Check out the Guardian’s list of the 100 greatest non-fiction books. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. 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. Nonfiction isnt limited to memoirs and biographies, either; it covers anything that isnt made up. 67. I read too much nonfiction to be well-read fiction-wise, but I have read these thirty from the list: The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace* The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami* 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. 22. 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. https://www.listchallenges.com/100-non-fiction-books-to-read-before-you-die Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do! 37. Explore the Nonfiction Kindle Book Store for titles on History, ... 1,001 Kindle Price: $13.99. 15. 72. Eminent Victorians. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854) This account of one man’s rejection of American society has influenced generations of free thinkers. 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 Life of Samuel Johnson LLD by James Boswell (1791) This huge work is one of the greatest of all English biographies and a testament to one of the great literary friendships. The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (1919) The great economist’s account of what went wrong at the Versailles conference after the first world war was polemical, passionate and prescient. Some samples: Art: The Shock of the New, by Robert Hughes, traces the story of modern art. 64. $3.99 #7. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1776)Blending history, philosophy, psychology and sociology, the Scottish intellectual single-handedly invented modern political economy. 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. 91. 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. 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?”. A major book about the future of the … 7. 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. 54. 1001 non fiction books to read before you die. 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”. Bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies in America, and 1,001 Secrets Every Bird Watcher Should Know is the first photographic guide and fact book written in a humorous conversational tone that appeals to every age and skill level. Bibliotopia: Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-All of Literary Facts & Curiosities by Steven Gilbar. 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. Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S Grant (1885) The civil war general turned president was a reluctant author, but set the gold standard for presidential memoirs, outlining his journey from boyhood onwards. 18. 4.6 out of 5 stars 2,179. . Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)This vivid memoir was influential in the abolition of slavery, and its author would become one of the most influential African Americans of the 19th century. 12. Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)Today, Milton is remembered as a great poet. The Second World War is a six-volume history of the … The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. Some do overlap, but I’ve only listed them once in the 100 Things list. This list is generated from 129 "best of" book lists from a variety of great sources. 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. After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of all time. Top 100 Paid Top 100 Free #1. My Early Life: A Roving Commission by Winston Churchill (1930) Churchill delights with candid tales of childhood and boy’s own adventures in the Boer war that made him a tabloid hero. 84. 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. The Souls of Black Folk. Non-Fiction Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers 87. Talk1001 non fiction books to read before you die Non-Fiction Readers. Jan 4, 2008, 5:50pm #4 How very interesting! 53. 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. 1001 Books . 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall. 44. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1793) The US founding father’s life, drawn from four different manuscripts, combines the affairs of revolutionary America with his private struggles. The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper (1945) The Austrian-born philosopher’s postwar rallying cry for western liberal democracy was hugely influential in the 1960s. 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. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)Woolf’s essay on women’s struggle for independence and creative opportunity is a landmark of feminist thought. 4.41 avg rating — 535,779 ratings. The Great Tradition by FR Leavis (1948) The controversial critic’s statement on English literature is an entertaining, often shocking, dissection of the novel, whose effects are still felt to this day. The Second World War by Winston Churchill. 35. 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. Part of: TIME for Kids Big Books (6 Books) See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. The 1001 Before You Die book series by multiple authors includes books 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die, and several more. 39. 85. 16. A Promised Land Barack Obama. How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher (1942)The American culinary icon was one of the first writers to use food as a cultural metaphor, describing the sensual pleasures of the table with elegance and passion. 89. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. 61. The Greatest Nonfiction Books Since 1900. 20. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is a literary reference book compiled by over one hundred literary critics worldwide and edited by Peter Boxall, Professor of English at Sussex University, with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd. 32 unread / 32: Mr.Durick, February 2012: March 2012, What are you reading? 3. . 4.9 out of 5 stars 51,943. 34. A Brief History of Time (Paperback) by Stephen Hawking. 51. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1952/53) A bleakly hilarious, enigmatic watershed that changed the language of theatre and still sparks debate six decades on. 90. 71. 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. 1001 Road Trips You Must Experience Before You Die is an essential reference guide for all those to whom the sight of a key fob represents a world of possibilities – the chance to see fresh horizons, meet new people and expand one’s mind. Das Buch zum Film, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, Das Buch der fünf Ringe: Die klassische Anleitung für strategisches Handeln, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, The Empathic Civilization: The Race To Global Consciousness In A World In Crisis. 99. Robert McCrum reflects on his 100 greatest nonfiction books list, The 100 best novels written in English: the full list, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014), The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005), Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (1995), A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1988), The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976), The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970), Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom by Nik Cohn (1969), The Double Helix by James D Watson (1968), Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag (1966), The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963), The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S Kuhn (1962), The Elements of Style by William Strunk and EB White (1959), The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith (1958), The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life by Richard Hoggart (1957), Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (1955), The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art by Kenneth Clark (1956), The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin (1953), Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1952/53), A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David (1950), The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper (1947), The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946), The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper (1945), Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth by Richard Wright (1945), Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly (1938), The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937), The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (1937), How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936), Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933), My Early Life: A Roving Commission by Winston Churchill (1930), Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929), A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929), Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed (1919), The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (1919), The American Language by HL Mencken (1919), Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey (1918), The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois (1903), The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902), Brief Lives by John Aubrey, edited by Andrew Clark (1898), Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S Grant (1885), Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883), Travels With a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson (1879), Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold (1869), On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859), The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands by Mary Seacole (1857), The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell (1857), London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew (1851), Household Education by Harriet Martineau (1848), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845), Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Trollope (1832), An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828), Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey (1822), Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (1807), Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa by Mungo Park (1799), The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1793), A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792), The Life of Samuel Johnson LLD by James Boswell (1791), Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke (1790), The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano (1789), The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1789), The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788), The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1776-1788), The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1776), A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson (1755), A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume (1739), A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1729), A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe (1727), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (1689), The Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer (1662), The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys (1660), Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or A Brief Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk by, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne (1624), The First Folio by William Shakespeare (1623), The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (1621), The History of the World by Walter Raleigh (1614), King James Bible: The Authorised Version (1611), What did Robert miss? 50. How is this list generated? The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S Kuhn (1962) The American physicist and philosopher of science coined the phrase “paradigm shift” in a book that is seen as a milestone in scientific theory. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962) 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. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859) Darwin’s revolutionary, humane and highly readable introduction to his theory of evolution is arguably the most important book of the Victorian era. Take a quick look back at five centuries of great writing 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. The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois (1903) The great social activist’s collection of essays on the African American experience became a founding text of the civil rights movement. 10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)This steely and devastating examination of the author’s grief following the sudden death of her husband changed the nature of writing about bereavement. 1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by. The Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer (1662)Cranmer’s book of vernacular English prayer is possibly the most widely read book in the English literary tradition. 31. 14. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe (1727) Readable, reliable, full of surprise and charm, Defoe’s Tour is an outstanding literary travel guide. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937)Orwell’s unflinchingly honest account of three northern towns during the Great Depression was a milestone in the writer’s political development. You can revive it by posting a reply. Similiar to our list of 100 (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. 58. 8. 83. 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. 24. 76. You must have a goodreads account to vote. At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis. Household Education by Harriet Martineau (1848) This protest at the lack of women’s education was as pioneering as its author was in Victorian literary circles. 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