Best Non-Fiction (non biography)

Share your picks for the best non-fiction books you've read - DO NOT INCLUDE BIOGRAPHIES
101

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4.26 avg rating — 44,283 ratings
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102

by
3.56 avg rating — 24,642 ratings
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103

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4.09 avg rating — 43,166 ratings
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104

by
4.02 avg rating — 185,137 ratings
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105

by
3.79 avg rating — 106,920 ratings
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106

by
4.04 avg rating — 12,898 ratings
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107

by
3.85 avg rating — 40,193 ratings
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108

by
3.99 avg rating — 252,446 ratings
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109

by
4.11 avg rating — 9,215 ratings
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110

by
3.96 avg rating — 484,299 ratings
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111

by
4.49 avg rating — 98 ratings
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112

by
4.27 avg rating — 23,676 ratings
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113

by
3.94 avg rating — 61,856 ratings
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114

by
3.71 avg rating — 21,007 ratings
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115

by
3.66 avg rating — 105,125 ratings
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116

by
3.95 avg rating — 53,355 ratings
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117

by
3.98 avg rating — 31,948 ratings
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118

by
4.14 avg rating — 13,547 ratings
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119

by
3.95 avg rating — 14,003 ratings
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120

by
4.42 avg rating — 60,811 ratings
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121

by
4.33 avg rating — 34,049 ratings
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122

by
4.24 avg rating — 221,258 ratings
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123

by
4.42 avg rating — 152,903 ratings
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124

by
4.14 avg rating — 21,430 ratings
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125

by
4.01 avg rating — 16,401 ratings
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126

by
3.83 avg rating — 8,682 ratings
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127

by
4.23 avg rating — 75,782 ratings
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128

by
4.16 avg rating — 41,722 ratings
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129

by
4.32 avg rating — 18,084 ratings
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130

by
3.75 avg rating — 30,440 ratings
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131

by
3.90 avg rating — 70,052 ratings
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132

by
3.87 avg rating — 17,599 ratings
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133

by
4.18 avg rating — 25,710 ratings
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134

by
3.85 avg rating — 12,290 ratings
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135

by
4.07 avg rating — 22,720 ratings
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136

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4.22 avg rating — 8,860 ratings
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137

by
4.03 avg rating — 6,097 ratings
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138

by
4.51 avg rating — 201 ratings
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139

by
4.37 avg rating — 12,884 ratings
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140

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,791,149 ratings
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141

by
4.51 avg rating — 67,236 ratings
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142

by
4.07 avg rating — 59,788 ratings
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143

by
3.80 avg rating — 26,644 ratings
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144

by
3.91 avg rating — 53,222 ratings
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145

by
3.97 avg rating — 15,488 ratings
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146

by
4.02 avg rating — 74,278 ratings
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147

by
3.92 avg rating — 36,322 ratings
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148

by
3.97 avg rating — 12,707 ratings
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149

by
4.10 avg rating — 11,745 ratings
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150

by
4.16 avg rating — 5,257 ratings
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151

by
3.77 avg rating — 4,597 ratings
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152

by
4.15 avg rating — 42,241 ratings
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153

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4.16 avg rating — 12,478 ratings
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154

by
4.13 avg rating — 7,040 ratings
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155

by
4.07 avg rating — 8,312 ratings
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156

by
4.40 avg rating — 3,951 ratings
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157

by
4.03 avg rating — 9,969 ratings
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158

by
3.95 avg rating — 171,250 ratings
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159

by
4.07 avg rating — 20,271 ratings
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160

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4.15 avg rating — 55,557 ratings
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161

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 36,089 ratings
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162

by
3.75 avg rating — 136,267 ratings
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163

by
3.79 avg rating — 19,661 ratings
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164

by
3.96 avg rating — 39,779 ratings
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165

by
4.10 avg rating — 8,893 ratings
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166

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3.81 avg rating — 4,154 ratings
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167

by
4.23 avg rating — 13,272 ratings
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168

by
4.16 avg rating — 22,223 ratings
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169

by
4.18 avg rating — 15,867 ratings
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170

by
4.21 avg rating — 32,210 ratings
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171

by
4.42 avg rating — 155,146 ratings
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172

by
4.02 avg rating — 10,539 ratings
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173

by
3.86 avg rating — 34,121 ratings
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174

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4.27 avg rating — 39,275 ratings
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175

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3.73 avg rating — 19,752 ratings
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176

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4.32 avg rating — 13,554 ratings
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177

by
4.02 avg rating — 5,520 ratings
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177

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4.05 avg rating — 60,687 ratings
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179

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4.31 avg rating — 11,848 ratings
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180

by
4.03 avg rating — 25,412 ratings
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180

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4.02 avg rating — 24,951 ratings
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182

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4.28 avg rating — 28,463 ratings
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183

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4.19 avg rating — 15,740 ratings
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184

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4.20 avg rating — 16,330 ratings
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185

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4.20 avg rating — 49,554 ratings
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186

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 40,488 ratings
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187

by
4.14 avg rating — 45,009 ratings
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188

by
3.98 avg rating — 15,376 ratings
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189

by
4.05 avg rating — 77,541 ratings
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190

by
3.91 avg rating — 63,026 ratings
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191

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4.22 avg rating — 26,400 ratings
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192

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3.87 avg rating — 3,259 ratings
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192

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4.07 avg rating — 13,868 ratings
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194

by
3.59 avg rating — 271 ratings
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195

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4.11 avg rating — 18,771 ratings
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196

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3.99 avg rating — 15,413 ratings
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197

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4.28 avg rating — 20,089 ratings
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198

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3.95 avg rating — 8,301 ratings
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199

by
4.80 avg rating — 84 ratings
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200

by
4.30 avg rating — 99,308 ratings
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3,897 books · 5,762 voters · list created June 28th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
1344 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan 1337 books
59 friends
Jessica 2348 books
104 friends
Jennifer 1782 books
52 friends
Cindi 2759 books
56 friends
Lisa 510 books
33 friends
Ben 576 books
57 friends
Brooke 755 books
43 friends
Rebecca 322 books
97 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 101) (101 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


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