Readers' Top 32 New Nonfiction (Plus What's Coming Next)

Posted by Cybil on July 22, 2019


Nonfiction readers know there's nothing more fascinating than the truth and nothing more compelling than reality. This year Goodreads' 90 million members have flocked to the latest memoirs, history, sociology, science, technology, true crime, and more.

To uncover the best nonfiction of the year (so far), we dug into our data to find the most popular books published in the U.S. since January that have earned at least a 4-star rating from fellow readers.

Take a look at the books below and then add your own recommendations in the comments!


Readers' Top New Nonfiction (So Far This Year)
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Bonus: Most Anticipated Upcoming Nonfiction
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Which nonfiction books would you recommend to your fellow readers? Tell us in the comments!

Check out more recent articles:
Audiobooks for a Summer Road Trip
The Most Popular Books About Books for Avid Readers
23 Upcoming Books Librarians, Editors, and Booksellers Think You'll Love

Comments Showing 1-42 of 42 (42 new)

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message 1: by Richard (last edited Jul 23, 2019 10:04AM) (new)

Richard Unfreedom of the Press by Mark R. Levin is really good. A great recommendation.


message 3: by Holly (new)

Holly Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves looks interesting, but there's nothing else on this list that catches my eye.

I would love any recommendations for any new books about art, architecture, film, music, horticulture or animal behavior.


message 4: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Jessica ☢ Spartan Ranger wrote: "Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster is such a good book! I would recommend it to everybody!"

My to be read list just got longer!


message 5: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Holly wrote: "I would love any recommendations for any new books about art, architecture, film, music, horticulture or animal behavior..."

This isn't a new book (it came out last year), and it doesn't quite fit the categories you're asking about, but I highly recommend The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser. It was an excellent book -- I couldn't put it down.


message 6: by Candace (new)

Candace I recommend Night by Elie Wiesel.


message 7: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Holly wrote: "Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves looks interesting, but there's nothing else on this list that catches my eye.

I would love any recommendation..."


I would suggest checking out abookolive on Youtube. She hosts a non-fiction readathon every year and recently uploaded a book haul solely focused on books about animals, nature and science. And she always manages to find books that I've never heard anyone else talk about. I'm sure you'll find some books you find interesting there.


message 8: by Debbie (new)

Debbie abookolive gives wonderful recommendations for both Non Fiction and Fiction. I have read many of her suggestions and have been quite happy.


message 9: by Sue (new)

Sue Magee No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison
by Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian (Translator)
A beautifully written book with a mix of prose and poetry describing what it's really like for refugees living on Manus - I strongly recommend it


message 10: by Dave (new)

Dave Cullen Mine too. I was awed by the HBO series. Need to read this.

Jasmine wrote: "Jessica ☢ Spartan Ranger wrote: "Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster is such a good book! I would recommend it to everybody!"

My to be ..."



message 11: by Dave (last edited Jul 22, 2019 01:36PM) (new)

Dave Cullen Thanks for including Parkland: Birth of a Movement Parkland Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen .

Thank you readers! :)


message 12: by Apeksha (new)

Apeksha Kshirsagar Good Talk and The Uninhabitable Earth are highly highly recommended reads!!


message 13: by Liam (new)

Liam I highly recommend Midnight in Chernobyl! Excellent book.


message 14: by Delia (new)

Delia Turner I recommend Tubes by Andrew Blum. Looking for the physical Internet.


message 15: by Radiantflux (new)

Radiantflux This is a surprisingly good list. I really liked: The Uninhabitable Earth and Underland: A Deep Time Journey.

I'd also add:

No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, a prison memoir detailing the Australian treatment of asylum seekers;

Afropean: Notes from Black Europe, a black UK backpackers trip through contemporary Europe;

and Promise Me You’ll Shoot Yourself: The Mass Suicide of Ordinary Germans in 1945, which has interesting insights to modern politics.


message 16: by Rui Ning (new)

Rui Ning Whelp, immediately bought Underlands after seeing it in this list. Let it be known to your marketing people.


