Best Non-Fiction (non biography)

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

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3.98 avg rating — 312,389 ratings
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2

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3.92 avg rating — 510,672 ratings
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3

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4.04 avg rating — 376,983 ratings
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4

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4.18 avg rating — 183,721 ratings
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5

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3.99 avg rating — 167,179 ratings
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6

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3.92 avg rating — 580,220 ratings
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7

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4.09 avg rating — 330,598 ratings
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8

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4.17 avg rating — 135,222 ratings
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9

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3.89 avg rating — 427,201 ratings
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10

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4.09 avg rating — 282,049 ratings
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11

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4.05 avg rating — 111,516 ratings
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12

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3.72 avg rating — 175,328 ratings
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13

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3.86 avg rating — 308,761 ratings
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14

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3.89 avg rating — 158,660 ratings
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15

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4.28 avg rating — 609,774 ratings
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16

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4.02 avg rating — 337,039 ratings
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17

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3.97 avg rating — 111,396 ratings
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18

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3.89 avg rating — 154,293 ratings
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19

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3.59 avg rating — 153,375 ratings
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20

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4.29 avg rating — 129,401 ratings
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21

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4.10 avg rating — 159,019 ratings
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22

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4.32 avg rating — 148,608 ratings
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23

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4.08 avg rating — 115,996 ratings
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24

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4.03 avg rating — 92,351 ratings
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25

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4.29 avg rating — 80,228 ratings
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26

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4.25 avg rating — 42,130 ratings
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27

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3.98 avg rating — 85,186 ratings
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28

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3.99 avg rating — 129,874 ratings
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29

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3.85 avg rating — 77,254 ratings
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30

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4.18 avg rating — 105,440 ratings
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31

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3.84 avg rating — 67,496 ratings
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32

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3.96 avg rating — 63,276 ratings
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33

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3.91 avg rating — 44,179 ratings
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34

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4.03 avg rating — 84,431 ratings
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35

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4.15 avg rating — 612 ratings
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36

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4.16 avg rating — 51,770 ratings
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37

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4.06 avg rating — 78,409 ratings
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38

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4.35 avg rating — 67,205 ratings
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39

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4.27 avg rating — 105,257 ratings
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40

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3.93 avg rating — 22,738 ratings
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41

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4.34 avg rating — 46,297 ratings
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42

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3.95 avg rating — 39,635 ratings
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43

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3.79 avg rating — 107,633 ratings
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44

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4.10 avg rating — 85,799 ratings
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45

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3.89 avg rating — 46,424 ratings
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46

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4.30 avg rating — 162,472 ratings
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47

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3.72 avg rating — 35,345 ratings
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48

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4.09 avg rating — 69,264 ratings
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49

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3.79 avg rating — 27,719 ratings
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50

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4.10 avg rating — 337,225 ratings
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51

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4.04 avg rating — 29,921 ratings
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52

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4.22 avg rating — 23,792 ratings
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53

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4.06 avg rating — 111,974 ratings
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54

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4.13 avg rating — 43,491 ratings
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55

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4.06 avg rating — 78,507 ratings
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56

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4.08 avg rating — 57,089 ratings
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57

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4.33 avg rating — 16,689 ratings
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58

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4.36 avg rating — 16,548 ratings
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59

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4.10 avg rating — 246,310 ratings
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60

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4.41 avg rating — 36,773 ratings
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61

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3.87 avg rating — 52,303 ratings
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62

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4.13 avg rating — 56,491 ratings
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63

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 37,501 ratings
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64

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3.75 avg rating — 46,768 ratings
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65

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3.91 avg rating — 23,779 ratings
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66

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4.15 avg rating — 31,005 ratings
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67

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4.04 avg rating — 28,466 ratings
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68

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3.96 avg rating — 23,939 ratings
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69

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4.08 avg rating — 16,432 ratings
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70

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3.49 avg rating — 60,976 ratings
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71

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4.04 avg rating — 59,413 ratings
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72

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4.22 avg rating — 50,842 ratings
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73

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3.82 avg rating — 37,702 ratings
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74

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3.56 avg rating — 93,685 ratings
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75

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4.05 avg rating — 35,459 ratings
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76

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3.76 avg rating — 158,969 ratings
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77

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4.12 avg rating — 20,027 ratings
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78

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4.26 avg rating — 39,097 ratings
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79

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4.14 avg rating — 22,461 ratings
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80

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4.37 avg rating — 10,636 ratings
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81

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4.19 avg rating — 52,679 ratings
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82

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3.94 avg rating — 38,102 ratings
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83

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3.77 avg rating — 22,179 ratings
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84

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4.23 avg rating — 9,781 ratings
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85

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4.29 avg rating — 30,310 ratings
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86

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4.23 avg rating — 64,044 ratings
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87

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4.18 avg rating — 31,191 ratings
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88

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3.77 avg rating — 115,892 ratings
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89

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4.30 avg rating — 11,917 ratings
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90

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3.64 avg rating — 76,203 ratings
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91

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4.20 avg rating — 39,965 ratings
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92

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4.30 avg rating — 90,328 ratings
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93

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3.93 avg rating — 78,636 ratings
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94

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4.13 avg rating — 301 ratings
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95

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4.07 avg rating — 15,720 ratings
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96

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4.25 avg rating — 17,225 ratings
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97

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4.23 avg rating — 30,656 ratings
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98

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3.86 avg rating — 24,222 ratings
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99

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3.64 avg rating — 51,843 ratings
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100

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3.99 avg rating — 504 ratings
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3,932 books · 5,802 voters · list created June 28th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
1372 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan 1342 books
60 friends
Jessica 2353 books
104 friends
Jennifer 1830 books
49 friends
Cindi 2764 books
56 friends
Lisa 510 books
33 friends
Ben 576 books
57 friends
Brooke 758 books
43 friends
Rebecca 322 books
97 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 52-101)





message 101: by jeff (new)

jeff Anyone else feel a little troubled by this list?


message 100: by jeff (new)

jeff From about #63 on maybe?


message 99: by Chanel (new)

Chanel Earl What happened to no biography?


message 98: 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 97: by Rachel (new)

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


message 96: 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 94: 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 92: 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 91: by e. (new)

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


message 90: 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 89: by Foxontherun (new)

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


message 88: 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 86: by A. Steven (new)

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

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


message 85: 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 84: 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 83: 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 81: 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 80: 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 79: by Hannah (new)

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


message 78: by [deleted user] (new)

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


message 77: 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 76: 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 75: 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 73: 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 69: by Angelica (new)

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


message 68: 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 66: 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 64: 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 62: 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 60: by Hayes (new)

Hayes And Seabiscuit? And Feynman?


message 59: 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 58: 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 57: 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 55: 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 53: 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


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