Fall 2017 Nonfiction Preview: Chez Panisse, Codebreaking, and New York City

Fall 2017 Nonfiction Preview: Chez Panisse, Codebreaking, and New York City

You know what goes great with apple cider donuts? Reading. Apple cider donuts have enough heft to sustain you through a long book, and also just enough sugar to keep you awake long into the night so you can finish that last chapter. With that in mind, here are some fall nonfiction releases that we’d highly recommend pairing with the fall treat of your choosing, no matter what it is. There’s a book from renowned chef Alice Waters, a colorful look at New York City from Roz Chast, and an important collection of essays from Ta-Nehisi Coates. Don’t worry about the crumbs—we’ll get those later.

Coming to My Senses

Chez Alice Waters

We hope you’re hungry for some stories and some California cuisine. Whether you’ve dined at Chez Panisse or only dreamed of it, Alice Waters’ memoir is sure to entertain and delight. Waters tells readers the story of her childhood and traces her personal history all the way up to the founding of her mega-famous restaurant, Chez Panisse, in 1971, before she was even 30. It’s hard to imagine a better book for foodies to pick up this fall, and it contains far more than stories: Readers will even get some recipes to try in their own homes if a trip to Berkeley isn’t in their immediate plans.

On shelves: September 5


Human’s best friend

Eileen Myles (who uses them/them pronouns) may be best known for their poetry, but here Myles writes about their dog, Rosie, in this unusual memoir. Rosie was a pit bull who first came into Myles’ life in 1990, and the two were inseparable from the beginning. Myles pulls back the curtain on their lives together, and reflects on the significance of having a pet and what it might be like to be one. In a starred review, Kirkus raved: “Rarely too heavy to be approachable, Myles’ work is a perfect example of what happens when you mix raw language with emotion, pets with loss, and sexuality with socioculturalism.”

On shelves: September 12


The price isn’t right

Journalist Melissa del Bosque (who, by the way, has won both a National Magazine Award and an Emmy) tells a gripping tale about two FBI agents, horse racing, and a drug cartel in Bloodlines. Meet Scott Lawson and Alma Perez, two agents who get drawn into a complex web of crimes when they realize that horses are being sold to a Mexican drug cartel at incredibly high prices, potentially as part of a money laundering scheme. This account reads like a thriller, and will keep readers up late into the night turning pages, waiting to find out whether Lawson and Perez will crack the case.

On shelves: September 12

The Comfort Food Diaries

Emotional eating

Sometimes, nothing but chocolate will do. Most of us know this feeling—when misfortune strikes, food can soothe and nourish us as we heal. Emily Nunn, who also worked as an editor at The New Yorker, found comfort in travel and cooking in the wake of a bad breakup and the death of a sibling. Here, readers can join Nunn on her journey to cook and reflect and, as the title suggests, eat. Along the way, Nunn writes about her own past and provides recipes that readers can use for solace in challenging times of their own.

On shelves: September 26

Going Into Town

The Big Apple

Roz Chast, beloved cartoonist from The New Yorker, is back with another book—this time, about New York City. Chast herself is from Brooklyn, and in these pages, captures the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple in a way that is at once endearing, entertaining, and deeply recognizable. Chast writes (and draws) about NYC as a source of artistic energy and ideas, as well as a lovably strange place that isn’t quite like any other. For New Yorkers past and present, as well as those who admire the city from afar, this book is sure to delight.

On shelves: October 3

We Were Eight Years in Power

Mr. President

Ta-Nehisi Coates has done some of the most important and influential writing on race to come out in recent years (he wrote 2015’s Between the World and Me), and now he’s back with another insightful and thought-provoking book. The essays collected here take on the subject of Barack Obama’s presidency and what followed in the 2016 presidential election. Existing fans of Coates will be pleased to find some of his previously published work from The Atlantic in this volume, including “The Case for Reparations,” “Fear of a Black President,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” This collection is not to be missed.

On shelves: October 3

A Moonless, Starless Sky

Into Africa

Travel to Africa and gain insight into four different lives in four different countries with this fascinating new book from Alexis Okeowo (who is also a staff writer for The New Yorker). Readers will learn more about Boko Haram, Joseph Kony’s LRA, the tragedy of slavery in Mauritania, and the lives of women in Somalia in ways that are complex and nuanced. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote: “In this memorable debut, Okeowo’s in-depth, perceptive reporting gives a voice to the extraordinarily courageous—and resilient—women and men fighting malevolent ideologies and organizations in their native countries.”

On shelves: October 3


Do no harm

Readers, get excited. Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm (which the Bookish editorial staff flew through) is back with another book taking readers into the operating room. Marsh worked for decades as a neurosurgeon before he retired, and here writes about his travels to places like Nepal, Ukraine, and Pakistan, where he provides guidance and healthcare to those who have dire need of it. For anyone interested in brains, the medical field, or healthcare challenges faced around the world, then this is the book to pick up this fall.

On shelves: October 3

Birding Without Borders

A little bird told me

How many species of birds did you see in 2015? Well, whatever that number is, Noah Strycker saw more. He saw more than half of the species of birds in the world, clocking in at a total of 6,042 spotted. To do this, he had to travel to 41 countries, visiting every continent. Along the way, Strycker had incredible adventures that will keep readers utterly spellbound and hanging on his every word. Whether you’re an experienced birder, a dedicated world traveler, or just someone interested in what setting a world record in bird-spotting might entail, look no further.

On shelves: October 10

Code Girls

Cracking the code

Do you love puzzles, World War II history, and learning about the ways in which women helped the war effort? If so, then say no more: We’ve got the book for you. Over ten thousand women worked as WWII codebreakers, and in this book, readers will learn their story. These jobs were vital to the war effort, and they also significantly advanced the field of cryptanalysis. This exciting new book from Liza Mundy gives fascinating insight into a less talked-about aspect of World War II and American history.

On shelves: October 10

Blood Brothers

The wild west

We’ve all heard of Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill Cody, but how many of us know about the friendship shared by these two historical figures? Deanne Stillman is here to fix that with her riveting new book Blood Brothers. Sitting Bull was a Lakota chief who was a performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for part of 1885. The two men got to know one another then, and Stillman looks to their pasts and their futures to illustrate their dynamic. In a starred review, Kirkus wrote: “Thoughtful and thoroughly well-told—just the right treatment for a subject about which many books have been written before, few so successfully.”

On shelves: October 24

It’s All Relative

The apple doesn’t fall far

There’s something fascinating about knowing who your ancestors are. That knowledge can inform your sense of history and identity, and even give you a sense of belonging. In this book from A. J. Jacobs, readers will read about Jacobs’ own attempt to learn about his lineage and his construction of a staggeringly large family tree. Along the way, he travels to visit far flung parts of the world (on all seven continents, no less!) to investigate leads and track down family members. This book combines engrossing material with a lively tone that will keep readers engaged all the way through.

On shelves: November 7


Leave a Reply