Aside from Educated, a non-fiction sensation by Tara Westover and the buzz (pun intended) worthy How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, we have been on the hunt for fantastic Non-Fiction. Since we spend most of the year reading copious novels we turned to our friends and readers of The What to recommend their favorite true stories. Here’s what we all came up with:
Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power by Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC. Now, this is a book we personally read and loved. Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Neuroscientist and certified integrative nutritionist is a friend and was also a featured expert at our The What Summit in October. Brain Food illuminates and examines the link between what we eat, how our brains function, and the fact that we are what we eat and most of us are eating the wrong things.
The Invitation: Daily Love For Your Intimate Self by Christine Marie Mason is a beautifully written and illustrated book, which will spark a deeper awakening to all the ways you might be in wonder at the miracle of your own body, and cherish yourself more.
Our brilliant friend, Dr. Jennifer Lang, has written a much-needed, book called Consent: The New Rules of Sex Education: Every Teen’s Guide to Healthy Sexual Relationships. Consent is a clearly written compassionate guide I wish I had when I was a young person struggling to find my way, my voice, and my agency in sex and sexuality. And while Jennifer is an accomplished Gynecological Oncology specialist her literary ‘bedside manner’ is never too clinical or antiseptic. Her advice is relatable, loving, and wise just like her.
Roadmap for Revolutionaries: Resistance Activism and Advocacy for All is written by another friend Elisa Camahort Page and her co-authors Carolyn Gerin and Jamia Wilson. If you’ve been trying to think of ways to become more politically active in your community (or in the world) this is a great step-by-step, clear-eyed guide on how to get started.
The Soul of America by Jon Meacham. “Appalled by the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump, and shaken by the deadly white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville in 2017, Meacham returns to other moments in our history when fear and division seemed rampant. He wants to remind us that the current political turmoil is not unprecedented, that as a nation we have survived times worse than this. . . . Meacham tries to summon the better angels by looking back at when America truly has been great. He is effective as ever at writing history for a broad readership. . . . [Meacham] is an adroit and appealing storyteller.”—The New York Times Book Review
Fantasyland by Kurt Andersen. “A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline that would have the founding fathers weeping into their beards.”—The Guardian
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. “A great and at times almost unbelievable story of scandalous fraud, surveillance, and legal intimidation at the highest levels of American corporate power. . . . The story of Theranos may be the biggest case of corporate fraud since Enron. But it’s also the story of how a lot of powerful men were fooled by a remarkably brazen liar.”—Yashar Ali, New York Magazine
Essentialism by Greg McKeown. “Entrepreneurs succeed when they say “yes” to the right project, at the right time, in the right way. To accomplish this, they have to be good at saying “no” to all their other ideas. Essentialism offers concise and eloquent advice on how to determine what you care about most, and how to apply your energies in ways that ultimately bring you the greatest rewards.” — Reid Hoffman, co-founder/chairman of LinkedIn and co-author of the #1 NYT bestseller “The Start-up of You”
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. “A lovely book . . . Susan Orlean has once again found rich material where no one else has bothered to look for it. . . . Once again, she’s demonstrated that the feelings of a writer, if that writer is sufficiently talented and her feelings sufficiently strong, can supply her own drama. You really never know how seriously interesting a subject might be until such a person takes a serious interest in it.” —Michael Lewis, New York Times Book Review
The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine. “An assured debut that doesn’t shy away from the task of holding the ordinary and otherworldly in its hand, at once. It’s herein that the book’s power lies . . . Throughout this narrative is the story of [Fontaine’s] relationship with her mother, a story that is sometimes its own hard-to-watch sideshow act. Fontaine is unafraid to write the ugliness ― the imperfect care and love ― that takes place between people, and the memoir is most ‘electric’ when it doesn’t shy from that imperfection . . .” ―Rachel Khong, The New York Times Book Review
Everyday Monet by Aileen Bordman. “Aileen has captured the essence of Giverny in the beautiful text and photography of Everyday Monet.” (Meryl Streep)