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Best Nonfiction Books

Recommendations from 49 articles, Barack Obama, Rihanna, Jimmy Fallon and 326 others.
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The Sixth Extinction book cover
The Sixth Extinction
An Unnatural History
Elizabeth Kolbert - 2015-01-06 (first published in 2014)
Goodreads Rating
2015 Pulitzer Prize WinnerOver the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the din...
Between the World and Me book cover
Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates - 2015-07-14
Goodreads Rating
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s his...
The Warmth of Other Suns book cover
The Warmth of Other Suns
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson - 2011-10-04 (first published in 2010)
Goodreads Rating
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, author Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson...
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot - 2011-03-07
Goodreads Rating
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells--taken without her knowledge in 1951--became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yes she remains...
Educated book cover
A Memoir
Tara Westover - 2018-02-20
Goodreads Rating
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's ...
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone book cover
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
Lori Gottlieb - 2019-04-02
Goodreads Rating
One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will ...
The Emperor of All Maladies book cover
The Emperor of All Maladies
A Biography of Cancer
Siddhartha Mukherjee - 2011-08-09 (first published in 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence...
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings book cover
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou - 2009-04-21 (first published in 1969)
Goodreads Rating
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mothers side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her ageand has to live with the consequen...
Quiet book cover
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan Cain - 2013-01-29 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.In Quiet, Susan...
In Cold Blood book cover
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote - 1994-02-01 (first published in 1965)
Goodreads Rating
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, ...
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Range by David Epstein
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
Hunger by Roxane Gay
The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison
What My Mother and I Don't Talk About by Michele Filgate
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
These Truths by Jill Lepore
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
On Writing by Stephen King
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Dreamland by Sam Quinones
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
Disability Visibility by Alice Wong
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
Breath by James Nestor
Biased by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
How to Survive a Plague by David France
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Just Kids by Patti Smith
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang
Relativity by Albert Einstein
The Apology by Plato
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Fadiman
The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane
Gods of the Upper Air by Charles King
Chasing My Cure by David Fajgenbaum
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
The Invention of Yesterday by Tamim Ansary
Indistractable by Nir Eyal
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits
Stiff by Mary Roach
I Like to Watch by Emily Nussbaum
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Furious Hours by Casey Cep
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Survival Math by Mitchell Jackson
Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood