The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of August 2023: Uncover the World's Most Captivating Reads
Looking for some great nonfiction reads for August 2023? Check out this list of the 10 best nonfiction books of the month, as chosen by MGara Coin. From explorations of the deep sea to examinations of race and class in America, there's something for everyone on this list.
August 2023 welcomes a plethora of thought-provoking and illuminating nonfiction books that offer readers a window into captivating worlds and profound ideas. Curated by MGara Coin, this list showcases the finest literary works that challenge our perceptions, enlighten our minds, and inspire us to delve deeper into the complexities of the human experience.
From compelling narratives on hidden realms to incisive analyses of societal issues, this collection promises to leave an indelible mark on every reader. Join us as we embark on a journey through the 10 Best Nonfiction Books of August 2023, a diverse selection that showcases the power of knowledge, empathy, and storytelling.
Here are the 10 best nonfiction books of August 2023, according to MGara Coin:
1. The Underworld by Susan Casey
In this fascinating book, Susan Casey takes readers on a journey to the depths of the ocean, exploring the strange and wonderful creatures that live there. From giant squid to anglerfish, Casey's book is full of amazing insights into the underwater world.
Step into the awe-inspiring world beneath the waves with Susan Casey's latest literary masterpiece, "The Underworld." As a bestselling author, Casey paints a vivid portrait of the mysterious ocean realm and the intrepid explorers who dare to venture into its depths.
Throughout human history, the deep ocean has both fascinated and terrified us, shrouded in enigma and beckoning the question: What lies beneath? Now, thanks to cutting-edge technologies, scientists and adventurers can descend miles below the surface, gradually unraveling the secrets of this strange and exotic underworld. This vibrant realm houses soaring mountains, smoldering volcanoes, and valleys deeper than Everest is high. Here, tectonic plates collide and separate, and an array of extraordinary life forms thrive under unique rules. Far from the feared abyss, the deep is a kaleidoscope of wonders—a haven for pink gelatinous predators, shimmering creatures spanning a hundred feet, ancient animals with glass skeletons, and sharks that endure for half a millennium.
Susan Casey, our foremost chronicler of the aquatic world, embarks on a global odyssey in "The Underworld." She journeys alongside scientists and explorers as they plunge into the planet's deepest reaches, seeking knowledge in this vast, unseen domain. Casey's enthralling narrative escorts readers through the history of deep-sea exploration—from the myths and legends of antiquity to unearthing storied shipwrecks that once lay beyond reach. As she unveils the mind-blowing complexity and ecological significance of countless creatures inhabiting these once-thought lifeless realms, she emphasizes the deep's vital role in our planet's future. In an era of mounting threats from climate change, industrial fishing, pollution, and mining endeavors exploring its depths, "The Underworld" serves as a stunning evocation of the natural world and an impassioned call to safeguard this vital ecosystem.
2. They Called Us Exceptional by Prachi Gupta
In this powerful book, Prachi Gupta tells the story of her journey as a young Indian-American woman growing up in the United States. Gupta's book is a searing indictment of the racism and sexism that she faced, but it is also a hopeful story about the power of resilience.
In a searingly honest and deeply insightful memoir, Prachi Gupta, an Indian American daughter, delves into the fractures caused by the dangerous model minority myth within her family. This heartfelt book serves as both a scalding indictment and a heartfelt love letter, exposing the life-altering power of embracing one's truth.
With boundless love, Gupta reveals the secrets and sorrows of her family, offering a poignant exploration of the dissonance faced by immigrants and their children in America. Born into a family embodying the American Dream, with a doctor father and nurturing mother, Gupta experienced the relentless pressure to conform to the myth that Asian Americans have perfected the alchemy of a flawless middle-class life. Yet, beneath the surface, her family struggled with hidden traumas and disconnection.
Throughout "They Called Us Exceptional," Gupta addresses her mother directly, weaving a deeply personal narrative with history, postcolonial theory, and mental health research. She bravely confronts the shame and isolation of being upheld as a success story while privately navigating the impact of the myth on her life. As she untangles her reality and liberates herself from the confines of this reductive myth, Gupta paves the path towards self-discovery and compassion.
