Here are just a few of our favorite nonfiction titles for May. See more of our nonfiction picks, and all of the Best Books of the Month.
Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby
Once despised as a menace, the "killer whale was hunted in the 1950s to near-extinction with harpoons and even machine guns. In the ’60s, a Seattle entrepreneur performed with a captured individual, launching an era of misguided management and orcas as "entertainment," before the documentary Blackfish again changed perceptions. Colby’s book chronicles what has been a fraught relationship between humans and this apex predator—and mostly for the whales.
She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer
Zimmer seeks to retell the story of heredity as a tale that is simultaneously broader and more inclusive. Who we become is determined by our ancestor’s genes, yes, but it is also a product of our own cells—for one cell can contribute to millions of future cells. How we treat ourselves, what we learn, and even how we feel, eventually contributes to who it is we will become.
Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else) by Ken Auletta
With a trillion dollars of business at stake, the question of what advertising will look like in the future is not a trivial one. The days of the Mad Men are gone forever, replaced in large part by quants and algorithms—the goal is to reach a new generation of consumers, one that is technologically literate and that doesn’t like being sold to.
More nonfiction picks for June:
- Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World’s Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson
- My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle
- Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder
- Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World’s Biggest Sports Scandal by Ken Bensinger
- Fail Until You Don’t: Fight Grind Repeat by Bobby Bones
- How Democracy Ends by David Runciman
- The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes by Rick Bass
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