The 10 Best Nonfiction Books for this Holiday Season

25 Nov 2022


“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” — Garrison Keillor

The holiday season is right around the corner. That magical time filled with joy and excitement lights up the air.

It’s also the time to find thoughtful gifts for the most special people in our lives. What could be a better gift than a book? But it’s not just any book. We’re talking about the best ten best nonfiction books for this holiday season.

So, stay tuned because we’re going to dive into a wonderful reading selection!

10 Best Nonfiction Books for this Holiday Season

1. The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Time by Michelle Obama (Crown Publishing)

Why not lead things off with a leadership book?

This nonfiction title tops our list due to Michelle’s insightful life lesson.

This volume is the follow-up to Michelle’s first book “Becoming.”

“The Light We Carry” is filled with practical principles Michelle has learned throughout her life, particularly her time as First Lady.

The most valuable lesson focuses on building better Interpersonal relationships.

This book is a surefire hit with people from all ages and walks of life.

2. Out of the Corner: A Memoir by Jennifer Grey (Ballantine Books)

Next on the list is a wonderful memoir.

Hollywood actress Jennifer Grey gets down to business in this volume discussing the demanding life of Hollywood celebrities.

Her refreshing take on celebrity takes readers through her youth and middle age.

Jennifer is candid about a number of topics, including reproductive rights, sex, and plastic surgery.

Her frank and honest tone allow readers to peer into her mind. It’s a must-read for those interested in a first-person perspective on life in the lights.

3. American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis by Adam Hochschild (Mariner Books)

“American Midnight” is a treat for history buffs.

This volume takes a deep dive into a forgotten corner of history: the dissidence at home during World War I.

This book exposes a side rarely seen in American democracy. The uprisings against America’s participation in World War I led to speech and civil rights suppression.

Hochschild sheds light on issues as relevant today as they were one hundred years ago.

4. Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono (Knopf)

Bono is a name synonymous with legendary music. But it’s also a name that rhymes with great prose.

In this title, Bono delivers an intriguing memoir organized as an essay collection.

Each essay represents a song that tells a story about his life and career.

Fans of U2 and Bono will find an interesting and down-to-earth account of Bono’s exploits as a humanitarian in Africa and a world-class musician.

5. The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man by Paul Newman (Knopf)

In keeping with memoirs, Hollywood legend Paul Newman drops an extraordinary account of his life and career.

This book renders a man who struggled with his demons but managed to overcome them gracefully.

We hear Paul’s story as told through archival material (interviews, notes, and recordings) that allow readers to see Paul as he saw himself.

It’s a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the dual existence of Hollywood celebrities.

6. Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe by David Maraniss (Simon & Schuster)

The next item on this list is a gripping biography. Veteran best-seller David Maraniss takes a deep dive into the life of an extraordinary athlete: Jim Thorpe.

This story is one that sports fans of all kinds will find fascinating and revealing. Thorpe’s life is one of sacrifice and triumph.

Sadly, Thorpe’s accomplishments were marred by the country’s treatment of Native Americans, whom Thorpe proudly represented.

This title will surely entice sports fans to learn everything about the man considered the nation’s best athlete.

7. High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir by Edgar Gomez (Counterpoint Books)

What could be better than an honest account of a difficult but inspiring time in a person’s life?

In this title, Gomez brings a fresh and unfettered rendition of his coming out as a millennial queer.

His story is one of contrast. Gomez juxtaposes his Nicaraguan heritage of cockfights and machismo with the progressive and accepting culture of Florida.

Gomez brings a funny and sincere account of his coming-out experience.

This book is a wonderful choice for anyone seeking their own voice and identity.

8. A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community by Natalia Molina (UC Press)

“A Place at the Nayarit” is a heartwarming family history book.

It chronicles the story of a small Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles founded by Molina’s grandparents.

The story revolves around the Echo Park Mexican restaurant’s role in the local community. It was a meeting place for working-class folks, immigrants, artists, and pioneers.

This title delivers big on cultural context with rich details and vivid depictions worthy of a world-class historian. It’s a great read for anyone interested in culture and heritage.

9. South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry (Ecco Press)

“South to America” is a fascinating journey through Perry’s native land.

As a Princeton historian, the author takes readers through Alabama, which her ancestors called home.

This book brings an expansive view of the South as she shatters unfair stereotypes.

The story is based on archives, family history, and local accounts to deliver an unequivocal representation of the nation’s heart and soul.

It’s a must for history buffs.

10. Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora (Hogarth)

“Solito” is the type of book that will follow you for the rest of your life.

It chronicles the author’s journey as an unaccompanied minor from El Salvador to the United States.

The story centers on a nine-year-old boy’s harrowing tale leading him to Arizona.

This haunting account sheds light on the power and value that immigrants bring to this nation. Best of all, the author tells his story in his own voice.

This title is a story guaranteed to change your perspective on the nation’s immigration issues.

One Final Thought

Finding the perfect book for this holiday season may be a tall order. So, why not consider several titles? After all, ‘tis the season to curl up with a good book. This list gives you a perfect place to start!

Zach Richter 

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