Our Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2017

… according to Seattle Public Library adult librarians

Yesterday we listed our librarians’ favorite novels of 2017; today, we present you with the list of our ten favorite nonfiction books published in 2017, from memoirs to essay collections to history and cooking.

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
As one of our librarians wrote, Alexie “grieves loudly, clearly, honestly and with courageous vulnerability” in this memoir about his complex relationship with his mother, her death, and the Spokane Indian Reservation where he grew up.

Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay
Feminist and cultural critic Gay recounts a harrowing violation that occurred in her childhood and its enduring aftermath on her body, health and self-image with unflinching honesty and bravery.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
One of our librarians described The Best We Could Do as a brilliant illustrated “memoir and family history, a powerful and painful telling of Bui’s family in war-torn Vietnam and their emigration to the US.”

Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges
Full of lovely, touching and evocative drawings, Fetch is a fantastic memoir about the unexpected life lessons a young woman learned from her “bad” dog.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
by Scaachi Koul
This collection of humorous personal essays by recounts Koul’s experiences as a woman of color and a first generation Indian-Canadian.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
A true account of the early 20th-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, and a fledgling FBI that investigated. Grann’s page-turner documents flagrant prejudice, with a fascinating twist at the end.

Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
In this beautifully written blend of human and natural history, local author Haupt provides an uncommon look at a common bird.

Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking by Bonnie Frumkin Morales
In this cookbook from a Portland restaurant of the same name, stories about each recipe include history, techniques, and cover many former Soviet regions. You’ll want to read this cover to cover.

Seattle Walks by David B. Williams
(Re)discover Seattle’s history as you walk its streets with this handy guide to walks in and across the city’s neighborhoods. Local author Williams uncovers fascinating aspects of Seattle’s natural and human history.

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coates recounts the years leading up to and during the Obama administration when he came into his own as a writer for The Atlantic. Includes the essays written at the time, with reflections after the fact.

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