Here are the best new nonfiction books out in June 2017.
If you enjoy nonfiction books on race relations, leadership, popular science, memoir, communication and history, you will find a book worth reading in this reading list.
Books released June 1
A powerful and provocative argument on the role that race and racism play in modern Britain, by award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Executive coach Kristi Hedges spent years studying exactly what inspiring leaders do differently. Informed by quantitative research and thousands of responses from leaders at all levels, she reveals that inspiring communication isn’t about grand gestures. Instead, those who motivate us most do a few things routinely, consistently, and intentionally.
Books released June 6
The author of Baldwin’s Harlem looks at the evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit—a blend of memoir, love letter, history, and clear-eyed reportage that explores the city’s past, present, and future and its significance to the African American legacy and the nation’s fabric.
YouTube personality and celebrated motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez shows us how we can learn to accept all parts of ourselves and others, and in doing so create a more compassionate world.
A young Muslim leader’s memoir of his struggles to forge an American Muslim identity.
The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam.
Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.
Award-winning actor Alan Alda tells the fascinating story of his quest to learn how to communicate better, and to teach others to do the same. With his trademark humor and candor, he explores how to develop empathy as the key factor.
Kennedy and King traces the emergence of two of the twentieth century’s greatest leaders, their powerful impact on each other and on the shape of the civil rights battle between 1960 and 1963. These two men from starkly different worlds profoundly influenced each other’s personal development. Kennedy’s hesitation on civil rights spurred King to greater acts of courage, and King inspired Kennedy to finally make a moral commitment to equality.
Whether you’re a sportsperson or a salesperson, an actor or an entrepreneur, one bad hour can throw away months of hard work. There’s so much conflicting popular advice that we often end up doing the wrong things. McGinn separates the facts from the old wives’ tales and shares new, research driven strategies for activating your talent, optimizing your emotions, and getting psyched up to take the spotlight.
Bestselling author Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is in fact a competitive advantage.
From one of the most admired admirals of his generation—and the only admiral to serve as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO—comes a remarkable voyage through all of the world’s most important bodies of water, providing the story of naval power as a driver of human history and a crucial element in our current geopolitical path.
An exquisite memoir about how to live—and love—every day with “death in the room,” from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air.
A long-haul mover’s rollicking account of life out on the Big Slab.
The most powerful weapon in business today is the alliance between the mathematical smarts of machines and the imaginative human intellect of great leaders. Together they make the mathematical corporation, the business model of the future.
And how is the right UC agent chosen, how is a bogus identity manufactured and “backstopped,” how is the Bureau’s long-term con painstakingly assembled? No one has ever given us the inside story like Ruskin. The Pretender is the definitive narrative of undercover ops―the procedures, the successes, the failures–and the changes in the culture of the new-era FBI.
In the haunting tradition of In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song, this remarkably insightful and surprisingly intimate portrait of Saddam Hussein lifts away the top layer of a dictator’s evil and finds complexity beneath as it invites us to take a journey with twelve young American soldiers in the summer of 2006. Trained to aggressively confront the enemy in combat, the men learn, shortly after being deployed to Iraq, that fate has assigned them a different role. It becomes their job to guard the country’s notorious leader in the months leading to his execution.
In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy―of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom.
Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight.
An honest, sharp-witted, practical guide to help you get and keep the job you want—from an outsider whose been there and done it, a woman who went from being a broke, divorced, college dropout to running some of the biggest websites in the world.
Books released June 7
Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.
Books released June 8
Are we tired of hearing that fall is a season, sick of being offered fries and told about the latest movie? Yeah. Have we noticed the sly interpolation of Americanisms into our everyday speech? You betcha. And are we outraged? Hell, yes. But do we do anything? Too much hassle. Until now.
Books released June 13
A trailblazing biologist grapples with her role in the biggest scientific discovery of our era: a cheap, easy way of rewriting genetic code, with nearly limitless promise and peril.
In this absorbing, smart, and accessible blend of economic and cultural history, Scott Nations, a longtime trader, financial engineer, and CNBC contributor, takes us on a journey through the five significant stock market crashes in the past century to reveal how they defined the United States today.
With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, Eddie Izzard has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running and philanthropy.
A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women’s right to drive.
An explosive exposé of the right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, and change the Constitution.
It is now conventional wisdom to focus on the wealth of the top 1 percent—especially the top 0.01 percent—and how the ultra-rich are concentrating income and prosperity while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the most important, consequential, and widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing – Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other.
Based on the “field notes” she keeps in her journal, Memory’s Last Breath is Gerda Saunders’ astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings, and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of colleagues.
A road map to resistance in the Trump era from internationally acclaimed activist and bestselling author Naomi Klein.
