50 Essential Non-Fiction Books You'll Actually ReadThis page provides lists of best-selling individual books and book series to date and in any language. Comics and textbooks are not included in this list. The books are listed according to the highest sales estimate as reported in reliable, independent sources. This list is incomplete because there are many books, such as The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas , or A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens , that are commonly cited as "best-selling books" yet have no reliable sales figures. Similarly, many notable book series that sold very widely are poorly documented Land of Oz or consist of multiple sub-series Tom Swift. All books of a religious, ideological, philosophical or political nature have thus been excluded from the below lists of best-selling books for these reasons.
50 Essential Non-Fiction Books (You'll Actually Read)
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama This remarkably candid memoir revealed not only a literary talent, but a force that would change the face of US politics for ever. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe Tom Wolfe raised reportage to dazzling new levels in his quest to discover what makes a man fly to the moon. Orientalism by Edward Said This polemical masterpiece challenging western attitudes to the east is as topical today as it was on publication. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson This influential, painstakingly compiled masterpiece reads as an anatomy of pre-industrial Britain — and a description of the lost experience of the common man. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson This classic of American advocacy sparked a nationwide outcry against the use of pesticides, inspired legislation that would endeavour to control pollution, and launched the modern environmental movement in the US. The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life by Richard Hoggart This influential cultural study of postwar Britain offers pertinent truths on mass communication and the interaction between ordinary people and the elites.
It is impressively intersectional in its approach, talking about class and gender as well as reframing the conversation to be Britain-focused. The title alone is arresting, and can sort out those who judge a book by its cover from those willing to interrogate and investigate their own privilege. Sapiens has been highly praised by the gurus of Silicon Valley, and read by geeks whose culture usually centres on fantasy movies, computer games, etc — even though Harari himself is far from that world. His life seems austere and he avoids social media. Sapiens has widened the world view of millions of readers other whistorians cannot reach — and next month Harari may have three books simultaneously in the bestseller lists. Much as I loved this book I would never have guessed it would be a bestseller. There are puzzles you can try out on yourself, but there are also plenty of dense explanations of experimental design that few of us dare give when writing for a general audience.
Last week, we published a list of the biggest fiction bestsellers of the past years —and gently compared them to the books we still read and talk about from those very same years. Sometimes the difference was striking, and sometimes, readers of the past, you kind of nailed it. The data below comes almost entirely from those lists, which count sales of nonfiction books in the United States, and are of course subject to all of the flaws, faults, and inaccuracies of any similar best-seller lists. Again, these picks are subject to the flaws, faults, and inaccuracies of any list of books made by a human with her own tastes and interests and awarenesses. Some of the years, like , give a great snapshot of American culture at the time. Others are a little more obscure.
While a great novel can be engaging, there's nothing quite like a true story—whether that story comes in the form of deep reporting, memoir, or personal essays. Nonfiction gives us the chance to look at the world around us and learn something about how we fit within it. And nonfiction also tells us a lot about ourselves. Here are the best nonfiction books of Buy on Amazon.
This is my list of the 10 best nonfiction books. These are the pillar books that have helped shape my thinking and approach to life. In my opinion, these are 10 nonfiction books everyone should read. They are listed here in no particular order. Kalanithi uses the pages in this book to not only tell his story, but also share his ideas on how to approach death with grace and what it means to be fully alive.
Similiar to our list of Fiction Books to Read in a Lifetime , this list of 50 non-fiction books contains recommendations you might actually read if you haven't already. This curated list covers the gamut of non-fiction, from compelling war stories to key feminist texts, to unbelievable struggles for survival, to tales of life in the culinary trade. You may not completely agree with our recommendations, there are surely key titles missing, so please share your recommendations for essential non-fiction books everyone should read. Was there a beginning of time? Could time run backwards?