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The Sunday Times bestsellers of the year: nonfiction and fiction

sunday times top 10 nonfiction books

GENERAL hardbacks

1 The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (Ebury £16.99) An illustrated fable containing gentle life philosophy

2 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Viking £35) The first volume of presidential memoirs from the 44th president of the United States

3 This Is Me by Mrs Hinch (M Joseph £16.99) Autobiography by the Instagram star renowned for her cleaning tips and tricks

4 Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day by Tom Moore (M Joseph £20) The life of the inspirational centenarian who raised millions for NHS charities

5 A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough (Ebury £20) On his broadcasting career, the planet’s biodiversity loss and hopes for the future

6 A Del of a Life by

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The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2021

These are independent reviews of the products mentioned, but TIME receives a commission when purchases are made through affiliate links at no additional cost to the purchaser.

I n an era when time spent trying new things and meeting new people was still a rare privilege, the best books served to please our wandering minds. These works, from well-known writers as well as exciting new voices, dissect a range of subjects from the history of Black performance in America to the value of the 19th-century Russian short story to the intimate pain caused by losing a parent . They are sweeping histories and bold essay collections, powerful memoirs and brilliant literary criticism. Their diversity is a virtue in and of itself, a means of exploring and satisfying our curiosities. Here, the top 10 nonfiction books of 2021.

10. The Kissing Bug , Daisy Hernández

When Daisy Hernández was a child, her aunt traveled from Colombia to the U.S. in search of a cure for the mysterious disease that caused her stomach to become so distended that people thought she was pregnant. Growing up, Hernández believed her aunt had become sick from eating an apple; it wasn’t until decades later that she learned more about Chagas disease . As Hernández describes in her deftly reported book, Chagas—transmitted by “kissing bugs” that carry the parasite that causes it—is an infectious disease that sickens hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S., many of whom are poor immigrants from Latin America. She traces the history of Chagas and the lives most impacted by it, offering a nuanced and empathetic look into the intersections of poverty, racism and the U.S. health care system.

Buy Now: The Kissing Bug on Bookshop | Amazon

9. Finding the Mother Tree , Suzanne Simard

In her first book, pioneering forest ecologist Suzanne Simard blends her personal history with that of the trees she has researched for decades. Finding the Mother Tree is as comprehensive as it is deeply personal, especially as Simard explores her curiosity about trees and what it has been like to work as a woman in a field dominated by men. Her passion for the subject at the book’s center is palpable on every page, coalescing into an urgent call to embrace our connection with the earth and do whatever we can to protect it.

Buy Now: Finding the Mother Tree on Bookshop | Amazon

8. The Copenhagen Trilogy , Tove Ditlevsen

Originally published as three separate books in Danish between 1967 and 1971, The Copenhagen Trilogy, now presented in a single translated volume, is a heartbreaking portrait of an artist. In precise and brutally self-aware terms, Tove Ditlevsen reflects on her life, from her turbulent youth during Hitler’s rise to power to her discovery of poetry and later to the dissolution of her multiple marriages. Though the story was written decades ago, the complexities of womanhood that Ditlevsen captures are timeless.

Buy Now: The Copenhagen Trilogy on Bookshop | Amazon

7. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain , George Saunders

George Saunders is deeply familiar with the 19th-century Russian short story—he’s been teaching a class on the subject to M.F.A. students for two decades. Here, he opens up his syllabus, analyzing seven iconic works by authors including Chekhov and Tolstoy to highlight the importance of fiction in our lives. In a world bursting with distractions, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain demands the reader’s attention. Saunders begins by breaking down a story line by line—in less thoughtful hands, this exercise would be draining, but Saunders infuses so much heart into the practice that instead it is simply fun.

Buy Now: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain on Bookshop | Amazon

Read more about the best entertainment of the year: TV shows | Movies | Songs | Albums | Podcasts | Fiction books | YA and children’s books | Movie performances | Video games | Theater

6. Empire of Pain , Patrick Radden Keefe

From the author of the 2019 best seller Say Nothing , which dove into Northern Ireland during the Troubles, Empire of Pain is a stirring investigation into three generations of the Sackler family . Patrick Radden Keefe explores the Sacklers and the source of their infamous fortune, earned by producing and marketing a painkiller that became the driving force behind the opioid crisis. It’s a sweeping account of a family’s outsize impact on the world­—and a dogged work of reporting that showcases the horrific implications of greed.

Buy Now: Empire of Pain on Bookshop | Amazon

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5. aftershocks , nadia owusu.

Born in Tanzania and raised all over the world, from England to Italy to Ethiopia, Nadia Owusu never felt she belonged anywhere. In her aching memoir, she embarks on a tour de force examination of her childhood, marked first by her mother’s abandoning her when she was a toddler and later by the death of her beloved father. Through assessing the people and places that shaped her, Owusu picks up the pieces of her life to make sense of it all. In lyrical and lush prose, she crafts an intimate and piercing exploration of identity, family and home.

Buy Now: Aftershocks on Bookshop | Amazon

4. How the Word Is Passed , Clint Smith

Amid a discussion of what students should be learning about history , Clint Smith, a poet and journalist, takes readers across the U.S.­—from the Monticello plantation in Virginia to a maximum-security prison in Louisiana—to underline the legacy of slavery and how it has shaped the country. The result, longlisted for the National Book Award, is an insightful dissection of the relationship between memory, history and America’s ongoing reckoning with its past.

