8 Nonfiction Books You Won't Be Able to Put Down

If you’ve ever given up on a book after the first page—or, worse, muddled through simply because you started it—this list is for you. We rounded-up the most jaw-dropping nonfiction reads from SwearBy’s informal book club (our experts themselves), whether you want to tuck into the secret life of trees or stay up into the wee hours rage-reading about the $9 billion-dollar company Elizabeth Holmes founded, and then destroyed.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

“A very thought provoking story about growing up in middle America. J.D. Vance’s story is so compelling, I couldn’t put it down!”—Ally Wolf

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Cerreyrou

“A truly fascinating story—especially for entrepreneurs. John Carreyrou’s research is so thorough and he tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes’ rise and fall in such a compelling way. Read it before the Jennifer Lawrence movie comes out!”—Rachel Thebault

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

“Susan Orlean has done it again! The author of the Orchid Thief leads the reader on an intensive look at the fire at the Los Angeles Public Library, while regaling you on the ins and outs of the library world and the city of Los Angeles.”—Cricket Lengyel

Bed Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay

“One of the more memorable books that I’ve read within the last couple of years. In a world where you feel pressure to be perfect in every way, Roxane Gay reassures us that we’re just human. It’s hilarious, and I love it.”—Vania Myers

When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

“Quite possibly the best book I’ve read in more than a decade. Paul is an incredible story teller with an unbelievable eloquence. As a writer, I found myself re-reading passages and even underlying the most beautifully constructed sentences. Its a heavy topic (read: you will cry) but its not a sad book. This one will stick with you for a long time.”—Lauren Kay Soufleris

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben

“It’s a book that was written by a forester based on studies that he did about trees and how they communicate and adapt to the environment. I found reading it to be almost a Buddhist experience, because it talks about how the tree doesn’t choose where to grow. The seed blows in the wind and lands. Underneath the soil, the trees are actually sending signals to each other, communicating, connecting their roots, and making choices to support the entire ecosystem. I find it to be a lesson in how to be resilient as a human but also interface with the people around me in a cooperative way.”—Erika Bloom

Becoming by Michelle Obama

“I’m the first born child of a first born child…driven and fond of checking tasks and accomplishments off lists. I’ve also on more than one occasion in my life found myself in a job or relationship that met my accomplishment ‘list’ but didn’t fulfill my soul. This book reminded me that we are constantly learning, growing and becoming…and if I’m brave enough I can get off a path that doesn’t suit me anytime I want or need to and go in a different direction even as I (gulp) approach middle age. Powerful stuff!”—Heather Darke

How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

“Like nearly every couple, my husband and I had to adjust to our changing role as parents and childcare partners. My husband bought me this book after the birth of our second child and I laughed hysterically. Then I read the book and found some really wonderful advice that I could apply to our life.”—Jilliann Millard

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.