The best nonfiction of March

Chris Schluep on March 19, 2020
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A funny thing happened when I was putting together this list of books to represent the best nonfiction of March. I realized that three of the books were about income inequality. And the fourth was about climate change. Usually, I would swap out one or two of the books to give a better representation of the entirety of our Best Nonfiction of March list, but in this case I left it as is. Because it captures our current moment in time fairly accurately. Never fear, though: you can find books about baseball, or becoming a happier adult, or even the New York subway system in the full list. So be sure to check out the link to all the books.

Go here to see all of our best nonfiction books of March, and happy reading. 



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Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty is not happy with the current state of things. His book Capital in the Twenty-First Century captured very simple how money is being transferred from the working class to the moneyed class (basically, and with apologies to Piketty, if the markets rise at 10% and real wages rise at 1%, the gains are all in the markets). In his new book, he looks at history, politics, and solutions. It's a book a lot of people have been waiting for.



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The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

The authors, who led negotiations for the United Nations during the Paris Agreement of 2015, present two possible scenarios for the future. In one scenario, they describe what kind of world people can expect to inhabit in 2050 if we don't adhere to the Paris climate targets. In the other, they describe the world we could create by meeting the targets. They do believe we can avoid disaster, and they outline the process for governments, corporations, and each one of us.



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The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business by Nelson D. Schwartz

As we have learned in countless movies about dastardly people, everything has its price. In the case of the velvet rope economy, paying the price means you can cut long lines, get your kid into the college of your choice, or get the doctor's appointment that you want it. Everyone else has to fight and mull and wait in the general population. While it has always been this way to some extent, Schwartz's book describes how businesses have latched onto this idea as a way to increase profits. There have been inklings about this world in recent media, and you may have seen it with your own eyes as you stood in line at a theme park, but this book lays it all out.




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Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology) by Justin Farrell

What's the richest county in the United States? Well, of course it's Teton County, Wyoming. While that may not initially seem to make sense, Teton County is a place that's being remade by the super rich. And it's setting up a relationship between the wealthy and the longtime poor and middle class who have always lived there that feels like a microcosm. Gathering information from the super rich is never easy, but Farrell uses his wiles and his position as a Yale professor to document this world. Fascinating.


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