Best Non-Fiction (no biographies)

Share your picks for the best non-fiction books you've read--DO NOT INCLUDE BIOGRAPHIES
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3.99 avg rating — 506,365 ratings
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2

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3.98 avg rating — 694,396 ratings
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3

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4.21 avg rating — 288,698 ratings
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4

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4.03 avg rating — 288,748 ratings
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5

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4.16 avg rating — 536,811 ratings
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6

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4.18 avg rating — 386,416 ratings
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7

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3.97 avg rating — 677,004 ratings
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8

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4.18 avg rating — 178,379 ratings
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9

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4.06 avg rating — 168,496 ratings
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10

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4.34 avg rating — 952,411 ratings
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11

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4.07 avg rating — 573,208 ratings
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12

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3.93 avg rating — 477,044 ratings
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13

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3.92 avg rating — 217,878 ratings
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14

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3.74 avg rating — 196,306 ratings
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15

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3.90 avg rating — 225,688 ratings
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16

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 153,270 ratings
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17

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4.36 avg rating — 377,446 ratings
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18

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4.18 avg rating — 292,769 ratings
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19

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3.63 avg rating — 175,968 ratings
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20

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4.33 avg rating — 216,107 ratings
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21

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4.06 avg rating — 161,237 ratings
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22

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4.07 avg rating — 184,700 ratings
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23

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4.42 avg rating — 460,229 ratings
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24

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4.04 avg rating — 122,108 ratings
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25

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4.28 avg rating — 68,376 ratings
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26

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4.08 avg rating — 218,999 ratings
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27

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4.29 avg rating — 164,231 ratings
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28

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3.84 avg rating — 95,281 ratings
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29

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3.98 avg rating — 95,725 ratings
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30

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4.37 avg rating — 112,706 ratings
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31

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4.14 avg rating — 136,325 ratings
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32

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4.06 avg rating — 7,381 ratings
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33

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3.93 avg rating — 58,805 ratings
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34

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3.98 avg rating — 34,334 ratings
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35

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4.04 avg rating — 97,569 ratings
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36

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4.33 avg rating — 289,996 ratings
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37

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3.87 avg rating — 95,845 ratings
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38

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3.79 avg rating — 152,209 ratings
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39

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4.40 avg rating — 80,763 ratings
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40

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4.16 avg rating — 81,975 ratings
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41

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4.13 avg rating — 96,424 ratings
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42

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4.20 avg rating — 583,207 ratings
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43

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3.97 avg rating — 53,257 ratings
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44

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4.08 avg rating — 182,076 ratings
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45

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4.08 avg rating — 100,865 ratings
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46

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4.24 avg rating — 37,207 ratings
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47

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4.15 avg rating — 2,675,109 ratings
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48

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4.13 avg rating — 97,549 ratings
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49

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4.03 avg rating — 45,062 ratings
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50

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3.74 avg rating — 55,253 ratings
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51

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4.10 avg rating — 101,634 ratings
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52

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4.06 avg rating — 313,313 ratings
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53

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4.24 avg rating — 27,191 ratings
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54

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4.17 avg rating — 66,501 ratings
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55

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4.43 avg rating — 63,836 ratings
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56

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4.17 avg rating — 98,063 ratings
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57

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3.93 avg rating — 82,373 ratings
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58

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4.03 avg rating — 63,608 ratings
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59

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4.19 avg rating — 45,581 ratings
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60

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4.07 avg rating — 87,968 ratings
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61

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4.18 avg rating — 72,047 ratings
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62

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4.05 avg rating — 45,980 ratings
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63

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3.80 avg rating — 36,479 ratings
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64

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4.37 avg rating — 22,548 ratings
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65

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4.26 avg rating — 97,780 ratings
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66

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4.23 avg rating — 63,357 ratings
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67

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4.16 avg rating — 40,112 ratings
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68

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4.24 avg rating — 75,971 ratings
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69

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4.30 avg rating — 77,716 ratings
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70

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3.90 avg rating — 38,847 ratings
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71

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4.27 avg rating — 57,176 ratings
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72

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3.81 avg rating — 252,587 ratings
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73

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4.10 avg rating — 20,731 ratings
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74

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3.61 avg rating — 114,772 ratings
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75

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3.96 avg rating — 56,635 ratings
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76

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3.84 avg rating — 50,316 ratings
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77

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3.99 avg rating — 119,513 ratings
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78

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4.24 avg rating — 43,045 ratings
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79

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3.92 avg rating — 34,275 ratings
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80

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3.57 avg rating — 104,331 ratings
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81

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4.06 avg rating — 46,389 ratings
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82

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4.12 avg rating — 506,090 ratings
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83

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3.85 avg rating — 156,167 ratings
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84

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4.29 avg rating — 147,252 ratings
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85

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4.36 avg rating — 15,412 ratings
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86

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4.29 avg rating — 41,521 ratings
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87

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4.07 avg rating — 31,215 ratings
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88

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4.10 avg rating — 1,187 ratings
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89

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4.17 avg rating — 55,666 ratings
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90

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4.10 avg rating — 1,537 ratings
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91

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4.12 avg rating — 25,157 ratings
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92

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4.36 avg rating — 16,670 ratings
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93

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3.76 avg rating — 25,911 ratings
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94

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3.68 avg rating — 95,385 ratings
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95

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3.87 avg rating — 71,124 ratings
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96

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3.87 avg rating — 34,867 ratings
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97

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4.27 avg rating — 297,996 ratings
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98

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4.30 avg rating — 24,744 ratings
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99

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4.11 avg rating — 60,405 ratings
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100

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4.28 avg rating — 13,099 ratings
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5,530 books · 7,871 voters · list created June 28th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
2488 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan 1601 books
61 friends
Jessica 5299 books
696 friends
Jennifer 2611 books
49 friends
Cindi 2977 books
60 friends
bsc 576 books
55 friends
Brooke 857 books
55 friends
Rebecca 383 books
123 friends
Rob 1488 books
28 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 117 (117 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 Tanith 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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