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Best of 2017: Non-Fiction Picks

Sean's picture

Looking for some great reading recommendations? In the fourth installment of our Best of 2017 series, Larissa and Sean share their picks for the best adult non-fiction books released this past year.

Larissa's Picks:

Cover art for A Fine Mess by T.R. Reid



A Fine Mess by T.R.Reid.  

Very easy read. In spite of the topic, which is our tax code, the book is very interesting and objective. According to the author, doing our taxes could be a whole lot simpler and purposeful.




Cover art for An American Family by Khizr Khan



An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Khan.

It is the story of a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan. His son died in the line of duty in Iraq. Khizr spoke a very eloquent speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. His  patriotism is rooted in his profound admiration and appreciation for the constitution of the United States.  This book made me think how we tend to take our freedoms and the law  for granted.




Sean's Picks:

Non-fiction covers a wide range of topics and subject areas, and a lot of excellent books came out this past year in many of these areas. When I made my picks, I chose not to focus on any one topic or subject area, but rather I looked across the board at all of them. 


Cover art for Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann


Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

This chilling true crime book examines the murders of the members of the Osage Indian nation in the 1920s. After discovering oil beneath their land, the Osage tribe became incredibly wealthy. Then the members began to be killed off one-by-one under mysterious circumstances. The case eventually landed at the FBI, giving the bureau one of its first major homicide investigations. Grann’s thorough research has resulted in a masterpiece about one of the darkest conspiracies in American history.




Cover art for Hunger by Roxane Gay


Hunger by Roxane Gay

In this courageous, brutally honest memoir, Roxane Gay discusses weight, body image, and relationships with food using her own experiences and struggles. After being sexually assaulted at 12 years old, Gay decided to gain weight in order to be unseen and therefore “safe.” With today’s society full of fat-phobia and body shaming, Gay describes what it’s like living in this kind of world and the struggles she’s endured. She shares that she is continuing to heal and offers hope for others who are struggling with weight, body shaming, or sexual trauma.




Cover art for What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton



What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

In her most emotionally raw memoir, Clinton describes what it was like running against Donald Trump in the 2016 election. She also shares how she coped with the shocking loss and what it took to get through it and get back on her feet. This was a historical election, and being the first woman nominated for president was an intense, personal experience for Hillary. She also delves into the controversies that surrounded the election.




Cover art for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie



You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

Alexie, author of the well-known young adult book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, discusses the complicated relationship between him and his mother in this deeply moving memoir. He shares many memories of his childhood at the Spokane Indian Reservation. Through poems and essays, Alexie writes about the different aspects of his mother’s life and the effect that her drinking addiction had on their family.




Cover art for The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston


The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

In this fun, harrowing tale, Preston shares the true story of him joining a team of scientists to try and find the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God in the Honduran interior. This city has been rumored to exist since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortéz, but it has never been found. Using LIDAR, an advanced laser-imaging technology, Preston’s group discovered evidence of archaeological ruins in an area that has long been rumored to contain the White City. Preston recalls their journey battling the dangers of the jungle to confirm the discovery, and their shock of learning they had contracted a horrifying disease after their return.