Despite record highs in many parts of the country over the past few weeks, soon it will be time to retreat indoors to ride out the January gloom. For most of the readers of this magazine, that means extended reading time. While January is never the most active publishing month, there are plenty of nonfiction treats for all reading tastes, including these five diverse selections:
The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
In the acclaimed author’s latest, “a great tapestry of historical, cultural, and personal anecdotes,” readers can escape to 1970s England with one of our most reliably charming travel guides.The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova
“What makes a con artist, and why are we duped by them?” That’s the question New Yorker columnist Konnikova tackles in her latest book, which received a star. “With meticulous research and a facility for storytelling,” wrote our reviewer, “Konnikova makes this intriguing topic absolutely riveting.
Why We Write About Ourselves by Meredith Maran
Many of us can’t get enough of books about books, and Maran’s collection is a solid addition to the genre. Featuring “candid revelations for readers [and] useful advice and encouragement for aspiring writers,” the book includes entries from Pat Conroy, James McBride, Edwidge Danticat, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, Edmund White, and Ayelet Waldman, among others.
City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence
With this “significant, timely, and gloomy tale [revealing] the human costs of a growing world crisis,” Rawlence has written what should prove to be 2016’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers. “With remarkable intimacy, Rawlence recounts the stories of nine individuals” living in a sprawling refugee camp in Kenya.
Gangster Warlords by Ioan Grillo
It’s not exactly light reading, but Grillo’s fascinatingly page-turning account of crime syndicates in Latin America is a consistently eye-opening, “striking exploration of the horrors of mass violence in the Western Hemisphere.”
Eric Liebetrau is the nonfiction and managing editor.