For this week’s Nonfiction New-Release List, I decided to be a little selfish. There are two books that I have been waiting for- for what seems like forever- to include on one of these lists. They don’t have anything to do with one another, but they were released on the same day. I thought about how I could build a theme around each of them. I thought about splitting them up into different-themed weeks, but I simply could not allow myself to sit on the release of either book. Therefore, I decided that this week’s list is going to be a compilation of books that I am personally recommending because I am personally dying to read them myself. So, allow me to formally introduce myself by walking you through a couple of titles that are currently on their way to my house.
1. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria
The first item on this list is one that I think would be the most universally intriguing for a variety of readers. Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and best-selling author, had predicted in 2017 that the biggest threat facing the United States would be a deadly pathogen that would then trigger a health crisis. Well, clearly he was correct with this prediction and he writes this book to help readers understand the political, social, technological, and economic environments that follow a pandemic.
One thing that you need to know about me is that I love England. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled to London more times than I could count and I would do unspeakable things in order to move to London. Therefore, I have been following all of the royal family drama very closely. Robert Lacey, bestselling author and historical consultant to the award-winning Netflix series The Crown, writes this inside account of the relationship and estrangement between William and Harry. Lacey dives into various factors that would affect their relationship, such as the divorce of their parents, Princess Diana’s death, how the crown puts a strain on relationships, and the role others have played, including Queen Elizabeth II, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle. Having only been released on October 20th, I cannot wait for this book to arrive so I can read “the most intimate vision yet of life behind closed doors, with its highs, lows and discretions all laid out.”
3. Resonate: Zen and the Way of Making a Difference by Ginny Whitelaw
Given the nature of the previous two titles, which explore a global pandemic and a tumultuous family relationship, I feel that now is a good time to speak of Resonate: Zen and the Way of Making a Difference. Written by Ginny Whitelaw, a leadership expert, Zen master of Rinzai Zen, and previous Biophysicist for NASA, writes this guide on resonance: how it is the principle underlying change, how to become more resonant, and how resonance can be applied to relationships, dreams, social change, and beyond.
4. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Another thing that you need to know about me is that I love Matthew McConaughey. This love began with his lead role in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and has only gotten stronger over the years. He also finally joined Instagram a couple of months ago, so that’s been fantastic. The most exciting reason to follow his Instagram, though, has been the ability to anticipate the release date of his book, which also was on October 20th. This means that I’ve heard him make the same spiel about it over and over – speaking about being in this life for fifty years and trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, going through his diaries over the years, etc. – but hearing that spiel also made me more and more excited for the book. First of all, after hearing him read that introduction so many times, I imagine I’ll be hearing his voice the entire time I read. Second, I trust Matthew McConaughey’s vision and interpretation of life. He seems more aware of reality than many celebrities. Plus, he is such a wildly creative person that I’m sure his writing style will be just as fascinating as his acting style.
As a writer, myself, the final item on this list is an absolute necessity. K.M. Weiland writes this ninth book in her series, Helping Writers Become Authors. In this, she tackles the topic of theme, which she describes as “the mysterious cousin of plot and character.” Some ways in which she does this includes teaching writers to create the theme from the plot and character, exploring why every character and subplot (no matter how small) should enhance the theme, and how to build the theme without sounding too preachy. Insisting that the theme is what makes the story, Weiland teaches her readers how to write a story that is not only entertaining, but also something that the readers will carry with them long after reading the last sentence and closing a book.