Books to help you sound smart at Thanksgiving

Anyone who believes that having read a book will actually help you win an argument with family is simply dreaming but this is definitely a list of recent nonfiction that will leave you with plenty of trivia, at the very least.

These Books Will Make You the Smartest Person at Thanksgiving

By Kristina Wright•November 21, 2019•4 min read

Will your Thanksgiving dinner table become a battleground for hot takes and lively debates about current events? Then it’s time to brush up on trending topics and obscure facts to keep your family and friends on their toes! If you’re looking to be the smartest person at the dinner table this Thanksgiving, we have some books that will help you tackle those table topics. From history to politics to sports, these titles will keep you talking long after the plates have been cleared and the pumpkin pie has been cut.

The Book That Will Impress Your Doctor Relative

Book cover for The Body by Bill Bryson

The BodyBill BrysonView Price…Save to List

Everyone seems to have a doctor relative. They’re incredibly smart. They’re probably a little intimidating. It seems like they just know everything. Well, they won’t be the only ones after you read The Body. Fans of Bill Bryson know the author’s talent for taking an ordinary subject and turning it into something extraordinary. What Bryson did for the Appalachian Trail in A Walk in the Woods, he does for the human body in his newest book. Filled with Bryson’s trademark wit, fascinating facts,  and tons of easily digestible information that will wow your dinner companions, The Body offers an exhilarating deep dive into what it means to be uniquely human. 

The Book That Will Make You the Master Conversationalist

Book cover for Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to StrangersMalcolm GladwellView Price…Save to List

Catching up with family members you haven’t seen in a few years — or ever — can feel like talking to a stranger and definitely isn’t always easy. Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book is here to help. In Talking to Strangers, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tipping PointBlinkand Outliers explores the strategies and tools we use to understand people we don’t know. From murderers on trial to the corruption of politicians, Gladwell makes a strong argument for revising the way we think about and evaluate strangers — both in our personal lives and in the media. 

The Book to Start a Timely Conversation About Mental Health

Book cover for The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan

The Great PretenderSusannah CahalanView Price…Save to List

If you’re ready to move beyond the small talk of the first course, tackle the complex (but necessary) topic of mental health at your dinner with help from Susannah Calahan‘s The Great Pretender, which reads like fiction, but gives hard-hitting, well-versed insight into modern psychiatry. In the 1970s, Stanford psychologist David Rosenhan and seven volunteers went undercover into psychiatric hospitals throughout the country — and were held there until they were able to “prove” their sanity. Raising questions about defining, diagnosing, and treating insanity, their stories also revealed issues with the treatment of those struggling with mental illness. 

The Book That’ll Help You Tackle Political Topics as Hot as Your Turkey

Book cover for The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

The Witches Are ComingLindy WestView Price…Save to List

Let’s face it, politics is one topic that is sure to come up at the Thanksgiving table this year, and it deserves insightful commentary. Following on the heels of her New York Times bestselling memoir and Hulu series ShrillLindy West offers a provocative cultural critique in the era of #MeToo. With biting wit and enlightening insight, she shines a light on our beliefs, our differences, and the importance of truth. Whichever side of the aisle you’re on, The Witches Are Coming offers an insightful evaluation of contemporary American culture and raises questions about the future. 

The Book That’ll Displace Your Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole 

Book cover for Jubilee by Toni Tipton-Martin

JubileeToni Tipton-MartinView Price…Save to List

Shock your grandma by whipping up a comfort dish from Toni Tipton-Martin‘s delicious and insightful new cookbook that not only provides delectable recipes, but that also gives fascinating talking points to discuss over — and about — your Thanksgiving dinner. Spanning 200 years of history and culture, Jubilee is packed with stories of black cooks and their mouth-watering recipes that helped define the national cuisine. A must-read for every foodie and history buff, you’ll also find tasty recipes — such as sweet potato biscuits and pecan pie with bourbon — that will have the entire table stuffed just like that turkey.

The Book To Tackle Thursday Night Football

Book cover for America’s Game by Randy O. Williams, Jerry Rice

America’s GameRandy O. Williams and Jerry RiceView Price…Save to List

Know the score before you carve the turkey! If Thanksgiving means football in your house, this is the book that will help you outsmart everyone at the dinner table, even the self-proclaimed experts. This concisely written history of football pays tribute to the first 100 years of the National Football League. Co-written by NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice — and chock-full of anecdotes and memories about the winners, losers, and rivalries — this is a compelling behind the scenes look at the sport that has evolved into a multi-billion dollar global brand. Touchdown

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