A Well Rounded List of Nonfiction Suggestions
Nonfiction books share facts and real-life events, allowing the reader to build knowledge and relate it to personal experiences. If you or your man want to learn something new, maybe one of these books will peak your interest. From sports to music to true crime and more, there are a lot of things to learn about in the pages of the books listed below. We all know, Knowledge is Power, so let me know which ones sound good to you and let’s all get powerful!
Gambler: Secrets From a Life At Risk by Billy Walters (Nonfiction/Sports)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “An insightful read…Walters is a larger-than-life character.” — Sports Illustrated * “This book is going to become the sports gambling bible…The formula’s in the book.” —Pat McAfee
The wild and massively entertaining autobiography of Billy Walters—“the greatest and most controversial sports gambler ever” (ESPN)—who shares his extraordinary life story, reveals the secrets to his fiercely protected betting system, and breaks his silence about Phil Mickelson.
Anybody can get lucky. Nobody controls the odds like Billy Walters. Widely regarded as “the Michael Jordan of sports betting,” Walters is a living legend in Las Vegas and among sports bettors worldwide. With an unmatched winning streak of thirty-six consecutive years, Walters has become fabulously wealthy by placing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in gross wagers, including one Super Bowl bet of $3.5 million alone. Competitors desperate to crack his betting techniques have tried hacking his phones, cloning his beepers, rifling through his trash, and bribing his employees. Now, after decades of avoiding the spotlight and fiercely protecting the keys to his success, Walters has reached the age where he wants to pass along his wisdom to future generations of sports bettors.
Gambler is more than a traditional autobiography. In addition to sharing his against-all-odds American Dream story, Walters reveals in granular detail the secrets of his proprietary betting system, which will serve as a master class for anyone who wants to improve their odds at betting on sports. Walters also breaks his silence about his long and complicated relationship with Hall of Fame professional golfer Phil Mickelson.
On a typical weekend gameday packed with college and pro sports, Walters will bet $20 million. It’s a small sum for someone with his resources today, but an unbelievable fortune for the child who was raised by his grandmother in extreme poverty in rural Kentucky. By the age of nine, Walters became a shark at hustling pool and pitching pennies. As a young adult, he set records as a used-car salesman, hustled golf, and dabbled in bookmaking. He eventually moved to Las Vegas, where he revolutionized sports betting strategy and became a member of the famed Computer Group, the first syndicate to apply algorithms and data analysis to sports gambling. He built a fortune while overcoming addictions and outmaneuvering organized crime figures made infamous by Martin Scorsese’s film Casino.
In Gambler , Walters shares everything he’s learned about sports betting. First, he shows bettors how to mine the information we have at our fingertips to develop a sophisticated betting strategy and handicapping system of our own. He explains how even avid bettors often do not grasp all of the variables that go into making an informed wager—home field advantage, individual player values, injuries or illness, weather forecasts, each team’s previous schedule, travel distance/ difficulty, stadium quirks, turf types, and more. Variable by variable, Walters breaks down the formulas, betting systems, and money-management principles that he’s developed over decades of improving his craft.
A self-made man who repeatedly won it all, lost it all, and earned it all back again, Walters has lived a singular and wildly appealing American life, of the outlaw variety. Gambler is at once a gripping autobiography, a blistering tell-all, and an indispensable playbook for coming out on top.
Your Table is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina (Nonfiction/Food)
A front-of-the-house Kitchen Confidential from a career maître d’hotel who manned the front of the room in New York City’s hottest and most in-demand restaurants.
From the glamorous to the entitled, from royalty to the financially ruined, everyone who wanted to be seen―or just to gawk―at the hottest restaurants in New York City came to places Michael Cecchi-Azzolina helped run. His phone number was passed around among those who wanted to curry favor, during the decades when restaurants replaced clubs and theater as, well, theater in the most visible, vibrant city in the world.
Besides dropping us back into a vanished time, Your Table Is Ready takes us places we’d never be able to get into on our own: Raoul’s in Soho with its louche club vibe; Buzzy O’Keefe’s casually elegant River Café (the only outer-borough establishment desirable enough to be included in this roster), from Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern to Nolita’s Le Coucou, possibly the most beautiful room in New York City in 2018, with its French Country Auberge-meets-winery look and the most exquisite and enormous stands of flowers, changed every three days.
