10 Nonfiction Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2020
There’s nothing like a great novel, and we’re already salivating over all the amazing stuff coming out this year. But for anyone who routinely gravitates to the nonfiction titles, this is the list for you. Whether you’re looking for a book that will help you love the body you’re in or a riveting memoir about postpartum depression, 2020’s newest offerings have you covered.
1. There’s No Manual: Honest and Gory Wisdom About Having a Baby by Beth Newell and Jackie Ann Ruiz (February 4)
From the women who brought you Reductress comes an upbeat yet brutally honest prep manual for anyone planning on giving birth in their lifetime. Newell and Ruiz want mothers everywhere to know “there’s no right way to have a baby.” Full of illustrations, no-nonsense explanations and “shitty truths,” this book will be a fun read (and a great gift for anyone who’s expecting).
2. Broken Faith: Inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, One of America’s Most Dangerous Cults by Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr (February 18)
If you’re a true-crime fan, this is a must-read. After 20 years inside the Word of Faith Fellowship, an Evangelical Christian church many see as a cult, one family managed to break free. Mitch Weiss (a Pulitzer Prize winner) and Holbrook Mohr tell this family’s story and dig deeper into the Fellowship, which has been around since 1979 and still exists today. Prepare for secretly recorded conversations and private document dissection.
3. Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a WOMAN’S Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch (February 25)
Looking for your next page-turner after reading Killers of the Flower Moon? This is it. Sierra Crane Murdoch tells the true saga of Lissa Yellow Bird, a former inmate determined to find a white man who goes missing from a reservation worksite. This is a story about an Arikara woman, but also about the hardships experienced on Native American reservations in the United States.
4. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall (February 25)
This powerful essay collection tackles an uncomfortable topic for many women: feminism. Mikki Kendall argues that the feminism many women know actually excludes and ignores large groups of women and only benefits a specific type of female. She asserts the feminist movement and its participants need to face these issues head-on, and they need to do it today.
5. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner (March 24)
Ever wonder what it’s like to hang out with royals? (Um, of course you have.) Baroness Anne Glenconner, now 87, writes about acting as maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and as Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting, and covers her own personal dramas, tragedies and excitements. This heartbreaking and inspiring memoir is one unlike any other.
6. Happy Fat: Taking Up Space in a World That Wants to Shrink You by Sofie Hagen (April 7)
It took Sofie Hagen a long time to love her body, but she does, even though it feels like everyone and everything around her is sending the opposite message. Hagen kicks body shaming to the curb as she shares her personal experiences with fatphobia and provides social commentary on society’s obsession with wanting everyone to be the same size.
7. My Mother’s Daughter: An Immigrant Family’s Journey of Struggle, Grit and Triumph by Perdita Felicien (April 14)
Perdita Felicien’s mother moved to Canada from St. Lucia in 1974 for a nanny job. Growing up, Felicien and her mother dealt with “racism, domestic abuse and even homelessness,” but they gave life everything they had. Felicien went on to become a two-time Olympian and a favorite to win gold in the 100-meter hurdle event in Athens in 2004. Her memoir is sure to be a stunning debut.
8. Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America's Youngest Sommelier by Victoria James (April 16)
At just 21 years old, Victoria James became America’s youngest sommelier and began working at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Anyone who has ever worked in the restaurant or hospitality industry knows this is no small feat…and doesn’t come without its perils. In this very cool memoir, James battles demons, rediscovers herself at a vineyard and tons more.
9. Sway: Unraveling Unconscious Bias by Pragya Agarwal (June 2)
Pragya Agarwal is a behavioral scientist and activist who expertly discusses bias and what it means for how we live on a day-to-day basis. She examines, through meticulous research, how our biases impact decisions we make, things we see, how our brains work and more. It’s a nonjudgmental approach to understanding why bias is real—and whether or not we’re responsible for it.
10. Inferno: A Memoir by Catherine Cho (August 4)
This memoir covers a very different side of motherhood. Catherine Cho gave birth to her son and shortly thereafter experienced intense psychosis that led to her placement in a psych ward. Her memoir discusses the route she had to take in order to put her life back together, beginning with bravely examining the dark parts of her past in order to understand herself again.