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Best Nonfiction of the Year 2021

From compelling memoirs to riveting history, here are the books that our staff voted Best Nonfiction Books of the Year. Click on each title to read our recommendations. Don't miss our other Best Books of the Year lists here.

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Beautiful Country: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385547215
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - September 7th, 2021

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Poet Warrior: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780393248524
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 7th, 2021

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Crying in H Mart: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525657743
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 20th, 2021

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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984856029
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - January 12th, 2021

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Cuba: An American History Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781501154553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 7th, 2021

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Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593298299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 28th, 2021

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Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780525656098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 4th, 2021

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The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story Cover Image
By Nikole Hannah-Jones (Created by), The New York Times Magazine (Created by), Caitlin Roper (Editor), Ilena Silverman (Editor), Jake Silverstein (Editor)
$38.00
ISBN: 9780593230572
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - November 16th, 2021

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Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399588587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 9th, 2021

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The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781982115852
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 9th, 2021

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Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984856203
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lorena Jones Books - January 12th, 2021

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Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 Cover Image
By Ibram X. Kendi (Editor), Keisha N. Blain (Editor)
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593134047
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - February 2nd, 2021

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My Broken Language: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590047
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: One World - April 6th, 2021

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Like Streams to the Ocean: Notes on Ego, Love, and the Things That Make Us Who We Are Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593137239
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Convergent Books - February 2nd, 2021

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The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780063076099
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - October 5th, 2021

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Smile: The Story of a Face Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982150945
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 5th, 2021

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Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250621733
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - September 14th, 2021

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White Magic Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781951142391
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - April 27th, 2021

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Orwell's Roses Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593083369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 19th, 2021

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On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781644450628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 7th, 2021

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I Live a Life Like Yours: A Memoir Cover Image
By Jan Grue, B. L. Crook (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374600785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: FSG Originals - August 17th, 2021

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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984801197
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - March 30th, 2021

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Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062954794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - October 5th, 2021

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Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324001935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 14th, 2021

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The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982157692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - April 6th, 2021

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Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374602512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 3rd, 2021

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Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781631495878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - April 27th, 2021

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The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780374157357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 9th, 2021

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Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393652666
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 2nd, 2021

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On Tyranny Graphic Edition: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century Cover Image
By Timothy Snyder, Nora Krug (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781984859150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 5th, 2021

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Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982150822
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - July 6th, 2021

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Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780385545686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 13th, 2021

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How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982120627
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 2nd, 2021

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The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525509561
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - February 16th, 2021

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This Is Your Mind on Plants Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593296905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - July 6th, 2021

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The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781541724709
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bold Type Books - March 9th, 2021

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Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593136270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - February 9th, 2021

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Run: Book One Cover Image
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury (Illustrator), Nate Powell (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781419730696
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams ComicArts - August 3rd, 2021

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Not
$27.95
ISBN: 9780807036297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - August 24th, 2021

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Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982141493
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 8th, 2021

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The Deeper the Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250173447
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - November 16th, 2021

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Unsolaced: Along the Way to All That Is Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780307911797
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - January 5th, 2021