As a lifelong lover of nonfiction, it always breaks my heart a bit when people say they don’t read it. I’ve heard that it’s boring or like reading a textbook. Some readers assume nonfiction books are full of dates and names they’ll be forced to remember. The world is filled with excellent and engaging nonfiction, though, and I love adding it to the shelves of the school libraries where I work.
There’s a lot of great teen nonfiction out there, but there’s also a lot of adult nonfiction that I’d love to see my patrons read. Today I’m sharing ten adult nonfiction books and the patrons with whom I’d share them.
All summaries are from NoveList.
For the teen who’s interested in politics:
Becoming by Michelle Obama
An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.
For the teen who’s heading off to college:
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula — the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them.
For the teen who reads gripping thrillers:
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
In a book that includes deeply human and unforgettable portraits of the families and first responders affected, the author takes readers into the epicenter of America’s more than 20-year struggle with opioid addiction.
For the teen who loves to laugh:
Born a Crime: Stories of a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mother’s unwavering love and indomitable will.
For the teen who can’t get enough of inspirational stories:
Educated by Tara Westover
Traces the author’s experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, describing her participation in her family’s paranoid stockpiling activities and her resolve to educate herself well enough to earn an acceptance into a prestigious university and the unfamiliar world beyond.
For the teen who struggles with depression and anxiety:
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
An internationally best-selling author shares his struggle with depression and, helping those who are confused or daunted by the illness, reveals how he was able to triumph over the disease in order to live again.
For the teen who wants to do better:
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Identifies the neurological processes behind behaviors, explains how self-control and success are largely driven by habits, and shares scientifically-based guidelines for achieving personal goals and overall well-being by adjusting specific habits.
For the teen who’s passionate about diversity:
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race edited by Jesmyn Ward
The National Book Award-winning author of Salvage the Bones presents a continuation of James Baldwin’s 1963 The Fire Next Time that examines race issues from the past half-century through essays, poems and memoir pieces by some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers.
For the teen who loves food:
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
A first book by the acclaimed chef from New York’s Chez Panisse distills decades of professional experience into four simple elements that if properly applied can lead to better results in the kitchen, in a reference complemented by 100 essential remedies and dozens of variations.
For the teen who thinks nonfiction is boring and unrelatable:
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
A senior writer at BuzzFeed Canada presents a debut collection of whimsical essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants, exploring themes of sexism, cultural stereotypes and the universal sufferings of life.
What titles would you add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know!