All in Nonfiction

Becoming

Rating: 5/5 | What a truly fantastic memoir. You're probably hearing that from everyone who's read this book, and that's for good reason. Its beautiful prose and thoughtful structure make it an easy yet powerful read. (Click the post to read more.)

Calypso

Rating: 3.5/5 | Calypso was delightful. I listened to the audiobook, actually, which I love to do with nonfiction because the author usually reads it. Listening to Sedaris read his books is especially fantastic, and this one was no different. To parrot what literally the entire rest of the world says, he is hilarious and very real. (Click the post to read more.)

Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America

Rating: 5/5 | Zachary Wood is an impressive person. He wrote his memoir like he lives his life: free of judgment, open to interpersonal connection, assertive but not aggressive, and with plenty of room for the reader to maintain his or her dignity and opinion. He seeks to understand, to connect, to challenge assumptions, and to broaden both his and his readers' understanding of the world. (Click the post to read more.)

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World—and How to Make It Work for You

Rating: 4/5 | New Power was a fascinating look at one of the many ways the world is changing. It offers a study of "old power" vs "new power" and suggests ways they can be used strategically together to help effect positive change. The old vs. new dichotomy is straightforward and makes a complex situation easier to understand. They also picked great examples to help illustrate their points. (Click the post to read more.)

The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate

Rating: 3/5 | They Myth of the Nice Girl was a quick read with some actionable tips, and I'm glad I read it. Fran Hauser is articulate and comes across warmly, and she has done her homework when it comes to backing up her points. At the end of the day, this book is one of those that takes a lot of things you probably know intuitively and puts them together in a way that feels useful and helps you steer your own actions. (Click the post to read more.)

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Rating: 4/5 | I read Endure as part of The Next Big Idea Club with Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Daniel Pink, and Susan Cain. It was very, very interesting, and one of those books that I may not have otherwise picked up but am glad I did. Alex Hutchinson presents a thorough view of the different theories and research about human endurance (is it physical or mental?), weaving stories about real athletes into each chapter to keep you engaged and intrigued.(Click the post to read more.)

Words on the Move: Why English Won't—and Can't—Sit Still (Like, Literally)

Rating: 4.5/5 | Oh. my goodness. If you love words and language, you have to read this book (literally). Actually, I recommend that you listen to it as an audiobook, as I did. McWhorter is delightful and witty and very funny. Plus, a lot of his points depend on the pronunciation of words and inflection, so I think you'll get a lot more out of it that way. (Click the post to read more.)

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Rating: 4/5 | The Checklist Manifesto was a delightful little book. It didn't necessarily teach me anything profound about checklists or how to make them, but it did take a bunch of things I already knew or understood and rearranged them in a way I hadn't considered before. The writing was great; it used good storytelling to feature many exciting examples, so I stayed attentive and intrigued. (Click the post to read more.)

Text Me When You Get Home

Rating: 4/5 | This was a great book! Schaefer is compelling, entertaining, and moving. I've read a lot of nonfiction books, and they can often move slowly, even if they are saying important things. Not so with Text Me When You Get Home; I zipped through this one in just two days and truly enjoyed every second of it. (Click the post to read more.)

Poor Your Soul

Rating: 5/5 | Reading Poor Your Soul was a beautiful, heartbreaking, moving experience. I found myself almost hypnotized by Mira Pitacin's masterful use of language and perspective. One evening, after I'd read a particularly emotional section of the book, I actually crawled into bed next to my husband and said, out loud, "I feel sad. Sad in the best way." (Click the post to read more.)

Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success

Rating: 3/5 | Where to begin? There were things I liked about this book, and there were things that sat awkwardly on my conscience. It was quick and ultra-digestible, and it made me feel inspired to action and hopeful about my professional future, but there were some truth bombs in there that speak to many of the things that are wrong with society today. (Click the post to read more.)

The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir

Rating: 4/5 | Ariel Levy's memoir is a punching account of her roller coaster of a life. I listened to her narrate the audiobook, which is far and away my favorite way to do memoirs, and she speaks as eloquently as she writes. She yanked my heart around and dropped truths that feel like guilty secrets to each of us, but that each of us understands all the same. (Click the post to read more.)

What Happened

Rating: 4/5 | What Happened is an honest, straightforward, passionate retelling of Hillary Rodham Clinton's experiences leading up to the 2016 election. She tells us why she always loved working in public service, how and why she decided to run for President, the way it felt to have Donald Trump "loom" over her onstage, and her frustration when the media focused on one thing—emails—rather than any of the policy-related things she said or believed. I am glad that I listened to the audiobook version, as she read it herself. (Click the post to read more.)