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The 10 Best Nonfiction Books Of 2024 So Far

The 10 Best Nonfiction Books Of 2024 So Far

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2024 has proven to be a banner year for nonfiction, offering a diverse range of titles that illuminate the past, unpack the present, and peer into the future. Whether you’re seeking solutions to pressing global issues, yearning for a deeper understanding of American identity, or simply craving a captivating historical narrative, there’s a book on this list waiting to be discovered. On that note, these are the top 10 best nonfiction books of 2024 so far.

Here are our picks for the top 10 nonfiction books of 2024 so far…

#1. Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet by Hannah Ritchie

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In a world increasingly dominated by headlines about climate change, this book offers a refreshing dose of optimism. Data scientist Hannah Ritchie dives deep into the issue, but instead of dwelling on the problems, she meticulously explores successful solutions already being implemented around the globe. From renewable energy initiatives to sustainable food production methods, “Not the End of the World” serves as a roadmap for a greener future, empowering readers to become active participants in building a green planet.

#2. Making It in America: The Almost Impossible Quest to Manufacture in the U.S.A. (And How It Got That Way) by Rachel Slade

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For decades, the American dream has been intertwined with the idea of domestic manufacturing. But what happens when that dream seems to be fading? This investigative work by Rachel Slade tackles the complex issue of the decline of American manufacturing. The book delves into the historical, economic, and political factors that led to the outsourcing of jobs and the hollowing out of American factories. But it doesn’t stop there. It also explores the ongoing efforts to revitalize domestic manufacturing, offering a glimpse of hope for a future where the “Made in America” label once again holds weight.

#3. Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka

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We live in a world increasingly curated by algorithms. From the social media feeds we scroll through to the recommendations that pop up in our online shopping carts, algorithms are constantly shaping our digital experiences. In “Filterworld,” cultural critic Kyle Chayka argues that this algorithmic dominance has had a negative impact on creativity and culture. He meticulously dissects how algorithms tend to favor the safe and familiar, creating echo chambers and stifling exposure to diverse viewpoints. But Chayka doesn’t just diagnose the problem; he also proposes solutions, advocating for a more conscious consumption of culture and a return to the value of human curation.

#4. The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War by Erik Larson

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Renowned author Erik Larson brings his signature talent for narrative storytelling to a pivotal moment in American history: the tumultuous period leading up to the Civil War. “The Demon of Unrest” weaves together the stories of a diverse cast of characters, from abolitionist firebrands to fervent Southerners, capturing the political tensions, social divisions, and individual tragedies that ultimately tore the nation apart. Larson’s masterful use of primary sources and his evocative prose bring this dark chapter in American history to life with a fresh perspective.

#5. Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race and Identity by Michele Norris

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Race remains one of the most complex and sensitive topics in American life. Award-winning journalist Michele Norris uses her platform in “Our Hidden Conversations” to bridge the divide and foster a national dialogue about race and identity. Through candid interviews with people from all walks of life—from everyday citizens to community leaders—Norris explores the spectrum of perspectives on race in America. The book doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations but instead creates a space for empathy, understanding, and the possibility of moving forward as a nation.

#6. There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension by Hanif Abdurraqib

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Basketball is more than just a sport; it’s a cultural phenomenon deeply embedded in American life. In “There’s Always This Year,” poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib delves beyond the stats and the court to explore the game’s profound impact on society. He weaves together personal anecdotes, historical context, and insightful social commentary, examining how basketball reflects and shapes American identity, race relations, and even our sense of masculinity. “There’s Always This Year” is a love letter to basketball, but it’s also a thought-provoking exploration of what the sport tells us about ourselves.

#7. You Get What You Pay For: Essays by Morgan Parker

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In a world that often prioritizes politeness over truth, Morgan Parker’s essay collection “You Get What You Pay For” is a breath of fresh air. Her sharp wit and unflinching honesty tackle a range of social issues, from race and class to gender and pop culture. Parker doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable truths, but she delivers her critiques with humor and insight, offering a unique perspective on the complexities of contemporary life.

#8. Like Love: Essays and Conversations by Maggie Nelson

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Maggie Nelson, the acclaimed author of “The Argonauts,” returns with a collection of essays that delve into the complexities of human connection. “Like Love” explores love in its many forms, from romantic relationships to familial bonds and friendships. Through personal essays and in-depth conversations with other writers and thinkers, Nelson examines the ways love shapes our lives, our art, and our understanding of the world. This is a thought-provoking read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the messy, beautiful power of love.

#9. A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks by David Gibbins

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History buffs, prepare to set sail on a unique voyage through time. In “A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks,” David Gibbins uses shipwrecks as a lens to explore different eras of human history. From the mysterious disappearance of the Egyptian ship “Black Pharaoh” to the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic, each shipwreck serves as a window into a specific historical period. Gibbins’ engaging narrative sheds light on technological advancements, cultural encounters, and the ever-present power of the sea in shaping human history.

#10. Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher

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Silicon Valley has been a hotbed of innovation and disruption for decades. But behind the glossy veneer of tech giants lies a world of ruthless competition, power struggles, and occasional ethical lapses. Tech journalist Kara Swisher takes a no-holds-barred look at this world in “Burn Book.” Through her signature sharp wit and investigative prowess, she exposes the rise and fall of tech titans, the outsized personalities that drive the industry, and the unforeseen consequences of technological advancements. “Burn Book” is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of the tech world and its impact on our lives.

Featured image: PeopleImages/iStock


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