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New in nonfiction: 5 highly anticipated stories of real life debuting this fall
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New in nonfiction: 5 highly anticipated stories of real life debuting this fall

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On the heels of a surprisingly healthy two years of book sales — especially for political nonfiction — one big question looms over the fall: Can books about nonpolitical topics grab the collective attention of readers? These five books have the best shot and most appeal. (And only one of them is about politics.)

Sept. 14

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‘Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement’

By Tarana Burke (Flatiron, 272 pages, $29)

The #MeToo movement leader narrates her journey of healing from sexual assault, which inspired her to build one of the largest social forces in recent history. Oprah Winfrey called it “searing,” “powerful” and “needed.”

Sept. 21

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‘Peril’

By Bob Woodward and Robert Costa (Simon & Schuster, 512 pages, $30)

Closing out his trilogy on Donald Trump (after “Rage” and “Fear: Trump in the White House”), Woodward is joined by the Washington Post’s Robert Costa to document not only the tumultuous downfall of 45 and the Jan. 6 insurrection, but also the early months of Joe Biden’s term. Details are locked down, but publisher Jonathan Karp promises “it will be newsworthy on an international scale.”

‘Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty’

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By Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe (Harper, 336 pages, $30)

Journalist Anderson Cooper documents the trajectory of his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts. With historian Katherine Howe, Cooper explores his great-great-great grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt’s insatiable hunger for money, which spawned an empire and built a fortune his heirs would spend in astonishing ways.

Sept. 28

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‘Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography’

Compiled by Laurie Woolever (Ecco, 448 pages, $30)

The recent documentary “Roadrunner” reinforced the public’s fascination with the late food-travel writer and TV host, and much remains to be told. Laurie Woolever, Anthony Bourdain’s longtime assistant, interviewed nearly 100 of his friends and colleagues, constructing an intimate portrait by those who knew him best.

Nov. 16

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‘Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19’

By Matt Ridley and Alina Chan (Harper, 384 pages, $30)

Nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives, the mystery of its origins remains unsolved. Journalist Matt Ridley joins molecular biologist Alina Chan, who helped tweet the lab-leak theory back to life, to explore animal markets and labs, dig through records and data, and analyze clues from the virus’s own DNA.

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MIDDLE-GRADE: Minneapolis author Anne Ursu tackles questions of privilege and power in this feminist fairy tale. "The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy" by Anne Ursu; Walden Pond Press (432 pages, $16.99) ——— In the kingdom of Illyria, boys are groomed from a young age to be sorcerers — one of the land's most powerful roles — while girls are taught to conform to a rigid, secondary role. The ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, Oct. 8, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. The Lincoln Highway. Amor Towles. Viking 2. The Wish. Nicholas Sparks. ...

"Voices From the Pandemic: Americans Tell Their Stories of Crisis, Courage and Resilience" by Eli Saslow; Doubleday (240 pages, $27) ——— "Voices From the Pandemic" is an eerie reading experience: It seems both painfully immediate and an account of a past we’ve already started to forget. The book’s 27 interviews with a wide range of Americans were conducted during the first year of the ...

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