10. I also have a fond weakness for books from university presses. 68. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom by Nik Cohn (1969) This passionate account of how rock’n’roll changed the world was written with the wild energy of its subject matter. 6. There’s a broad array of subjects and stories that fall under the umbrella of historical … 82,280 ratings — Of course not! published 2015, avg rating 4.21 — The Devil in the White City book. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902) This revolutionary work written by Henry James’s less famous brother brought a democratising impulse to the realm of religious belief. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed (1919) The American socialist’s romantic account of the Russian revolution is a masterpiece of reportage. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883) This memoir of Samuel Clemens’s time as a steamboat pilot provides insight into his best-known characters, as well as the writer he would become. 35. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne (1624)The poet’s intense meditation on the meaning of life and death is a dazzling work that contains some of his most memorable writing. 57. published 2016, avg rating 4.12 — Picks The 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years Slate’s books team selects the definitive works of reporting, memoir, and argument of the past quarter-century. The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper (1947) The historian’s vivid, terrifying account of the Führer’s demise, based on his postwar work for British intelligence, remains unsurpassed. A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David (1950) This landmark recipe book, a horrified reaction to postwar rationing, introduced cooks to the food of southern Europe and readers to the art of food writing. Nonsense Songs by Edward Lear (1871) The Victorians loved wordplay, and few could rival this compendium of verbal delirium by Britain’s “laureate of nonsense”. John Adams book. published 2005, avg rating 4.16 — To be honest, the book sounds intense and awesome. 31,086 ratings — 80. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929)Graves’s account of his experiences in the trenches of the first world war is a subversive tour de force. 16. published 1947, avg rating 3.84 — 58,058 ratings — 97. Jade City. 604,477 ratings — published 2015, avg rating 4.06 — The Double Helix by James D Watson (1968) An astonishingly personal and accessible account of how Cambridge scientists Watson and Francis Crick unlocked the secrets of DNA and transformed our understanding of life. Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (1973)Sacks’s moving account of how, as a doctor in the late 1960s, he revived patients who had been neurologically “frozen” by sleeping sickness reverberates to this day. published 2004, avg rating 4.34 — 60. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933) Brittain’s study of her experience of the first world war as a nurse and then victim of loss remains a powerful anti-war and feminist statement. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (1859) This fine, lucid writer captured the mood of the time with this spirited assertion of the English individual’s rights. The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art by Kenneth Clark (1956)Clark’s survey of the nude from the Greeks to Picasso foreshadows the critic’s towering claims for humanity in his later seminal work, Civilisation. published 2019, avg rating 4.03 — Leave your thoughts in the comments. 91. 32. 995,556 ratings — 310,038 ratings — Books are life. 64. But this fiery attack on censorship and call for a free press reveals a brilliant English radical. published 2010, avg rating 4.01 — Grant by Ron Chernow. Night, by Elie Wiesel. 34,571 ratings — 138,076 ratings — published 1970, avg rating 3.95 — 47,292 ratings — published 2010, avg rating 3.97 — The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963) The book that ignited second-wave feminism captured the frustration of a generation of middle-class American housewives by daring to ask: “Is this all?”. Raise Kids Who Love to Read. North by Seamus Heaney (1975) This raw, tender, unguarded collection transcends politics, reflecting Heaney’s desire to move “like a double agent among the big concepts”. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and EB White (1959) Dorothy Parker and Stephen King have both urged aspiring writers towards this crisp guide to the English language where brevity is key. Is it possible to pick 50 of the best nonfiction books ever? 44. Thesaurus by Dr Peter Mark Roget (1852) Born of a Victorian desire for order and harmony among nations, this guide to the English language is as unique as it is indispensable. 7. 8. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1729) The satirist’s jaw-dropping solution to the plight of the Irish poor is among the most powerful tracts in the English language. published 1998, avg rating 3.24 — The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788) These wise essays clarified the aims of the American republic and rank alongside the Declaration of Independence as a cornerstone of US democracy. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014) An engrossing account of the looming catastrophe caused by ecology’s “neighbours from hell” – mankind. The First Folio by William Shakespeare (1623)The first edition of his plays established the playwright for all time in a trove of 36 plays with an assembled cast of immortal characters. 61,791 ratings — 545,287 ratings — published 2013, avg rating 4.00 — 23. Baby & Toddler (0-2) Pre-K (3–5) Growing Reader (6–8) Tween (9–12) Teen (13+) Discover Baby & Toddler (0-2) Pre-K (3–5) Growing Reader (6–8) Tween (9–12) Teen (13+) Editor's Pick. 85,163 ratings — The best history books. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes (1998) These passionate, audacious poems addressed to Hughes’s late wife, Sylvia Plath, contribute to the couple’s mythology and are a landmark in English poetry. Orientalism by Edward Said (1978) This polemical masterpiece challenging western attitudes to the east is as topical today as it was on publication. published 1965, avg rating 3.99 — 159,105 ratings — 59. An absurdist masterpiece. Here, the best nonfiction books of 2020. 555,383 ratings — published 2008, avg rating 3.81 — published 2013, avg rating 4.20 — O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award; it was a New York Times bestseller. Welcome back. published 1978, avg rating 4.13 — 42. 85. How Google Works. 2. 83. 10. 69,430 ratings — 46. 74. 24. Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (1807) A troubled brother-and-sister team produced one of the 19th century’s bestselling volumes and simplified the complexity of Shakespeare’s plays for younger audiences. Buy History books from Waterstones.com today. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651)Hobbes’s essay on the social contract is both a founding text of western thought and a masterpiece of wit and imagination. Read 33 166 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In addition, the author referenced letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives. published 2018, avg rating 4.38 — 66,062 ratings — Books Advanced Search New Releases Best Sellers & More Children's Books Textbooks Textbook Rentals Best Books of the Month 1-16 of over 100,000 results for "nonfiction history" Skip to main search results published 1998, avg rating 4.39 — This is my list of the 10 best nonfiction books. 61. 26. 39. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke (1790) Motivated by the revolution across the Channel, this passionate defence of the aristocratic system is a landmark in conservative thinking. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965) The groundbreaking collection, revolving around the poet’s fascination with her own death, established Plath as one of the last century’s most original and gifted poets. published 2011, avg rating 4.03 — 40. Some nonfiction categories—like literary nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and creative nonfiction—overlap with historical nonfiction, and many bestselling books can be categorized in two or more of these genres. published 2012, avg rating 3.83 — By Barbara Tuchman | Used Price: 70% Off. 65. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (1955) Baldwin’s landmark collection of essays explores, in telling language, what it means to be a black man in modern America. 56,345 ratings — 26,125 ratings — published 1992, avg rating 4.26 — 193,102 ratings — They are listed here in no particular order. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth by Richard Wright (1945) This influential memoir of a rebellious southern boyhood vividly evokes the struggle for African American identity in the decades before civil rights. Error rating book. published 2020, avg rating 3.92 — The American Language by HL Mencken (1919)This declaration of linguistic independence by the renowned US journalist and commentator marked a crucial new chapter in American prose. 30. 10 Best Nonfiction Books of All-Time. 135,476 ratings — published 2005, avg rating 4.23 — This is the story of a human-made tragedy, and the … 101,428 ratings — published 1959, avg rating 4.13 — Dispatches by Michael Herr (1977) A compelling sense of urgency and a unique voice make Herr’s Vietnam memoir the definitive account of war in our time. Try it today & read your way to a better you. 33. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970) The Australian feminist’s famous polemic remains a masterpiece of passionate free expression in which she challenges a woman’s role in society. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1776)Blending history, philosophy, psychology and sociology, the Scottish intellectual single-handedly invented modern political economy. Try Blinkist for free Blinkist News Book Lists Work and Success Society and Culture Mind and Body Listen to Simplify. London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew (1851)The influence of the Victorian journalist’s detailed, dispassionate descriptions of London lower-class life is clear, right up to the present day. published 1956, avg rating 4.07 — The Emperor of All Maladies won the 2011 Pulitzer in General Nonfiction (the jury called it “An elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science.”), the Guardian first book award, and the inaugural PEN/E. 88,868 ratings — 1. published 1962, avg rating 4.05 — When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Print | eBook | Audiobook Our world history is vast, and these 30 books are only the tip of the iceberg. 73. 17. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963)This influential, painstakingly compiled masterpiece reads as an anatomy of pre-industrial Britain – and a description of the lost experience of the common man. 20. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (1995) This remarkably candid memoir revealed not only a literary talent, but a force that would change the face of US politics for ever. 40,990 ratings — 4. 98. 99. • This article was amended on 9 April 2018. 88. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (1979) Tom Wolfe raised reportage to dazzling new levels in his quest to discover what makes a man fly to the moon. Hiroshima by John Hersey (1946) Hersey’s extraordinary, gripping book tells the personal stories of six people who endured the 1945 atom bomb attack. 12. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith (1958) An optimistic bestseller, in which JFK’s favoured economist promotes investment in both the public and private sectors. The Shock of the New by Robert Hughes (1980) Hughes charts the story of modern art, from cubism to the avant garde The Story of Art by Ernst Gombrich (1950) The most popular art book in history. 71. About Blog Historical Fiction Reader is a book review blog that specializes in history based fiction and nonfiction. 41,291 ratings — Paperback $18.99. 27,770 ratings — published 2017, avg rating 4.19 — Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854) This account of one man’s rejection of American society has influenced generations of free thinkers. But I’ve given it a try. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (1621)Burton’s garrulous, repetitive masterpiece is a compendious study of melancholia, a sublime literary doorstop that explores humanity in all its aspects. Nonfiction Kindle Books Explore the Nonfiction Kindle Book Store for titles on History , Biographies & Memoirs , Business & Money , and more. 31. 113,601 ratings — 100. 5. Shop by category My blog is almost exclusively devoted to non-fiction. Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)Today, Milton is remembered as a great poet. Just well-written, well-researched, informative and interesting books for historians, history students and history enthusiasts. An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828) Though a lexicographical landmark to stand alongside Dr Johnson’s achievement, the original sold only 2,500 copies and left its author in debt. I didn't mean this to be a list of pop history, but I think it's too late now, so you might as well go ahead. 87. published 1997, avg rating 4.08 — Refresh and try again. Here’s my list of the 27 best nonfiction books of all time, in no particular order. After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of all time. 88,873 ratings — Leave a comment. 84. Higginbotham’s book draws from hundreds of hours of interviews. 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