By Gregory Pardlo (Knopf)
In powerful, seemingly effortless prose, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet recounts how he struggled with his father’s troubling influence and his own demons.
By Nicole Chung (Catapult)
Chung’s brave, graceful memoir recalls growing up as the adoptive child of white parents and searching for her Korean birth family’s roots.
By Eliza Griswold (Farrar Straus Giroux)
A single mother in rural Pennsylvania tries to find out what is poisoning her family and farm in a real-life environmental thriller with a poignant outcome.
By Greg Miller (Custom House)
A Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter puts the big, complicated story of Russian election interference and the Trump presidency in a comprehensible historical and political context.
By John Carreyrou (Knopf)
The tech company Theranos promises to revolutionize blood testing but sinks to the edge of bankruptcy in this chronicle of jaw-dropping falsehoods and immense greed.
By Lily Bailey (Harper)
A powerful memoir depicts obsessive-compulsive disorder not as the almost-charming hang-up seen in popular culture but as a hellscape of tortured routines, phobias and guilt.
By Michelle Obama (Crown)
The former first lady gets uncommonly candid with a memoir that includes her true feelings about Donald Trump and the pain that came with living under intense scrutiny.
By Gilbert King (Riverhead)
It’s 1957 in Jim Crow Florida, and a white woman says she’s been raped by a black man. Injustice follows, but not quite in the way you’d expect.
By Sam Anderson (Crown)
Anderson takes a city almost universally overlooked and turns it into a metaphor for, well, everything.
By David Sedaris (Little, Brown)
The wry essayist publishes a new collection, and his life, his writing and the world around him all seem a little crueler and more shocking than before.
By Earl Swift (Dey Street)
Finally, a writer has learned to understand life on this tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay — just in time, perhaps, to memorialize the rapidly sinking Tangier.
By Max Boot (Liveright)
The Washington Post columnist looks back at his ideological shift from lifelong Republican to GOP critic following the election of Donald Trump.
By Steve Coll (Penguin Press)
The dean of Columbia Journalism School unspools a slow-motion military and policy disaster, and his solid, unadorned facts bring on bafflement and despair.
By Beth Macy (Little, Brown)
What a Roanoke-based reporter learned as she chronicled the pain pill epidemic’s march through western Virginia.
By Ben Goldfarb (Chelsea Green)
Can those paddle-tailed, buck-toothed dam builders offer humans some help in restoring our ailing environment?
By Tara Westover (Random House)
Raised off the grid by Mormon survivalist parents, Westover landed at Harvard and Cambridge despite her lack of formal education.
By Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster)
Woodward’s meticulous reporting for The Washington Post in the Nixon era is even more valuable today. He is utterly devoted to “just the facts” digging and compulsively thorough interviews.
By Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (Crown)
Made famous by her reunion with her parents on “Oprah,” a survivor of the Rwandan massacre claims control of her story in service of a greater cause.
By Kiese Laymon (Scribner)
An overweight black boy grows up in an intellectual, loving but sometimes violent Mississippi household — and becomes an award-winning writer and university professor.
By James Comey (Flatiron)
The ousted FBI director delivers a big-think story about values and institutions clashing with tribalism and self-interest in Washington.
By Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (Crown)
Two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy offer up a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs — and arrive at some disturbing conclusions.
By Michael Pollan (Penguin Press)
Extensive personal and journalistic research went into this survey of the history and uses of psychoactive drugs.
By Alexander Chee (Mariner)
A collection of essays by a gay Korean American fiction writer explores his experiences as a young man in San Francisco.
By Michelle McNamara (Harper)
McNamara’s long, painstaking investigation into the serial rapist and killer was published two years after her death — and two months before a suspect was arrested.
By Sarah E. Igo (Harvard)
Americans may believe in a right to privacy, the author argues, but they have come to accept extreme surveillance and self-disclosure as a way of understanding and sharing society.
By Kwame Anthony Appiah (Liveright)
A professor of philosophy and law brings insightful realism to the task of reexamining our restrictive and therefore divisive notions of who we are.
By Claire Tomalin (Penguin Press)
Now 85, a notable literary biographer turns her critical eye on herself, and the result is an elegant profile in courage and fortitude.
By Sloane Crosley (MCD)
The comic essayist leads us on a variety of personal adventures, including climbing an active volcano and freezing her eggs.
By Colm Tóibín (Scribner)
Tóibín examines the devotion, rebellion, dependent estrangement — and inspiration — that three fellow Irish writers experienced with their fathers.
By Gary Krist (Crown)
William Mulholland, D.W. Griffith and Aimee Semple McPherson are familiar characters in Los Angeles histories, but Krist weaves them into a fresh narrative.
By Craig Brown (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Beautiful, indolent and arrogant, Margaret seems fictional, too imperious to be true; amazingly, Brown makes the reader sympathize.
By Michael Beschloss (Crown)
A celebrated presidential historian portrays eight chief executives who led America into major conflicts and one — Thomas Jefferson — who refused to do so.
By Anna Clark (Metropolitan)
Clark paints a bleak portrait of a government marked by opacity, greed and willful negligence in a city where most residents are black and poor.
By Amy Chua (Penguin Press)
Examining the reemergence of tribalism in America, which upends the ideal of an Americanness that transcends race and ethnicity.
Edited by Edward M. Burns (Counterpoint)
Two of the great literary polymaths of the 20th century converse about art, literature, scholarship and the life of the mind. Also, they gossip.
By Sarah Weinman (Ecco)
Was Vladimir Nabokov’s brilliant, infamous novel inspired by the real-life abduction and rape of an 11-year-old New Jersey girl?
By Eli Saslow (Doubleday)
A national correspondent for The Post describes the complicated evolution of a born-and-bred racist who changed his views.
Versed in the Washington threads of the Trump-Russia tale, the authors are sympathetic to former FBI director James B. Comey and merciless toward shortcomings of the Obama White House.
By Justin Driver (Pantheon)
A former Supreme Court law clerk delivers a masterful analysis of the court’s rulings on students’ rights, drawing as well on his own school years.
By Mark Whitaker (Simon & Schuster)
The town in question was Pittsburgh, and the 20th-century renaissance there sprawled from music to journalism to sports to the numbers racket.
By Wesley Yang (Norton)
A piercing essay collection, packed with a fierce and refreshing ambivalence, about being an Asian man in America.
By Ben MacIntyre (Crown)
A thrilling true story reverses the famous Kim Philby case: From 1974 to 1985, the KGB was duped by a British mole (who is still alive).
By Jill Lepore (Norton)
Drawing on her notable books and magazine articles, Lepore provides a way to help Americans come to an honest reckoning with their past.
By Wil Haygood (Knopf)
At the height of civil rights tensions, an all-black high school in Columbus, Ohio, wins unprecedented dual state championships in basketball and baseball.
By Adam Winkler (Liveright)
Going beyond a liberal critique of Citizens United, this engaging narrative takes readers inside courtrooms, judges’ chambers and corporate offices to reconstruct 200 years of case law.
By Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s)
A key 1963 meeting between Bobby Kennedy and black leaders is the springboard for a provocative look at the black struggle today.
By Susan Jacoby (Yale)
Why? Because its possibilities are bounded not by a clock but by performance. Because it demands concentration and time in an age of distraction. Because anything can happen.
By Anand Giridharadas (Knopf)
Meet — and learn to despise — the denizens of “MarketWorld,” elitists who believe that they are changing the world while profiting from the status quo.
By Charles C. Mann (Knopf)
Mann unpacks opposing views of Earth’s future through two compelling advocates: doomsaying ornithologist William Vogt and Green Revolution guru Norman Borlaug.