From his early career serving theater stars like Tennessee Williams and Dustin Hoffman at La Rousse right through to the last pre-pandemic-shutdown full houses at Le Coucou, Cecchi-Azzolina has seen it all. In Your Table Is Ready , he breaks down how restaurants really run (and don’t), and how the economics work for owners and overworked staff alike. The professionals who gravitate to the business are a special, tougher breed, practiced in dealing with the demanding patrons and with each other, in a very distinctive ecosystem that’s somewhere between a George Orwell “down and out in….” dungeon and a sleek showman’s smoke-and-mirrors palace.
Your Table Is Ready is a rollicking, raunchy, revelatory memoir.
Build the Life You Want by Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey (Nonfiction/Self Help)
You can get happier. And getting there will be the adventure of your lifetime.
In Build the Life You Want , Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey invite you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, they show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change.
With insight, compassion, and hope, Brooks and Winfrey reveal how the tools of emotional self-management can change your life―immediately. They recommend practical, research-based practices to build the four pillars of family, friendship, work, and faith. And along the way, they share hard-earned wisdom from their own lives and careers as well as the witness of regular people whose lives are joyful despite setbacks and hardship.
Equipped with the tools of emotional self-management and ready to build your four pillars, you can take control of your present and future rather than hoping and waiting for your circumstances to improve. Build the Life You Want is your blueprint for a better life.
The Art Thief by Michael Finkel (Nonfiction/true crime)
The true story of the world’s most prolific art thief–a spellbinding portrait of obsession and flawed genius, from the bestselling author of The Stranger in the Woods
For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than two hundred heists over nearly ten years–in museums and cathedrals all over Europe–Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than three hundred objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion.
In The Art Thief, Michael Finkel brings us into Breitwieser’s strange and fascinating world. Unlike most thieves, he never stole for money, keeping all his treasures in a single room where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed of a remarkable athleticism and an innate ability to assess practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtakingly number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop–until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down.
Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton, and Me by Bernie Taupin (Music memoir)
An evocative, clear-eyed, and revealing memoir by Bernie Taupin, the lyrical master and long-time collaborator of Elton John
“I loved writing, I loved chronicling life and every moment I was cogent, sober, or blitzed, I was forever feeding off my surroundings, making copious notes as ammunition for future compositions. . . . The thing is good, bad, or indifferent I never stopped writing, it was as addictive as any drug.”
This is the memoir music fans have been waiting for. Half of one of the greatest creative partnerships in popular music, Bernie Taupin is the man who wrote the lyrics for Elton John, who conceived the ideas that spawned countless hits, and sold millions and millions of records. Together, they were a duo, a unit, an immovable object. Their extraordinary, half-century-and-counting creative relationship has been chronicled in biopics (like 2019’s Rocketman ) and even John’s own autobiography, Me . But Taupin, a famously private person, has kept his own account of their adventures close to his chest, until now.
Written with honesty and candor, Scattershot allows the reader to witness events unfolding from Taupin’s singular perspective, sometimes front and center, sometimes from the edge, yet always described vibrantly, with an infectious energy that only a vivid songwriter’s prose could offer. From his childhood in the East Midlands of England whose imagination was sparked and forever informed by the distinctly American mythopoetics of country music and cowboy culture, to the glittering, star-studded fishbowl of ’70s and ’80s Beverly Hills, Scattershot is simultaneously a Tom Jones- like picaresque journey across a landscape of unforgettable characters, as well as a striking, first-hand account of a creative era like no other and one man’s experience at the core of it.
An exciting, multi-decade whirlwind told in a non-linear yet grounded narrative, Scattershot whizzes around the world as we ride shotgun with Bernie on his extraordinary life. We visit Los Angeles with him and Elton on the cusp of global fame. We spend time with him in Australia almost in residency at an infamous rock ‘n’ roll hotel in an endless blizzard of drugs. And we spend late, late night hours with John Lennon, with Bob Marley, and hanging with Frank Sinatra. And beyond the world of popular music, we witness memorable encounters with writers like Graham Greene, painters like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, and scores of notable misfits, miscreants, eccentrics, and geniuses, known and unknown. Even if they’re not famous in their own right, they are stars on the page, and we discover how they inspired the indelible lyrics to songs such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Bennie and The Jets,” and so many more.
Unique and utterly compelling, Scattershot will transport the reader across the decades and around the globe, along the way meeting some of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century, and into the vivid imaginings of one of music’s most legendary lyricists.