By charting her family's journey through slow unraveling and her determination to break the cycle, Gupta passionately argues for a shift from traditional notions of success towards genuine human connection and empathy. "They Called Us Exceptional" is an emotionally resonant memoir that sheds light on the complexities of identity, belonging, and the transformative power of telling one's own story.
3. Congratulations by R. Eric Thomas
In this hilarious and heartwarming book, R. Eric Thomas celebrates the everyday moments of joy and accomplishment. Thomas's book is a reminder that even the smallest things can be worth celebrating.
In this heartening and laugh-out-loud collection of essays, R. Eric Thomas, the beloved bestselling author of "Here for It," offers deeply relatable insights into what happens after the fairy-tale ending. With wit and humor, Thomas navigates the complexities of identity, belonging, and finding one's way back home after life takes unexpected turns.
Having gone viral for his unique take on chaotic political news and surviving numerous awkward social encounters, Thomas felt he had finally figured out who he was and where he was heading—living his best life. However, life had other plans, and everything changed.
Returning to his perpetually misunderstood hometown of Baltimore, a place he never intended to revisit, Thomas finds himself behaving entirely out of character. As he grapples with the realization that both he and home have transformed beyond recognition, he takes readers on a journey filled with humorous misadventures and unexpected twists.
From attending his twenty-year high school reunion, where he discovers a stranger's face on his name badge, to experiencing a blood-spattered urgent care room reminiscent of "The Shining," and dealing with a curious invasion of gay frogs in his backyard, Thomas shares the gritty and nitty details of wrestling with the life he thought he had left behind while striving to establish a new one.
With hope for the future and a reminder that life may not always go as planned, "Congratulations, The Best Is Over!" celebrates the resilience and determination to find our way back home, no matter how unexpected the journey.
4. Anansi's Gold by Yepoka Yeebo
In this debut novel, Yepoka Yeebo tells the story of a young woman who sets out to find her father's lost gold. Yeebo's book is a magical and suspenseful tale that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Dubbed as a "non-fiction masterpiece" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Anansi's Gold" is an astounding, captivating narrative that unveils the gripping and untold story of one of the 20th century's most audacious frauds. Born out of the tumultuous period following Ghana's independence from Britain in 1957, the book uncovers the remarkable exploits of John Ackah Blay-Miezah, a charismatic Ghanaian con artist, who wove a web of deception and intrigue that fooled thousands and amassed untold wealth.
As Ghana faced exploitation from both opportunistic locals and Western interests seeking to seize its remaining assets, a CIA-backed military junta orchestrated the removal of President Kwame Nkrumah and fabricated accusations of gold hoarding. It was in this fertile environment that Blay-Miezah emerged, presenting himself as the guardian of an alleged Nkrumah trust fund worth billions. With charm and cunning, he enticed people worldwide to "invest" in his fictitious ventures, promising a share of the imaginary fortune.
Author Yepoka Yeebo embarks on a thrilling pursuit of Blay-Miezah's increasingly audacious schemes, exposing the intricate web of lies and revealing the involvement of Ghanaian state officials and Nixon's former attorney general. From luxury living to duping Philadelphia lawyers, London financiers, and Seoul businessmen, Blay-Miezah managed to elude FBI pursuit and make his scam one of the most astonishingly lucrative in modern history.
Anansi's Gold" delves into Cold War entanglements, international finance, and the aftermath of colonialism, unearthing the truth of Ghana's missing wealth. Through this riveting account, Yeebo illustrates how history itself is shaped, one falsehood at a time.
5. The Perfection Trap by Thomas Curran
In this thought-provoking book, Thomas Curran explores the dark side of perfectionism. Curran's book is a wake-up call for anyone who is striving for perfection, and it offers a path to a more balanced and fulfilling life.
In a world that celebrates and demands perfection, Dr. Thomas Curran, an esteemed professor at the London School of Economics, delivers an eye-opening book that mirrors the best-selling insights of Brené Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection." "The Perfection Trap" unveils the perilous consequences of an obsession with flawlessness, leading to burnout and depression, ultimately hindering our ability to achieve our true goals.
