative days and nights spent in a booth at Chung’s, learning to embrace his identity as a gay man and as an American-born Chinese, or “ABC.” Heartfelt and humorous, Chin’s memoir is a moving exploration of finding your place and yourself. 

Publication date: October 17, 2023

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

By Sly Stone, with Ben Greenman

Music legend Sly Stone teams up with writer Ben Greenman to deliver his highly anticipated memoir this fall. Though Stone wrote some of the most beloved songs in pop music and blazed a new sonic trail in the 1960s and ’70s by blending soul and funk with rock, the musician himself remains somewhat of a mystery. Stone’s rapid rise was brought back down by a deepening drug habit, landing him out of the spotlight and leaving many fans to wonder: Hey, whatever happened to Sly Stone? In Thank You, Stone offers an intimate look at the man behind the music and reveals that he never went anywhere.

Publication date: October 17, 2023

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