New Nonfiction Roundup – January 2023

Start 2023 with some “new year, new you” titles, assessments of historical and current events, science books, and more!

Bestselling author Jay Shetty provides a guide to every stage of romance in 8 Rules of Love, while Portland’s Aubrey Gordon dispels myths about fat people in “You Just Need to Lose Weight.” Legendary music producer Rick Rubin shares wisdom about how to make a great work of art in The Creative Act, while Dacher Keltner explores how wonder can transform your life in Awe. Ayurvedic medicine expert Deepak Chopra delivers a guide to yoga for self-realization in Living in the Light; Jill Schlesinger gives readers ten financial steps to build a better life in The Great Money Reset; and Gloria Mark helps you find focus and fight distraction in Attention Span. And for those looking for a new project for the new year, Wendy Chow has 15 beginner-friendly quilt patterns ready to go in The Quilted Home Handbook.

In memoir, former Playboy model and actress Pamela Anderson takes readers beyond the tabloid headlines in Love, Pamela; Goldie Taylor debuts with the story of family, faith and the power of books in The Love You Save; and Peggy Orenstein reveals what she learned about life as she sets out to make a sweater from scratch in Unraveling. Prefer essays? Check out 20 years of idiosyncratic selected writings by Will Self in Why Read; embark on a search for paradise with beloved travel writer Pico Iyer in The Half Known Life; and novelist/poet Colm Tóibín writes about cancer, priests, popes, homosexuality, and literature through 11 essays in A Guest at the Feast.

In current events, British journalist Valentine Low reveals how the Royal Family really operates in Courtiers; writer Paul Auster ruminates on American gun violence in Bloodbath Nation; philosopher Martha Nussbaum issues a call to action in Justice for Animals; and Richard Haass establishes the ten habits of good citizens in The Bill of Obligations. If it’s history you prefer, there’s plenty to consider: the final posthumous work by David Graeber considers alternatives to empire building in Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia; Ilyon Woo tells the story of Ellen and William Craft’s journey from slavery to freedom in Master Slave Husband Wife; Wheeler Parker, cousin to Emmett Till and the last living person to witness his abduction, reflects on the pursuit of justice for Till in A Few Days Full of Trouble; bestselling author Brad Meltzer returns with a chronicle of the secret plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill in The Nazi Conspiracy; Jim Popkin tells the story of Ana Montes, the most damaging female spy in U.S. history, as she is set to be freed from prison this month in
Code Name Blue Wren; Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer gather essays by historians that tackle the biggest legends and lies about our past in Myth America; and Washington Post columnist Philip Bump considers what the last days of the baby boom means for the future of power in America in The Aftermath.

Finally, for the science-minded, consider physicist Suzy Sheehy’s history of improbable experiments that changed the world in The Matter of Everything; F. Perry Wilson’s assessment of the strained doctor-patient relationship, and how to fix it, in How Medicine Works and When it Doesn’t; and Nicklas Brendborg unlocks nature’s secrets to longevity in Jellyfish Age Backwards.

And don’t forget to check out January’s Peak Picks!

~posted by Frank B.


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