Our modern society, saturated with cutthroat workplace competition, the relentless influence of social media comparisons, the relentless pursuit of elite credentials, and helicopter parenting, has fueled a surge in burnout and depression. Constantly bombarded with messages to strive for more and be perfect, we find ourselves caught in a perpetual cycle of unattainable expectations.
Drawing on a wealth of contemporary evidence, Dr. Curran advocates for both personal introspection and societal transformation. He offers practical strategies for resisting the pressure to be perfect, empowering individuals to discover a more purposeful and fulfilling life.
The Perfection Trap provides solace and guidance to those who have felt overwhelmed by the soul-crushing desire to not just compete but to compete beyond reason. Instead of being stuck on an ever-moving treadmill, the book encourages embracing what truly matters, offering the path to liberation and the pursuit of contentment.
6. Quiet Street by Nick McDonell
In this gripping thriller, Nick McDonell tells the story of a young man who witnesses a murder. McDonell's book is a fast-paced and suspenseful read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
In a candid and daring exploration, Nick McDonell delves into the heart of America's ruling class, unraveling how the privileged elite—whether intentionally or inadvertently—perpetuates cycles of injustice.
Quiet Street takes readers on a personal odyssey through McDonell's upbringing in New York City's opulent Upper East Side, a realm defined by its unfathomable wealth and influence. From privileged childhood experiences like sailing lessons in the Hamptons and school galas at the Met, to holiday getaways on private jets, McDonell paints an unvarnished portrait of his world—a world he eventually leaves behind to become a foreign correspondent in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.
Returning to his roots, McDonell dissects the rearing of the ruling class with unyielding honesty. With a scalpel-sharp precision, he dissects their lives, from Galápagos Island cruises and Tanzanian safaris to schoolyard microaggressions and fox-hunting rituals. Quiet Street unearths the intricate web of wealth and power, revealing how they are meticulously hoarded, encoded, and passed down through generations. In this searing examination, McDonell doesn't shy away from exposing how outsiders—the poor, the nonwhite, the suburban—are systematically kept out.
Yet, amidst the scrutiny, Quiet Street retains a sense of compassion. McDonell questions the vision of the one percent, who seem to yearn for a more equitable world but perpetually fall short. Who are these individuals, and how do they grasp on to power so tenaciously? What would it take for them to share it? These answers lie in a universal experience: coming to terms with the culture that shaped them.
In this provocative and compelling work, Quiet Street resonates as a story of American inequity—a tale that leaves readers contemplating the potential for profound change.
7. The Injustice of Place by Kathryn J. Edin
In this important book, Kathryn J. Edin examines the role of place in shaping people's lives. Edin's book is a powerful indictment of the racial and economic inequality that exists in America.
A sweeping and surprising new understanding of extreme poverty in America from the authors of the acclaimed $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.
“This book forces you to see American poverty in a whole new light.” (Matthew Desmond, author of Poverty, by America and Evicted)
Three of the nation’s top scholars – known for tackling key mysteries about poverty in America – turn their attention from the country’s poorest people to its poorest places. Based on a fresh, data-driven approach, they discover that America’s most disadvantaged communities are not the big cities that get the most notice. Instead, nearly all are rural. Little if any attention has been paid to these places or to the people who make their lives there.
This revelation set in motion a five-year journey across Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the Deep South, and South Texas. Immersing themselves in these communities, pouring over centuries of local history, attending parades and festivals, the authors trace the legacies of the deepest poverty in America—including inequalities shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility for families. Wrung dry by powerful forces and corrupt government officials, the “internal colonies” in these regions were exploited for their resources and then left to collapse.
The unfolding revelation in The Injustice of Place is not about what sets these places apart, but about what they have in common—a history of raw, intensive resource extraction and human exploitation. This history and its reverberations demand a reckoning and a commitment to wage a new War on Poverty, with the unrelenting focus on our nation’s places of deepest need.
8. Falling Back in Love with Being Human by Kai Cheng Thom
In this moving and inspiring book, Kai Cheng Thom writes about their journey through gender, addiction, and mental illness. Thom's book is a powerful reminder that it is possible to reclaim your life and find joy even in the darkest of times.
