15 Summer 2017 Nonfiction Releases I’m Excited About!

15 Summer 2017 Nonfiction Releases I'm Excited About On Novels And Nonfiction

Since there are so many great Summer book lists out there that focus on new releases in the fiction sphere, I thought that I would choose to center this new release post on nonfiction releases only. They’re definitely treated a bit as the ugly stepchild of the book blogging world sometimes, but since they’re my favorite (give me all the memoirs, historical tomes and weird books about scientific phenomena) I’m here to give them some love.

It’ll be hard (or impossible) for me to read all of the 15 books listed below, but I’m definitely planning to get my hands on Into The Gray Zone by Adrian Owen, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein, Unbelievable by Katy Tur, and The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore by Jared Yates Sexton. For the other ones, wish me luck! It’ll be hard to resist picking up Bugged and The Last Castle as well.

If you’re looking for some perfect book lists of fiction picks for the summer, here are links from two of my favorite book blogs that you can consult:

Modern Mrs Darcy’s Summer 2017 Reading Guide
Sarah’s Bookshelves Summer 2017 Reading Guide

For all of the great new nonfiction though, keep reading!


Into The Gray Zone Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionInto The Gray Zone by Adrian Owen

Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Publisher: Scribner

Kindle    Hardcover   Paperback

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

In this startling and thought-provoking book, which will remind readers of works by Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande, a world-renowned neuroscientist reveals his controversial, groundbreaking work with patients whose brains were previously thought vegetative or non-responsive but turn out—in up to 20 percent of cases—to be vibrantly alive, existing in the “Gray Zone.” Into The Gray Zone takes readers to the edge of a dazzling, humbling frontier in our understanding of the brain: the so-called “gray zone” between full consciousness and brain death.

Why I’m Interested

This is right up my scientific nonfiction loving alley. I think it’ll be similar to other accessible neuroscience picks I’ve loved like My Stroke Of Insight and Brain On Fire, chock full of incredible brain science woven within the inspiring personal stories of the patients involved. Out of all of the books on this list, this is definitely in my Top 5 must read.


Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionToo Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise And Reign Of The Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen

Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Publisher: Plume Books

Kindle     Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an acceptable woman.  In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of unruliness to explore the ascension of pop culture powerhouses like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures.

Why I’m Interested

With some of the rhetoric that was used during the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton and by her opponent against pretty much any woman that crossed his path, books like Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud sadly continue to be timely and important. Women still can’t win it comes to striking that magical balance between being the exact mix of elements that would enable them to not be criticized misogynistically for their every move. I’m interested in the specific celebrity focus of this book, as the public treatment of women of their visibility inevitably trickles down to the rest of us. I may have to add this one to my feminism book list.


My Glory Was I Had Such Friends Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionMy Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir By Amy Silverstein

Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Publisher: Harper Wave

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

In this moving memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit, Amy Silverstein tells the story of the extraordinary group of women who supported her as she waited on the precipice for a life-saving heart transplant. A shot at survival meant uprooting her life and moving across the country to California. When her friends heard of her plans, there was only one reaction: “I’m there.” Nine remarkable women—Joy, Jill, Leja, Jody, Lauren, Robin, Valerie, Ann, and Jane—put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold to fly across the country and be by Amy’s side.

Why I’m Interested

Reading the plot description for this one was already a bit like getting punched in the emotional gut, so I can only imagine how powerful the book will end up being. These days, I definitely need some uplifting stories of human beings going above and beyond to help each other and be the best that humanity can offer. I’m ready to be moved and inspired by this pick.


How To Fall In Love With Anyone Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionHow To Fall In Love With Anyone by Mandy Len Catron

Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Publisher: Simon Schuster

Kindle    Hardcover

(available on Net Galley)

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

An insightful, charming, and absolutely fascinating memoir from the author of the popular New York Times essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” (one of the top five most popular New York Times pieces of 2015) explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy. In a series of candid, vulnerable, and wise essays that takes a closer look at what it means to love someone, be loved, and how we present our love to the world, Catron deconstructs her own personal canon of love stories. 

Why I’m Interested

It’s really easy when you’re single to fall into a pattern in which you honestly feel fully satisfied with your single life. In doing so, it becomes so much harder to feel motivated to get out there and make some romantic connections. When your life is a happy – though singular – well-oiled machine, adding someone else to it seems much more inconvenient than dreamy. I’m looking for books like this one that might help me start keeping an eye out for romance again.


