14 of the best non-fiction books to read in 2023

best non fiction 2023
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Fiction will always be my greatest literary love. But that said, some of the most interesting and enlightening books are non-fiction, and I try to always have a non-fiction book on the go.

Keep reading for my selection of the best non-fiction books to read now, including some of the most interesting non-fiction and the most inspiring self-improvement books, memoirs, and more.

Whether you want to learn more about the world, yourself, our society, or other interesting topics, I hope you can find your next best non-fiction book recommendation below.

The best non-fiction books to read in 2023

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention- and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari

Read Stolen Focus for… proven tactics to win back your focus and learn how to pay attention in a world that wants to distract you.

Have you also lost your ability to pay attention? As one of the best self-improvement books to read this year, Stolen Focus is Johann Hari’s groundbreaking examination of why so many of us have lost our focus and how to regain the art of thinking deeply.

Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes

Read Unmasked for… an instant bestseller that’s darker and more gripping than any true crime movie or podcast.

Paul Holes, the detective who found the Golden State Killer after a twenty-year-long hunt, wants to tell you about a lifetime of solving cold cases.

In this gripping non-fiction book from 2022, he shares a first-person account of the puzzle of crime solving and asks himself: at what cost? Was it worth the sacrifices in his own life?

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Read The Song of the Cell for… a thrilling tour of the history of the cell from their discovery in the 1600s to the innovative therapies of the present day, written by the author of the Pulitzer Prize winner The Emperor of All Maladies.

With enchanting prose, Siddhartha Mukherjee – researcher, doctor, and prolific reader – turns encyclopedic scholarship and cutting-edge research into a gripping literary page-turner in The Song of the Cell.

The story begins in the late 1600s, when a distinguished English polymath and an eccentric Dutch cloth-merchant looked down their handmade microscopes and christened what they saw “cells”.

This discovery hailed the birth of a new kind of medicine, but also a new way of seeing the world. As the story continues to the present day, The Song of the Cell shares how scientists are using their knowledge of cells to create therapies that quite literally rebuild our bodies.

You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

Read You Could Make This Place Beautiful for… poet Maggie Smith’s story of rebuilding a life when all seems shattered. This gorgeous memoir is one of my most anticipated books for 2023.

Tackling the devastation of a broken marriage and the healing journey of rebuilding her life, Maggie Smith’s memoir echoes the gorgeous lines from her poem “Good Bones”: “This place could be beautiful / right? You could make this place beautiful.

Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Read Starry Messenger for… Neil deGrasse Tyson’s cosmic antidote to the divided political and cultural views in our world.

When we look at Earth from a cosmic perspective, human life and priorities look very different, shares Neil deGrasse Tyson in this thought-provoking new non-fiction book that reminds us of the unity we all share.

As deGrasse Tyson underlines, what better way to shine new light on the fault lines of our time – war, politics, religion, gender, and race – than by viewing our planet through the lens of science?

Lost and Found: Reflections on Grief, Gratitude, and Happiness by Kathryn Schulz

Read Lost and Found for… a humble yet spellbindingly insightful look into the joy, wonder, and miracle of living.

Lost and Found is one of the most deeply meaningful memoirs I’ve read lately. This is Pulitzer Prize winner Kathryn Schulz’s collection of reflections on grief, gratitude, and happiness. More specifically, it’s a portrait of the big and small things we’re losing throughout our lives and all that we find along the way.

Discipline Is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control by Ryan Holiday

Read Discipline is Destiny for… inspiring ancient lessons to harness more self-control that will influence every area of your life.

Discipline is Destiny is Ryan Holiday’s latest addition to his bestselling Stoic Virtues Series, inspired by the stories of historical figures we can emulate to live our best lives.

With this new book from one of the best personal growth authors, make 2023 the year you become laser-focused on your goals and the deep work you need to reach them, inspired by those who mastered the power of self-control to live incredible lives.

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia MD with Bill Gifford

Read Outlive for… the latest science-backed ways to get your body and mind in the best shape for health and longevity.

Outlive is leading longevity expert Peter Attia’s groundbreaking manifesto on living better – and longer – for March 2023.

Like Peter’s popular podcast, this book will challenge conventional medical thinking and reveal a new approach for health. Learn how to prevent chronic disease and extend healthspan, not just lifespan.

We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship by Will Schwalbe

Read We Should Not Be Friends for… a warm and funny memoir that follows the course of an improbable and life-changing college friendship over forty years.

I adored Will Schwalbe’s 2013 celebration of the comfort of reading, The End of Your Life Book Club. Now in 2023, Will has shared a rare and joyful view of male friendship, starting with the first time he met Maxey as a junior in college.

While Will was nerdy and creative, Maxey was physically imposing, loud, and a star wrestler who was determined to become a Navy SEAL. But thanks to a little-known secret society at Yale, the two forged a bond that transcended their differences and would remain throughout each others’ lives.

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

Read The Book of Delights for… enchanting essays that will open your eyes to the everyday delights of the world by award-winning poet Ross Gay.

In this inspiring collection of short lyrical essays written daily over a tumultuous year, award-winning poet Ross Gay reminds us of the pleasure, purpose, and power of ordinary wonders.

With a special focus on retreating into the natural world and our shared human bonds, this is a beautiful, powerful, and necessary celebration of a life closely observed and delighted in.

Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Read Rooted for… a beautiful read that renowned ethnobotanist Robin Wall Kimmerer describes as “a path to the place where science and spirit meet”.

This gorgeous book blends cutting-edge science with a truth that poets, artists, mystics, and earth-based cultures have proclaimed over millennia: that life is radically interconnected.

With personal reflections about her own life close to nature, Lyanda Lynn Haupt invokes the concept of rootedness: a way of being in concert with the wilderness – and wildness – that sustains humans and all of life.

Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv

Read Strangers to Ourselves for… one of the most acclaimed books for 2022, offering a groundbreaking exploration of mental illness and the mind by award-winning New Yorker writer Rachel Aviv.

How do we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress? In this illuminating book, Rachel Aviv explores how the way we think and talk about mental disorders shapes their course in our own lives and identities.

Aviv’s gripping exploration is interspersed with her own account of living in a hospital ward at the age of six, where she met a fellow patient with whom her life ran parallel – until it no longer did.

Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age by Katherine May

Read Enchantment for… a spellbindingly beautiful look at how we can awaken our wonder and marvel at the world when we’re facing anxiety.

Katherine May’s bestselling book Wintering is one of the most beautiful memoirs of rest and recuperation for burnout. Now in March 2023, Katherine has released this gorgeous new book about wonder in an anxious age.

Enchantment is full of gentle inspiration for when you feel directionless, exhausted, or out of tune with the world’s wonder and awe, offering one of the best memoirs to read in 2023.

What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo

Read What My Bones Know for… a deeply personal book about the hold of the past over the present, the mind over the body, and one woman’s ability to reclaim agency from her trauma.

What My Bones Know is acclaimed journalist Stephanie Foo’s memoir of reckoning and healing from trauma. As the author writes at the start of the book, some of the early sections are heavy-going, but you can skip over these if they’re triggering.

Stephanie investigates innovative therapies, explores the effects of immigrant trauma on her California hometown, and uncovers family secrets to learn how trauma can be inherited through generations.

For more of the best books to read in 2023, head over to…


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