Charles Kaiser in The Cost of Courage (Other Press) rescues stories out of silence.
In A Tour of Bones: Facing Fear and Looking for Life (Bloomsbury), Denise Inge tells lessons from beyond the grave.
Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga (Amistad) by Pamela Newkirk tells of the time it was okay for a man to be a zoo exhibit.
Gold Fever: One Man's Adventures on the Trail of the Gold Rush (Oneworld) by Steve Boggan brings the gold rush up to date.
The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Peter Moore is an engaging story of remarkable personalities.
Galileo's Telescope: A European Story (Harvard University Press) by Massimo Bucciantini, Michele Camerota, and Franco Giudice tells just how jarring Galileo's discoveries were.
Brick (Phaidon Press), edited by William Hall, features stunning pictures of bricks at work and play.
So You've Been Publicly Shamed (Riverhead Books) by Jon Ronson shows how internet users punish.
Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News (Hill and Wang) by A. Brad Schwartz explains what really happened during the Martian invasion.
Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen (University of Chicago Press) by Philip Ball gives a history of an inescapably enticing idea.