The Guardian's Top 100 Non-Fiction Books

Goodreads data suggests most people have read only 1 book on this list. How many have you read?

Original source: The Guardian's 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books
List Challenge
The average Goodreads member has read 5 out of 100 books on this list — how many have you read?
1

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4.10 avg rating — 2,003,829 ratings
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2

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4.21 avg rating — 43,264 ratings
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3

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4.05 avg rating — 399,356 ratings
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4

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3.79 avg rating — 119,771 ratings
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5

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3.97 avg rating — 73,249 ratings
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6

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3.77 avg rating — 180,057 ratings
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7

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4.12 avg rating — 178,424 ratings
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8

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3.96 avg rating — 9,700 ratings
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9

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3.94 avg rating — 25,120 ratings
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10

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3.51 avg rating — 69,238 ratings
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11

by
4.14 avg rating — 25,574 ratings
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12

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3.97 avg rating — 31,754 ratings
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13

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4.09 avg rating — 3,197 ratings
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14

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3.95 avg rating — 202,099 ratings
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15

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3.89 avg rating — 11,977 ratings
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16

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4.09 avg rating — 71,076 ratings
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17

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4.01 avg rating — 27,694 ratings
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18

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3.74 avg rating — 156,668 ratings
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19

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3.91 avg rating — 2,653 ratings
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20

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4.09 avg rating — 20,929 ratings
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21

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4.15 avg rating — 12,655 ratings
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22

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3.92 avg rating — 57,945 ratings
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23

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4.07 avg rating — 32,727 ratings
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24

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3.95 avg rating — 8,939 ratings
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25

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4.19 avg rating — 8,971 ratings
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26

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3.81 avg rating — 43,702 ratings
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27

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4.01 avg rating — 6,574 ratings
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28

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3.87 avg rating — 12,894 ratings
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29

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4.20 avg rating — 54,473 ratings
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30

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3.93 avg rating — 1,767 ratings
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31

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4.02 avg rating — 7,698 ratings
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32

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4.05 avg rating — 7,741 ratings
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33

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3.60 avg rating — 6,488 ratings
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33

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3.93 avg rating — 21,391 ratings
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35

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3.66 avg rating — 28,415 ratings
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36

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4.11 avg rating — 100,406 ratings
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37

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4.01 avg rating — 5,163 ratings
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38

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4.07 avg rating — 11,681 ratings
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39

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4.17 avg rating — 1,066 ratings
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40

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3.96 avg rating — 64,502 ratings
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41

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3.78 avg rating — 1,245 ratings
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42

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4.24 avg rating — 23,706 ratings
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43

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4.30 avg rating — 33,284 ratings
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44

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3.75 avg rating — 1,767 ratings
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45

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3.87 avg rating — 3,637 ratings
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46

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3.85 avg rating — 16,333 ratings
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47

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4.30 avg rating — 19,267 ratings
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48

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4.19 avg rating — 7,086 ratings
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49

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4.11 avg rating — 10,401 ratings
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50

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4.18 avg rating — 6,882 ratings
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51

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3.76 avg rating — 1,732 ratings
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52

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3.91 avg rating — 21,323 ratings
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53

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4.33 avg rating — 6,670 ratings
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54

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4.05 avg rating — 8,027 ratings
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55

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4.11 avg rating — 4,842 ratings
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56

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3.72 avg rating — 4,726 ratings
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56

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3.86 avg rating — 8,898 ratings
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58

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4.05 avg rating — 79,139 ratings
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59

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3.62 avg rating — 5,466 ratings
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60

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3.73 avg rating — 21,402 ratings
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61

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3.78 avg rating — 18,524 ratings
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62

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4.24 avg rating — 20,028 ratings
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63

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4.21 avg rating — 3,622 ratings
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64

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4.21 avg rating — 3,146 ratings
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64

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4.24 avg rating — 11,421 ratings
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64

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3.82 avg rating — 7,359 ratings
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67

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4.18 avg rating — 9,263 ratings
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68

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4.18 avg rating — 2,521 ratings
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69

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4.09 avg rating — 2,759 ratings
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70

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3.76 avg rating — 1,525 ratings
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71

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3.88 avg rating — 1,184 ratings
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72

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4.22 avg rating — 10,900 ratings
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72

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4.07 avg rating — 4,490 ratings
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74

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3.47 avg rating — 15 ratings
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75

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3.83 avg rating — 243 ratings
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76

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4.21 avg rating — 18,181 ratings
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77

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3.69 avg rating — 15,885 ratings
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78

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3.94 avg rating — 4,025 ratings
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79

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3.99 avg rating — 156 ratings
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80

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3.79 avg rating — 2,223 ratings
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81

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4.05 avg rating — 722 ratings
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82

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4.11 avg rating — 971 ratings
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83

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3.48 avg rating — 970 ratings
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84

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3.94 avg rating — 225 ratings
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85

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3.82 avg rating — 161,513 ratings
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86

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3.98 avg rating — 17,402 ratings
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87

