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Most Anticipated Winter 2021 Nonfiction Books

There are many exciting nonfiction releases that will be hitting bookshelves by storm in Winter 2021. There are some captivating memoirs, untold stories about extraordinary women, true crime investigations, books about living with chronic illnesses, Britain’s constitutional crisis and abdication, and so much more.  So make space on your bookshelves, stop by your favorite indie bookstore, and make those library requests after you’ve browsed our most anticipated Winter 2021 nonfiction book list!

Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour

A wry, moving story of a young man who, as his estranged father is dying, saves a baby magpie only to find that caring for the mischievous bird has, in fact, saved him.

Driven by Alex Davies

Alex Davies tells the dramatic, colorful story of the quest to develop driverless cars–and the fierce competition between Google, Uber, and other companies in a race to revolutionize our lives.

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

A deeply felt memoir from Whiting Award-winner Nadia Owusu about the push and pull of belonging, the seismic emotional toll of family secrets, and the heart it takes to pull through.

American Daughter by Stephanie Thornton Plymale, with Elissa Wald

American Daughter is at once the deeply moving memoir of a troubled mother-daughter relationship and a meditation on trauma, resilience, transcendence, and redemption. Stephanie’s story is unique but its messages are universal, offering insight into what it means to survive, to rise above, to heal, and to forgive.

Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

In this thoughtful and revealing memoir, readers will accompany one of the world’s most recognizable women on her journey of self-discovery.

The Crown in Crisis by Alexander Larman

Alexander Larman’s The Crown in Crisis will treat readers to a new, thrilling view of the Abdication Crisis of 1936. Informed by revelatory archival material never-before-seen, as well as by interviews with many of Edward’s and Wallis’s close friends, Larman creates an hour-by-hour, day-by-day suspenseful narrative that brings readers up to the point where the microphone is turned on and the king speaks to his subjects. As well as focusing on King Edward and Mrs. Simpson, Larman looks closely at the roles played by those that stood against him: Prime minister Stanley Baldwin, his private secretary Alec Hardinge, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang. Larman also takes the full measure of those who supported him: the great politician Winston Churchill, Machiavellian newspaper owner Lord Beaverbrook, and the brilliant lawyer Walter Monckton.

Ida B. the Queen by Michelle Duster

Called “a dangerous negro agitator” by the FBI, and a “brave woman” by Frederick Douglass, an inspiring biography of the American pioneer by Ida B. Wells’s great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster.

We Need to Hang Out by Billy Baker

Billy Baker’s We Need to Hang Out is the story of a middle-aged everyman who realizes that he doesn’t have any close friends, inspiring him to set out on a humorous and ultimately moving quest to revive old tribes and build new ones, all with the goal of having someone to hang out with on Wednesday nights.

Love Is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar

Queer. Muslim. Arab American. A proudly Fat woman. Randa Jarrar is all of these things. In this provocative memoir of a cross-country road trip, she explores how to claim joy in an unraveling and hostile America.

Two Truths and a Lie by Ellen McGarrahan

In this powerful memoir, a journalist turned private investigator revisits the case that has haunted her for decades, asking profound questions about grief, complicity, and justice.

What Doesn't Kill You by Tessa Miller

The riveting account of a young journalist’s awakening to chronic illness, weaving together personal story and reporting to shed light on living with an ailment forever.

Surviving the White Gaze by Rebecca Carroll

A stirring and powerful memoir from black cultural critic Rebecca Carroll recounting her painful struggle to overcome a completely white childhood in order to forge her identity as a black woman in America.

Leave Out the Tragic Parts by Dave Kindred

Dave Kindred’s extraordinary investigation of the death of his grandson yields a powerful memoir of addiction, grief, and the stories we choose to tell our families and ourselves.

Consent by Vanessa Springora, translated by Natasha Lehrer

An intimate and powerful memoir of a young French teenage girl’s relationship with a famous, much older male writer–a universal #MeToo story of power, manipulation, trauma, recovery, and resiliency that exposes the hypocrisy of a culture that has allowed the sexual abuse of minors to occur unchecked.

Speak, Okinawa by Elizabeth Miki Brina

A searing, deeply candid memoir about a young woman’s journey to understanding her complicated parents–her mother an Okinawan war bride, her father a Vietnam veteran–and her own, fraught cultural heritage.

Women in White Coats by Olivia Campbell

The remarkable story of three Victorian women who broke down barriers in the medical field to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing the way women receive health care.

The Barbizon by Paulina Bren

Beautifully written and impeccably researched, The Barbizon weaves together a tale that has, until now, never been told. The first history of New York’s most famous residential hotel–The Barbizon–and the remarkable women who lived there. It is an epic story of women’s ambition in the 20th century. The Barbizon Hotel offered its residents a room of their own and air to breathe, unfettered from family obligations and expectations. It gave women a chance to remake themselves however they pleased. No place had existed like it before, or has since.

The Babysitter by Liza Rodman, Jennifer Jordan

A chilling true story–part memoir, part crime investigation, about a little girl longing for love and how she found friendship with her charismatic babysitter–who was also a vicious serial killer.

Are you looking forward to any of these books?

What nonfiction books are you looking forward to in 2021?  What books would you add to the list?