Say what you will about 2018 as a whole, but it was a good year for nonfiction. Many book-lovers have probably seen their TBRs grow rather than shrink over the past 11 months — and the fun’s not over. December is bringing even more nonfiction new releases to close out the literary year.
Before we dig in, let me preface this by saying that this list is shorter than that of the average month. Even so, there are still gems to be found. It’s quality, not quantity, people! That said, if you need more, you can always check out the best fiction books of 2018. Who am I to stand between you and your reading?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get back to December nonfiction. The options this month are wide-ranging, so you can choose if you want to read about hypochondria, an “unhappily ever after” love story, or criminal justice. There are also cultural critiques, a biography, a memoir, and more. Sometimes you don’t need all the options — you just need a handful of good ones.
Read on for six nonfiction books due out in December that you should have on your radar.
‘The Man Who Would Be Sherlock’ by Christopher Sandford (Dec. 4; Thomas Dunne Books)
Biographer Christopher Sandford looks at the life of the man who created one fiction’s most beloved detectives in his latest book. Called The Man Who Would Be Sherlock: The Real-Life Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle, it explores how Conan Doyle’s own work solving cases influenced his writing. Additionally, Sandford shows how the author was as complicated as his legendary character is.
‘Are U OK?’ by Kati Morton (Dec 11; Da Capo Lifelong Books)
Kati Morton, a licensed marriage and family therapist with a mental health-centric YouTube channel, continues to tackle the important topic in a new book. In Are U OK?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health, she answers the questions many of us have but don’t necessarily feel comfortable asking. This is information everyone can benefit from.
‘Boys’ by Rachel Giese (Dec 11; Seal Press)
Boys: What It Means to Become a Man by Rachel Giese digs into how boys in our culture are raised and the damaging impact of certain rules, expectations, and attitudes have on everyone in the long run. She brings together research, expert opinions, and anecdotes to make her case.
‘Punishment Without Crime’ by Alexandra Natapoff (Dec. 31; Basic Books)
Legal scholar Alexandra Natapoff delves into criminal justice in Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal. She uses her expertise to explain how minor crimes can completely disrupt the trajectory of a person’s life and why certain groups of people are particularly vulnerable. Furthermore, she shows the broad impact on society.
‘Sober Curious’ by Ruby Warrington (Dec. 31; HarperOne)
Ruby Warrington offers a unique perspective on the drinking in Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. She shares why she thinks life is more fulfilling without booze and explores why so many of us indulge. That said, to drink, or not to drink is up to you — I’m not telling you how to live your life.
‘Am I Dying?!’ by Christopher Kelly, Marc Eisenberg (Dec. 31; William Morrow)
There’s this little thing called the internet that can be both a hypochondriac’s best friend and worst enemy. Now, cardiologists Christopher Kelly and Marc Eisenberg are offering an alternative. Their book, Am I Dying?!: A Complete Guide to Your Symptoms--and What to Do Next, is a guide to different symptoms, complete with tips for when you should stop worrying and when you should actually get medical attention.