16 Must-Read Nonfiction Books Due Out In June 2016

The official start of summer is just around the corner, so the time to start building your reading list for the upcoming season is now. The next few months are packed with excellent options, and June alone is full of numerous nonfiction new releases you absolutely shouldn’t miss. Whether you’re heading on an exotic beach vacation or remaining in the hustle and bustle of your regular daily life, you’ll need — and find — a steady supply of works guaranteed to hold your interest.

This month’s best new nonfiction options offer the genre’s usual (and wonderful) variety. There are touching memoirs, fascinating stories of landmark events, and enthralling explorations of social issues. June’s books will give you a look at everything from a maximum-security prison’s book club to adventures in the Arab world to entertaining mishaps in celebrity journalism and beyond.

If you feel like there are almost too many good options, I can empathize. Luckily, summer is the perfect time to devote long hours to relaxation, especially as the weather gets warmer. You’ll just have to keep calm and read on.

Now, get out your “To Read” list, because below are 16 new nonfiction books that you should add to it immediately.

1. The Maximum Security Book Club by Mikita Brottman (June 7; Harper)

The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men’s Prison centers on the book club Mikita Brottman started with a group of convicts. By assigning works like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Nabokov’s Lolita, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and more, she challenges them to discuss conflict, suffering, morality, and other complex issues. Through their discussions, the men reveal pieces of their own lives and choices, providing intriguing and unique insights.

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2. Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings (June 7; Crown Books for Young Readers)

Young activist and reality TV star Jazz Jennings opens about an important and current topic in Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen. The memoir looks at her personal experiences and struggles, shedding light on issues at the center of ongoing national controversy. Her touching book serves as a rallying cry for understanding and acceptance.

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3. Is You Okay? by GloZell Green (June 7; HarperOne)

“Queen of YouTube” GloZell Green shares her journey to success with readers in Is You Okay? Her memoir is full of laughs, even as she tackles issues like body image, failure, and relationships. All in all, Green inspires while telling enjoyable stories about her past.

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4. This Is Not My Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden (June 7; Picador)

Fans of Arrested Development will enjoy Victoria Fedden’s This Is Not My Beautiful Life. The story follows a challenging time in her life: when she was pregnant and living with her parents, only for them to suddenly be sent to prison. Fedden brings humor to her writing, making a miserable time a highly readable memoir.

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5. Ordinarily Well by Peter D. Kramer (June 7; Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

Antidepressants may be fairly common, but they are still controversial. Psychiatrist and author Peter D. Kramer has his say on the issue in Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants. His book interweaves pharmaceutical history and stories of real-life patients to discuss the impact of such medications in a way that is both interesting and accessible.

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6. Sex Object by Jessica Valenti (June 7; Dey Street Books)

Feminist Jessica Valenti takes on everyday sexism in her new memoir, Sex Object. The book looks at her own dealings with patriarchy’s ugliness — from facing a vengeful ex-boyfriend to receiving misogynistic insults on social media — in a candid and surprisingly funny way. At various points, readers will cringe, laugh, commiserate, and question.

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7. All Strangers Are Kin by Zora O’Neill (June 14; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

In All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World, author Zora O’Neill shares stories from her time in North Africa and the Middle East. Along with exploring fascinating local cultures and customs, she ties in her unique experiences attempting to master Arabic. Like her journey, her memoir is colorful, comical, and compelling.

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8. Fastpitch by Erica Westly (June 14; Touchstone)

There’s likely more to the history of softball than you think. Erica Westly explores the sport’s origins in Fastpitch: The Untold Story of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game. Full of captivating characters and surprising developments, the book is bound to entertain, even if you’ve never picked up a bat.

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9. Love Wins by Debbie Cenziper, Jim Obergefell (June 14; William Morrow)

Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality is about more than just a Supreme Court ruling; the book, which is written by Debbie Cenziper with lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell, reveals the love story at the root of the case and the people involved. Love Wins is a powerful and moving account of the gay rights victory.

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10. I’m Your Biggest Fan by Kate Coyne (June 14; Hachette Books)

Red-carpet reporter-turned-executive editor Kate Coyne shares stories of memorable interactions with stars in I’m Your Biggest Fan: Awkward Encounters and Assorted Misadventures in Celebrity Journalism. Her memoir has years’ worth of amusing anecdotes; Coyne’s tales range from strange to surprising, yet all are interesting.

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11. I’m Just a Person by Tig Notaro (June 14; Ecco)

Tig Notaro doesn’t shy away from painful experiences in her poignant memoir I’m Just a Person. The comedian and author uses humor to candidly discuss multiple hardships, not least of which include her cancer diagnosis and her mother’s death. Notaro’s book, like her career, is full of high points as well, especially as she manages to recover from her substantial setbacks.

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12. This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick (June 21; Viking)

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a place feel like home, you’ll get some answers in This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick. She explores how people become attached to the towns and cities in which they reside; to do so, she even travels around the United States to gain insights and experiments with her findings. Her book may even help you become better connected to your current community.

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13. Face Value by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano (June 21; Simon & Schuster)

That our appearances play a big role in how we experience the world is no secret. Autumn Whitefield-Madrano delves deeply into how and why in Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women's Lives. Using personal interviews and scientific studies, the book is informative, intriguing, and relevant.

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14. My Father and Atticus Finch by Joseph Madison Beck (June 21; W. W. Norton & Company)

Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird will find a lot to like in Joseph Madison Beck’s My Father and Atticus Finch: A Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama. The book centers on his father’s involvement in a highly publicized case in which a black man was charged with raping a white woman. Race relations, class, and justice are all prominent issues in this captivating memoir.

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15. Bukowski in a Sundress by Kim Addonizio (June 21; Penguin Books)

Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life looks at what it is like to be a writer, from the point of view of author Kim Addonizio. You don’t have to be a write yourself to enjoy her work, though. She tells clever and revealing stories about everything from a drunken hookup at a conference to how her father inspired her love for poetry.

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16. The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen (June 28; Harper)

If you’re curious about life in other countries, you’ll find The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen fascinating. A native of Finland but now an American, she looks at life in her adopted home country from a different perspective. As such, she is able to point out certain surprising areas in which the United States is lagging behind Nordic countries.

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