 Woolly Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionWoolly: The True Story Of The Quest To Revive One Of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Mezrich

Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Publisher: Atria Books

Kindle    Hardcover

(available on Net Galley)

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

“With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction” (Omnivoracious), Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of young scientists, under the guidance of Dr. George Church, the most brilliant geneticist of our time, works to make fantasy reality by sequencing the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from above the Arctic circle, and splicing elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and bring the extinct creatures to life in our modern world?

Why I’m Interested

This has the scientific nonfiction elements I crave (genetics, evolution, biology), with something of a Frankenstein twist. I don’t know that much about the history of woolly mammoths on the earth, but the plot description of this book made me want to learn more. I have a feeling the kind of embryonic splicing experiment discussed in the plot teaser is doomed to fail, but combine history and science with a little mystery and I’m there.


In The Days Of Rain Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionIn The Days Of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult by Rebecca Stott

Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Kindle    Hardcover

(available on Net Galley)

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

A father-daughter story that tells of the the author’s experience growing up in the Exclusive Brethren, a fundamentalist, separatist Christian cult, from the author of the national bestseller Ghostwalk. Rebecca Stott grew up in England, in the Brighton branch of the Exclusive Brethren cult in the early 1960s. Her family dated back to the group’s origins in the first half of the nineteenth century, and her father was a high-ranking minister. When a sex scandal tore the Exclusive Brethren apart in 1970, her father pulled the family out of the cult. But its impact on their lives shaped everything before and all that was to come.

Why I’m Interested

Here I am, reading about cults again. As you know from my Scientology book list and also my Escape Memoir book list (which included a few cult-related picks), I’m a sucker for incredible stories about people being raised in crazy cults. I’ve never read about the one which is the topic of this memoir – the Exclusive Brethren in England – so this story has an interesting international twist to my cult obsession that I’m very intrigued by.


Bugged Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionBugged: The Insects Who Rule The World And The People Obsessed With Them by David MacNeal

Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

Insects have been shaping our ecological world and plant life for over 400 million years. In fact, our world is essentially run by bugs–there are 1.4 billion for every human on the planet. In Bugged, journalist David MacNeal takes us on an off-beat scientific journey that weaves together history, travel, and culture in order to define our relationship with these mini-monsters. Hands-on with pet beetles in Japan, releasing lab-raised mosquitoes in Brazil, beekeeping on a Greek island, or using urine and antlers as means of ancient pest control, MacNeal’s quest appeals to the squeamish and brave alike.

Why I’m Interested

I know, I know, a whole book about bugs. How gross. Should I remind you that I’m the book blogger who reviewed a book all about Cannibalism just a few months ago? Clearly, I’m happy to take my nonfiction reading all the way to the edge of the unpalatable (pun intended). But all joking aside, I am equal parts fascinated and terrified of insects, and as with all things that fascinate but terrify my (cults, airplanes, disasters), I’m ready to learn more.


What Made Maddy Run Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionWhat Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan

Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today. This is the story of Maddy Holleran’s life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

Why I’m Interested

I hadn’t heard about Madison Holleran’s story in the news before reading this book description. I think this book on her life sounds highly topical, considering that there still is not anywhere near sufficient support for teens and adults with mental illness in America. I’m hoping that reading about Maddy’s struggle will open my eyes further to how depression can often be hard to identify in others, as well as further motivate me to go easy on myself rather than fall prey to the temptation to achieve some unattainable standard of perfection in my life.


Backwards And In Heels Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionBackwards & In Heels by Alicia Malone

Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Publisher: Mango

Kindle    Paperback

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

When it comes to early Hollywood and the women who worked in it, it can be tough to sort out the exact truth. That’s where film reporter and critic Alicia Malone comes in. In her book, Backwards and in Heels, Malone builds on her experience within the industry to examine the torturous road that has led to the uneasy Hollywood climate of today. Wage gaps and bias in selecting leading roles are only some of the issues faced by women in film. Join Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past, present and future in the hopes of leveling out the field. 

Why I’m Interested

Since I work in the entertainment industry, it’s tempting to find books that fall within the scope of my book blog but can also educate me on aspects of the industry that makes up my full time job. The entertainment industry has come a long way on the corporate side in terms of providing executive opportunities for women and starting to close the wage gap, though there’s still work to be done. I’m interested in learning more about the challenges faced by women (actresses, writers, producers) trying to make their mark through the decades on the production side of the industry.


