10 of the Best New Nonfiction Books To Read in April 2024


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Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.

Rainy April days are perfect to spend inside with a cup of tea and a great book, especially anything nonfiction. At this time of year, I love to curl up on my oversized couch with my Corgi, Gwen, draped across my lap. An avid Hobonichi Techo fan, I often find myself doodling while I listen to my audiobook of choice. On other days, I spend my time cleaning up the showers of pollen South Carolina receives every spring. When the sun is shining, I sit out on my porch, relaxing as I watch the Corgis run around the yard. But always, I have a story playing through my headphones.

In celebration of true stories, I’ve collected ten of some of the hottest nonfiction titles hitting shelves in April. When it comes to true stories, I like a little bit of everything. But of course, we all have our favorites. Perhaps you dive into a history that opens doors to the past. Or maybe you pick up a memoir that gives you detailed insight into another person’s life. Or you could explore the pages of a cookbook that introduces you to a whole new-to-you cuisine. The possibilities are endless. You might be new to nonfiction or a true stories pro, but whatever the case, there’s sure to be something on this list that catches your eye.

All publication dates are subject to change.

a graphic of the cover of Like Love: Essays and Conversations by Maggie Nelson

Like Love: Essays and Conversations by Maggie Nelson (April 2)

Maggie Nelson, author of Bluets and The Argonauts, has gathered together her essays and conversations that have come out in various outlets over the years. Her work centers around queer feminist ideas and topics around living as an artist. And, of course, as always, her prose is stunning.

a graphic of the cover of Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdiea graphic of the cover of Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie (April 16)

On August 12th, 2022, Salman Rushdie was attacked at a book event. Thirty years before a fatwa was ordered against him, but Rushdie had thought he was finally safe. Knife delves into his thought process as he works through the emotions, and long-lasting physical effects, of the attack.

a graphic of the cover of The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tana graphic of the cover of The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan

The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan (April 23)

Literary powerhouse Amy Tan made her name with fiction, but this time she’s returning with a new foray into nature writing. Back in 2016, Tan withdrew from much of the world, finding solace in watching the birds that visited her in her backyard. Now, Tan shares that experience of slowing down and learning to better appreciate the world around her.

a graphic of the cover of Water on Fire: A Memoir of War by Tarek El-Arissa graphic of the cover of Water on Fire: A Memoir of War by Tarek El-Ariss

Water on Fire: A Memoir of War by Tarek El-Ariss (April 23)

In this sweeping memoir, Tarek El-Ariss chronicles his life as a migrant fleeing war toward a more hopeful future. El-Ariss lives through the Lebanese Civil War and immigrates to the US, only to experience xenophobia following the attack on 9/11. Full of heart and resilience, Water on Fire is a must-read memoir.

a graphic of the cover of Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire edited by Alice Wonga graphic of the cover of Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire edited by Alice Wong

Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire edited by Alice Wong (April 30)

Disability rights activist Alice Wong is back with another anthology, this time about disabled people’s experiences with intimacy. The selections include a wide range of experiences: platonic, sexual, and everything in between.

a graphic of the cover of The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History by Karen Valby a graphic of the cover of The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History by Karen Valby

The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History by Karen Valby (April 30)

Karen Valby tells the story of five Black ballerinas — Lydia Abarca, Gayle McKinney-Griffith, Sheila Rohan, Karlya Shelton, and Marcia Sells — who were each trailblazers in their own right. Together, they created a chosen family, a sisterhood, of dancers determined to make their mark on the world.

a graphic of the cover of The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War by Erik Larsona graphic of the cover of The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War by Erik Larson

The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War by Erik Larson (April 30)

Narrative history bestseller Erik Larson is back with another dive into the five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War. Larson moves back and forth between the political unrest, chaos, and outbreaks of violence that started the horrific war that divided a nation. With Larson’s eye for detail and attention to storytelling, this is sure to be one of the most beloved history books of the year.

a graphic of the cover of The Call Is Coming from Inside the Housea graphic of the cover of The Call Is Coming from Inside the House

The Call Is Coming from Inside the House: Essays by Allyson McOuat

Toronto writer Allyson McOuat shares her experience growing up as a queer femme woman in the ’80s and ’90s. She details the major pop culture that made her who she is today and what her life is like now as a mom just trying to make it all work. Full of humor and heart, the essays will capture your attention from the first page.

a graphic of the cover of [AOC] Mean Boys: A Personal History by Geoffrey Maka graphic of the cover of [AOC] Mean Boys: A Personal History by Geoffrey Mak

Mean Boys: A Personal History by Geoffrey Mak (April 30)

The gay son of an evangelical minister, Geoffrey Mak, fled to queer spaces looking for the safe haven he’d never had growing up. In his memoir in essays, Mak invites us into his world full of longing, lust, and a search for belonging.

a graphic of the cover of [AOC] The Chain: Love, Betrayal, and the Sisterhood That Heals Us by Chimene Suleymana graphic of the cover of [AOC] The Chain: Love, Betrayal, and the Sisterhood That Heals Us by Chimene Suleyman

The Chain: A Memoir: Love, Betrayal, and the Sisterhood That Heals Us by Chimene Suleyman (April 30)

Chimene Suleyman’s world turns upside down when she realizes that her boyfriend — the man she’d loved and trusted — isn’t actually who he says he is. Suleyman writes in solidarity with women who’ve been lied to, gaslit, and belittled into harmful relationships that they should have left long ago. The Chain is a love letter to the sisterhood and resilience of women in spite of terrible men.


​​There are so many good books — I don’t know where to start! If you’re looking for even more nonfiction book recommendations, check out 10 New Nonfiction Book Releases of March and 10 New Nonfiction Book Releases of February.

As always, you can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.





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