Larry McMurtry: A Life by Tracy Daugherty (Biography/nonfiction)
A biography of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry from New York Times bestselling author Tracy Daugherty.
In over forty books, in a career that spanned over sixty years, Larry McMurtry staked his claim as a superior chronicler of the American West, and as the Great Plains’ keenest witness since Willa Cather and Wallace Stegner. Larry A Life traces his origins as one of the last American writers who had direct contact with this country’s pioneer traditions. It follows his astonishing career as bestselling novelist, Pulitzer-Prize winner, author of the beloved Lonesome Dove , Academy-Award winning screenwriter, public intellectual, and passionate bookseller. A sweeping and insightful look at a versatile, one-of-a-kind American writer, this book is a must-read for every Larry McMurtry fan.
The End of Eden by Adam Welz (Nonfiction/climate change)
A revelatory exploration of climate change from the perspective of wild species and natural ecosystems–an homage to the miraculous, vibrant entity that is life on Earth.
The stories we usually tell ourselves about climate change tend to focus on the damage inflicted on human societies by big storms, severe droughts, and rising sea levels. But the most powerful impacts are being and will be felt by the natural world and its myriad species, which are already in the midst of the sixth great extinction. Rising temperatures are fracturing ecosystems that took millions of years to evolve, disrupting the life forms they sustain–and in many cases driving them towards extinction. The natural Eden that humanity inherited is quickly slipping away.
Although we can never really know what a creature thinks or feels, The End of Eden invites the reader to meet wild species on their own terms in a range of ecosystems that span the globe. Combining classic natural history, firsthand reportage, and insights from cutting-edge research, Adam Welz brings us close to species like the moose of Northern Maine, the parrots of Puerto Rico, Namibia’s cheetahs and rare fish in Australia as they struggle to survive. The stories are intimate yet expansive and always dramatic.
An exquisitely written and deeply researched exploration of wild species reacting to climate breakdown, The End of Eden offers a radical new kind of environmental journalism that connects humans to nature in a more empathetic way than ever before and galvanizes us to act in defense of the natural world before it’s too late.
They Flew: A History of the Impossible by Carlos Eire (Nonfiction/history)
An award-winning historian’s examination of impossible events at the dawn of modernity and of their enduring significance
Accounts of seemingly impossible phenomena abounded in the early modern era—tales of levitation, bilocation, and witchcraft—even as skepticism, atheism, and empirical science were starting to supplant religious belief in the paranormal. In this book, Carlos Eire explores how a culture increasingly devoted to scientific thinking grappled with events deemed impossible by its leading intellectuals.
Eire observes how levitating saints and flying witches were as essential a component of early modern life as the religious turmoil of the age, and as much a part of history as Newton’s scientific discoveries. Relying on an array of firsthand accounts, and focusing on exceptionally impossible cases involving levitation, bilocation, witchcraft, and demonic possession, Eire challenges established assumptions about the redrawing of boundaries between the natural and supernatural that marked the transition to modernity.
Using as his case studies stories about St. Teresa of Avila, St. Joseph of Cupertino, the Venerable María de Ágreda, and three disgraced nuns, Eire challenges readers to imagine a world animated by a different understanding of reality and of the supernatural’s relationship with the natural world. The questions he explores—such as why and how “impossibility” is determined by cultural contexts, and whether there is more to reality than meets the eye or can be observed by science—have resonance and lessons for our time.
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
―Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
“Michael Wolff’s books were my foundation and port of entry for working on Succession .”
―Jeremy Strong (“Kendall Roy”)
Meet the Murdochs and the disastrously dysfunctional family of Fox News. Until recently, they formed the most powerful media and political force in the land, for better or worse. Now their empire is cracking up and crashing down.
For almost three decades, Fox News has not only made political careers ( President Donald J. Trump) but also fundamentally altered the political landscape of the United States. It is a as Fox goes, so goes the nation―into further divisiveness and awash in fake news, a gleefully polarizing company. But just as Fox has pushed America apart, now it too is coming apart. As is the family dynasty behind it.
In his irresistible trilogy on the chaotic presidency of Donald Trump― Fire and Fury , Siege , and Landslide ―the gadfly journalist Michael Wolff led readers deep into the twisted corridors of the White House. Now, drawing on years of unprecedented access to the Murdoch family and key players in the world of Fox, he plunges us behind the scenes of another empire of influence, and the result is astonishing and unforgettable.
