The 13 Best New Nonfiction Books Of November 2017
We’re hurtling toward the end of the year, but there are still numerous note-worthy stops along the way. The busy months ahead include NaNoWriMo, holiday madness, and even Tamagotchis returning stateside. Better still, there is some great fall reading, including the many outstanding nonfiction books due out in November.
Like many readers, I look forward to hunkering down each fall and making serious progress on my TBR. There is just something special about autumn nights with good books. The only thing you have to worry about is what title to move on to next — a problem easily solved by this list. November has an abundance work worthy of your reading time, and I’ve rounded up a baker’s dozen of particularly great options in the nonfiction category.
Just what, you ask, makes the month’s new releases so exceptional? Many of them are extremely relevant and timely. You can read about everything from how to avoid the dangers of social media to what it’s like to come to the United States as a refugee. And you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
Start taking notes, because you shouldn’t miss out on reading the 13 nonfiction books below.
'Kids These Days' by Malcolm Harris (Nov. 7; Little, Brown and Company)
Millennials often get a bad rap, and it’s not always fair. Thankfully, Malcolm Harris is here to take on misconceptions with Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials. His book shows what it is really like to be a part of the much-discussed generation, shining a light on some very interesting (albeit sometimes bleak) realities and trends.
'A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug' by Sarah Lacy (Nov. 14; HarperBusiness)
Whether or not you’re a mother, you should read A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman’s Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy. Sarah Lacy uses academic research to examine stereotypes about mothers as well as show why we should view them differently. You’ll be inspired by the power of moms around the world.
'The Last Girl' by Nadia Murad (Nov. 7; Tim Duggan Books)
Before Nadia Murad was a human rights activist and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, she lived through horror most would shudder to imagine. When she was 21, ISIS militants attacked the rural Iraqi village where she lived, killing six of her brothers and her mother, and then making slaves of her and her sister. In The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, Murad revisits her heartbreaking past and calls on the world to take action.
'The Newcomers' by Helen Thorpe (Nov. 14; Scribner)
Helen Thorpe shares the experiences of 22 immigrant and refugee teenagers in The Newcomers: Learning a New Language and Making a New Home in a Place Called America. Her book follows the teens through an academic year at their Denver high school. If you’re not moved by their stories of learning English, becoming immersed in American culture, and adapting to an entirely different life, then you’re probably dead inside.
'Promise Me, Dad' by Joe Biden (Nov. 14; Flatiron Books)
Former Vice President Joe Biden opens up about losing his son Beau in Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. His memoir chronicles Beau’s battle with cancer and how Biden balanced his family duties with his work ones. As a bonus, we get a look at his meme-worthy bromance with former President Barack Obama.
'The Art of Misdiagnosis' by Gayle Brandeis (Nov. 14; Beacon Press)
In The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide, Gayle Brandeis writes about digging into her mom’s life following her death. Specifically, Brandeis shares her attempts to determine what motivated her mother to kill herself. It’s a complex and captivating memoir that touches on motherhood, mental health, and love, among other relatable issues.
'Mean' by Myriam Gurba (Nov. 14; Coffee House Press)
Both funny and dark, Mean by Myriam Gurba recounts what it was like growing up as a queer, mixed-race Chicana in California in the ’80s and ’90s. Her experience involves sexual assault, racism, homophobia, and more, but she still manages to find the humor. You’ll find plenty of wit and candor.
'Think Before You Like' by Guy P. Harrison (Nov. 14; Prometheus Books)
Guy P. Harrison tackles a subject that affects virtually all of us in Think Before You Like: Social Media’s Effect and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed. There is no denying that he delivers some worrisome information, but the good news is that he doesn’t try to warn us off of social media; instead, Harrison shows how we can use it more wisely to minimize the drawbacks and threats.
'A World Without “Whom”' by Emmy J. Favilla (Nov. 14; Bloomsbury USA)
The internet has brought a range of changes to society, not least of all to our communication. Emmy J. Favilla explores this particular evolution in A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the Buzzfeed Age. In true internet style, she incorporates fun emojis, quizzes, and more into her book.
'Where the Wild Coffee Grows' by Jeff Koehler (Nov. 14; Bloomsbury USA)
There’s a lot more that’s interesting about coffee than simply its caffeine kick. In Where the Wild Coffee Grows, Jeff Koehler details the history of the beloved beverage and the impact that it has had on people all around the world. You’ll see why this matters as he discusses the future of coffee and the threats we should be fighting.
'Prairie Fires' by Caroline Fraser (Nov. 21; Metropolitan Books)
If you loved Little House on the Prairie as a kid, you’ll enjoy Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Written by Caroline Fraser, the biography offers a different perspective of Wilder’s life. Her story doesn’t need to be fictionalized to be fascinating.
'Feeding My Mother' by Jann Arden (Nov. 21; Random House Canada)
As The Lion King taught us, the circle of life moves us all, which sometimes means we become our parents’ caretakers. Jann Arden opens up about that role reversal in her touching new memoir, Feeding My Mother: Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as My Mom Lives with Memory Loss. She conveys the challenges of the situation while incorporating heart-warming highs.
'Immune' by Catherine Carver (Nov. 21; Bloomsbury Sigma)
It’s cold and flu season, so now is the perfect time to learn about what stands between you and getting sick. In Immune: How Your Body Defends and Protects You, Catherine Carver offers a rundown of how our immune system works. Her science comes with a side of humor, including weird facts and astounding examples.
'Radical Happiness' by Lynne Segal (Nov. 28; Verso)
If you ask author Lynne Segal, many of us are going about the pursuit of happiness wrong. She makes her case in Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy. The book lays out the benefits of sharing our lives and shows the drawbacks of our increasingly individualistic society.