Improbable Destinies Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionImprobable Destinies by Jonathan B. Losos

Publication Date: August 8th 2017
Publisher: Riverhead Books

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change–a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze–caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Jonathan Losos takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science.

Why I’m Interested

The science of evolutionary biology has come a long way from the time of Darwin, but in my understanding of evolution, I have to confess I’m still somewhat stuck at the Voyage Of The Beagle. Losos book seems like a good start to getting a better modern take on the theory of evolution – one tied to recent scientific discoveries about the ways in which genetic mutations arise to change the biology of creatures around us.


The Cold War Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Cold War: A World History by Odd Arne Westad

Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Basic Books

Kindle    Hardcover

(available on Net Galley)

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad offers a new perspective on a century when a superpower rivalry and an ideological war transformed every corner of our globe. We traditionally think of the Cold War as a post-World War II diplomatic and military conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. But in this major new work, Westad argues that the conflict must be understood as a global ideological confrontation with roots in the industrial revolution and with continuing implications for the world today. Expanding our understanding of the Cold War both geographically and chronologically, Westad offers the definitive new history of an ongoing battle.

Why I’m Interested

Russia is evermore at the center of global politics today, with its efforts to compromise elections in key democratic countries through hacking and its bots proliferating fake news stories online. Since my background on Russia’s history (aside from the tsarist period) is pretty spotty, I’m looking for books that can bring greater context to what I’m learning today about Russia’s political intentions. Though I know the outlines of the Cold War from high school history classes and documentaries, I think a deep dive into this conflict would be highly topical today.


The Expanding Blaze Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Expanding Blaze: How The American Revolution Ignited The World by Jonathan Israel

Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Princeton University Press

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

The Expanding Blaze is a sweeping history of how the American Revolution inspired revolutions throughout Europe and the Atlantic world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Jonathan Israel, one of the world’s leading historians of the Enlightenment, shows how the radical ideas of American founders such as Paine, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Monroe set the pattern for democratic revolutions, movements, and constitutions in France, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Greece, Canada, Haiti, Brazil, and Spanish America.

Why I’m Interested

The American Revolution is a topic I know quite a bit about when you consider its typical history and traditional interpretation. I was intrigued by the different spin on the topic taken by this book, looking at how the American Revolution was really symptomatic of a global ideological shift that had ripples of consequences that were pervasive in their reach. Starting from a series of revolutions I know a fair amount about, I’m interested to learn more about concurrent or subsequent ideological revolutions in other countries I’m less familiar with.


Unbelievable Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionUnbelievable: My Front-Row Seat To The Craziest Campaign In American History by Katy Tur

Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Publisher: Dey Street Books

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

The NBC journalist who covered—and took fire from—Donald Trump on the campaign trail offers an inside look at the most shocking presidential election in American history. Unbelievable is Tur’s inside account of being embedded with the campaign. At first, Trump tried to charm Tur into providing fawning coverage. When that didn’t work, he stooped to berating and shaming her, stoking the rage of his legion of supporters. Intriguing, disturbing, and powerful, Unbelievable is an unprecedented eyewitness account of the 2016 election from an intelligent, dedicated journalist at the center of it—a thoughtful historical record that offers eye-opening insights and details on our political process, the media, and the mercurial forty-fifth president of the United States.

Why I’m Interested

It’s unlikely I’ll be able to get to all the new releases on this list, but this book is going in my must reads. If you follow me on Twitter you know I can get pretty worked up about the governing style of the current President of the United States. I think this inside look into his campaign from one of the journalists that followed it on a daily basis sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to read the backstory of the scandalous incident in which the author Katy Tur was publicly attacked by Trump. I’m going to need some popcorn for this one.


The People Are Going To Rise Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore by Jared Yates Sexton

Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Publisher: Counterpoint LLC

Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

On June 14, 2016, Jared Yates Sexton reported from a Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the first journalists to attend these rallies and give mainstream readers an idea of the raw anger that occurred there, Sexton found himself in the center of a maelstrom. Featuring in-the-field reports as well as deep analysis, Sexton’s book is not just the story of the most unexpected and divisive election in modern political history. It is also a sobering chronicle of our democracy’s political polarization—a result of our self-constructed, technologically-assisted echo chambers.