Buy Now: How the Word Is Passed on Bookshop | Amazon

3. Invisible Child , Andrea Elliott

For almost a decade, reporter Andrea Elliott observed the coming-of-age of a girl named Dasani, who has lived in and out of the New York City shelter system for most of her life. Dasani’s existence is full of contradictions—her Brooklyn shelter is just blocks away from some of the borough’s most expensive real estate—and Elliott is relentless in her efforts to capture them all. In exact and searing detail, she places Dasani’s story alongside the larger issues of inequality, homelessness and racism in the city and more broadly the U.S.

Buy Now: Invisible Child on Bookshop | Amazon

2. Crying in H Mart , Michelle Zauner

When Michelle Zauner, founder of the indie-rock band Japanese Breakfast, was 25 years old, her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. That illness and her mother’s eventual death shattered Zauner’s sense of self—and forced her to re-evaluate her relationship with her Korean culture. In her memoir, Zauner searches for answers about the influences that shaped so much of her life, often ruminating on the food her mother made for her. The memories associated with these dishes—jatjuk, gimbap, galbi—push the narrative along, and it’s food that becomes such a heartbreaking marker of her mother’s decline, particularly when chemotherapy makes it too difficult for her to eat. Remarkably honest and written in animated terms, Crying in H Mart is a potent and devastating portrait of a mother and daughter and the life that they shared.

Buy Now: Crying in H Mart on Bookshop | Amazon

1. A Little Devil in America , Hanif Abdurraqib

A finalist for the National Book Award, Hanif Abdurraqib ’ s work of cultural criticism is an astonishing accounting of Black performance. In essays full of snappy prose, Abdurraqib analyzes everything from the rise of Whitney Houston to a schoolyard fistfight. The author, also a poet, seamlessly blends pop culture references with U.S. history and stories from his own upbringing. The connections that he makes between these stories—both small and large, intimate and collective—point to the enduring influence of Black art. He covers broad ground with ease and wit, an impressive balance for a book that is as bold as it is essential.

Buy Now: A Little Devil in America on Bookshop | Amazon

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The 100 best nonfiction books of all time: the full list

After two years of careful reading, moving backwards through time, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books. Take a quick look at five centuries of great writing

  • Robert McCrum reflects on his 100 greatest nonfiction books list
  • The 100 best novels written in English: the full list
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1. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014) An engrossing account of the looming catastrophe caused by ecology’s “neighbours from hell” – mankind.

2. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005) This steely and devastating examination of the author’s grief following the sudden death of her husband changed the nature of writing about bereavement.

3. No Logo by Naomi Klein (1999) Naomi Klein’s timely anti-branding bible combined a fresh approach to corporate hegemony with potent reportage from the dark side of capitalism.

4. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes (1998) These passionate, audacious poems addressed to Hughes’s late wife, Sylvia Plath, contribute to the couple’s mythology and are a landmark in English poetry.

5. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (1995) This remarkably candid memoir revealed not only a literary talent, but a force that would change the face of US politics for ever.

6. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1988) The theoretical physicist’s mega-selling account of the origins of the universe is a masterpiece of scientific inquiry that has influenced the minds of a generation.

7. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (1979) Tom Wolfe raised reportage to dazzling new levels in his quest to discover what makes a man fly to the moon.

8. Orientalism by Edward Said (1978) This polemical masterpiece challenging western attitudes to the east is as topical today as it was on publication.

9. Dispatches by Michael Herr (1977) A compelling sense of urgency and a unique voice make Herr’s Vietnam memoir the definitive account of war in our time.

10. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976) An intoxicating renewal of evolutionary theory that coined the idea of the meme and paved the way for Professor Dawkins’s later, more polemical works.

Tom Wolfe.

11. North by Seamus Heaney (1975) This raw, tender, unguarded collection transcends politics, reflecting Heaney’s desire to move “like a double agent among the big concepts”.

12. Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (1973) Sacks’s moving account of how, as a doctor in the late 1960s, he revived patients who had been neurologically “frozen” by sleeping sickness reverberates to this day.

13. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970) The Australian feminist’s famous polemic remains a masterpiece of passionate free expression in which she challenges a woman’s role in society.

14. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom by Nik Cohn (1969) This passionate account of how rock’n’roll changed the world was written with the wild energy of its subject matter.

15. The Double Helix by James D Watson (1968) An astonishingly personal and accessible account of how Cambridge scientists Watson and Francis Crick unlocked the secrets of DNA and transformed our understanding of life.

16. Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag (1966) The American novelist’s early essays provide the quintessential commentary on the 1960s.

17. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965) The groundbreaking collection, revolving around the poet’s fascination with her own death, established Plath as one of the last century’s most original and gifted poets.

18. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963) The book that ignited second-wave feminism captured the frustration of a generation of middle-class American housewives by daring to ask: “Is this all?”

19. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963) This influential, painstakingly compiled masterpiece reads as an anatomy of pre-industrial Britain – and a description of the lost experience of the common man.

20. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962) This classic of American advocacy sparked a nationwide outcry against the use of pesticides, inspired legislation that would endeavour to control pollution, and launched the modern environmental movement in the US.

Susan Sontag 1975

21. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S Kuhn (1962) The American physicist and philosopher of science coined the phrase “paradigm shift” in a book that is seen as a milestone in scientific theory.

22. A Grief Observed by CS Lewis (1961) This powerful study of loss asks: “Where is God?” and explores the feeling of solitude and sense of betrayal that even non-believers will recognise.

23. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and EB White (1959) Dorothy Parker and Stephen King have both urged aspiring writers towards this crisp guide to the English language where brevity is key.

24. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith (1958) An optimistic bestseller, in which JFK’s favoured economist promotes investment in both the public and private sectors.

25. The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life by Richard Hoggart (1957) This influential cultural study of postwar Britain offers pertinent truths on mass communication and the interaction between ordinary people and the elites.

26. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (1955) Baldwin’s landmark collection of essays explores, in telling language, what it means to be a black man in modern America.

27. The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art by Kenneth Clark (1956) Clark’s survey of the nude from the Greeks to Picasso foreshadows the critic’s towering claims for humanity in his later seminal work, Civilisation.

28. The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin (1953) The great historian of ideas starts with an animal parable and ends, via a dissection of Tolstoy’s work, in an existential system of thought.

29. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1952/53) A bleakly hilarious, enigmatic watershed that changed the language of theatre and still sparks debate six decades on. An absurdist masterpiece.

30. A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David (1950) This landmark recipe book, a horrified reaction to postwar rationing, introduced cooks to the food of southern Europe and readers to the art of food writing.

American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin in 1979.

31. The Great Tradition by FR Leavis (1948) The controversial critic’s statement on English literature is an entertaining, often shocking, dissection of the novel, whose effects are still felt to this day.

32. The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper (1947) The historian’s vivid, terrifying account of the Führer’s demise, based on his postwar work for British intelligence, remains unsurpassed.

33. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946) The groundbreaking manual urged parents to trust themselves, but was also accused of being the source of postwar “permissiveness”.

34. Hiroshima by John Hersey (1946) Hersey’s extraordinary, gripping book tells the personal stories of six people who endured the 1945 atom bomb attack.

35. The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper (1945) The Austrian-born philosopher’s postwar rallying cry for western liberal democracy was hugely influential in the 1960s.

36. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth by Richard Wright (1945) This influential memoir of a rebellious southern boyhood vividly evokes the struggle for African American identity in the decades before civil rights.

37. How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher (1942) The American culinary icon was one of the first writers to use food as a cultural metaphor, describing the sensual pleasures of the table with elegance and passion.

38. Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly (1938) Connolly’s dissection of the art of writing and the perils of the literary life transformed the contemporary English scene.

39. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937) Orwell’s unflinchingly honest account of three northern towns during the Great Depression was a milestone in the writer’s political development.

40. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (1937) Much admired by Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, Byron’s dazzling, timeless account of a journey to Afghanistan is perhaps the greatest travel book of the 20th century.

George Orwell At A TypewriterCaption: George Orwell, British writer and journalist, at a typewriter (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

41. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936) The original self-help manual on American life – with its influence stretching from the Great Depression to Donald Trump – has a lot to answer for.

42. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933) Brittain’s study of her experience of the first world war as a nurse and then victim of loss remains a powerful anti-war and feminist statement.

43. My Early Life: A Roving Commission by Winston Churchill (1930) Churchill delights with candid tales of childhood and boy’s own adventures in the Boer war that made him a tabloid hero.

44. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929) Graves’s account of his experiences in the trenches of the first world war is a subversive tour de force.

45. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929) Woolf’s essay on women’s struggle for independence and creative opportunity is a landmark of feminist thought.

46. The Waste Land by TS Eliot (1922) Eliot’s long poem, written in extremis, came to embody the spirit of the years following the first world war.

47. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed (1919) The American socialist’s romantic account of the Russian revolution is a masterpiece of reportage.

48. The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (1919) The great economist’s account of what went wrong at the Versailles conference after the first world war was polemical, passionate and prescient.

49. The American Language by HL Mencken (1919) This declaration of linguistic independence by the renowned US journalist and commentator marked a crucial new chapter in American prose

50. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey (1918) Strachey’s partisan, often inaccurate but brilliant demolitions of four great 19th-century Britons illustrates life in the Victorian period from different perspectives.

Virginia Woolf, pictured in 1933.

51. The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois (1903) The great social activist’s collection of essays on the African American experience became a founding text of the civil rights movement.

52. De Profundis by Oscar Wilde (1905) There is a thrilling majesty to Oscar Wilde’s tormented tour de force written as he prepared for release from Reading jail.

53. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902) This revolutionary work written by Henry James’s less famous brother brought a democratising impulse to the realm of religious belief.

54. Brief Lives by John Aubrey, edited by Andrew Clark (1898) Truly ahead of his time, the 17th-century historian and gossip John Aubrey is rightly credited as the man who invented biography.

55. Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S Grant (1885) The civil war general turned president was a reluctant author, but set the gold standard for presidential memoirs, outlining his journey from boyhood onwards.

56. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883) This memoir of Samuel Clemens’s time as a steamboat pilot provides insight into his best-known characters, as well as the writer he would become.

57. Travels With a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson (1879) The Scottish writer’s hike in the French mountains with a donkey is a pioneering classic in outdoor literature – and as influential as his fiction.

58. Nonsense Songs by Edward Lear (1871) The Victorians loved wordplay, and few could rival this compendium of verbal delirium by Britain’s “laureate of nonsense”.

59. Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold (1869) Arnold caught the public mood with this high-minded but entertaining critique of Victorian society posing questions about the art of civilised living that still perplex us.

60. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859) Darwin’s revolutionary, humane and highly readable introduction to his theory of evolution is arguably the most important book of the Victorian era.

American writer and satirist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by pen name Mark Twain.

61. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (1859) This fine, lucid writer captured the mood of the time with this spirited assertion of the English individual’s rights.

62. The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands by Mary Seacole (1857) A gloriously entertaining autobiography by the widely revered Victorian sometimes described as “the black Florence Nightingale”.

63. The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell (1857) Possibly Gaskell’s finest work – a bold portrait of a brilliant woman worn down by her father’s eccentricities and the death of her siblings.

64. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854) This account of one man’s rejection of American society has influenced generations of free thinkers.

65. Thesaurus by Dr Peter Mark Roget (1852) Born of a Victorian desire for order and harmony among nations, this guide to the English language is as unique as it is indispensable.

66. London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew (1851) The influence of the Victorian journalist’s detailed, dispassionate descriptions of London lower-class life is clear, right up to the present day.

67. Household Education by Harriet Martineau (1848) This protest at the lack of women’s education was as pioneering as its author was in Victorian literary circles.

68. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845) This vivid memoir was influential in the abolition of slavery, and its author would become one of the most influential African Americans of the 19th century.

69. Essays by RW Emerson (1841) New England’s inventor of “transcendentalism” is still revered for his high-minded thoughts on individuality, freedom and nature expressed in 12 essays.

70. Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Trollope (1832) Rich in detail and Old World snobbery, Trollope’s classic travelogue identifies aspects of America’s national character still visible today.

Frederick Douglass, pictured in 1855.

71. An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828) Though a lexicographical landmark to stand alongside Dr Johnson’s achievement, the original sold only 2,500 copies and left its author in debt.

72. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey (1822) An addiction memoir, by the celebrated and supremely talented contemporary of Coleridge and Wordsworth, outlining his life hooked on the the drug.

73. Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (1807) A troubled brother-and-sister team produced one of the 19th century’s bestselling volumes and simplified the complexity of Shakespeare’s plays for younger audiences.

74. Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa by Mungo Park (1799) The Scottish explorer’s account of his heroic one-man search for the river Niger was a contemporary bestseller and a huge influence on Conrad, Melville and Hemingway.

75. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1793) The US founding father’s life, drawn from four different manuscripts, combines the affairs of revolutionary America with his private struggles.

76. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) This radical text attacked the dominant male thinkers of the age and laid the foundations of feminism.

77. The Life of Samuel Johnson LLD by James Boswell (1791) This huge work is one of the greatest of all English biographies and a testament to one of the great literary friendships.

78. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke (1790) Motivated by the revolution across the Channel, this passionate defence of the aristocratic system is a landmark in conservative thinking.

79. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano (1789) The most famous slave memoir of the 18th century is a powerful and terrifying read, and established Equiano as a founding figure in black literary tradition.

80. The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1789) This curate’s beautiful and lucid observations on the wildlife of a Hampshire village inspired generations of naturalists.

“Mary Wollstonecraft.

81. The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788) These wise essays clarified the aims of the American republic and rank alongside the Declaration of Independence as a cornerstone of US democracy.

82. The Diary of Fanny Burney (1778) Burney’s acutely observed memoirs open a window on the literary and courtly circles of late 18th-century England.

83. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1776-1788) Perhaps the greatest and certainly one of the most influential history books in the English language, in which Gibbon unfolds the narrative from the height of the Roman empire to the fall of Byzantium.

84. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1776) Blending history, philosophy, psychology and sociology, the Scottish intellectual single-handedly invented modern political economy.

85. Common Sense by Tom Paine (1776) This little book helped ignite revolutionary America against the British under George III.

86. A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson (1755) Dr Johnson’s decade-long endeavour framed the English language for the coming centuries with clarity, intelligence and extraordinary wit.

87. A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume (1739) This is widely seen as the philosopher’s most important work, but its first publication was a disaster.

88. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1729) The satirist’s jaw-dropping solution to the plight of the Irish poor is among the most powerful tracts in the English language.

89. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe (1727) Readable, reliable, full of surprise and charm, Defoe’s Tour is an outstanding literary travel guide.

90. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (1689) Eloquent and influential, the Enlightenment philosopher’s most celebrated work embodies the English spirit and retains an enduring relevance.

Samuel Johnson, circa 1754.

91. The Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer (1662) Cranmer’s book of vernacular English prayer is possibly the most widely read book in the English literary tradition.

92. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys (1660) A portrait of an extraordinary Englishman, whose scintillating firsthand accounts of Restoration England are recorded alongside his rampant sexual exploits.

93. Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or A Brief Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk by Sir Thomas Browne (1658) Browne earned his reputation as a “writer’s writer” with this dazzling short essay on burial customs.

94. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651) Hobbes’s essay on the social contract is both a founding text of western thought and a masterpiece of wit and imagination.

95. Areopagitica by John Milton (1644) Today, Milton is remembered as a great poet. But this fiery attack on censorship and call for a free press reveals a brilliant English radical.

96. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne (1624) The poet’s intense meditation on the meaning of life and death is a dazzling work that contains some of his most memorable writing.

97. The First Folio by William Shakespeare (1623) The first edition of his plays established the playwright for all time in a trove of 36 plays with an assembled cast of immortal characters.

98. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (1621) Burton’s garrulous, repetitive masterpiece is a compendious study of melancholia, a sublime literary doorstop that explores humanity in all its aspects.

99. The History of the World by Walter Raleigh (1614) Raleigh’s most important prose work, close to 1m words in total, used ancient history as a sly commentary on present-day issues.

100. King James Bible: The Authorised Version (1611) It is impossible to imagine the English-speaking world celebrated in this series without the King James Bible, which is as universal and influential as Shakespeare.

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The New York Times Best Sellers Nonfiction

The Complete List of New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers

Go beyond just the current list of New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers 2024 to discover every bestselling book listed on the NYT Bestseller List in 2024.

Since 1931, The New York Times has been publishing a weekly list of bestselling books. Since then, becoming a New York Times bestseller has become a dream for virtually every writer.

When I first started reading adult books, one of the first places I went for book recommendations was the New York Times Nonfiction Nonfiction Best Sellers. I wanted to know what books were the most widely read, and start with those.

However, scrolling through the list week by week on The New York Times website is rather annoying. I just wanted all the bestselling nonfiction books gathered together in one place.

When I couldn’t find it, I decided to create it.

Here are all the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers from this year. I’ve got the current #1 and this week’s bestselling list, both of which you can find all over the place.

This list also compiles every book that appears on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers list in 2024 for Hardcover Nonfiction. Every week I update it so you can get the most accurate view of the year in one place.

Since this is a bit of a sprawling post, feel free to jump to the section that most interests you or take your time scrolling through the complete list of New York Times nonfiction best sellers.

Quick Links

  • Current #1 NYT Bestseller
  • Current New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List
  • Previous #1 Fiction Best Sellers
  • Heavyweights (10+ Weeks)
  • Fan Favorites (5+ Weeks)
  • Honorable Mention (2+ Weeks)
  • One Hit Wonders

Don’t Miss a Thing

Current #1 New York Times Best Seller

book cover The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

The Demon of Unrest

Erik larson.

Erik Larson delves into the five months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the first shots fired on Fort Sumter that started the Civil War. In a period of betrayal, error, and miscommunication, Larson focuses on the stories of four individuals: Sumter’s commander caught between sympathy to the South and loyalty to the Union; a bloodthirsty radical promoting secession at every turn; the wife of a local planter who is conflicted about marriage and slavery; and in the thick of it all, is Abraham Lincoln, desperately trying to avert a war.

Publication Date: 30 April 2024 Learn More: Goodreads | StoryGraph |  More Info Buy Now: Amazon | Apple Books

Current List of New York Times Best Sellers

The author of “The Splendid and the Vile” portrays the months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the beginning of the Civil War.

book cover The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt

A co-author of “The Coddling of the American Mind” looks at the mental health impacts that a phone-based life has on children.

book cover Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew by Emmanuel Acho and Noa Tishby

A wide-ranging examination of Judaism and antisemitism in America today.

book cover For Love of Country by Tulsi Gabbard

The Army Reserve officer, former member of Congress and 2020 presidential candidate explains why she left the Democratic Party.

book cover An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin

A trove of items collected by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian’s late husband inspired an appraisal of central figures and pivotal moments of the 1960s.

book cover Love, Mom by Nicole Saphier

Fox News anchors and personalities contribute to a collection of reflections on motherhood.

book cover The Age of Grievance by Frank Bruni

The New York Times contributing Opinion writer evaluates the tone of our current culture and politics, which interweaves larger wrongs and smaller slights.

book cover The Wager by David Grann

The survivors of a shipwrecked British vessel on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain have different accounts of events.

book cover Outlive by Peter Attia

A look at recent scientific research on aging and longevity.

book cover The Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides

The author of “On Desperate Ground” depicts Captain James Cook’s final voyage and the controversies surrounding its legacy.

sunday times top 10 nonfiction books

The Booker Prize-winning author details the attack on him at the Chautauqua Institution in 2022 and the steps he took to heal from it.

book cover I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

The actress and filmmaker describes her eating disorders and difficult relationship with her mother.

book cover Somehow by Anne Lamott

Meditations and stories about the transformational power of love by the author of “Dusk, Night, Dawn” and “Bird by Bird.”

book cover Age of Revolutions by Fareed Zakaria

The CNN host draws out lessons for the present polarized era from the 17th-century Netherlands, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.

book cover Nuclear War by Annie Jacobsen

The author of “Operation Paperclip” portrays possible outcomes in the minutes following a nuclear missile launch.

See what Upcoming Releases are coming out soon!

Previous #1 New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers

book cover Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey


Matthew mcconaughey.

(99 Weeks) Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey offers a memoir on his approach to getting the most satisfaction out of life. McConaughey poured over decades of his diaries to share the highs and lows of his life and the funny stories that shaped him along the way.

Publication Date: 20 October 2020 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

I’m Glad My Mom Died

Jennette mccurdy.

(82 Weeks) Both vulnerable and hilarious, Jennette McCurdy’s tell-all memoir sends a poignant message of the dangers of child acting. McCurdy brilliantly embraces her inner child by describing how desperately she wanted to please her mom by acting, even if it lead to an eating disordered and a chaotic relationship with her family that she didn’t full understand until attending therapy after her mother’s death. 

Publication Date: 9 August 2022 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover What Happened to You? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

What Happened to You?

Bruce d. perry and oprah winfrey.

(58 Weeks) Instead of asking What’s wrong with you? , we should be asking What happened to you ? Oprah Winfrey teams up with neuroscientist Bruce D. Perry to discuss how understanding the trauma we faced at a young age can impact our behaviors now. By understanding our past, we can shift our viewpoint and see a clear path to healing.

Publication Date: 27 April 2021 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Peter Attia

(58 Weeks) Who doesn’t want to live longer? Peter Atria has all the strategies that will help you live longer … and better. Using the latest science, Atria explains how to improve your physical, cognitive, and emotional health so that you can help prevent chronic disease and extend your lifespan.

Publication Date: 28 March 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

David Grann

( 54 Weeks ) In 1742, a patched-together vessel washed up on the shores of Brazil with thirty emaciated men. They told an astounding tale of surviving after the HMS Wager was shipwrecked chasing a Spanish treasure galleon. After cobbling together a raft, they floated for 100 days and traveled 3,000 miles. The sailors were lauded as heroes until six months later when three more castaways washed ashore accusing the first men of mutiny. With accusations of treachery and murder, a court-martial is convened to find the truth, with the guilty party likely to be hung.

Publication Date: 18 April 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

Matthew perry.

(34 Weeks) Known for his role as Chandler Bing on Friends , Matthew Perry gives a behind-the-scenes look at the hit sitcom. Yet, while his career was hitting a high, Perry struggled through some of his darkest days. In this candid memoir, Perry discusses his lifelong battle with addiction and the persistence, hope, and friends who helped him along the way.

Publication Date: 1 November 2022 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Book Cover Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson

(27 Weeks ) From the author of  Steve Jobs  and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. Oh, and took over Twitter.

Publication Date: 14 March 2023 Amazon | Goodreads I More Info

Book Cover The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

The Woman in Me

Britney spears.

( 20 Weeks ) In the 1990s, Britney Spears burst onto the scene and became a cultural pop icon and leading the way for the teen pop revival of the 90s and 00s. Yet fame brought personal struggles and a shocking conservatorship that trapped her for decades. In her new memoir, Britney Spears discusses her journey and the power of telling your own story. Though not the best-written memoir of the year, The Woman in Me shocks with details about Spears’s life and contemplates the private pain of a public figure.

Publication Date: 24 October 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America

Matthew desmond.

( 18 Weeks ) The United States of America is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, yet has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Sociologist Matthew Desmond explores the root of poverty in America. From concentrating wealth (and poverty) to subsidizing those already financially secure, Desmond gives a searing look into how America keeps the rich rich and the poor poor.

Publication Date: 21 March 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Book Cover Prequel by Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow

(17 Weeks ) Rachel Maddow traces the fight to preserve American democracy back to World War II, when a handful of committed public servants and brave private citizens thwarted far-right plotters trying to steer our nation toward an alliance with the Nazis.

Publication Date: 17 October 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney

Oath and Honor

( 17 Weeks ) The former congresswoman from Wyoming recounts how she helped lead the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol. In relating her experiences during the attack, and everything that came after, she tells the story of this perilous moment in our history, those she believes helped Trump spread the stolen election lie, those whose actions preserved our constitutional framework, and the risks she believes we still face.

Publication Date: 5 December 2023 Amazon | Goodreads  

book cover Blood Money by Peter Schweizer

Blood Money

Peter schweizer.

( 7 Weeks ) Investigative reporter Peter Schweizer presents a plan by the Chinese Communist Party to covertly manipulate America. Looking at Chinese military documents and American financial records, Schweizer claims the Chinese Communist Party has covert operations linked to the American drug trade, the social justice movement and the medical establishment.

Publication Date: 27 February 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

The Anxious Generation

Jonathan haidt.

( 6 Weeks ) The author goes into why moving from a play-based childhood to a screen-based childhood has changed the neurological development children, making them more anxious, along with other mental health problems.  He shows why this causes them to withdraw further into a digital world, and then proposes a solution that he says will reduce the incidence of mental illness in the rising generations.

Publication Date: 26 March 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Anne Lamott

( 4 Weeks ) Bestselling author Anne Lamott shares her thoughts on love and how necessary in our lives. In each chapter, Lamott shows the transformative power of love, from the aching love for a child who disappoints to love of a community in transition. Lamott shares her own personal experiences and states that love helps us think that tomorrow will be better than today.

Publication Date: 9 April 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

book cover The House of Hidden Meanings by RuPaul

The House of Hidden Meanings

( 4 Weeks ) Legendary icon RuPaul reveals a portrait of his life in brutal honesty. From growing up a poor queer Black kid in San Diego to becoming a drag queen and then building one of world’s largest television franchise, RuPaul shares a look at his life and reflects on performance, found-family, self-acceptance and identity.

Publication Date: 5 March 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

book cover Get It Together by Jesse Watters

Get It Together

Jesse watters.

( 4 Weeks ) Fox New host Jesse Watters interviews radical Liberal activists hoping to understand where their views come from. Watters believes that most activists don’t actually need to change the world but change themselves; a lack of introspection about their own experiences lead them to extreme views that the general American public then buys into.

Publication Date: 19 March 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

book cover Medgar and Myrlie by Joy-Ann Reid

Medgar & Myrlie

Joy-ann reid.

( 3 Weeks ) In this groundbreaking and thrilling account of two heroes of the civil rights movement, Joy-Ann Reid uses Medgar and Myrlie’s relationship as a lens through which to explore the on-the-ground work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today.

Publication Date: 6 February 2024 Amazon | Goodreads  

An Unfinished Love Story

Doris kearns goodwin.

( 2 Weeks ) Having worked closely with John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert Kennedy, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and her husband Dick had a front-row seat to the 1960s. Digging through a treasure trove of documents, diaries, and memorabilia from that decade, the Goodwins spent Dick’s last days reflecting on the achievements and failures of those great leaders. Weaving together American history and her personal life, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin gives an intimate look at a tumultuous decade.

Publication Date: 16 April 2024 Learn More: Goodreads | StoryGraph | More Info Buy Now: Amazon | Apple Books

Save for Later

The Complete List of New York Times Best Sellers Nonfiction

Heavyweights (10+ Weeks on the NYT Bestseller List)

book cover The In-Between by Hadley Vlahos

The In-Between

Hadley vlahos.

( 17 Weeks ) Hospice nurse Hadley Vlahos shows palliative care teaches as much about how to live your life as how to die. Vlahos recounts the most memorable patients she’s worked with: a woman who never questioned her faith until death, a man seeing visions of his late daughter, and a young patient regretting how much she cared about others’ opinions.

Publication Date: 10 January 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Killing the Witches by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

Killing the Witches

Bill o’reilly and martin dugard.

( 13 Weeks ) The 13th book in the Killing series takes on the Salem Witch Trials and the mass hysterical that gripped the town in the 1690s. When young girls began having violent fits, three young women were arrested, accused of being witches. Soon the mania swept the entire New England town, with hundreds accused and almost two dozen executed.

Publication Date: 26 September 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover The Kingdom, The Power, and The Glory by Tim Alberta

The Kingdom, The Power, and The Glory

Tim alberta.

( 11 Weeks ) Journalist Tim Alberta, a practicing Christian and son of an evangelical pastor, looks at the divisions in evangelical Christianity. For many conservative Christians, love of America has become a strong focus of their religion, leading to right wing Christian nationalism. Alberta examines the ways conservative Christians have pursued, used, and abused power in their quest and the growing disconnect with scripture.

Publication Date: 5 December 2023 Amazon | Goodreads

book cover Being Henry by Henry Winkler

Being Henry

Henry winkler.

( 11 Weeks ) Henry Winkler rose to stardom starring as the iconic “Fonz” in Happy Days . With poignant humor, Winkler’s memoir tells of his troubled childhood, his struggles with severe dyslexia, and his rise to fame. Yet what do your greatest days seem to be behind you? Winkler writes of the challenge to escape typecasting and his eventual star in other roles, all while staying one of the nicest men in Hollywood.

Publication Date: 31 October 2023 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Behind the Seams by Dolly Parton

Behind the Seams

Dolly parton.

( 11 Weeks ) Iconic singer-songwriter Dolly Parton shares the story of her lifelong love with fashion and how she developed her own distinctive style. With gorgeous photographs of her costume archive, Parton discusses her boldest dresses and hairstyles, telling never before heard stories that span her illustrious career.

Publication Date: 17 October 2023 Amazon | Goodreads

book cover Democracy Awakening by Heather Cox Richardson

Democracy Awakening

Heather cox richardson.

( 10 Weeks ) During the impeachment crisis of 2019, historian Heather Cox Richardson started a daily newsletter explaining the historical context of current events. Richardson argues that a small group of wealthy citizens have fought to distort history to lead American into authoritarianism. Explaining several decades of American politics, Richardson suggests a way forward to America’s future.

Publication Date: 26 September 2023 Amazon | Goodreads

book cover My Name is Barbra by Barbra Striesand

My Name is Barbra

Barbra streisand.

( 10 Weeks ) Iconic entertainer Barbra Streisand has dominated the entertainment business throughout her career, winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards for her various performances. In a frank and funny memoir, Streisand takes readers through her life – growing up in Brooklyn, her breakout performance in Funny Girl, her career success, her advocacy, and all her opinions along the way.

Publication Date: 7 November 2023 Amazon | Goodreads

Fan Favorites (5+ Weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List)

book cover My Effin' Life by Geddy Lee

My Effin’ Life by Geddy Lee

Amazon | Goodreads (9 Weeks) The musician known for his work with the band Rush chronicles his life as the child of Holocaust survivors and his time in the limelight.  

book cover Ghosts of Honolulu by Mark Harmon and Leon Carroll Jr.

Ghosts of Honolulu by Mark Harmon and Leon Carroll Jr.

Amazon | Goodreads (8 Weeks) The story of a Japanese American naval intelligence agent, a Japanese spy and events in Hawaii before the start of World War II.  

book cover Teddy and Booker T. by Brian Kilmeade

Teddy and Booker T. by Brian Kilmeade

Amazon | Goodreads (6 Weeks) The Fox News host gives an account of the relationship between President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.  

book cover Burn Book by Kara Swisher

Burn Book by Kara Swisher

Amazon | Goodreads (6 Weeks) The tech journalist and podcast host gives an overview of the tech industry and the foibles of its founders.

book cover King by Jonathan Eig

King by Jonathan Eig

Amazon | Goodreads (5 Weeks) A biography of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., which includes new archival material and reflections from some who worked, lived and fought with him.  

Nuclear War by Annie Jacobsen

Amazon | Goodreads (5 Weeks) The author of “Operation Paperclip” portrays possible outcomes in the minutes following a nuclear missile launch.  

New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers

Honorable Mention (2-4 Weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List)

book cover Read Write Own by Chris Dixon

One Hit Wonders (1 Week on the New York Times Best Seller List)

book cover Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent by Judi Dench

Do You Agree with The New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers?

What books do you think are the best of the year? Do you think The New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers deserve the hype? As always, let me know in the comments!

More New Book Releases:

  • The New York Times Fiction Bestseller List
  • The Most-Anticipated Upcoming Releases of 2024
  • The 2023 New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers
  • The Current Celebrity Book Club Picks
  • The Top 50 Books of the Last Decade


woman in bookstore

The week’s bestselling books, May 12

Southern California Bestsellers

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Hardcover fiction

1. Table for Two by Amor Towles (Viking: $32) A collection of stories from the author of “The Lincoln Highway.”

2. The Women by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press: $30) An intimate portrait of coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided.

3. Funny Story by Emily Henry (Berkley: $29) A pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common connect.

4. James by Percival Everett (Doubleday: $28) An action-packed reimagining of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

5. The Paris Novel by Ruth Reichl (Random House: $29) An adventure through the food, art and fashion scenes of 1980s Paris.

6. The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron Books: $30) A magic-infused novel set in the Spanish Golden Age.

7. North Woods by Daniel Mason (Random House: $28) A sweeping historical tale focused on a single house in the New England woods.

8. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (Ecco: $30) A giant Pacific octopus bonds with a widow at a Washington state aquarium.

9. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride (Riverhead: $28) The discovery of a skeleton in Pottstown, Pa., opens out to a story of integration and community.

10. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Knopf: $28) Lifelong BFFs collaborate on a wildly successful video game.

Hardcover nonfiction

1. The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson (Crown: $35) An exploration of the pivotal five months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the start of the Civil War.

2. Somehow by Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books: $22) A joyful celebration of love from the bestselling author.

3. Knife by Salman Rushdie (Random House: $28) The renowned writer’s searing account of the 2022 attempt on his life.

4. An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster: $35) The historian recounts the experiences she and her husband embarked upon in the last years of his life.

5. The Creative Act by Rick Rubin (Penguin: $32) The music producer’s guidance on how to be a creative person.

6. Atomic Habits by James Clear (Avery: $27) An expert guide to building good habits and breaking bad ones via tiny changes.

7. The Wager by David Grann (Doubleday: $30) The story of the shipwreck of an 18th century British warship and a mutiny among the survivors.

8. The Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides (Doubleday: $35) An epic account of Capt. James Cook’s final voyage.

9. Open Wide by Benny Blanco, Jess Damuck (Dey Street Books: $35) The music producer and actor on cooking, eating and celebrating life.

10. Shakespeare by Judi Dench, Brendan O’Hea (St. Martin’s Press: $32) The legendary actor’s journey through the plays of William Shakespeare.

Paperback fiction

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury: $19)

2. Dune by Frank Herbert (Ace: $18)

3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Penguin: $18)

4. Happy Place by Emily Henry (Berkley: $19)

5. Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson (Penguin: $18)

6. Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez (Forever: $18)

7. Bunny by Mona Awad (Penguin: $17)

8. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Atria: $17)

9. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Vintage: $18)

10. Beach Read by Emily Henry (Berkley: $16)

Paperback nonfiction

1. The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan (Knopf: $35)

2. The Eater Guide to Los Angeles (Abrams Image: $20)

3. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions: $20)

4. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Vintage: $17)

5. Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond (Crown: $20)

6. Soul Boom by Rainn Wilson (Hachette Go: $20)

7. Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino (Harper Perennial: $21)

8. Dinners With Ruth by Nina Totenberg (Simon & Schuster: $19)

9. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (TarcherPerigee: $19)

10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Vintage: $17)

More to Read

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10 books to add to your reading list in May

May 1, 2024

Souther California Bestsellers

The week’s bestselling books, May 5

The week’s bestselling books, april 28.

April 24, 2024

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The Los Angeles Times bestsellers list comes courtesy of the California Independent Booksellers Alliance (CALIBA). Established in 1981, CALIBA is a mutual benefit 501c(6) nonprofit corporation dedicated to supporting, nurturing and promoting independent retail bookselling in California.

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One Man’s Quest for ‘Photographic Justice’

A new book from the legendary lensman Corky Lee captures both struggle and celebration across several decades of Asian American life.

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A group of mostly older Asian women wearing paper hats hold various signs during a union protest.

By Wilson Wong

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Rallies in opposition to the Vietnam War. Protests demanding justice for Vincent Chin , a Chinese American man who was beaten to death by two white autoworkers in 1982. Demonstrations against anti-Asian hate crimes early in the pandemic. No history book about Asian American activism over the last five decades is complete without the mention of the storied photographer Corky Lee, whose images of these displays of resistance are collected in CORKY LEE’S ASIAN AMERICA: Fifty Years of Photographic Justice (Clarkson Potter, $50).

Even toward the end of his life, Lee, who died of Covid-19 in 2021 , was a tireless chronicler of the Asian American community, a category as vibrant and diverse and complicated as his oeuvre. But beyond capturing public acts of defiance, he was also a man with an intimate understanding of the invisible, turning his lens on behind-the-scenes fragments and people that the annals of history have largely ignored. “Every time I take my camera out of my bag,” he once said, “it is like drawing a sword to combat indifference, injustice and discrimination and trying to get rid of stereotypes.”

His ostensibly mundane portraits — a Chinese American mother hunching over a sewing machine as her child stands among mountains and valleys of clothes; a Korean American store owner, head-to-toe in ’90s prep wear, casually leaning against shelves of pantry staples; a lanky butcher fastidiously breaking down a pork carcass — are beautiful. They are also testimonies to the work of those who provided the clothes and comfort that helped make Asian American disobedience possible. And it is in these moments that we can glean perhaps the most generous act of care that Lee has left us with: to look dutifully and relentlessly at the people we love, as they view themselves.

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

The complicated, generous life  of Paul Auster, who died on April 30 , yielded a body of work of staggering scope and variety .

“Real Americans,” a new novel by Rachel Khong , follows three generations of Chinese Americans as they all fight for self-determination in their own way .

“The Chocolate War,” published 50 years ago, became one of the most challenged books in the United States. Its author, Robert Cormier, spent years fighting attempts to ban it .

Joan Didion’s distinctive prose and sharp eye were tuned to an outsider’s frequency, telling us about ourselves in essays that are almost reflexively skeptical. Here are her essential works .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .


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