We love to see what books our readers enjoy, especially when it comes to non-fiction. BookBub readers have been recommending incredible books lately, ranging from powerful texts on racial justice to gripping memoirs and incredible stories about the natural world. Here are some of readers’ top nonfiction recommendations, along with why each reader loved the book. Check out this list of harrowing, dramatic and pragmatic stories to choose your next read!
1) Schizophrenia together by Esme Weijun Wang
Written by Esme Weijun Wang, a Taiwanese-American author, best known for The border of paradise. This novel recounts his experience with Cotard’s syndrome, often diagnosed with schizophrenia or severe depression.
Inked with sophisticated prose – no doubt a testament to Wang’s skill – the novel carefully examines the chaos lurking in the mind. Slightly toned down intensity and cleverly concealed information allows the reader not to be intimidated, but rather nurtures a sense of incompleteness that allows the novel to be more obsessive to read. Hence, the collection of wonderfully written essays allows the reader to enter a manic state of an under-examined condition.
2) Long live the tribe of fatherless girls by T Kira Madden
Written by T Kira Madden, a queer American author and founding editor of “No Tokens Journal”. These memoirs chronicle Madden’s childhood in a Jewish community as a biracial, queer girl with parents who struggled with drug addiction and a fashion giant, Steve Madden as her uncle.
The coming-of-age novel is set amid privilege, authoritarian norms, and white-collar crime. It follows the trajectory of three “fatherless” daughters through flawed friendships, lust and loss. The novel is bold, raw, and depicts the author’s sorrows with almost painful accuracy. With unresolved trauma, we journey through the trial and triumph of life that showcases beauty even in misery.
3) How we fight for our lives by Saeed Jones
Written by Saeed Jones, an African-American gay man and award-winning poet. This text captures the complexities of love, homosexuality and race in a world of prejudice against single mothers and disadvantaged children. It records his inner growth and his relationship with his family as he grows into a young man.
Filled with graphic scenes and emotionally harrowing descriptions, this book has an overwhelming effect on the reader. Mixed with prose and poetry, Saeed transforms language into a ferocious edged weapon. By the end, the reader has an authentic understanding of his personality and is unable to follow the rest of his life.
4) know my name by Chanel Miller
Written by Channel Miller, an American author and artist. A sexual assault survivor, Miller shares what is undeniably one of the most tragic moments of her life in just 7,000 resounding words. In these memoirs, she denounces the injustice done to her not only by her rapist, Brock Turner, but also by the forces of order who did not do her justice. Powerful and dark, this true story is told with grace and dignity.
Painful and then triumphant, Miller shifts the story from victim to hero. His unequaled courage is transformed over the pages and becomes a source of inspiration for countless. A must read, heartbreaking memoir for every man, woman and human being.
5) ordinary girls by Jaquira Diaz
Written by Jaquira Diaz, journalist and cultural critic. Her award-winning novel explores themes of girlhood innocence, the challenges she faced and how she overcame obstacles. In these burning memoirs, Diaz writes with ferocity and eloquence to express himself.
From colonialism in Puerto Rico to a childhood spent struggling with poverty and unstable parents, Diaz writes it all. A schizophrenic mother and a drug-dealing father were just some of the normal daily experiences. Unafraid to divulge deeply, she talks about violence, depression and sexual assault with an unflinching tone. Its powerful and vibrant language completely immerses the reader.
6) good conversation by Mira Jacob
Written by Mira Jacob, an Indian-American writer known for The sleepwalker’s guide to the dance. His graphic memoirs are hilarious, due to the warm and funny dialogue. Playfully curious, his meditation on interracial families and racism in America gives a unique perspective while the mixed-media artwork lends an uncommon twist.
Mira fearlessly walks into the gray and murky areas of race and family, bigotry and colorism with raw honesty and muted intensity to give her son – the most important character – the understanding he needs on the world.
seven) In the dream house by Carmen Maria Machado
Written by Carmen Maria Machado, American short story writer and critic frequently published in ‘The New Yorker’. In these intimate and formally experimental memoirs, Machado recalls the complexities of violence in same-sex relationships. With exacting and exquisite prose, Machado is nothing but a fantastic psychological writer with acute sensitivity, and finds highly evocative words and images to convey her own past.
The scarcity of these stories and the compelling and satisfying exploration of how we, as individuals or groups, can claim our difference provides a unique perspective. Loaded with references to myth, folk tales and literary genres, the book is a compelling page-turner.
8) raw magic by Lara Prior Palmer
Written by Lara Prior-Palmer, British writer and athlete. This emotional siren inspires newly minted teenagers to make rash decisions, most often taking the form of loud parties and steamy romances. On a whim, Palmer took part in the longest and most demanding horse race in the world which took place over 14,000 km of Mongolian terrain, literally following in the footsteps of Genghis Khan’s postal couriers.
With the odds stacked against Palmer, one has to wonder why someone as unprepared as our young author would take on this challenge. It’s a conundrum she subtly tries to solve for herself throughout the book with tones ranging from contemplative to outright exhaustion. But although her choice to join the race was impulsive, her determination remains unwavering as she sails from station to station.