Ruth Bernard Yeazell, in Picture Titles: How and Why Western Paintings Acquired Their Names (Princeton University Press), tells a surprising story within art history.
From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (Reaktion Books) by Owen Hopkins is an appreciation of a unique architect and his strange buildings.
Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Affair with a Famous Cartoonist (Fantagraphics Books) by cartoonist Bill Griffith divulges family secrets.
In Gratitude (Knopf), Oliver Sacks makes his goodbyes.
Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World (David R. Godine, Publisher) by Valerie Lester tells of a superstar punchcutter.
The Last Volcano: A Man, a Romance, and the Quest to Understand Nature's Most Magnificent Fury (Pegasus Books) by John Dvorak tells of a volcano pioneer.
How to Watch a Movie (Knopf) by David Thomson has good instruction for film fans
Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World (Knopf) by Tim Whitmarsh reveals a universality of disbelief.
My Adventures with Your Money: George Graham Rice and the Golden Age of the Con Artist (St. Martin's Press) by T. D. Thornton brings a skilled con man out of obscurity.
The Global Transformation of Time 1870 - 1950 (Harvard University Press) by Vanessa Ogle tells you why your clock is showing the time it shows.