Last week we wrote about fiction to look forward to in 2017
and this week we’re back with a big non-fiction preview of the year ahead.
Much like our fiction post, this one comes with a word of warning: what follows below is a long list that’s broken down month by month as best we can, and linked to individual pages as best we can. Unfortunately some books don’t have full details yet.
Okay, now sit down, get comfortable, and take a look at the non-fiction titles you’ll be reading this year!
Kick-starting a better year in 2017 will be easy with a plethora of health and wellness books hitting our shelves in January. Oprah Winfrey’s Food, Health, and Happiness: ‘On Point’ Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life
was published last week and is closely followed by Oh She Glows Every Day
by Angela Liddon and Living the Healthy Life
by Jessica Sepel. Food to Make You Glow
by Lola Berry is being released in March and Sarah Wilson of the I Quit Sugar books and program is also back with a new book in March called First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
, a memoir to her own anxiety. (The next I Quit Sugar book, I Quit Sugar: Family Meals
, will be published in July.) Health and wellness books will continue to hit our shelves throughout the year, with new books from Ellie Bullen (Elsa’s Wholesome Life
, published in August) and Luke Hines (Making Healthy Easy
, published in September) also coming our way.
Also worth keeping an eye out for in January is Letters to a Young Muslim
by Omar Saif Ghobash, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Russia, and our book of the month The Glass Universe
by Dava Sobel. Letters to a Young Muslim
explores how Arabs can provide themselves, their children, and their youth with a better chance of prosperity and peace in a globalized world, while attempting to explain the history and complications of the modern-day Arab landscape and how the younger generation can solve problems with extremists internally, contributing to overall world peace. The Glass Universe
is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women whose vital contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
In February, keep an eye out for a revised and updated edition of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain
by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young. First published in 2012, this updated edition includes brand new science, an update on Barbara’s latest work, the growth of Arrowsmith program schools in Madrid, South Caroline, and Australia, as well as numerous inspiring success stories. Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store
, is back with The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the killer companies of the new Silicon Valley are changing the world
, a look into how our latest—and perhaps greatest—technological wave was born. Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto
by Jessa Crispin has been described as a radical and fearless call for revolution, and Breaking the Mould
by Angela Pippos has been described as The Wife Drought
of sport. February also brings The Case Against Fragrance
by Kate Grenville, a book about the science of scent and the power of the fragrance industry. On the Wagon
by Lennox Nicholson follows the author as he retraces the route taken by Kerouac in On the Road
, and then there’s Getting Away With Murder
by Duncan McNab. From 1977 to the end of 1986, Duncan McNab was a member of the NSW Police Force, with most of his service taking place in criminal investigation. The many unsolved deaths and disappearances of young gay men are the crimes that continue to haunt him, and form the basis of his book.
February has a lot to like if you’re lamenting the exit of the Obama family from the White House. We are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama
, edited by E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post columnist and professor at Georgetown University, is a collection of Obama’s 26 greatest addresses, beginning with his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq War and closing with his final speech before the United Nations in September 2016. A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama
by Michael D’Antonio tallies Obama’s long record of achievement, both his major successes and less-noticed ones that nevertheless contribute to his legacy. Obama’s greatest achievement came as he restored dignity and ethics to the office of the president, proof that he delivered the hope and change he promised. If you’re a fan of the First Lady, The Meaning of Michelle: 15 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own
, edited by Veronica Chambers, is also out this month. While many books have looked at Michelle Obama from a fashion perspective, no book has fully explored what Michelle Obama means to our culture. The Meaning of Michelle
does just that, while offering a parting gift to a landmark moment in American history. Finally, if the November election still seems unreal to you, then The Trump Survival Guide: Everything you need to know about living through what you hoped would never happen
by Gene Stone is the book for you. Stone, author of The Bush Survival Bible
, offers invaluable guidance and concrete solutions readers can use to make a difference in this serious call-to-arms that shows how to move from anger and despair to activism.
Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal
by George Megalogenis, Quarterly Essay #61, kicks off a massive month of non-fiction in March. There are new books from Tony Robbins (Unshakeable: How to Thrive in a New Era of Volatility
, a step-by-step playbook to take you on a journey to transform your financial life and accelerate your path to financial freedom), Ivanka Trump (Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success
, covering topics such as identifying opportunities in the workplace, shifting careers smoothly, and helping change the system to make it better for women), and Joan Didion (South and West: From a Notebook
, two entries from never-before-seen notebooks). They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention
, a collection of deeply moving accounts of the reality of life in mandatory detention, hits shelves this month, and so does YouTube star Lilly Singh’s first book, How to be a Bawse
We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere
by actress Gillian Anderson and journalist Jennifer Nadel is published in March. Gillian and Jennifer are two friends who for the last decade have stumbled along together, learning, failing, crying, laughing and trying again… and We
is a rallying cry to create a life that has greater meaning and purpose. The Rules Do Not Apply
by Ariel Levy, This Close to Happy: A reckoning with depression
by Daphne Merkin, and Only: A singular memoir
by Caroline Baum highlight the smart, funny, moving, and emotional non-fiction writing from women in March.
by Glenn Dixon is one we can’t wait to get our hands on. Glenn Dixon, writer and English teacher, moves to Verona in Italy after suffering a considerable heartbreak. He volunteers to respond to the thousands of letters that arrive there each year address to Juliet, and along the way explores the history of Shakespeare’s most iconic duo, and why we are still so enraptured with their story. It sounds like a heart-warming story about the way love and letters can change lives. Mrs Kelly: The astonishing life of Ned Kelly’s mother
by Grantlee Kieza is another book we’re intrigued by. We do of course know a lot about Ned Kelly; however, his mother, Ellen Kelly, has been largely overlooked by Australian writers and historians until now. It turns how she has quite a story to tell! Finally, there’s Us Women Our Ways
, a collection of stories from Aboriginal women all across Australia.
If there wasn’t enough amazing non-fiction from female authors coming in March for you, then you’re going to love April. There’s After
by Nikki Gemmell to look out for, where Nikki explores the devastating aftermath of her elderly mother's decision to end her own life. Also look out for Unmasked
by Turia Pitt, which is written ‘with the benefit of hindsight and five years’ worth of the getting of wisdom’. We’re also excited by Carol Baxter’s The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller: An Australian’s true story of adventure, danger, romance, and murder
, which is the true story of a flamboyant and beguiling Melbourne housewife from the 1920s.
And if reading about the work of one author in particular is more your thing, look out for A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work
by Bernadette Brennan. Dr Bernadette Brennan has had access to previously unavailable papers in Garner's archive, and she provides a lively and rigorous reading of the books, journals and correspondence of one of Australia's most beloved women of letters. A Writing Life is the first full-length study of Garner's work, a literary portrait that maps Garner's writing against the different stages of her life.
The Monday Morning Cooking Club are back with their third book, It’s Always About the Food
, and also My Kind of Food
by Valli Little. Valli shares 100 recipes that she has cooked time and again to share with the people she loves - recipes that are perfect for simple midweek meals and lazy Sunday suppers; slow-cooked sensations that will have you begging for seconds; dishes that burst with colour and flavour, making the most of incredible seasonal produce; as well as a wicked selection of Valli's signature cakes and favourite chocolate-inspired desserts. (Yes please!)
Other March non-fiction titles include Radical Candor: Be A Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
by Kim Scott, about the sweet spot between managers who are obnoxiously aggressive on the one side and ruinously empathetic on the other; Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy
by Jonathan Taplin, a history of the hijacking of the Internet's original mission by major companies set to steal the profits from artists in the digital age; and How the Hell did This Happen? The US Election of 2016
by P.J. O’Rourke, an essential take on the stranger-than-fiction 2016 presidential election from a quintessential voice on American politics and culture.
May is a great month for memoirs, among other things. Mark Holden’s memoir My Idol Years
is published in May, along with Just Another Hurdle
by Jana Pittman, For a Girl
by Mary-Rose MacColl, and Good Girl Stripped Bare
by Tracey Spicer.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
by Scaachi Koul, is an essay collection from the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada that explores gender, ethnic stereotypes, and mortality. Also out in May is The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu: The Race to Reach the Fabled City and the Fantastic Effort to Save its Past
by Charlie English. It tells two tales of a city: the historical race to reach one of the world's most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend.
