Interesting Non-Fiction

Did you resolve to read more non-fiction in 2022? Try one of these new and interesting books. There’s something for everyone!

Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Innovations in the History of Literature by Angus Fletcher
A brilliant examination of literary invention through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, showing how writers created technical breakthroughs as sophisticated and significant as any in science, and in the process, engineered enhancements to the human heart and mind.

Billy Wilder on Assignment: Dispatches from Weimar Berlin and Interwar Vienna by Billy Wilder
The collection includes reported pieces on urban life, from a first-person account of Wilder’s stint as a taxi dancer to an article about street sweepers; profiles of writers, movie stars, and poker players; and dispatches from the international film scene, from reviews to interviews with such figures as Charlie Chaplin and Erich von Stroheim. Isenberg provides an introduction that gives biographical details and places the writings in context, emphasizing their historical moment and their connections to Wilder’s later career.

The Heartland: An American History by Kristin L. Hoganson
Hoganson drills deep into the center of the country, only to find a global story in the resulting core sample. Deftly navigating the disconnect between history and myth, she tracks both the backstory of this region and the evolution of the idea of an unalloyed heart at the center of the land.

The Art of Game of Thrones by Deborah Riley
The official collection of behind-the-scenes concept art and production design from HBO’s landmark TV show Game of Thrones. Learn how BAFTA and Emmy award-winning production designer Deborah Riley and her team brought to life the iconic locations of Westeros and beyond.

The Human Tide: How Population Shaped the Modern World by Paul Morland
A dazzling new history of the irrepressible demographic changes and mass migrations that have made and unmade nations, continents, and empires, The Human Tide shows how periods of rapid population transition – a phenomenon that first emerged in the British Isles but gradually spread across the globe – shaped the course of world history.

Why I Like This Story edited by Jackson R. Bryer
Brief essays by forty-eight leading American writers on their favorite American short stories, explaining why they like them. The essays, which are personal, not scholarly, not only tell us much about the story selected, they also tell us a good deal about the author of the essay, about what elements of fiction he or she values.

Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-Saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English by Gyles Brandreth
In this brilliantly funny and accessible guide to proper punctuation and so much more, Gyles Brandreth explores the linguistic horrors of our times, tells us what we’ve been doing wrong, and shows us how, in the future, we can get it right every time. Covering everything from dangling participles to transitive verbs, from age-old conundrums like “lay” vs. “lie” to the confounding influences of social media on our everyday language, Have You Eaten Grandma? is an endlessly useful and entertaining resource for all.

The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter
A new generation is stepping up. TIME correspondent Charlotte Alter defines the class of young leaders who are remaking the nation–how grappling with 9/11 as teens, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying Wall Street and protesting with Black Lives Matter, and shouldering their way into a financially rigged political system has shaped the people who will govern the future. Through the experiences of millennial leaders–from progressive firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-

The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay by Emmanuel Saez
A searing examination of a key driver of American inequality-our tax system. Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, economists who revolutionized the study of inequality, demonstrate how the super-rich pay a lower tax rate than everybody else. In crystalline prose, they dissect the deliberate choices and the sins of indecision that have fueled this trend: the gradual exemption of capital owners, the surge of a new tax-avoidance industry, and, most critically, tax competition between nations.

Changing Tides: An Ecologist’s Journey to Make Peace with the Anthropocene by Alejandro Frid
In Changing Tides, Alejandro Frid, an ecologist working with Indigenous people, argues that a merger of scientific perspectives and Indigenous knowledge might just help us change the story we tell ourselves of who we are – of who we can be – and steer us towards a more benign Anthropocene.

Mark Twain’s Literary Resources: A Reconstruction of His Library and Reading by Alan Gribben
This first installment recounts Dr. Gribben’s forty-five-year search for surviving volumes from the library assembled by Twain and his family members. Their collection of more than 3,000 titles was dispersed through donations and abrupt public auctions, but nearly a thousand of the books have been recovered. Dr. Gribben also adds many hundreds of other books, stories, essays, poems, songs, plays, operas, newspapers, and magazines with which Twain was demonstrably familiar.

Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin
A revealing and incisive account of the King of Late Night at the height of his fame and power by his lawyer, wingman, fixer, and closest confidant. Bushkin explains why Carson, a voracious (and very talented) womanizer, felt he always had to be married; why he loathed small talk even as he excelled at it; why he couldn’t visit his son in the hospital and wouldn’t attend his mother’s funeral; and much more. Bushkin’s account is by turns shocking, poignant, and uproarious–written with a novelist’s eye for detail, a screenwriter’s ear for dialogue, and a knack for comic timing that Carson himself would relish.

Generation Stalin: French Writers, the Fatherland, and the Cult of Personality by Andrew Sobanet
Andrew Sobanet brings to light the crucial role French writers played in building Stalin’s cult of personality and in disseminating Stalinist propaganda in the international Communist sphere, including within the USSR. Based on a wide array of sources — literary, cinematic, historical, and archival — Generation Stalin situates in a broad cultural context the work of the most prominent intellectuals affiliated with the French Communist Party, including Goncourt winner Henri Barbusse, Nobel laureate Romain Rolland, renowned poet Paul Eluard, and canonical literary figure Louis Aragon.