The nonfiction books that 2023 has to offer encompass the entire spectrum of human knowledge, from history to science to personal accounts that will deepen our awareness of the world around us. Every new year is an opportunity to learn something new, and this year is no exception. Here is the list of 10 inspirational nonfiction books to read in 2023.
Over two millennia ago, the prescient insights of Anaximander paved the way for cosmology, physics, geography, meteorology, and biology, setting in motion a new way of seeing the world. His legacy includes the revolutionary ideas that the Earth floats in a void, that animals evolved, that the world can be understood in natural rather than supernatural terms, and that universal laws govern all phenomena. He introduced a new mode of rational thinking with an openness to uncertainty and the progress of knowledge. In this elegant work, the renowned theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli brings to light the importance of Anaximander.
Release Date: February 28, 2023
In their time, these women were celebrities. They composed some of the century’s most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but today, they are ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten – until now.
Leah Broad’s magnificent group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrating their musical masterpieces. Lighting up a panoramic sweep of British history over two World Wars, Quartet revolutionises the canon forever.
Release Date: February 28, 2023
Poverty, by America
The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages? In this landmark book, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit.
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Fool Me Once
Kelly Richmond Pope
Have you ever wondered why Bernie Madoff thought he could brazenly steal his clients’ money? Or why investors were so easily duped by Elizabeth Holmes? Or how courageous people like Jeffrey Wigand are willing to become whistleblowers and put their careers on the line? Fraud is everywhere, from Nigerian “princes,” embezzlers, and Ponzi schemers to corporate giants like Enron and Volkswagen. And fraud is costly. Each year, consumers, small businesses, governments, and corporations lose trillions of dollars to financial crime. We’re so accustomed to hearing about fraud that our abilities to identify it and speak about it are limited.
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
At the heart of our galaxy lies a monster so deadly it can bend space, throwing vast jets of radiation millions of light years out into the cosmos. Its kind were the very first inhabitants of the universe, the black holes. Today, across the universe, at the heart of every galaxy, and dotted throughout, mature black holes are creating chaos. And in a quiet part of the universe, the Swift satellite has picked up evidence of a gruesome death caused by one of these dark powers. High energy X-ray flares shooting out from deep within the Draco constellation are thought to be the dying cries of a white dwarf star being ripped apart by the intense tides of a supermassive black hole.
Release Date: March 28, 2023
I Can’t Save You
At first glance, Anthony Chin-Quee looks like a traditional success story: a smart, ambitious kid who grew up to become a board-certified otolaryngologist—an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. Yet the truth is more complicated.
As a self-described “not white, mostly Black, and questionably Asian man,” Chin-Quee knows that he doesn’t fit easily into any category. Growing up in a family with a background of depression, he struggled with relationships, feelings of inadequacy, and a fear of failure that made it difficult for him to forge lasting bonds with others. To repair that, he began his own unflinching examination of what it means to be both.
Release Date: April 4, 2023
Once Upon a Prime
We often think of mathematics and literature as polar opposites. But what if, instead, they were fundamentally linked? In her clear, insightful, laugh-out-loud funny debut, Once Upon a Prime, Professor Sarah Hart shows us the myriad connections between math and literature, and how understanding those connections can enhance our enjoyment of both.
Did you know, for instance, that Moby-Dick is full of sophisticated geometry? That James Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novels are deliberately checkered with mathematical references? That George Eliot was obsessed with statistics?
Release Date: April 11, 2023
On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days.
Release Date: April 18, 2023
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Around 950,000 years ago, a family of five walked along the beach and left behind the oldest family footprints ever discovered. For award-winning historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, these poignant, familiar fossils serve as an inspiration for a new kind of world history, one that is genuinely global, spans all eras and all continents, and focuses on the family ties that connect every one of us. In this epic, ever-surprising book, Montefiore chronicles the world’s great dynasties across human history through palace intrigues, love affairs, and family lives, linking grand themes of war, migration, plague, religion, and technology to the people at the heart of the human drama.
Release Date: May 16, 2023
Naoíse Mac Sweeney
In this groundbreaking, story-driven retelling of Western history, Naoíse Mac Sweeney debunks the myths and origin stories that underpin the history we thought we knew. Told through fourteen figures who each played a role in the creation of the Western idea—from Herodotus, a mixed-race migrant, to Phylis Wheatley, an enslaved African American who became a literary sensation; and from Gladstone, with a private passion for epic poetry, to the medieval Arab scholar Al-Kindi—the subjects are a mind-expanding blend of unsung heroes and familiar faces viewed afresh. These characters span the millennia and the continents.
Release Date: May 23, 2023