May brings a new book from Sheryl Sandberg, written with Adam Grant. Sheryl Sandberg’s husband died suddenly at the age of 49 in 2015, and in Option B
, Sheryl speaks of her experiences coping with adversity and weaves in new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. It’s been described as thoughtful, honest, revealing, and warm. This month also brings a new book from Jen Sincero called You are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth.
In this funny, fascinating and practical book Jen Sincero goes in-depth on how powerful our thoughts are and how our bank accounts are mirrors for our beliefs about money. This new book combines laugh out loud comedy with life-changing concepts, all boiled down into manageable, bite-sized tips so that readers can put them into practice and get life changing results.
June (hopefully) brings the much-anticipated memoir from Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
. This publication date has moved a couple of times, though, so check back closer to the time. June also brings The Pleasures of Leisure
by Robert Dessaix. Best-selling author Robert Dessaix shows, in this thoughtful and witty book, how taking leisure seriously gives us back our freedom - to enjoy life, to revel in it, in fact; to deepen our sense of who we are as human beings. He explains how we can reclaim our right to 'rest well', and to loaf, groom, nest and play, as he looks at leisure from many angles--reading, walking, travelling, learning languages, taking siestas and simply doing nothing. The result is a terrifically lively and engaging conversation that reminds us that at leisure we are at our most intensely and pleasurably human.
June brings the publication of Will Storr’s Selfie
, a story told using a mixture of investigative journalism, scientific enquiry, and the author’s own experiences, along with Koh-i-Noor
by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, the first comprehensive and authoritative history of Koh-i-Noor diamond. The second instalment of John McEnroe’s memoir series is published in June, called But Seriously: An Autobiography
, and follows on from the best-selling Serious
. Finally, if you’re an #auspol follower, look out for Please Explain: The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Pauline Hanson
by Anna Broinowski. After eighteen years in the political wilderness, Pauline Hanson is back and more powerful than ever. Please Explain
is a compelling, intimate look at how an Ipswich fish and chip shop lady changed the nation - and how she speaks directly to Australian race politics and our multicultural identity today.
The second half of 2017 will be packed full with great non-fiction, including autobiographies from Peter Moody, Gai Waterhouse, and Kerry O’Brien. Sport superstars Paul Gallen and Nick Riewoldt also have autobiographies on the way. Also keep an eye out for the return of best-selling author Roland Perry in the second half of 2017 with Monash and Chauvel
, the story of the emergence and dominance of two of Australia’s greatest generals.
July brings with it the first biography of Australian filmmaker George Miller, Miller and Max
, by Guardian Australian film critic Luke Buckmaster, and Jamila Rizvi’s Sorry, Just Lucky
In August, look out for Tony Abbott’s second memoir, the autobiography of enigmatic wild man of the Australian music underground Tex Perkins, and Every Little Lie I Ever Told
by Rosie Waterland.
The last quarter of the year in the lead up to Christmas is usually full of blockbuster non-fiction, so this is by no means an exhaustive list and look out for more in the October-December period. We know for now that we’ll see a memoir from AFL star Shaun Burgoyne, a biography of AC/DC front man Bon Scott by music writer Jesse Fink, and River of Consciousness
by Oliver Sacks, which he was working on before his death in 2015.
Finally, two huge books to end 2017: Dare Not Linger
by Nelson Mandela, the long-awaited sequel to his memoir Long Walk to Freedom
, and the second book in the two-part memoir series from Jimmy Barnes. Part two will tell the story of Jimmy’s career and the merry-go-round of fame, drugs, and rehab, across the Cold Chisel, solo, and soul years.
That’s all we’ve got for now! Leave us a comment and let us know which books you can’t wait to get your hands on, and if you want some fiction to balance out the non-fiction in your life, click here
to see the 2017 fiction titles we can’t wait to read.