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Coming out today and I couldn't be more excited: Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch - linguistics communicator star!


message 20: by Fred (new)

Fred Glienna The Bastard Brigade by Sam Kean is a vigorous, exciting, and important historical book. It tells the true story of the Allied effort to stop the Nazis from acquiring the atomic bomb during World War II. Their unheralded and mostly unknown story contributed significantly to the U.S. victory over the Axis powers. Kean's writing, drawn from many sources, reads like an espionage novel. This is one of the few books this year I would recommend to anyone.


message 21: by Dee (new)

Dee i just finished up Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men - it was enlightening but also depressing at the same time - especially when you look at how long organizations have known about the gender bias in data and yet minimal efforts have been made the close the gap


message 22: by Mia (new)

Mia Stockdale Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs


message 23: by Tina (new)

Tina Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl, a beautifully written memoir of a Southern childhood and mourning the loss of loved ones set against a backdrop of the natural world. Recommended by everyone from Oprah to People Magazine, Reese Witherspoon to Ann Patchett.


message 24: by Tova (new)

Tova Holly wrote: "Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves looks interesting, but there's nothing else on this list that catches my eye.

I would love any recommendation..."


I absolutely loved Visual Intelligence by Amy Herman


message 25: by George (new)

George Beinhorn Swami Kriyananda: Lightbearer — The Life and Legacy of a Disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda . An amazing life and a necessary book to combat reductionism in all its ugly forms.


message 26: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Atkinson Lots of great Apollo histories out this year for the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing (Apollo 11 mission). May I suggest Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions for a truly behind the scenes look at the people and their monumental efforts to reach the Moon.


message 27: by Victor (new)

Victor Hail For a great and unexpected pleasure, try "Wild Blueberries" by Peter Damm. It is witty and tender at the same time; telling of an aware and independent boy's coming to age within a large catholic family in small town Michigan. But, at the same time it is so much more, and so much more universal. Enjoy!


message 28: by Wendy (new)

Wendy The Stranger in the Woods : The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
A Very English Scandal by John Preston


message 29: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Dee wrote: "i just finished up Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men - it was enlightening but also depressing at the same time - especially when you look at how long organizat..."

That book is on my to be read list.


message 30: by Ownbymom (new)

Ownbymom Ownby "In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond" which is subtitled "In Search of the Sasquatch." Don't be fooled by the title. If I were teaching this book, the first question I'd ask is "What is this book about?" Yes, the Sasquatch hunt is there. But the larger discussions to me were about the environment, and trying to maintain culture.


message 31: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Blythe Creation, Evolution Love and Kindnessadds a new twist to an old debate


message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy Mary wrote: "Coming out today and I couldn't be more excited: Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch - linguistics communicator star!"

I absolutely loved this book! I first heard the audio book read by the author, which was wonderful. When they fixed the iOS issues with the Kindle book, I bought that too for future reference. And I decided to buy the hardback as well so I have a copy to loan out. One of the most fascinating books I've read/heard in a long time.


message 33: by Jayne (new)

Jayne Monroe I recommend The Feather Thief.


message 34: by Robert (new)

Robert Shafer Mickey: The Giveaway Boy is the most compelling, couldn’t-put-it-down book I have read this halfway point in summer reading. (That includes another book which I immediately read a second time.) Like Oliver Twist, it is a narrative of the sadistic enslavement of a child, and like the Dickens book, it would not suffer to be set to one side. Not least against the backdrop of thousands of children sadistically abused by the US government, this held onto me and still has not let go. But for me, its real victory is in the calculated release of exquisite detail just and only when it can be absorbed in the narrative without muddying the tale with stultifying outrage. Well done, Robert “Mickey” Shafer.
Chris Ellis (Actor, artist and writer.)


message 35: by Jinny (new)

Jinny Webber I recommend :White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism|43708708] An important book!


message 36: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Wuenstel Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee can't help but make you smile, It's a great mix of art, science and happiness.


message 37: by Jo (new)

Jo Ward Afua Hirsch “Brit(ish)” is an exploration of growing up as a mixed race child in a middle class environment, and how racism still affects her now. As a white person I found this really enlightening.


message 38: by Janice (new)

Janice Warren I just grabbed Inheritence by Dani Shapiro. I loved her first memoir, Slow Motion, and having recently had a 23andMe manufactured family experience I had to have this one.


message 39: by Joodith (new)

Joodith The Imortal LIfe of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skoot
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon - Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
The Radium Girls - Kate Moore


message 40: by Amanda (last edited Aug 10, 2019 04:49AM) (new)

Amanda Youngs The best book I have read all year (non-fiction) is "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. He is clear by name and clear by nature and in the way he writes. I understand how habits can form and be formed now, so I can get myself a better life with little changes made consistently.


message 41: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Brady-Schreib Candace wrote: "I recommend Night by Elie Wiesel."

great book.
Another recommendation is The Long Walk by Slavomir-Rawicz.
Gripping!


message 42: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Brady-Schreib Not a new book. I read it years ago but it remains one of my favorites of all time. The Long Walk - The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir-Rawicz


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