The Best Nonfiction Books
They're provocative, moving or just plain unpredictable—here are our favorites, and why we love them.
O, The Oprah Magazine |
November 16, 2011
An audacious, thoughtful call for people of all religions to move beyond hate, fear, and intolerance.
The all-true adventures of two Eastern debutantes who set out for Colorado in 1916—told by The New Yorker's executive editor, whose grandmother was one of them.
An inspiring true story set in the 1990s tells how a Catholic congregation in San Francisco, including its anti-Establishment priest, worked together to save their church—from the Church.
The safe houses of yesteryear.
South African Richard Mason is the rare novelist who can write a very sexy book that never quite turns prurient.
A new book by Eric G. Wilson (Sarah Crichton/FSG) that explains our morbid (but oh-so-human) obsessions and why we can't ever seem to look away from disasters.' '
Handled the right way, just about anything can be made interesting. Geologists have proved this true of dirt, and now so does Lucy Worsley with the likes of forks, bathtubs, stoves, and bedposts.
A new book argues that telling tales is as basic as breathing.
When first published in 1947, At Home on the Range, by Margaret Yardley Potter, must have seemed a shockingly non-girly truth-talking cookbook and life guide.
A writer known for his obsessive—and frequently hilarious—quests sets out to live long or die trying.
This memoir of a young widow's quest to transform urban education by establishing the groundbreaking Harlem Village Academies will inspire readers everywhere.
From the evolution of our "aquatic ancestors" to the trauma of bathing suit shopping, these essays examine the sport of swimming from every angle.
It's in your head...which, for some of us, is the whole problem.
A new book explains how animals are just like us.
A shocking—and riveting—picture of life in modern India.
What do those perfectly round, shiny red apples really cost? This poignant memoir of love, labor, and dangerous pesticides reveals the terrible true price.
"Boyfriends with boundaries," separate summers, and other therapeutic strategies for maintaining wedded bliss over the long haul.
A true legal drama featuring the attorney who took on carcinogen-dumping corporations in 1996's A Civil Action; this time he's going after a pharmaceutical giant peddling a deadly drug.
Forget bridezillas. A best-selling journalist visits a small-town wedding shop to uncover the poignant dreams of real women on the verge of commitment.
In this charming piece of participatory journalism, Foer—the younger brother of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer—explores the role of memory in both public and private life, while also telling the story of his efforts to compete in the U.S. Memory Championship.
"After a loss, you have to learn to believe the dead one is dead. It
doesn't come naturally." That seemingly simple observation is just one
of the many profound thoughts in Meghan O'Rourke's The Long Goodbye
(Riverhead), an achingly moving memoir about her mother's death in 2008
at age 55.
A family confronts its own ignorance about the Third Reich.
This manifesto of Chinese motherhood sparked major controversy. No slumber parties? Unthinkable. Except that Chua really made us think.
Can't imagine reading an entire book about a celebrity dog? We understand. But thanks to Orlean's passion and curiosity, it's about a whole lot more.