The best nonfiction of September

Chris Schluep on September 23, 2020
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The best nonfiction books of September

Given the current state of the world, one could expect to discover a number of recent books that attempt to define the difficulties and problems we confront as human beings and perhaps offer some assistance with self-healing. It is interesting to note, though, that any book available this September was written, acquired by an editor, and set into the lengthy process of being published long before most of us even dreamed of a pandemic.

So why are there so many September books about human problems and human healing? In Think Like a Monk, which is featured below, Jay Shetty points out, "In the past three thousand years, humans haven't really changed." Yes, living has always been hard. Hopefully, one of the books featured below will make it a little easier for you. 

The first two books below were featured in our top 12 Best Books of September. You can see all of our Best Books of the Month here. And you can see the Best Nonfiction of the Month here. Happy reading.


Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen

In her Best of the Month review, Amazon's Sarah Gelman says about Can't Even: "In 2019, Peterson published a Buzzfeed article titled 'How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation'—the article has been read over seven million times. Clearly the subject of burnout touched a nerve with the generation that coined the phrase 'adulting is hard,' as well as with those who love to taunt them. Not as light as the title makes it seem, Can’t Even is a serious and sobering look at how former generations—specifically the Boomer generation—have failed millennials and set them up for burnout. She writes: 'Millennials live with the reality that we’re going to work forever, die before we pay off our student loans, potentially bankrupt our children with our care, or get wiped out in a global apocalypse.'"


Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner

In Good Morning, Monster, Catherine Gildiner examines five cases from her career as a therapist. Amazon senior editor Adrian Liang writes in her Best of the Month review that the author "is filled with conviction and empathy for those she works with—making it easy to become utterly absorbed by their lives and her place in them. Among the five fascinating people Gildiner spotlights are a woman abandoned at age nine in a remote cabin, a man raised in one of Canada’s notorious residential schools for Indigenous children, and a woman whose father was an active member of the Ted Bundy fan club." Liang explains how we as readers will be moved through Gildiner's experience as a therapist, noting that "Gildiner was struck by the strength of spirit of her patients who struggled through each day despite being broken so many times by those who should have loved them. As Gildiner tells one of her patients, 'To me, bravery isn’t a single act; it’s facing impossible odds every day to repeat the whole ordeal.'”


Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty

What better person is there to teach you how to think like a monk than an actual monk? And one with a super popular podcast to boot. After college, Jay Shetty moved to India where he spent three years studying to be a monk. He eventually returned home, where he found many of his friends in high-paying, stressful jobs; so naturally he became a life coach to many of them. His influence has grown considerably since then. In this book you will learn how to stop overthinking, how to use your fear, how to find your purpose, and much, much more. 


The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers by Eric Weiner

Philosophy has sometimes been referred to as the "P word." Isn't it dull and boring? Doesn't it deaden, rather than enliven, the mind? It certainly doesn't do that in Eric Weiner's hands, and in The Socrates Express, Weiner travels the globe to explore philosophies in an effort to salve what he describes as "a persistent melancholy that has shadowed me for a long time." He journeys thousands of miles—mostly by train, through Europe, India, and the United States—in order to recon­nect with philosophy’s original purpose: teaching us how to lead wiser, more meaningful lives.


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