Kai Cheng Thom's powerful and tender book, described as an "intimate expression of self-acceptance and forgiveness," extends a compassionate hand to fellow trans women and humanity as a whole.
Growing up as a Chinese Canadian transgender girl in a hostile world, Kai Cheng Thom has consistently championed a revolutionary belief: that every human being, no matter how hateful or flawed, possesses intrinsic sacredness. As an activist, psychotherapist, conflict mediator, and spiritual healer, she dedicated her life to embracing this mission, seeking to spread values of justice, hope, love, and healing.
However, amid the ruthless cruelty that surrounded her, Kai Cheng found herself grappling with a crisis of faith. The ugliness of human interactions threatened to erode the very principles she held dear. Rather than succumbing to despair, she found solace and strength in writing. With unyielding determination, she penned prayers, spells, and poems—to affirm the outcasts, the runaways, and the flawed yet lovable souls she calls her kin. Her words extend to the ones with good intentions who inadvertently harm, to the racists and transphobes seemingly beyond redemption. What emerged from this journey was a blueprint, a roadmap to falling back in love with being human.
9. Devil's Coin by Jennifer McAdam
In this historical thriller, Jennifer McAdam tells the story of a young woman who is caught up in a dangerous conspiracy. McAdam's book is a fast-paced and suspenseful read that will keep you guessing until the very end.
In a breathtaking blend of memoir and true crime, Jen McAdam's courageous journey unfolds—a story hailed as an exhilarating mix by Publishers Weekly. The OneCoin global cryptocurrency fraud, responsible for stealing tens of billions of dollars from the world's most vulnerable—the "unbanked" population—seemed to operate under the assumption that these struggling individuals lacked the means and will to fight back. But they didn't account for Jen McAdam, a teenage mother, young grandmother, and modern-day Erin Brockovich.
Jen's life took a turn when her father left her £15,000—the product of a careful life in a small Scottish mining town. Seeking a safe investment for her family's future, she was drawn to OneCoin, enticed by the charismatic founder Dr. Ruja Ignatova and the tales of transformed lives. But her dream soon crumbled, and she discovered she would never see her money again.
Unlike many others, Jen refused to remain silent. She became one of the few victims worldwide to stand up against the fraudsters. Facing terrifying attempts to silence her and her support groups, she fought tirelessly for justice—for herself, her loved ones, and the countless others who lost everything, some even their lives. This is a true David-and-Goliath story, a beacon of hope, showcasing the immense power individuals hold, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds."
10. Is Math Real? by Eugenia Cheng
In this mind-bending book, Eugenia Cheng explores the nature of mathematics. Cheng's book is a fascinating and thought-provoking read that will challenge your understanding of the world.
In her groundbreaking book, Is Math Real?, esteemed mathematician Eugenia Cheng challenges the traditional notions of learning math. Rather than adhering to rigid rules and seeking predetermined answers, Cheng argues that math is best learned through the simple act of asking questions. Human curiosity, she contends, lies at the heart of the quest for mathematical truth.
Challenging the belief that math is about finding one right answer, Cheng celebrates the true essence of the discipline—the exploration of questions like "Why does 1 + 1 = 2?" that lead to profound insights and a deeper understanding of mathematical principles. With intelligence and passion, Is Math Real? offers a much-needed repudiation of conventional teaching methods and invites readers to embrace the spirit of curiosity that underlies the world of mathematics.
In conclusion, the 10 Best Nonfiction Books of August 2023 present an exceptional array of literary works that delve into diverse subjects and capture the essence of the human experience. From oceanic wonders to societal complexities, from personal reflections to societal analyses, these books illuminate various facets of life and inspire readers to reflect, learn, and grow. Each title in this collection stands as a testament to the power of nonfiction to enlighten and transform, solidifying their place as masterpieces in the world of literature, you also can read 10 Best New Books Recommended by Readers This Week of August 2023 by MGara Coin.
What are your favorite nonfiction books of August 2023? Let me know in the comments below!