The 17 Best Nonfiction Books Coming Out In September 2018
Pack away your beach reads and pick up your pumpkin spice latte, because fall is almost here. It feels too early to say those things, but alas, that’s where we’re at right now: We’ve officially left August behind and are speeding into autumn. Luckily, though, the new nonfiction books coming out in September should make the changing of the seasons a little easier.
There are so many highly anticipated new releases hitting shelves in September. Out this month are numerous books related to politics, which isn’t surprising considering that the 2018 midterms are fast approaching. If that’s not your cup of tea (or PSL, as the case may be), never fear. There are guaranteed to be other fits for you, with options including a poignant memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of the late Steve Jobs; a compelling true crime story about the kidnapping that influenced Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita; and an empowering book on body positivity.
This month’s selections were hard to narrow down, but the titles on this list serve as a great starting point for what to add to your TBR during the fall of 2018. Below are 17 nonfiction books that are due out in September that you shouldn’t miss.
‘I’d Rather Be Reading’ by Anne Bogel (Sept. 4; Baker Books)
Just the title alone should sell book-lovers on Anne Bogel’s new title. Called I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life, the essay collection celebrates being a reader. Bogel reflects on the process of rereading, what happens when you finish a really good book, and so many other relatable literary topics.
‘Small Fry’ by Lisa Brennan-Jobs (Sept. 4; Grove Press)
In Small Fry: A Memoir, Lisa Brennan-Jobs writes her unique upbringing. She is candid about her complicated relationship with both her parents, one of whom was late Apple visionary Steve Jobs. Meanwhile, the evolving Silicon Valley of the ’70s and ’80s serves as a vibrant backdrop of her childhood and growing up story.
‘Someone Like Me’ by Julissa Arce (Sept. 4; Little, Brown Young Readers)
Julissa Arce, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, made headlines when she revealed that she was an undocumented immigrant. She’s again telling her story in her latest book, Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream. Although the book is geared toward young readers, anyone can find her story of obstacles, persistence, and hope inspiring.
‘On the Other Side of Freedom’ by DeRay Mckesson (Sept. 4; Viking)
Activist and podcaster DeRay Mckesson writes about social justice, oppression, resistance, and striving for change in On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. He argues that we all have a role to play if we want to form a more perfect union, and his message of hope may just inspire you to answer his call to action.
‘How Fascism Works’ by Jason Stanley (Sept. 4; Random House)
Yale philosopher Jason Stanley looks at the United States today in How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them. He lays out what he considers the 10 pillars of fascist politics and points them out in various historical contexts, as well as in the present. Although this view can be disconcerting, Stanley also makes the case that such knowledge is necessary to fight back.
‘Feminasty’ by Erin Gibson (Sept. 4; Grand Central Publishing)
Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death by Erin Gibson is an essay collection that tackles sexism with humor. The podcaster writes about the gender wage gap, period-shaming, and other issues women regularly face, all while reassuring you that change is truly happening.
‘Body Positive Power’ by Megan Jayne Crabbe (Sept. 11; Seal Press)
Social media star Megan Jayne Crabbe is ready to empower you with Body Positive Power: Because Life Is Already Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It. She opens up about her own challenges with body image and how because such a public advocate for self-acceptance.
‘The Personality Brokers’ by Merve Emre (Sept. 11; Doubleday)
If you swear by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, here’s the perfect opportunity to learn about its roots. Merve Emre chronicles how it was developed and explores why it caught on in The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing. It’s bound to captivate you... and make you reconsider the test altogether.
‘Palaces for the People’ by Eric Klinenberg (Sept. 11; Crown Publishing Group)
Sociologist Eric Klinenberg looks to heal various societal ills with his new book, Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. The author argues that shared spaces such as libraries, parks, and churches, among others, bring people together and ultimately create stronger communities. He makes a compelling case using examples from around the world.
‘We Fed an Island’ by José Andrés (Sept. 11; Anthony Bourdain)
José Andrés’ We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time, written with Richard Wolffe, looks at the aftermath of Hurricane Maria from the perspective of the people who were there, on the ground, to help. Andrés went to the island just days after the storm and soon he and his team were feeding hundreds of thousands of people. This isn’t just the story of their efforts, though; Andrés also looks at how the system failed Puerto Rico and what changes can be made.
‘The Real Lolita’ by Sarah Weinman (Sept. 11; Ecco)
Close readers of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita might recognize the name Sally Horner, but few know how much her 1948 abduction may have influenced the author’s celebrated work. Sarah Weinman explores the topic in The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World. The result is a fascinating true crime book that doubles as literary criticism.
‘Rage Becomes Her’ by Soraya Chemaly (Sept. 11; Atria Books)
Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly is hailed by Gloria Steinem as a book that “will be good for women, and for the future of this country.” Chemaly’s essay collection looks at how women have been expected to tamp down anger and what impact that has. She argues that instead, women should own their rage and use it to create positive change.
‘Untrue’ by Wednesday Martin (Sept. 18; Little, Brown Spark)
Wednesday Martin dives into sex, relationships, and gender in Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free. As you can guess from the title, she specifically looks at women and cheating. Martin aims to upend everything you think you know on the topic.
‘Heartland’ by Sarah Smarsh (Sept. 18; Scribner)
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh looks at class divides in the United States while sharing her own story of growing up in poverty before ultimately becoming a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her memoir doesn’t just focus on her own story; it also examines how multiple generations of her family were affected by economic policies and systems.
‘Dear America’ by Jose Antonio Vargas (Sept. 18; Dey Street Books)
As immigration continues to be a hot-button issue, Jose Antonio Vargas’ illuminating memoir comes at the perfect time. Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen shares the Pulitzer Prize winner’s own experience of growing up in the United States and only discovering he was undocumented as a teenager. Vargas provides a unique look at the immigration system and what it means to be an American without citizenship.
‘This Is the Way the World Ends’ by Jeff Nesbit (Sept. 25; Thomas Dunne Books)
Don’t let the title scare you: This Is the Way the World Ends: How Droughts and Die-offs, Heat Waves and Hurricanes Are Converging on America by Jeff Nesbit isn’t as bleak as it sounds. The environmental expert doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of climate change in the book, but he does also lay out how we can change the course that we’re on.
‘Beautiful Country Burn Again’ by Ben Fountain (Sept. 25; Ecco)
For a lot of people, 2016 is a year they’d like to forget, but Ben Fountain took a deep dive in it for his latest book, Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution. Through his essays, he chronicles the year in politics and argues that we’re in the midst of a crisis that calls for a reinvention.