Books

10 Must-Read New Nonfiction Releases for June 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.

June days here in the South are filled with buckets of iced tea and evenings spent on your deck or front porch. As an introvert, I must admit I am more likely to be seen with a book than to be spotted chatting with a neighbor. If you’re an early riser, you may catch glimpses of other early birds listening to audiobooks as they hike through nature preserves or ride their bikes on the local trials. On hot and humid afternoons, folks scurry into coffee shops and sit with a drink as they pour over their new bookish purchases.

Of course, true stories are my jam and the love of my book-obsessed life. There’s nothing like opening up a biography of one of my favorite disabled Black historical figures. Or maybe I’ll dive into a memoir of a Korean American woman searching for her biological mother back in South Korea. Or perhaps I’ll fall headlong into a history of the diverse explorers who began to map out North America. The possibilities are endless.

In celebration of true stories, I’ve collected ten of the most exciting nonfiction titles hitting shelves in June. 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 Everything and Nothing at Once: A Black Man's Reimagined Soundtrack for the Future by Joél Leon

Everything and Nothing at Once: A Black Man’s Reimagined Soundtrack for the Future by Joél Leon

As a kid in the Bronx, Joél Leon learned that you had to be tough and ignore your gentler emotions to survive. Now Leon has unlearned those traits of toxic masculinity and is encouraging other Black men to do the same. Everything and Nothing at Once encourages a new form of Black masculinity that uplifts men and their communities. (June 4th)

a graphic of the cover of Invisible Labor: The Untold Story of the Cesarean Section by Rachel Somerstein

Invisible Labor: The Untold Story of the Cesarean Section by Rachel Somerstein

After her own C-section went terribly wrong, Rachel Somerstein was left traumatized both physically and emotionally. To better understand her own experience, Somerstein sets out to learn the history of America’s most common invasive surgery, where it originated, and how it’s used today. (June 4th)

a graphic of the cover of The Explorers: A New History of America in Ten Expeditions by Amanda Bellows

The Explorers: A New History of America in Ten Expeditions by Amanda Bellows

When we imagine early American explorers, we often imagine rugged white men like Daniel Boone. But Amanda Bellows wants to change the narrative. In The Explorers, Bellows presents the diverse group of people who explored North America, creating maps and recording the natural world. (June 4th)

a graphic of the cover of We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance by Kellie Carter Jackson

We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance by Kellie Carter Jackson

Kellie Carter Jackson recounts the history of forceful Black resistance, giving examples like the American and Haitian Revolutions. She also contextualizes violence as one tool among many, describing the many ways that Black people have fought for liberation. (June 4th)

a graphic of the cover of Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America by James Polchin

Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America by James Polchin

Over one hundred years ago, Clarence Peters, a working-class man, was found dead. Later, Walter Ward confessed to the murder as an act of self-defense against a group of men that was blackmailing him. The court case swept through the country, drawing the attention of the masses as everyone seemed to be weighing in on the case. (June 11th)

a graphic of the cover of Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance by Victoria Blanco

Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance by Victoria Blanco

Through decades of interviews and research, Victoria Blanco details the history of the Rarámuri people’s resistance to colonization and their efforts to preserve their language and culture. One of the largest Indigenous tribes in North America, the Rarámuri people in Chihuahua, Mexico, have endured immeasurable loss as they have refused to leave their sacred land. (June 11th)

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