Why I’m Interested

While Katy Tur’s book sounds like the guilty pleasure you allow yourself which reinforces all the beliefs you already have about something you already know is awful, Jared Yates Sexton’s book promises to be a more unbiased take on the nature of American political discourse today. The divide in American politics which led to the outcome of the recent election has led to an incredible amount of vitriol still being spewed from either side. Just like Sexton, it’s good sometimes to expose yourself to people with diametrically opposite beliefs to yours, and as difficult as it may be to read this book, I think it’ll be hugely educational.


The Last Castle Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Last Castle: The Epic Story Of Love, Loss, And American Royalty In The Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan

Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Publisher: Touchstone

Kindle    Hardcover

Plot Teaser (from Goodreads)

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Girls of Atomic City comes the fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. The Last Castle is the unique American story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.

Why I’m Interested

This is the romance novel equivalent of a nonfiction pick, meant to cleanse your palate after all the heavy hitters above. The history of the Biltmore mansion is intertwined with the history of its inhabitants in a factual account that should feel at times like a Great Gatsby novel. I’m hoping that it’ll have glamour, parties, romance and scandals galore, alongside a very real, moving and in some ways relatable biography of an American family.


Which of this Summer 2017 Nonfiction Releases are you most interested to read? Let me know in the comments!

You can also look up my nonfiction book lists on ScientologyTrue Crime, North Korea, and Scientific Nonfiction for more nonfiction recommendations.

If you’d like to keep up to date with posts on Novels And Nonfiction, make sure to follow me on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository (free delivery worldwide).

  17 comments for “15 Summer 2017 Nonfiction Releases I’m Excited About!

  1. July 3, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    The Gray Zone and Days of Rain both really look good to me. I don’t read nearly as much non-fiction as I ought to. I generally try for one book a year, but I haven’t even done that yet! Thanks for the list.

    Like

  2. July 4, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I hate to say it but it would be the Trump book….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. July 4, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Oh man, this post was like a siren call for me! SO MANY great titles you’ve had me add to my list!
    I will say that Too Fat…is SO GOOD. I read it so quickly and got so much out of it.
    As for the rest…even reading a synopsis of My Glory Was I Had Such Friends makes me want to cry! I don’t know if I could handle an entire book like that. In The Days of Rain, Unbelievable and The Last Castle all sound like exactly the kind of non-fiction that I love.

    Thanks for this list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Glad it was useful! It’s very hard to pick favorites but I’m hoping to read all the ones you listed as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. July 6, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Awesome last! Wooly, The Last Castle, Bugged, and Too Fat all jumped out at me too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      I saw that you had Woolly on your list in addition to some other nonfiction picks as well! It’s always so much work sifting/finding all the new releases, but well worth it 😉

      Like

  5. Susie | Novel Visits
    July 6, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Wow! What a great list. I’m always eager to find good nonfiction and I see quite a few here. My Glory Was I Had Such Friends looks especially good. One not on your list that I may try is American Fire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 7, 2017 at 12:36 am

      I don’t know why American Fire didn’t speak to me either when I looked it up for this post, or when I saw it was one of the July books for BOTM. The storyline felt like they were trying to stuff 3 or 4 different things into one. But let me know if I’m wrong and you like it!

      Like

  6. July 9, 2017 at 2:08 am

    Thank goodness for you, Ottavia!! I have been desperately in need of a new non-fiction book to read. I don’t read a ton of them, but about every 3 months I really need my fix. 😉 Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Backwards & In Heels and Unbelieveable are all up my alley. #Feminist 😉 Wolly also really intrigues me.

    I’m impressed you are hoping to get through even 4 of these! New releases are such a struggle for me to get to; often because I’m soooo behind on everything else. I hope you can make a dent in this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Unbelievable sounds absolutely riveting. To be honest I’m up for pretty much any negative content of the sort these days as a stress release valve for all the ridiculous things that are happening : / I requested a few of the ones that were available on Net Galley and I got access to How To Fall In Love With Anyone already (which is probably one I should read), so I should be getting to that one as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 13, 2017 at 1:33 pm

        I completely understand where you are coming from. My stress release valve has been more exercise and just ignoring the news. But, honestly, it’s not working all that well. Perhaps venting through reading will help more? I hope so!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        Fingers crossed. It’s got to get better somehow 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: