December 2022

Best Nonfiction of 2022

This year’s best nonfiction books ran the gamut from timely to timeless. Meghan O’Rourke, Siddhartha Mukherjee and Linda Villarosa broke new ground in our understanding of illness. Memoirs by fiction writers including Amy Bloom, Ingrid Rojas Contreras and Erika Krouse told gripping true stories with a novelist’s flair. And beloved favorites such as Ed Yong, Ross Gay and Stacy Schiff rose to meet their fans’ high expectations.
Share this Article:

Also a Poet by Ada Calhoun

Calhoun’s biography of the poet Frank O’Hara unexpectedly transformed into an absorbing and insightful memoir about her father.

Free by Lea Ypi

Political scholar Ypi’s poignant, funny memoir views Albania’s journey out of socialism through a child’s eyes.

Half American by Matthew F. Delmont

Delmont provides a top-notch overview of the contributions of Black service members and civilians during WWII.

Book jacket image for Half American by Matthew F. Delmont

How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo

Castillo brilliantly argues that being a good reader means learning how to interrogate the stories all around us.

Book jacket image for How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo

An Immense World by Ed Yong

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Yong’s nonfiction study of animal senses is an immersive, page-turning reading experience.

In Love by Amy Bloom

Bloom is known for examining the dynamics of intimacy in her fiction, but she has never gotten closer to the flame than in this memoir of her husband’s early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

In Love book jacket

In the Shadow of the Mountain by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Unlike mountaineering memoirs that celebrate the individual, Vasquez-Lavado’s is intimately collaborative.

book jacket for In the Shadow of the Mountain

Inciting Joy by Ross Gay

Gay’s powerful and poetic sixth book asks: What incites joy? And more importantly, what does joy incite in us?

Inciting Joy by Ross Gay

The Invisible Kingdom by Meghan O’Rourke

O’Rourke compassionately chronicles the rise of autoimmune disease alongside her own search for healing.

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial by Deborah Cohen

Historian Cohen brilliantly captures the complicated lives of America’s most influential interwar journalists.

The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Rojas Contreras makes the history of Colombia immediate and personal.

Raising Lazarus by Beth Macy

Macy’s follow-up to Dopesick ​​will radically change your opinions on the opioid crisis.

Raising Lazarus by Beth Macy

Red Paint by Sasha LaPointe

LaPointe offers a poetic narrative of trauma and healing through ancestral rites and punk rock.

The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Schiff vividly renders an essential Founding Father: Samuel Adams.

River of the Gods by Candice Millard

In this unforgettable history of the Nile, European explorers’ egos loom godlike, but East African guides save lives.

The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee

This captivating book from Pulitzer Prize winner Mukherjee explores how cellular engineering can reshape medicine.

South to America by Imani Perry

In a vibrant blend of travelogue, memoir and cultural history, Perry shows the South’s iniquity and beauty.

Stay True by Hua Hsu

Hsu’s remarkable memoir examines the reverberations of a friendship frozen in time by untimely death.

Stay True by Hua Hsu

Strangers to Ourselves by Rachel Aviv

This stunning book profiles people whose experiences of mental illness exceed the limits of Western psychiatry.

Tell Me Everything by Erika Krouse

Krouse’s compelling, highly personal account of a landmark Title IX case reads like a detective novel.

This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan

Carvan makes an excellent case for embracing what you like and the delight it brings—no shame allowed.

Jacket of This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan

Under the Skin by Linda Villarosa

Villarosa’s wonderfully written book makes stunning points about the health risks of racism.

Book jacket image for Under the Skin by Linda Villarosa

Virology by Joseph Osmundson

Sparkling prose, glittering insights and accessible writing make this one of the best science books of the year.

Discover more of BookPage’s Best Books of 2022.

By Lea Ypi

ISBN 9780393867732

In Love
By Amy Bloom
Random House

ISBN 9780593243947

The Invisible Kingdom
By Meghan O'Rourke

ISBN 9781594633799

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial
By Deborah Cohen
Random House

ISBN 9780525511199

Red Paint
By Sasha LaPointe

ISBN 9781640094147

River of the Gods
By Candice Millard

ISBN 9780385543101

Tell Me Everything
By Erika Krouse

ISBN 9781250240309

This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch
By Tabitha Carvan

ISBN 9780593421918

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our newsletter to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.

Recent Features