Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Nonfiction Books for May, 2016
From the uncharted wilds of the 1940s Amazon, to the modern day hopes and struggles of Shanghai, this month's nonfiction picks are sure to sweep you off around the world. And if you prefer something closer to home? There's the latest in business theory—Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverence—or a dive into science with The Gene: An Intimate History.
May 3. In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”
1 / 7
May 10. From the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea and Mayflower comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. "An engrossing narrative of the war’s most difficult years." – BookPage
2 / 7
May 10. The Lost Amazon chronicles the journeys of legendary explorer, botanist, and counter-culture icon, Richard Evans Schultes. It is the story of one man’s astonishing journey and an unrivaled record of a way of life that can never be recaptured." [An] absorbing biographical and visual record of a quickly vanishing culture and landscape and a larger-than-life explorer." – Publishers Weekly
3 / 7
May 17. An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of Shanghai, from one of the most acclaimed journalists reporting on China today. "Rob Schmitz has given us a treasure: a patient portrait of an impatient country, a China that is utterly true to life in its beauty and heartache, tenderness and greed." – Evan Osnos, National Book Award winner
4 / 7
May 17. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?
5 / 7
May 31. An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style. "[A] glorious love-letter to reading, to writing, to dreaming, to an entire genre.” – Junot Díaz
6 / 7
May 31. A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer's journey, from double Hugo Award-winning essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley. "Kameron Hurley writes essays about feminism, geek culture, online discourse, and changing the world that piss people off, make them think, make them act. This is good stuff. Read it." – Kate Elliott, author of Black Wolves
7 / 7