Here is Rupert Murdoch, the ninety-two-year-old Australian billionaire―a fading titan, concerned about his legacy but more concerned about profits. Here are his contentious progeny, jockeying to take over when the old man is gone. Here is star anchor Tucker Carlson, hiding out in his island homes, considering a run for the presidency while his bosses have other plans for him. Sean Hannity, the richest man in television, has his own to put the former POTUS back in office, against the bosses’ wishes. Meanwhile, Laura Ingraham is just trying to survive in the last man’s man’s world.
Empires fall. Kingdoms come to an end. As lawsuits pummel the financial bedrock and reputation of the network, anchors scramble, and the battling Murdoch heirs make the Roys of TV’s Succession seem downright Brady Bunch, Michael Wolff documents, in riveting and revelatory real time, the final days of Fox News.
From New York Times bestselling author and Rolling Stone founder comes “a visit to the Mount Olympus of rock” in this remarkable collection of new and collected interviews with the greatest rock stars and cultural icons of our time (Kirkus Reviews). During fifty years of publishing the “Bible of Rock and Roll,” Jann Wenner conducted a series of interviews that are now regarded among the most important historical documents of rock. Some of these conversations broke headlines—in 1970, his interview with John Lennon exposed the unvarnished tensions that led to the breakup of the Beatles. He gets up-close-and-personal with Bob Dylan, the most singular figure in music who revealed himself to Wenner more openly than to anyone else. And Mick Jagger only trusted one person to publicly interview him about his private life and his backstage account of the world’s greatest rock band.
Including stunning photographs and an exclusive, never-before-seen interview with Bruce Springsteen, The Masters intimately profiles the extraordinary musicians who dominated rock and roll, from London and California to New York and L.A.. This is a primary source, cultural masterpiece, and must-have volume about the artists who changed history.
Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson (Nonfiction/business)
From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. Oh, and took over Twitter.
When Elon Musk was a kid in South Africa, he was regularly beaten by bullies. One day a group pushed him down some concrete steps and kicked him until his face was a swollen ball of flesh. He was in the hospital for a week. But the physical scars were minor compared to the emotional ones inflicted by his father, an engineer, rogue, and charismatic fantasist.
His father’s impact on his psyche would linger. He developed into a tough yet vulnerable man-child, prone to abrupt Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings, with an exceedingly high tolerance for risk, a craving for drama, an epic sense of mission, and a maniacal intensity that was callous and at times destructive.
At the beginning of 2022—after a year marked by SpaceX launching thirty-one rockets into orbit, Tesla selling a million cars, and him becoming the richest man on earth—Musk spoke ruefully about his compulsion to stir up dramas. “I need to shift my mindset away from being in crisis mode, which it has been for about fourteen years now, or arguably most of my life,” he said.
It was a wistful comment, not a New Year’s resolution. Even as he said it, he was secretly buying up shares of Twitter, the world’s ultimate playground. Over the years, whenever he was in a dark place, his mind went back to being bullied on the playground. Now he had the chance to own the playground.
For two years, Isaacson shadowed Musk, attended his meetings, walked his factories with him, and spent hours interviewing him, his family, friends, coworkers, and adversaries. The result is the revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, that addresses the are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?
Astor by Anderson Cooper (Nonfiction/history)
The number one New York Times bestselling authors of Vanderbilt return with another riveting history of a legendary American family, the Astors, and how they built and lavished their fortune.
The story of the Astors is a quintessentially American story—of ambition, invention, destruction, and reinvention.
From 1783, when German immigrant John Jacob Astor first arrived in the United States, until 2009, when Brooke Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, was convicted of defrauding his elderly mother, the Astor name occupied a unique place in American society.
The family fortune, first made by a beaver trapping business that grew into an empire, was then amplified by holdings in Manhattan real estate. Over the ensuing generations, Astors ruled Gilded Age New York society and inserted themselves into political and cultural life, but also suffered the most famous loss on the Titanic, one of many shocking and unexpected twists in the family’s story.
In this unconventional, page-turning historical biography, featuring black-and-white and color photographs, #1 New York Times bestselling authors Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe chronicle the lives of the Astors and explore what the Astor name has come to mean in America—offering a window onto the making of America itself.