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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4.17 avg rating — 3,261,273 ratings
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2

by
4.08 avg rating — 595,060 ratings
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3

by
3.78 avg rating — 175,703 ratings
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4

by
4.22 avg rating — 82,184 ratings
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5

by
3.99 avg rating — 107,962 ratings
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6

by
3.83 avg rating — 297,780 ratings
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7

by
4.20 avg rating — 376,030 ratings
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8

by
3.98 avg rating — 47,668 ratings
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9

by
3.97 avg rating — 405,186 ratings
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10

by
4.01 avg rating — 13,807 ratings
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11

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 41,806 ratings
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12

by
3.62 avg rating — 136,937 ratings
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13

by
4.09 avg rating — 52,832 ratings
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14

by
4.22 avg rating — 5,313 ratings
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15

by
3.90 avg rating — 22,186 ratings
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16

by
4.07 avg rating — 53,541 ratings
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17

by
4.19 avg rating — 158,451 ratings
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18

by
3.90 avg rating — 316,228 ratings
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19

by
3.73 avg rating — 5,466 ratings
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20

by
4.15 avg rating — 36,315 ratings
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21

by
3.83 avg rating — 67,830 ratings
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22

by
4.31 avg rating — 25,491 ratings
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23

by
3.92 avg rating — 72,506 ratings
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24

by
4.02 avg rating — 9,900 ratings
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25

by
4.08 avg rating — 64,555 ratings
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26

by
3.96 avg rating — 15,299 ratings
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27

by
4.21 avg rating — 21,658 ratings
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28

by
4.03 avg rating — 8,394 ratings
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29

by
3.85 avg rating — 17,283 ratings
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30

by
3.97 avg rating — 33,849 ratings
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31

by
3.95 avg rating — 2,953 ratings
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32

by
3.89 avg rating — 14,572 ratings
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33

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3.53 avg rating — 12,454 ratings
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34

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3.71 avg rating — 42,525 ratings
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35

by
4.15 avg rating — 161,457 ratings
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36

by
3.86 avg rating — 10,609 ratings
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37

by
4.24 avg rating — 173,614 ratings
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38

by
4.09 avg rating — 21,998 ratings
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39

by
4.14 avg rating — 1,511 ratings
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40

by
4.07 avg rating — 111,034 ratings
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41

by
3.82 avg rating — 1,699 ratings
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42

by
4.29 avg rating — 40,082 ratings
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43

by
4.28 avg rating — 46,684 ratings
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44

by
3.84 avg rating — 13,330 ratings
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45

by
3.78 avg rating — 3,019 ratings
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46

by
3.60 avg rating — 8,371 ratings
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47

by
3.86 avg rating — 5,249 ratings
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48

by
3.86 avg rating — 25,908 ratings
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49

by
4.19 avg rating — 32,610 ratings
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50

by
4.14 avg rating — 14,662 ratings
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51

by
4.09 avg rating — 14,510 ratings
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52

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4.20 avg rating — 15,054 ratings
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53

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3.75 avg rating — 2,213 ratings
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54

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3.96 avg rating — 31,754 ratings
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55

by
4.36 avg rating — 10,930 ratings
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56

by
3.98 avg rating — 11,806 ratings
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57

by
4.13 avg rating — 7,466 ratings
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58

by
3.70 avg rating — 6,580 ratings
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59

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4.06 avg rating — 129,139 ratings
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60

by
3.73 avg rating — 32,896 ratings
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61

by
3.76 avg rating — 29,144 ratings
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62

by
4.19 avg rating — 50,660 ratings
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63

by
4.28 avg rating — 6,082 ratings
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64

by
4.24 avg rating — 5,965 ratings
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64

by
4.22 avg rating — 18,020 ratings
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64

by
3.87 avg rating — 12,157 ratings
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67

by
4.03 avg rating — 15,871 ratings
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68

by
4.19 avg rating — 3,333 ratings
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69

by
4.01 avg rating — 3,580 ratings
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70

by
3.70 avg rating — 2,373 ratings
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71

by
3.91 avg rating — 2,041 ratings
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72

by
4.25 avg rating — 18,284 ratings
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72

by
4.06 avg rating — 7,378 ratings
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74

by
3.84 avg rating — 49 ratings
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75

by
3.95 avg rating — 556 ratings
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76

by
4.23 avg rating — 28,835 ratings
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77

by
3.73 avg rating — 22,911 ratings
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78

by
3.97 avg rating — 5,378 ratings
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79

by
3.97 avg rating — 241 ratings
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80

by
3.84 avg rating — 3,509 ratings
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81

by
4.04 avg rating — 1,449 ratings
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82

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,370 ratings
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83

by
3.56 avg rating — 1,561 ratings
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84

by
3.95 avg rating — 369 ratings
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85

by
3.95 avg rating — 367,898 ratings
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86

by
4.03 avg rating — 24,837 ratings
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87

by
3.87 avg rating — 15,811 ratings
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88

by
3.95 avg rating — 16,800 ratings
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89

by
4.34 avg rating — 193 ratings
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90

by
4.30 avg rating — 6,766 ratings
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90

by
4.19 avg rating — 2,606 ratings
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92

by
3.86 avg rating — 3,173 ratings
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93

by
3.80 avg rating — 4,045 ratings
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94

by
4.24 avg rating — 12,649 ratings
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95

by
4.67 avg rating — 9 ratings
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96

by
4.22 avg rating — 2,205 ratings
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97

by
3.78 avg rating — 175,703 ratings
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98

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,493 ratings
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99

by
4.19 avg rating — 50,660 ratings
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100

by
4.28 avg rating — 21,905 ratings
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Get Results & Compare With Friends »




Daniel 717 books
142 friends
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141 friends
M0rningstar 773 books
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Paula 1124 books
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Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 545 books
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Kate 923 books
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More voters…


Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 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 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 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: by Mountainking (new)

Mountainking Great


message 19: by Brent (new)

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


message 20: 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 21: 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 22: 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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