Break away from fiction with this reading list that compiles some of our biggest fall nonfiction books that are guaranteed to teach, inspire, and entertain you.


Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown

New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture defined by scarcity, fear, and uncertainty requires skill-building around traits that are deeply and uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the exact same time as we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines and AI can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection, and courage, to start.

Visit the Dare to Lead Hub to Take the Leadership Assessment.


Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda; Illustrated by Jonny Sun

From the creator and star of Hamilton, comes a book of affirmations to inspire readers at the beginning and end of each day.

Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own.

Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.

Click to Visit Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Inspiring Twitter Page.


The White Darkness by David Grann

By the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon, a powerful true story of adventure and obsession in the Antarctic.

Henry Worsley was a devoted husband and father and a decorated British special forces officer who spent his life idolizing Ernest Shackleton, the nineteenth-century polar explorer, who tried to become the first person to reach the South Pole, and later sought to cross Antarctica on foot. Shackleton never completed his journeys, but he repeatedly rescued his men from certain death, and emerged as one of the greatest leaders in history.

Worsley was related to one of Shackleton’s men, Frank Worsley, and spent a fortune collecting artifacts from their epic treks across the continent. He modeled his military command on Shackleton’s legendary skills and was determined to succeed where Shackleton had failed.

In 2008, Worsley set out across Antarctica with two other descendants of Shackleton’s crew, battling the freezing, desolate landscape, life-threatening physical exhaustion, and hidden crevasses. Yet when he returned home he felt compelled to go back. On November 13, 2015, at age 55, Worsley bid farewell to his family and embarked on his most perilous quest: to walk across Antarctica alone.


Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts

In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman and leader can finally be fully seen and understood—by the bestselling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War.

When we seek an example of great leaders with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader immune from the consensus of the day, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved? In Churchill, Andrew Roberts gives readers the full and definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy, as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable.


Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

The world-famous cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind.

Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.

Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.

Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? ​​These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.


Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. by Jeff Tweedy

The singer, guitarist, and songwriter—best known for his work with Wilco—opens up about his past, his songs, the music, and the people that have inspired him.

Few bands have inspired as much devotion as the Chicago rock band Wilco, and it’s thanks, in large part, to the band’s singer, songwriter, and guiding light: Jeff Tweedy. But while his songs and music have been endlessly discussed and analyzed, Jeff has rarely talked so directly about himself, his life, and his artistic process.

Until now. In his long-awaited memoir, Jeff will tell stories about his childhood in Belleville, Illinois; the St. Louis record store, rock clubs, and live-music circuit that sparked his songwriting and performing career; and the Chicago scene that brought it all together. He’ll also talk in-depth about his collaborators in Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and more; and write lovingly about his parents, wife Susie, and sons, Spencer and Sam.


This Is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose. by Tim Tebow

The New York Times bestselling sports star and media icon motivates readers to stop postponing dreams and start making them happen now because—this is the day.

Beyond Tim Tebow’s exploits as a Heisman-winning football player, he is widely known and respected for his exemplary character and personal excellence, which have made him a role model for millions. When Tim interacts with the public, he often encounters people who feel “stuck”—unable to take action on matters ranging from daily life to pursuing lifelong dreams. In response, Tim often identifies a crippling fear or lack of courage, to which he advises: “now is the time to take some risks, to quiet the voices of defeat, to step forward and make a mark, because this is the day.”

In this inspiring, motivational book, readers will receive the advice and encouragement to daily move from “pause” to “play” in finding deeper meaning and success.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants by H. W. Brands

From New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy.

In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina’s John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery.

Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution: its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery.

Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.


The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre

The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.

If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union’s top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States’s nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war.

Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky’s nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, The Spy and the Traitor brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man’s hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


Quarterback: Inside the Most Important Position in the National Football League by John Feinstein

From #1 New York Times bestseller and sports-writing legend John Feinstein, a book that dives deep into the most coveted and hallowed position in the NFL—exploring the stories of five top quarterbacks and taking readers inside their unique experiences of playing the position and holding the keys to their multi-billion-dollar teams.

In the mighty National Football League, one player becomes the face of a franchise, one player receives all the accolades and all the blame, and one player’s hand will guide the rise or fall of an entire team’s season—and the dreams of millions of fans. There are thirty-two starting quarterbacks in the NFL on any given Sunday, and their lives are built around pressure, stardom, and incredible talent. Legendary bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein, in his most insightful book yet, shows readers what it’s really like to play the glory position and to live that life—mapping out a journey that runs from college stardom to the NFL draft to taking command of the huddle and marching a team down the field with a nation of fans cheering.


Apollo to the Moon: A History in 50 Objects by Teasel E. Muir-Harmony

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon, this narrative uses 50 key artifacts from the Smithsonian archives to tell the story of the groundbreaking space exploration program.

This book showcases the historic space exploration program that landed humans on the moon, advanced the world’s capabilities for space travel, and revolutionized our sense of humanity’s place in the universe. Each historic accomplishment is symbolized by a different object, from a Russian stamp honoring Yuri Gagarin and plastic astronaut action figures to the Apollo 11 command module, piloted by Michael Collins as Armstrong and Aldrin made the first moonwalk, together with the monumental art inspired by these moon missions. Throughout, Apollo to the Moon also tells the story of people who made the journey possible: the heroic astronauts as well as their supporters, including President John F. Kennedy, newsman Walter Cronkite, and NASA scientists such as Margaret Hamilton.


 

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