The manager who shepherded Van Halen from obscurity to rock stardom goes behind the scenes to tell the complete, unadulterated story of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, and the legendary band that changed rock music.
Frustrated with his career, he left Hollywood for other adventures in business and life. But then, a fascinating opportunity came his way—a chance to star in a new campaign for Dos Equis beer. A role he was sure he wasn’t right for, but he gave it a shot all the same. Which led to the role that would bring him the success that had so long eluded him—that of “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”
Carla Valentine works with the dead. After studying forensics, she assisted pathologists with post-mortems for years before becoming the curator of the world’s most famous pathology museum. When it comes to death, she truly is an expert, and in this book she shares that expertise.
The wildly entertaining and eye-opening biography of J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer who invented the concept of “Close Encounters” with alien life, inspired Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster classic science fiction epic film, and made a nation want to believe in UFOs.
As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet’s history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet’s five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future.
In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy—of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom.
A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Where do we find our ideals? What does it mean to live for them—and to risk dying for them? For Americans during World War I, these weren’t abstract questions. Young Radicals tells the story of five activists, intellectuals and troublemakers who agitated for freedom and equality in the hopeful years before the war, then fought to defend those values in a country pitching into violence and chaos.
Books released June 19
In his first book in nearly a decade, New York Times bestselling author Ramit Sethi cuts through the BS and bad advice to show you how to really escape the 9-to-5.
Books released June 20
Part memoir and part visual journey through the streets of modern-day Paris, France, A Paris Year chronicles, day by day, one woman’s French sojourn in the world’s most beautiful city. Beginning on her first day in Paris, Janice MacLeod, the author of the best-selling book, Paris Letters, began a journal recording in illustrations and words, nearly every sight, smell, taste, and thought she experienced in the City of Light.
The science behind a good meal: all the sounds, sights, and tastes that make us like what we’re eating—and want to eat more.
In this startling and thought-provoking book, which will remind readers of works by Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande, a world-renowned neuroscientist reveals his controversial, groundbreaking work with patients whose brains were previously thought vegetative or non-responsive but turn out—in up to 20 percent of cases—to be vibrantly alive, existing in the “Gray Zone.”
Although he is guided and inspired by the people he respects, and despite the insufficiency of his knowledge and experience—an insufficiency shared by most (or all) other humans, Wallace Shawn can’t see any real alternative to trying to figure out his own answers to the most essential questions about the world he lives in.
An award-winning psychologist and director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior shows everyone how to make real, lasting change in their lives in this exciting work of popular psychology that goes beyond The Power of Habit with science and practical strategies that can alter their problem behaviors—forever.
The secret history of the invention that changed everything-and became the most profitable product in the world.
The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end.
The first and definitive biography of an audacious adventurer―the most famous journalist of his time―who more than anyone invented contemporary journalism.
From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman.
Books released June 27
An insightful, charming, and absolutely fascinating memoir from the author of the popular New York Times essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” (one of the top five most popular New York Times pieces of 2015) explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.
From the authors of the best-selling The Second Machine Age, a leader’s guide to success in a rapidly changing economy.
A lively and revealing behind-the-scenes look at the making of one of history’s most controversial and influential movies, drawing on exclusive interviews with the cast and crew.
A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America.
The surprising hidden history behind Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
From a world-renowned leader in neuroscience, a provocative, enthralling journey into the depths of the human mind.
Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Timesbestselling author of Stonewalled pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions.
On the 150th anniversary of his birth comes this monumental biography of Arturo Toscanini, whose dramatic life is unparalleled among twentieth-century musicians.
Unshackling America challenges the persistent fallacy that Americans fought two separate wars of independence. Willard Sterne Randall documents an unremitting fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Throughout this perilous period, the struggle was all about free trade.
It’s admirable for parents to be the very best moms and dads they can be for their children. But sometimes in so doing, they leave grace behind—both for themselves and their children. Jim believes that our quest for perfection, a quest that he believes is particularly strong among Christians, runs counter to God’s own boundless gift of grace. We can become Pharisaical parents, quoting endless rules and holding everyone to impossible standards. But God doesn’t want us, and our kids don’t need us, to be perfect. As parents, we’re called to simply do our best. And when we fail—which we will—we’re called to try again tomorrow.
Does the thought of having to buy wine for a dinner party stress you out? Is your go-to strategy to pick the bottle with the coolest label? Are you tired of choosing pairings based on your wallet, instead of your palate? Fear not! Bon Appétit wine columnist and Wine. All The Time. blogger Marissa A. Ross is here to help.
Books released June 30
Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet. On one side the alt right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to more mainstream manifestations such as the Trump-supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous. On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signalling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression.