It’s time to say goodbye to April and hello to May — and better still, to the
latest and greatest in nonfiction. Scary as it is how quickly the months fly by, it’s always a comfort to know that at least another fantastic read is just around the corner. This month has plenty of those, so hopefully your to-read list has room to grow.
Some of May’s highlights include memoirs from celebrities like Gabourey Sidibe, Ian Harding, and Ashley Graham. There are also crime stories you won’t be able to put down, new takes on relatable topics like love and work, and essay collections guaranteed to make you feel. Forget the flowers: May nonfiction is where it’s at.
With spring in full swing,
you may be feeling the fever. Yet even if you’re feeling restless and it’s hard to sit still, reading shouldn’t be out. You can deal with the issue by switching to audiobooks, or even just trying out new authors or material. Do whatever it takes, because there are so many good books on the way.
It was hard to narrow down this month’s new releases down, but below are 20 of the best nonfiction books coming in May 2017.
‘This Is Just My Face’ by Gabourey Sidibe (May 1; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Gabourey Sidibe offers a window into her life in her new memoir,
. In doing so, the Academy Award-nominated actress definitely doesn’t shy away from personal subjects. With raw honesty and humor, she delves into topics ranging from her father’s polygamy to her weight to working as a phone sex “talker.” This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare Click Here To Buy ‘Jane Austen, the Secret Radical’ by Helena Kelly (May 2; Knopf Publishing Group) ‘Odd Birds’ by Ian Harding (May 2; St. Martin’s Press)
You may know Ian Harding as the
Pretty Little Liars dreamboat Ezra Fitz, but he is a birdwatcher, too. He uses this special hobby to deliver a unique take on Hollywood in his new book, . Odd Birds Harding looks at people he knows and aspects of is life — from his career to his romantic relationships — through this distinct perspective, making it a memoir you won’t want to miss. Click Here To Buy ‘My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward’ by Mark Lukach (May 2; Harper Wave)
recounts the beautiful highs and painful lows of his marriage. In his memoir, he revisits the breakdowns his wife, Giulia, suffered as well as the happier years in between. His work is candid, moving, and enthralling. My Lovely Wife in the Pysch Ward Click Here To Buy ‘Priestdaddy’ by Patricia Lockwood (May 2; Riverhead Books)
Moving back home as an adult takes adjustments, but that is especially true in the case of Patricia Lockwood, the daughter of a Catholic priest. In
, she writes about returning to her parents’ rectory for an unexpected eight-month stint, her non-Catholic husband in tow. Luckily for us, she finds the humor in the situation — lots of it. Priestdaddy Click Here To Buy ‘You’re the Only One I Can Tell’ by Deborah Tannen (May 2; Ballantine Books) 'One Day We'll All Be Dead And None Of This Matter' by Scaachi Koul (May 2; Picador) In this essay collection, Buzzfeed culture writer Scaachi Koul shares her experiences growing up as the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada. This timely, propulsive, and funny memoir tackles a number of heavy subjects — immigration, life as a woman of color, gender roles, gender roles within different cultural identities, and more — in a way that feels utterly relatable. Click Here To Buy ‘How to Be Everything’ by Emilie Wapnick (May 2; HarperOne) ‘Becoming Cliterate’ by Laurie Mintz (May 9; Harper One) ‘A New Model’ by Ashley Graham, Rebecca Paley (May 9; HarperCollins) ‘My Soul Looks Back’ by Jessica B. Harris (May 9; Scribner)
Jessica B. Harris revisits a special time in her life in
. A friend of celebrated authors Maya Angelou and James Baldwin, Harris was part of a fascinating social circle in the early ’70s. She shares a unique look at their lives and work, while also opening up about her own career and relationship with one of Baldwin’s colleagues. As a bonus, each chapter has a related recipe. My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir Click Here To Buy ‘Spies in the Family’ by Eva Dillon (May 9; Harper) ‘The Fact of a Body’ by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (May 16; Flatiron Books)
Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich reveals how her beliefs were shaken in
. Her book brings us back to the summer she interned at a law firm and became obsessed with a case involving convicted murderer Ricky Langley. As she digs deeper into his case, she slowly unveils secrets from her own life, making the story all the more suspenseful and spellbinding. The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir Click Here To Buy ‘Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give’ by Ada Calhoun (May 16; W. W. Norton Company)
does away with the fabled “happily ever after,” and aims to portray marriage realistically. This isn’t a manifesto against the institution; rather, Calhoun shows how challenging yet rewarding it can be. She makes her point with stories from her own married life as well as those of friends, and she also sprinkles in wisdom from experts. Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give Click Here To Buy ‘How Dare the Sun Rise’ by Sandra Uwiringiyimana, Abigail Pesta (May 16; Katherine Tegen Books) tells a powerful and at times painful story. Written by Sandra Uwiringyimana, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Abigail Pesta, it reveals the struggles not just of losing family and leaving home, but also of being welcomed into a new country. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child Click Here To Buy ‘Give a Girl a Knife’ by Amy Thielen (May 16; Clarkson Potter Publishers)
Amy Thielen brings us from rural Minnesota to the kitchens of New York City and back in
. Her book looks at how she built her career as a big-city chef, along with how she and her husband later ended up living in a cabin in the woods. Though her life undergoes big changes, at least one aspect remains constant throughout: the mouth-watering descriptions of food. Give a Girl a Knife: A Memoir Click Here To Buy ‘The Long Run’ by Catriona Menzies-Pike (May 23; Crown Publishing Group)
You don’t have to be a runner to appreciate
. A story of grief and endurance, it recounts how author Catriona Menzies-Pike got into running on a whim, only to use it as a way to cope with the loss of her parents. Along the way, she also explores the history of women in running, which turns out to be equally engrossing. The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion Click Here To Buy ‘Geek Girl Rising’ by Heather Cabot, Samantha Walravens (May 23; St. Martin’s Press) ‘We Are Never Meeting in Real Life’ by Samantha Irby (May 30; Vintage) ‘Theft by Finding’ by David Sedaris (May 30; Little, Brown and Company)
David Sedaris has 40 years of journaling behind him, and we get to read some of his writings in
. As you can imagine, the topics he covers over the years are wide-ranging, from gossip to IHOP to conversations with strangers. Sedaris’ usual humor-laden insight is on full display, so get excited. Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Click Here To Buy