Books

10 New Nonfiction Book Releases For May 2024

Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.

Here in the American South, May often feels like a never-ending battle with your allergies as you dodge tumble-pollens while moving down the sidewalk. But the days are beautiful as more and more people venture outside. At the park, I spot other book nerds sitting around fountains or on wooden benches pouring over page after page. The days are warm and the sun is shining, making for the perfect atmosphere for reading outside. On rainy days, I huddle indoors and open up a hefty tome, which probably weighs more than one of my Corgis, and I become fully engrossed until late into the night.

Of course, true stories are my jam and the love of my book-obsessed life. There’s nothing like opening up a new-to-me cookbook and selecting what recipes I’m going to make next. Or maybe, I’ll dive into a biography of a favorite Southern Gothic writer. Or perhaps I’ll fall headlong into microhistory about the origins of hot dogs and their impact on society. The possibilities are endless.

In celebration of true stories, I’ve collected ten of some of the most exciting nonfiction titles hitting shelves in May. You might be new to nonfiction or a true stories pro, but whatever the case, there’s sure to be something on this list that catches your eye.

All publication dates are subject to change.

a graphic of the cover of Coming Home by Brittney Griner with Michelle Burford

Coming Home by Brittney Griner with Michelle Burford (May 7)

On February 17, 2022, Brittney Griner was detained in Russia for mistakenly carrying hash oil that had been medically prescribed. For the first time, Griner shares what it was like experiencing the Russian legal system and eventually being sent to a Russian penal colony. Days after her arrest, Russia invaded Ukraine, making Griner’s legal battle even more complicated. Griner describes how thoughts of her family, especially her wife Cherelle, helped keep her holding on to hope that one day she would be free.

a graphic of the cover of First Love: Essays on Friendship by Lilly Dancyger

First Love: Essays on Friendship by Lilly Dancyger (May 7)

When Lilly Dancyger’s cousin is murdered, Dancyger finds herself holding on to her female friendships with a new urgency. First Love delves into ideas around the importance of female friendship, its complexities, and the importance that it holds in women’s lives.

a graphic of the cover of The Way You Make Me Feel: Love in Black and Brown by Nina Sharma

The Way You Make Me Feel: Love in Black and Brown by Nina Sharma (May 7)

In this new essay collection, writer Nina Sharma examines her interracial Black and Asian relationship. Sharma first meets her husband Quincy when she catches a ride with him to a friend’s barbecue for the 4th of July. From there, they spark a relationship that will change her perspective on the world forever. The Way You Make Me Feel dives into race, class, colorism, and so much more.

a graphic of the cover of The Light Eaters

The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth by Zoë Schlanger (May 7)

The Light Eaters is a love letter to the world of plants. In this well-researched look into the way plants have learned to survive, we meet plants with flowers that change the shape of their blooms to better accommodate pollinators and vines that learn to blend in with the bushes they grow around. With her examination of these incredible specimens of the natural world, Zoë Schlanger illustrates what humanity can learn from the never-ending wisdom of plants.

a graphic of the cover of Another Word for Love: A Memoir by Carvell Wallace

Another Word for Love: A Memoir by Carvell Wallace (May 14)

Award-winning journalist Carvell Wallace has spent his career looking outward, profiling others, and reporting on events happening in the world around him. But now, Wallace turns his writing to himself. In Another Word for Love, Wallace describes what it’s like to grow up Black and queer in America. With his portrait of his own life, Wallace finds beauty in the simple things and shows gratitude for the people who made him who he is today.

a graphic of the cover of Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space by Adam Higginbotham

Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space by Adam Higginbotham (May 14)

The author of Midnight in Chernobyl, Adam Higginbotham, returns to write about another disaster, but this time, it’s in America. Higginbotham delves into the history of the shuttle program that led to the disaster on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger fell apart and killed all on board. His in-depth look gives readers a new perspective on one of the worst disasters in the history of space exploration.

a graphic of the cover of Magical/Realism: Essays on Music, Memory, Fantasy, and Borders by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Magical/Realism: Essays on Music, Memory, Fantasy, and Borders by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal (May 14)

When Vanessa Angélica Villarreal becomes a mother, she decides to return to Mexico to learn more about her grandmother and her family. But when Villarreal returns, she finds that her entire life—her marriage, her family, her reality—has fallen apart. With Magical/Realism, Villarreal puts her life back together using everything from pop culture references to video games.

a graphic of the cover of The Story Game by Shze-Hui Tjoa

The Story Game by Shze-Hui Tjoa (May 21)

The Story Game is an imaginative personal narrative that starts with Hui telling stories to a little girl. Hui goes into detail about her marriage, her life as the child of immigrants, and her mental health. However, Hui struggles to remember certain events from her life. What is it that she can’t remember, and why is Hui telling this girl her story in the first place?

a graphic of the cover of Heart of American Darkness: Bewilderment and Horror on the Early Frontier by Robert G. Parkinson

Heart of American Darkness: Bewilderment and Horror on the Early Frontier by Robert G. Parkinson (May 21)

With a nod to Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, author Robert G. Parkinson describes the imperialism that led to the settling of North America. Parkinson tosses out the rose-colored glasses and notes that the colonization of America was violent, ill-planned, and extremely destructive. Parkinson’s new book destroys the myth of the founding of the United States and reveals its dark history.

a graphic of the cover of Pretty: A Memoir by KB Brookins

Pretty: A Memoir by KB Brookins (May 28)

In this new memoir from queer Black trans writer KB Brookins, they share their experience moving through the world when you appear as one gender, but your ID says another. Pretty is a call for change, a call for acceptance of Black trans bodies in the face of ongoing prejudice and violence.


Articles You May Like

‘IF’ Buddies Up To $59M WW; ‘Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Rises To $237.5M – International Box Office
Morgan Wallen’s Nashville Bar Postpones Memorial Day Weekend Opening at Last Minute
Maximilian Davis Is Redefining Hollywood Glamour
Broadway 2023-2024 Season Box Office Hits $1.5B, Holding Steady With Post-Pandemic Era But Lagging Behind Pre-Covid Heights
A Beginner’s Guide to the Irish Whistle