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3.88 avg rating — 8,887 ratings
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88

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3.91 avg rating — 12,200 ratings
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89

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4.33 avg rating — 123 ratings
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90

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4.28 avg rating — 4,245 ratings
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90

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4.21 avg rating — 2,027 ratings
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92

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3.84 avg rating — 1,788 ratings
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93

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3.77 avg rating — 2,370 ratings
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94

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4.27 avg rating — 6,648 ratings
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95

by
4.67 avg rating — 6 ratings
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96

by
4.23 avg rating — 1,488 ratings
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97

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3.94 avg rating — 839 ratings
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98

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4.16 avg rating — 12,099 ratings
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99

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3.82 avg rating — 5,320 ratings
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99

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3.90 avg rating — 1,202 ratings
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Out of curiosity, is this the Manchester Guardian?

I don't suppose it's surprising that a British journal would focus on sources about Britain, but I don't quite see why there are so many 'crime' books.

I'd tend to delete the crime books, and add Myths that Cause Crime; The Mismeasure of Man; The Nazi Doctors; Hiroshima-shi, Nagasaki-shi; Nehru's Letters to His Daughter; etc, etc.

Of course, ultimately, you can't limit significant books by any arbitrary metric. There will always be other candidates for deletion/addition.


message 2: by Reese (new)

Reese Can somebody save me the trouble of figuring out which of the 101 books on this list is not one of THE GUARDIAN's top 100 non-fiction books?


message 3: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell CLAY SHIRKY, really.


message 4: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Jun 17, 2011 06:04AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Deleted, for not being on The Guardian's original list:

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Also: The entry by Susan Sontag shouldn't actually be Against Interpretation: And Other Essays, but CAMP ...


message 5: by Reese (new)

Reese Thanks for the help.


message 7: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Rekshan Awesome! Thanks for finding the 101st book, it was driving me crazy!


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) My pleasure. :)


message 9: by Saarah (new)

Saarah Thanks for the list!


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan This is just pitiful. I have only read 3 of the "Top 100" ... looks like I have some serious reading to do.


message 11: by Debbie (new)

Debbie "The Medium is the Massage" should actually be "The Medium is the Message". For me it is pitiful, too. I've read only 4 and 3 of those were because of assignments in high school or college.


message 12: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Edwards No, it was meant to called 'The Medium is the Message', but there was a printing error and McLuhan liked it...
http://garydexter.blogspot.com/2009/0...


message 13: by Lindig (new)

Lindig Several of these I read only because I was an English Lit. major in college. Do they count? Well, never mind -- I decided "read" is "read," no matter the reason.


message 14: by Joan (new)

Joan Valerie wrote: "Out of curiosity, is this the Manchester Guardian?"

What used to be called the Manchester Guardian is now just called the Guardian, and is based in London.


message 15: by Kevin (new)

Kevin O'Keeffe The original manuscript of "The Diary of Anne Frank" was written in ballpoint (according to an article I read in the New York Times, back in the 1990s). To paraphrase the Mickey Rourke character from the (excellent) late 1980s film, Angel Heart, "They weren't too big on ballpoint back in '45."

Ergo, the inclusion of the "Diary," in a list of the "Top 100 NONFICTION Books," seems less than entirely warranted.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I think your argument is with the Guardian, not with us!


message 17: by Valerie (new)

Valerie The manuscript(s) of Anne Frank's Diary has been repeatedly verified by graphologists and other experts.

Notwithstanding the repeated refutation of disingenous attempts to deny the validity of the document, however, there is still good reason to pick the critical edition as the edition to read, since the editors of said critical edition restored several elisions and deletions introduced by Otto Frank and other earlier publishers, and because parts of the diary were rewritten by Anne herself, with an eye toward publication; and people might prefer to see both the original version and the edited version.


message 18: by Nathaniel (last edited Jun 20, 2011 10:59PM) (new)

Nathaniel Wyckoff What criteria did The Guardian use? The list includes The Communist Manifesto, but not The Wealth of Nations. Arguably, The Wealth of Nations was a more influential and important work.


message 19: by Mountainking (new)

Mountainking Great


message 20: by Brent (new)

Brent A superb list. My only addition? "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," by Hunter S. Thompson.


message 21: by John (new)

John Gribbin Valerie wrote: "Out of curiosity, is this the Manchester Guardian?

I don't suppose it's surprising that a British journal would focus on sources about Britain, but I don't quite see why there are so many 'crime' ..."


It hasn't been "Manchester" for about 40 years!


message 22: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Just goes to show the hazards of relying on fiction over a hundred years old as one's primary gazetteer for foreign lands.

I've never actually seen a copy of the periodical in question, though I've seen articles from it, quoted in other sources or reprinted entire.


message 23: by Roland (new)

Roland Howard Where on earth is Hersey's Hiroshima?
Also Bitter Fruit by Stephen Kinzer and Adam Hochchild's King Leopold's Ghost.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Take it up with the Guardian (see comment 16, above) ...


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