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10 new nonfiction books to read in spring 2021

Here are some of the hottest nonfiction books out now (or coming soon).

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Note: If no publication date is listed, the book is already available to purchase.



Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu 

Whiting Award-winning writer Nadia Owusu, daughter of an Armenian mother and Ghanaian father who worked at the U.N., shares her divided, nomadic childhood and early adulthood in a memoir that Booklist calls a “stunning, visceral book about the ways that our stories – of loss, of love, of borders – leave permanent marks on our bodies and minds.”


A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders 

This book from Booker Prize-winning author George Saunders is a print version of the MFA class on Russian short stories he’s been teaching at Syracuse University for 20 years, coupling stories by Anton Chekhov, Ivan Turgenev, Nikolai Gogol, and Leo Tolstoy with seven literary craft essays.


A World Without Email by
Cal Newport 

Employees with unread messages billowing out of their inboxes may rejoice at bestselling author Cal Newport’s push to streamline office communication and free employees from being tethered to their bottomless inboxes.


Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Furiously Happy) returns with her third memoir, this one about her experiences with transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat her depression. (April 6)




Homo Irrealis: Essays
by André Aciman

Call Me by Your Name author André Aciman’s essay collection attempts “to explore what the present tense means to artists who cannot grasp the here and now.”





How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
by Bill Gates 

After spending a decade researching climate change, Bill Gates outlines the actionable strategies we need to take in order to halt our downward slide toward environmental catastrophe.




Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

“Didion fans new and old will be delighted,” says Publishers Weekly of this new collection of 12 essays by legendary writer Joan Didion, which focuses largely on the early part of her long career and includes her craft essay “Why I Write.”



The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson 

Bestselling biographer Walter Isaacson (Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs) turns his attention to Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, who helped discover a tool that allowed for the editing of DNA and changed the world as a result.




The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

Acclaimed bestselling author Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits, A Long Petal of the Sea) explores what it means to be a woman in this book that the author hopes will “light the torches of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.”


Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne 

This memoir from Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has collected an impressive amount of praise, starred reviews, and notable blurbs, including from author Colum McCann, who wrote “Make no mistake about it: Walking with Ghosts is a masterpiece.”