Best Non-Fiction (non biography)

Share your picks for the best non-fiction books you've read - DO NOT INCLUDE BIOGRAPHIES
1

by
3.97 avg rating — 304,414 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
3.91 avg rating — 495,870 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.04 avg rating — 370,047 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.17 avg rating — 179,246 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
3.98 avg rating — 164,254 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
3.92 avg rating — 563,335 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
4.09 avg rating — 321,453 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.17 avg rating — 133,148 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.88 avg rating — 413,437 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.09 avg rating — 277,457 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.05 avg rating — 107,925 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
3.72 avg rating — 174,077 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.86 avg rating — 299,064 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.88 avg rating — 154,369 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.27 avg rating — 593,775 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.02 avg rating — 324,348 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
3.97 avg rating — 108,632 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
3.89 avg rating — 149,578 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
3.59 avg rating — 152,215 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.29 avg rating — 125,215 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.10 avg rating — 155,917 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.32 avg rating — 141,137 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
4.08 avg rating — 110,936 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.29 avg rating — 76,861 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
4.25 avg rating — 40,711 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
4.03 avg rating — 88,571 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.98 avg rating — 83,266 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
3.85 avg rating — 75,633 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
3.98 avg rating — 126,427 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.18 avg rating — 102,670 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.84 avg rating — 65,585 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
3.91 avg rating — 43,534 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.95 avg rating — 61,412 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.03 avg rating — 83,334 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
4.15 avg rating — 595 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
4.16 avg rating — 49,326 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.06 avg rating — 76,668 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
4.35 avg rating — 64,476 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
3.92 avg rating — 22,247 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.95 avg rating — 39,081 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.27 avg rating — 101,715 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
4.34 avg rating — 44,770 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
3.79 avg rating — 104,956 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.10 avg rating — 82,046 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
3.89 avg rating — 45,674 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.72 avg rating — 34,308 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
4.08 avg rating — 67,524 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
4.30 avg rating — 155,271 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
3.79 avg rating — 27,166 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.10 avg rating — 330,768 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
4.04 avg rating — 28,957 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.22 avg rating — 23,150 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
4.06 avg rating — 107,504 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
4.13 avg rating — 42,410 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
4.08 avg rating — 54,832 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
4.33 avg rating — 16,374 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.05 avg rating — 76,661 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.36 avg rating — 16,151 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
4.09 avg rating — 233,308 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
3.86 avg rating — 50,997 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
4.41 avg rating — 35,575 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 36,306 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.13 avg rating — 54,307 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.75 avg rating — 46,052 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.91 avg rating — 23,120 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.14 avg rating — 30,262 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
4.04 avg rating — 27,449 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
3.96 avg rating — 23,427 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
4.08 avg rating — 16,178 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.04 avg rating — 58,090 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
3.49 avg rating — 58,840 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.22 avg rating — 49,445 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
3.82 avg rating — 36,787 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.56 avg rating — 92,610 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.12 avg rating — 19,483 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.26 avg rating — 38,063 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
4.05 avg rating — 34,801 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
4.14 avg rating — 21,618 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
4.37 avg rating — 10,336 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.76 avg rating — 155,618 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.77 avg rating — 21,851 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.94 avg rating — 37,181 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.23 avg rating — 9,586 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
4.18 avg rating — 51,649 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.19 avg rating — 29,969 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.29 avg rating — 29,600 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.77 avg rating — 112,380 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
4.23 avg rating — 62,605 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
4.20 avg rating — 39,226 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
4.30 avg rating — 11,602 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
4.30 avg rating — 87,081 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.92 avg rating — 76,266 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
4.06 avg rating — 15,187 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
94

by
3.64 avg rating — 74,687 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
4.13 avg rating — 297 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
3.64 avg rating — 50,884 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.86 avg rating — 23,559 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
4.22 avg rating — 30,023 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
4.01 avg rating — 494 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
4.24 avg rating — 16,692 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
3,869 books · 5,701 voters · list created June 28th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
Tags: best, non-fiction
1296 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan 1328 books
58 friends
Jessica 2330 books
105 friends
Jennifer 1738 books
52 friends
Cindi 2713 books
56 friends
Lisa 510 books
33 friends
Ben 576 books
57 friends
Brooke 754 books
42 friends
Rebecca 318 books
97 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 100) (100 new)


message 1: by jeff (new)

jeff Anyone else feel a little troubled by this list?


message 2: by jeff (new)

jeff From about #63 on maybe?


message 3: by Chanel (new)

Chanel Earl What happened to no biography?


message 4: by Angel (new)

Angel I am not sure why some folks seem to find this list troubling. Maybe I missed something? For me at least, there are a few titles I would not mind reading, like Salt. But I did wonder, I thought no biographies. What gives? Bourdain's book is (arguably at least) biographical as are a few others. Anyhow, this list this give me an idea or two to pursue later.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Schindler's List is a novel. Pet peeve.


message 6: by brian (new)

brian thunder Im very concerned by this list too.
George Lincoln Rockwell?
I'm all for freedom of expression, but it seems odd to find him on a list with a Jewish Cookbook.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Caddie Woodlawn? Novel.

The Joy Luck Club? Novel.

I have my doubts about the appropriateness of 84, Charing Cross Road for this list, as well.


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Me too. I have read dozens of great non-fiction that do not appear on this list!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's easy to add books at the right of the screen.


message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo There is some real drivel here...and some good stuff, too. I think we need to pay more attention in putting Marley and Me on the same list as Shockwave. Yes?




message 11: by e. (new)

e. Seems like this list is ALL over the place!


message 12: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jun 02, 2010 10:19AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I question the presence of The Odyssey and The Iliad on a non-fiction list.


message 13: by Foxontherun (new)

Foxontherun God I loved CandyFreak (I've met the author several times)...and Mary Roach is a GENIUS.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Foxontherun wrote: "God I loved CandyFreak (I've met the author several times)...and Mary Roach is a GENIUS."

It was so entertaining. My friend Mary was able to read her book Stiff but I don't think I am up to that one. Have you read it?


message 16: by A. Steven (new)

A. Steven jeff wrote: "From about #63 on maybe?"

Yeah your right ... #92 really doesn't fit at all.


message 17: by Xenophon (last edited Jun 21, 2010 05:58PM) (new)

Xenophon Hendrix I've deleted The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley because the list clearly calls for non-biography, and I've deleted The Jungle because it is a novel.


message 18: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jun 22, 2010 10:56AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads What about The Diary of Anne Frank? Or, for that matter, The Iliad and The Odyssey?


message 19: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix I've not read The Diary of Anne Frank, so I have no idea how much is biography and how much is observations of the current scene, etc. The librarians here are enjoined from removing items from lists unless the items are clearly wrong, so I'm not willing to stick my neck out.

Similarly, The Iliad and The Odyssey might be considered religious texts. The classical Greeks tended to think of them that way. I'm not about to open the can of worms of calling someone's religious text "fiction."


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads The two categories that I could slot Anne Frank into are auto-biography and novelized diary.


message 21: by Marla (new)

Marla Alice wrote: "Foxontherun wrote: "God I loved CandyFreak (I've met the author several times)...and Mary Roach is a GENIUS."

It was so entertaining. My friend Mary was able to read her book Stiff but I don't ..."


my dad gave me stiff for christmas one year--freakin' amazing. but gruesome. be warned. the one book i will not loan out.


message 22: by Shad (new)

Shad Marla wrote: "Alice wrote: "Foxontherun wrote: "God I loved CandyFreak (I've met the author several times)...and Mary Roach is a GENIUS."

It was so entertaining. My friend Mary was able to read her book Stiff ..."


Sorry to butt in...I loved Stiff. I'm not usually one for such topics but I found it fascinating. Gruesome is a good word. At times I thought I'd have to put it down forever. It's not all that way, though. Now I want to read CandyFreak!


message 23: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Vote "The Old Way: story of the first people" by elizabeth marshall thomas


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Please remove Water for Elephants on the first page near the bottom.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Angel wrote: "I am not sure why some folks seem to find this list troubling. Maybe I missed something? For me at least, there are a few titles I would not mind reading, like Salt. But I did wonder, I thought no ..."

Salt is very good. I enjoyed it far more than I expected. Hope to vote for it when I find it.


message 26: by Rc (new)

Rc Stephens deleted user wrote: "Foxontherun wrote: "God I loved CandyFreak (I've met the author several times)...and Mary Roach is a GENIUS."

It was so entertaining. My friend Mary was able to read her book Stiff but I don't ..."


I'm reading Stiff right now. She treats cadavers with as much grace and respect and humor as any of her other subjects, so while there are gruesome moments, those moments aren't uncalled for. If you liked her other books, you'll like this one. I heartily recommend it - except during breakfast.


message 27: by Amy (new)

Amy The Kite Runner is fiction.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Amy wrote: "The Kite Runner is fiction."

Could you remember where it was when you saw it? Make it a lot easier for me to remove it.


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy Susanna wrote: "Amy wrote: "The Kite Runner is fiction."

Could you remember where it was when you saw it? Make it a lot easier for me to remove it."

It's on the second page, #156. Also, The Help, number 266 on page 3 is fiction as well. Both are great books.



Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Thanks! I shall go remove them.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for being fiction:

The Kite Runner
Anne of Green Gables
The Help
Cutting for Stone

Should I remove Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson? And Walter Isaacson's bio of Benjamin Franklin doesn't look kosher, either. King of the World is apparently a bio of Mohammed Ali.

Frankly, I don't know what to make of Mein Kampf being here.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Also removed Water for Elephants (fiction).


message 33: by Angelica (new)

Angelica I would consider "A child called It" as a biography. At least the author claims that it is biographical.


message 34: by Denae (new)

Denae 277: The Little Prince
268: The Name of the Rose

both of the above are fiction


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Thanks, Dena - I'll remove them.


message 36: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Conner 330 Of mice and men
340 Catcher in the Rye
346 The Lincoln Lawyer
395 The Handmaidens Tale

All are fiction


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Will remove them - thanks for listing the location!


message 38: by Hayes (last edited Dec 17, 2011 11:30AM) (new)

Hayes 137 A Room of One's Own ... listed as non-fiction?
178 The Innocents Abroad


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I believe Innocents Abroad is non-fiction (I'm reading it currently, and in the author's note, I believe he explains how most of it was his account for the American papers at the time); haven't read the Woolf.

The note on the Woolf looks complicated; it seems to be half-and-half?


message 40: by Hayes (last edited Dec 17, 2011 12:50PM) (new)

Hayes I couldn't remember about The Innocents (I read it long ago), if it was a fictionalized thing, or not. The Woolf looked complicated to me too. So I guess it's best to leave them, but there are a lot of biographies that should go.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Well, starting with biographies: what about The Diary of Anne Frank?


message 42: by Hayes (new)

Hayes And Seabiscuit? And Feynman?


message 43: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Dec 17, 2011 01:43PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads For that matter, A Child Called It?


message 44: by Amara (last edited Feb 21, 2012 07:03PM) (new)

Amara Fiction Removed:

Jack & Jill by James Patterson
Misery by Stephen King
Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


message 45: by Taryn (new)

Taryn Some of the books I would question because they simply are not the best non-fiction - on the contrary, they are horrible. But to each her own I guess.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I need at least 200 votes for this list. LOL


message 47: by Cricket (new)

Cricket I know this much is true by Wally Lamb is fiction as well


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Where is it on the list?


message 49: by Cricket (new)

Cricket I know this much is True PG 4 #366.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Thanks!

Removed for being a novel:

I Know This Much is True


« previous 1
back to top




Anyone can add books to this list.