Looking for excellent nonfiction to read? Try some of these books on the 2015 National Book Award Longlist for Nonfiction.
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett
Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, or Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, take a look at Barnett's book.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time inspired this fiercely personal yet universal work.
Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
Sy Montgomery's friendship with an octopus was the catalyst for this book. Montgomery studied octopi in aquariums and the sea and came to see that they, not unlike humans, have personalities and can be playful and intelligent. If this book interests you, you should also check out her book The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood, the story of a pig that won over her heart and the heart of the small town in which she lived.
The other titles on the Longlist are Mourning Lincoln by Martha Hodes; Paradise of the Pacific by Susanna Moore; Love and Other Ways of Dying: Essays by Michael Paterniti; If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power; Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith; and Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir by Michael White.