Essential Nonfiction Reads Out This Month

We’re supposedly in for a long winter this year after groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Feb. 2. That means we may have to come up with more indoor activities to keep ourselves occupied during the cold weeks ahead. Luckily, with all the wonderful nonfiction books soon to be released, there’s no need to look any further than this list.

March is set to be a great month for memoirs. Authors from all walks of life have enthralling experiences to share. New titles will bring readers from war zones to mental health facilities to wineries.

This month, readers can also expect new titles from big names in the literary world, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Joan Didion, among others. On top of that, there are debut authors also making a splash. With all this goodness waiting to keep us busy inside, there’s hardly any reason to brave the extra six weeks of cold.

Before the winter weather leaves us, get cozy and get through as many books as you can. Below are 20 of the best nonfiction new releases to read, stat. Maybe we should actually be thanking Punxsutawney Phil for giving us the perfect excuse to stay in.


‘Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (March 7; Knopf Publishing Group)

Celebrated Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is back. Her new book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, a compilation of her advice for a childhood friend on how to raise a feminist daughter. Adichie’s suggestions are not only wise but funny and thought-provoking as well.

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‘South and West’ by Joan Didion (March 7; Knopf Publishing Group)

Award-winning author Joan Didion offers excerpts from her personal writings in South and West: From a Notebook. Taken from two different trips in the 1970s — one through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and one to California— she shares impressions and observations. It’s a look inside her head that fans will relish.

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‘Year of No Clutter’ by Eve O. Schaub (March 7; Sourcebooks)

Writer Eve O. Schaub tackles her home’s “Hell Room” in Year of No Clutter: A Memoir. Along the way, she does more than minimize the amount of junk in her home; she contemplates her identity, past, and future.

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‘We’: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere by Gillian Anderson, Jennifer Nadel (March 7; Atria Books)

X-Files star Gillian Anderson and journalist Jennifer Nadel call for change in We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere. The long-time friends highlight the importance of women supporting one another and working to live meaningful lives. Prepare to be inspired.

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‘Shoot Like a Girl’ by Mary Jennings Hegar (March 7; Berkeley)

Military pilot MJ Hegar shares stories from her service in Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman's Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front.Her three tours in Afghanistan weren’t her only battles of note, though; she also recounts her fight to do away with the ground combat exclusion — a decades-old policy meant to keep women from officially serving in combat positions.

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‘The Unmade Bed’ by Stephen Marche with Sarah Fulford (March 7; Simon & Schuster)

From writer Stephen Marche with commentary from his journalist wife, Sarah Fulford, The Unmade Bed: The Messy Truth about Men and Women in the 21st Century examines contemporary gender roles. Their book uses examples from their own marriage as well as looks at broader norms and trends. The result is a compelling look at an always-relevant issue.

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‘Down City’ by Leah Carroll (March 7; Grand Central Publishing)

Leah Carroll revisits a horrible tragedy in Down City: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Memory, and Murder. The affecting memoir looks at the impact of her mother’s murder on her family and future. Heartbreaking as it is, Carroll’s book is equally enthralling.

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‘Born Both’ by Hida Viloria (March 14; Hachette Books)

Activist Hida Viloria opens up about living “in the space between genders” in Born Both: An Intersex Life. Raised as a girl, s/he soon learned that the standard definitions of male and female didn’t fit he/r. Born Both recounts he/r experiences trying to find a place for he/rself and sheds light on the struggles that intersex and nonbinary people face.

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‘Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve’ by Ben Blatt (March 14; Simon & Schuster)

Book-lovers will delight in Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing. Statistician and journalist Ben Blatt uses data to explore a number of interesting questions, from whether or not there are differences in how men and women write to what words great authors preferred to use most. His analysis is accessible, entertaining, and enlightening.

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‘Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things’ by Amy Dickinson (March 14; Hachette Books)

“Ask Amy” advice columnist Amy Dickinson opens up about her own life in Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home. A follow-up to her 2009 memoir, her new book looks at her work, finding love, and family, plus all of the ups and downs along the way. Her essays are poignant and revealing.

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‘The Rules Do Not Apply’ by Ariel Levy (March 14; Random House)

Ariel Levy shares how her world was rocked by tragedy in The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir. While at times devastating, her story is not just one of grief and loss; it is a moving reflection on our culture, love, and womanhood.

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‘Bleaker House’ by Nell Stevens (March 14; Doubleday)

Nell Stevens reveals her unusual attempt at writing a book in Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World. In her memoir, she recounts how she moved to a remote island in the Falklands to finish a novel without distractions, and then found all kind of unexpected, new obstacles. Her funny adventure even comes with writing advice.

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‘Marilyn in Manhattan’ by Elizabeth Winder (March 14; Flatiron Books)

A captivating portrait of both an icon and a city, Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy looks at a special time in the actress’ life. Author Elizabeth Winder recounts how Monroe was able to find happiness in New York while avoiding Hollywood’s scrutiny, falling in love, and enjoying the local culture.

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‘No One Cares About Crazy People’ by Ron Powers (March 21; Hachette Books)

Ron Powers mixes history, politics, and personal struggles in No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America. In part focused on his two sons’ struggles with schizophrenia, the memoir recounts how mental health care has fallen short over the centuries. It’s a powerful examination of an issue that touches us all.

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‘Revolution for Dummies’ by Bassem Youssef (March 21; Dey Street Books)

Written by comedian Bassem Youssef (aka “the Jon Stewart of the Arabic World”), Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring chronicles fascinating recent history. Youssef shares personal stories while providing sharp commentary on Egyptian politics. Naturally, he offers plenty of hilarity along the way, too.

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‘The Kim Kardashian Principle’ by Jeetendr Sehdev (March 21; St. Martin’s Press)

Celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev elucidates what works on social media in his new book, The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells (and How to Do It Right). He shows how marketing has changed over time and what that means for anyone trying to promote their own ideas. His lessons are intriguing even if you’re not trying to become the next Jenna Marbles.

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‘Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?’ by Alyssa Mastromonaco (March 21; Twelve)

Alyssa Mastromonaco, former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, offers a peak into the Oval Office in Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House. Geared toward young women, the book is full of useful advice. Plus, it offers an interesting look at the former president.

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‘Cork Dork’ by Bianca Bosker (March 28; Penguin Books)

Attention, winos: Bianca Bosker breaks open the world of your favorite beverage in Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste. Don’t worry if vintage means nothing to you, though. She brings readers on her year-plus adventure of learning about everything from production to consumption.

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‘How to Be a Bawse’ by Lilly Singh (March 28; Ballantine Books)

YouTube star Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||) will teach you how to hustle in her new book, How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life. She touches on everything from work to love with the benefit of her unique experiences. You’ll learn about the importance of everything from ditching FOMO to building a smart support system.

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‘Phenomena’ by Annie Jacobsen (March 28; Little, Brown and Company)

Reality can be just as unbelievable as fiction. Annie Jacobsen sheds light on top secret projects in Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Her book delves into decades of fascinating research and reads like good sci-fi.

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