I have made it very clear in this paper that I love books. There is nothing that makes me happier than two things: reading a good book and recommending books to others. I know that my taste in books, characterized by the phrase “I’ll read anything with words,” may be too broad for some people. So, in this article I am focusing on one genre: nonfiction. One of my new year’s resolutions is to learn new things and everytime I read a nonfiction book I always leave it feeling like I have been educated in some way. Hopefully, you can find a nonfiction book in this article that fits your taste!
Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harai
Ok, so the title of this book is a little intimidating but give me a chance here. This book has been an international bestseller with book jacket quotes from Bill Gates and Barack Obama, at the very least you will look smart carrying it around. But really, this book works through the way that humans evolved from neanderthals until now, using history, biology and anthropology. The way this book is told isn’t pretenious like some books about science can feel, and it still doesn’t dumb down the information so much that it makes the reader feel stupid. This book works through the answers to questions like: why do humans seem to disobey the laws of natural selection, which I have never even thought of! So, give it a try, you may learn something!
Yes She Can by Molly Dillon and Co.
It is a fact that we live in pretty dark political times. You can find books all over the place that analyse the political problems that America is facing as a country that are as cynical as you can get. However, I think that sometimes in dark times it’s good to look for something that can inspire us to work harder and be better. That is where this book, “Yes She Can,” comes in. The subtitle of this book is “10 Stories of Hope and Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House,” and nothing that I can say will describe the book better than that. This book is told in a series of short stories, where each chapter is written by a different author. The women who have submitted stories to this book show the joy of public service and the effect it can have for the good of others. Even though this book came out a few years ago, I think its message is as relevant as it was when it was released.
Hotbox by Matt and Ted Lee
I love books about cooking and restaurants and went through a period this summer where that was the only thing that I was reading. This book was a product of that time and one of the best of the bunch. “Hotbox” takes the reader inside the world of catering, described as “The Food World’s Riskiest Business” on the front cover. The book gets its title from the speed rack/Streno contraption that makes for the primary cooking device for catering in places without an oven. This is a facet of the food world that remains mostly unknown to people outside of the business, and it is filled with crazy ups and downs. The book talks about the perils of this high risk and high reward style of cooking while adding in amazing stories about catering in some of the most sought after venues in Manhattan including a wedding in The New York Public Library. This book has enough action that even if you don’t love learning about food or the restaurant business, you will find something to love in this book!
Naturally Tan by Tan France
If you have never watched or at least heard about the cultural phenomon that is the Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye” in the last two years since it premired, go Google it and then rethink your life choices up until this point. This show has taken the world by storm and has catapulted the main cast of the show, “The Fab Five,” to a huge level of stardom. This book is a memoir by the fashion expert, Tan France, about his life before the show, how he was chosen and what his life looks like now. It is a coming of age story about his experience growing up as a gay South-Asian man in a small town in England and it also follows his professional story before landing his role on “Queer Eye.” With anecdotes of fashion advice and the love story of France and his-now husband, the book is warm and personable unlike any other celebrity biography that I have read in a while. This book is the perfect memoir for people who don’t love celebrity style memoirs and who want a mix of fun and serious.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
This book is definitely one of the most talked about books of 2019. It was a New York Times bestseller and has become a large topic of critical acclaim across the country. It follows the real-life story of the author, who is a clinical psychologist. It follows multiple plot lines from her patients, her journey to becoming a therapist and her own relationship with therapy. The catalyst to this book is her return to therapy after a terrible break-up rocks her mental health. This book is a real examination of the way that therapy can help affect mental health and what makes therapy productive. I loved this book because of how real the stories were and how it demonstrates the effects of therapy on people with a wide range of needs and problems. This book also humanizes therapists and shows how no one is exempt from sometimes needing to talk to someone. I can’t recommend it enough!
So, I hope you find a book to love in this list and that your 2020 is full of books!