Political news dominated not only headlines in 2017, but the biggest, splashiest book titles of the year as well, from Ta-Nehisi Coates reflecting on the Obama-Trump continuum to Hillary Clinton answering for herself the cries of “What happened?”These books covered the rise of evangelicalism to the future of humankind amid war and climate disaster. Even histories like David Grann’s account of the Osage people or Tina Brown’s memoirs of making it in a man’s world carry a cultural relevance today. Here are 10 of TIME’s favorite nonfiction books of the year.
10. The Vanity Fair Diaries, Tina Brown
Brown’s brisk, delightfully giddy tales of the beginning of her storied career make for engaging reading, from the first conversations she had with Conde Nast owner Si Newhouse to nail the Vanity Fair job in 1983, through the go-go 1980s in New York City, all the way till she made yet another leap to helm The New Yorker.
9. The Evangelicals, Frances Fitzgerald
At this particular moment in news, when continued support for Roy Moore mystifies observers, understanding the history of evangelicalism and its intersection with politics feels essential. The Evangelicals is a guide. “FitzGerald illuminates how a decades-long relationship between the Christian right and the Republican Party (later joined by the Tea Party) coalesced into what looks like a mutually inextricable bloc,” wrote TIME history editor Lily Rothman in her review.