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 6 out of 100 books on this list — how many have you read?
1
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 1,432,227 ratings
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 34,664 ratings
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3
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 327,052 ratings
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4
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 88,399 ratings
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5
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 49,943 ratings
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6
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 128,393 ratings
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7
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 119,783 ratings
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8
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 7,226 ratings
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9
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 19,352 ratings
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10
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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47 avg rating — 49,097 ratings
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11
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 16,781 ratings
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12
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 22,868 ratings
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13
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 8,011 ratings
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14
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 124,408 ratings
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15
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 7,777 ratings
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16
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 45,877 ratings
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17
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 19,870 ratings
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18
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 91,073 ratings
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19
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,020 ratings
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20
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 14,952 ratings
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21
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 9,927 ratings
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22
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 46,712 ratings
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23
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 22,484 ratings
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24
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 6,008 ratings
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25
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 5,313 ratings
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26
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 33,174 ratings
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27
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 4,769 ratings
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28
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 9,493 ratings
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29
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 28,165 ratings
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30
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 1,336 ratings
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31
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 5,744 ratings
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32
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 5,523 ratings
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33
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 5,033 ratings
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33
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 15,442 ratings
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35
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 20,611 ratings
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36
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 61,768 ratings
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37
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 3,645 ratings
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38
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 8,236 ratings
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39
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 792 ratings
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40
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 42,017 ratings
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41
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 966 ratings
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42
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 15,235 ratings
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43
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 25,075 ratings
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44
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 1,222 ratings
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45
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 2,740 ratings
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46
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 12,015 ratings
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47
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 14,413 ratings
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48
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 4,671 ratings
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49
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 7,816 ratings
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50
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 4,093 ratings
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51
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 1,322 ratings
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52
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 15,098 ratings
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53
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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 4,426 ratings
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54
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 5,917 ratings
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55
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 3,566 ratings
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56
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 3,364 ratings
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56
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 6,559 ratings
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58
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 55,518 ratings
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59
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 3,646 ratings
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60
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 13,544 ratings
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61
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 12,082 ratings
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62
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 12,887 ratings
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63
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 2,521 ratings
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64
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 1,944 ratings
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64
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 7,522 ratings
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64
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 5,023 ratings
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67
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 7,138 ratings
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68
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 1,790 ratings
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69
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 2,217 ratings
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70
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 1,073 ratings
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71
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 1,126 ratings
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72
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 8,138 ratings
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72
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 2,869 ratings
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74
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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36 avg rating — 11 ratings
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75
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 112 ratings
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76
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 13,653 ratings
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77
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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 12,706 ratings
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78
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 2,931 ratings
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79
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 113 ratings
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80
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 1,662 ratings
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81
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 416 ratings
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82
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 633 ratings
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83
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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39 avg rating — 658 ratings
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84
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 155 ratings
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85
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 72,606 ratings
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86
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 12,213 ratings
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87
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 5,913 ratings
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88
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 9,079 ratings
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89
by
4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 88 ratings
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90
by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 2,659 ratings
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90
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 1,648 ratings
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92
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 1,087 ratings
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93
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 1,331 ratings
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94
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 4,583 ratings
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95
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5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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96
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 1,058 ratings
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97
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 507 ratings
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98
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 8,752 ratings
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99
by
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 3,626 ratings
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99
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 890 ratings
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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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 (Does not and never will own a Kindle) (last edited Jun 17, 2011 06:04AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) 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!


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 (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Take it up with the Guardian (see comment 16, above) ...


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