Best 21st Century Non-Fiction

Non-fiction that you enjoyed reading. Books that changed your thinking, changed your mind, enlightened you, helped you move ahead, helped you heal, in short, made a difference. Just plain, good non-fiction.

Note: the 21st Century began on January 1st, 2001. Books originally published in 2000 or before are not eligible.

See also
Most Rated Book By Year
Best Books of the 21st Century
Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century
Best Historical Fiction of the 21st Century
Best Horror Books of the 21st Century
Best Science Fiction Books of the 21st Century
1

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4.20 avg rating — 294,784 ratings
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2

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4.06 avg rating — 320,065 ratings
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3

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4.16 avg rating — 18,774 ratings
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4

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3.98 avg rating — 703,276 ratings
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5

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4.07 avg rating — 582,754 ratings
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6

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4.37 avg rating — 761,213 ratings
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7

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4.42 avg rating — 487,310 ratings
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8

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4.06 avg rating — 7,457 ratings
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9

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4.23 avg rating — 1,361 ratings
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10

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4.28 avg rating — 897,028 ratings
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11

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3.99 avg rating — 516,863 ratings
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12

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4.29 avg rating — 80,048 ratings
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13

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4.47 avg rating — 774,763 ratings
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14

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4.28 avg rating — 150,655 ratings
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15

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4.06 avg rating — 170,709 ratings
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16

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4.13 avg rating — 132,375 ratings
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17

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4.06 avg rating — 309,199 ratings
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18

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4.18 avg rating — 180,820 ratings
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19

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4.07 avg rating — 185,116 ratings
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20

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3.85 avg rating — 27,437 ratings
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21

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3.93 avg rating — 60,031 ratings
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22

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4.06 avg rating — 71,311 ratings
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23

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4.44 avg rating — 130,533 ratings
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24

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4.40 avg rating — 229,439 ratings
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25

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4.07 avg rating — 49,383 ratings
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26

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4.25 avg rating — 143,066 ratings
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27

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4.29 avg rating — 132,154 ratings
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28

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4.35 avg rating — 31,981 ratings
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29

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4.36 avg rating — 409,689 ratings
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30

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4.16 avg rating — 177,123 ratings
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31

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4.10 avg rating — 1,547 ratings
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32

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4.39 avg rating — 57,922 ratings
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33

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4.11 avg rating — 1,207 ratings
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34

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4.16 avg rating — 303,061 ratings
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35

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3.88 avg rating — 72,989 ratings
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36

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3.95 avg rating — 842,933 ratings
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37

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3.85 avg rating — 159,710 ratings
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38

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3.87 avg rating — 35,729 ratings
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39

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4.74 avg rating — 38 ratings
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40

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4.29 avg rating — 167,016 ratings
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41

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4.03 avg rating — 46,037 ratings
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42

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4.19 avg rating — 15,037 ratings
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43

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4.20 avg rating — 77,930 ratings
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44

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3.94 avg rating — 50,017 ratings
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45

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4.16 avg rating — 51,403 ratings
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46

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4.11 avg rating — 34,040 ratings
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47

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4.21 avg rating — 125,860 ratings
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48

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4.35 avg rating — 219,670 ratings
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49

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3.97 avg rating — 49,129 ratings
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50

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4.02 avg rating — 65,612 ratings
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51

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4.19 avg rating — 55,396 ratings
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52

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4.16 avg rating — 549,056 ratings
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53

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4.08 avg rating — 124,580 ratings
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54

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3.69 avg rating — 96,198 ratings
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55

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3.99 avg rating — 1,880 ratings
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56

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3.68 avg rating — 99,307 ratings
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57

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4.30 avg rating — 14,869 ratings
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58

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3.86 avg rating — 418,058 ratings
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59

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4.12 avg rating — 413,666 ratings
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60

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4.21 avg rating — 57,682 ratings
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61

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4.06 avg rating — 166,154 ratings
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62

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3.98 avg rating — 98,204 ratings
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63

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4.16 avg rating — 162,270 ratings
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64

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4.81 avg rating — 59 ratings
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65

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3.82 avg rating — 6,794 ratings
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66

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4.02 avg rating — 12,867 ratings
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67

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4.15 avg rating — 174,806 ratings
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68

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4.25 avg rating — 10,663 ratings
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69

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4.07 avg rating — 32,882 ratings
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70

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3.91 avg rating — 124,261 ratings
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71

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3.59 avg rating — 33,980 ratings
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72

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4.29 avg rating — 927 ratings
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73

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4.42 avg rating — 62 ratings
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74

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3.94 avg rating — 84,541 ratings
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75

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4.13 avg rating — 34,791 ratings
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75

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3.81 avg rating — 100 ratings
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77

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4.15 avg rating — 7,073 ratings
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77

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4.17 avg rating — 33,212 ratings
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79

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3.93 avg rating — 297,575 ratings
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80

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4.03 avg rating — 1,199 ratings
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81

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4.27 avg rating — 10,429 ratings
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82

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4.21 avg rating — 646 ratings
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83

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4.12 avg rating — 20,923 ratings
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84

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,026 ratings
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85

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3.85 avg rating — 42,278 ratings
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86

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3.90 avg rating — 140,299 ratings
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87

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4.42 avg rating — 65,371 ratings
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88

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3.98 avg rating — 26,358 ratings
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89

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3.90 avg rating — 6,326 ratings
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90

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4.78 avg rating — 37 ratings
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90

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4.40 avg rating — 5 ratings
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92

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4.23 avg rating — 11,156 ratings
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92

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4.61 avg rating — 23 ratings
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94

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3.81 avg rating — 22,213 ratings
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95

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4.14 avg rating — 946,030 ratings
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96

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4.08 avg rating — 18,063 ratings
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97

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3.94 avg rating — 8,223 ratings
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98

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4.12 avg rating — 7,534 ratings
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99

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4.21 avg rating — 31,201 ratings
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100

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3.86 avg rating — 73,141 ratings
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335 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Steve 1056 books
4 friends
Ben 1079 books
72 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3215 books
856 friends
Jennifer 2851 books
949 friends
Bettie 15559 books
122 friends
Manu 2 books
8 friends
Virginia 847 books
15 friends
Sam 191 books
26 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Guns, Germs, and Steel, despite being terrific, was first published in 1997.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for being first published before 2000:

Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela (1990)
Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand (1999)
A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn (1980)
Natasha's Story, by Michael Nicholson (1997)
Song for the Blue Ocean, by Carl Safina (1998)
Gay New York, by George Chauncey (1994)
In Pursuit of Happiness, by Mark Kingwell (1998)
We Die Alone, by David Howarth (1955)

Removed for being fiction:

11/22/63, by Stephen King
Honolulu, by Alan Brennert
Killing Rommel, by Steven Pressfield


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve Thanks for editing the list.


message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes I have removed six books from the top 100 that were ineligible by virtue of publication dates before January 1st, 2001.


message 6: by Elyse (new)

Elyse I removed The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and Homicide. Both were published prior to 1/1/2001. Read them both and they are great books!


message 7: by Prince (new)

Prince Epic List!


message 9: by Molly (new)

Molly Nydegger It's fabulous that you are all so well read and wise. Your life advice, wisdom, and above all: HONESTY has been so wonderful and productive in propelling me on my journey.

You should keep refraining from apologies and anything that doesn't reinforce the idea that you spent your education fund on something that has had a profound effect on the world and the people in it. Call your mothers and tell them that they did well and you are a balanced and stable professional. I am certain that you will all find a woman like her to normalize.

Just kidding you can all get screwed and move your life-destroying cult to a swamp with your quack mothers and the trashy, incompetent doorknobs that won your hearts.

Quacks and mentors fell off the orphan train and got dragged to a place where gay adult men can play video games all day, with impressionable young boys that would have a restraining order if Mark Zuckerfreak wasn't secretly a twisted and broken little boy, who plays the ignorant nice guy so well that nobody knows he is just a prick. It's not his fault- harboring a secret desire for a penis in the butt can't be fun, while settling for uptight and 2 faced to make your mother happy.


Jesus bless you.


message 10: by Booklovinglady (last edited Mar 31, 2019 05:49AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Removed for not being first published in the 21st century:
A History of Western Philosophy (1945)
Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1918)
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991)
Letters, 1925-1975 (1998)
From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present (2000)
Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne (2000)
Legacy: A Biography of Moses and Walter Annenberg (1999)
George Eliot: The Last Victorian (1999)
Shakespeare's English Kings: History, Chronicle, and Drama (1977)
The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel: From Richardson to George Eliot (1996)
The True History of the Elephant Man (1980)
The Great Escape (1950)
Lakota Woman (1990)
Means of Ascent (1990)
A Remarkable Woman: A Biography of Katharine Hepburn (1985)
The Life of Elizabeth I (1996)
The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (1988)
King Leopold's Ghost (1998)
Paris to the Moon (2000)
James Joyce (1959)
The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (2000)
Anne Frank Remembered (1987)
Warranted Christian Belief (1999)
Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation (1998)
The Lost Daughters of China (2000)
The Animal Rights Handbook: Everyday Ways to Save Animal Lives (1990)
The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (1999)
Discipline Without Punishment: The Proven Strategy That Turns Problem Employees into Superior Performers (1995)
Herk: Hero of the Skies: The Story of the Lockheed C-130 and Its Adventures Around the World ... (1983)
Knowledge and Its Limits (2000)
Multiple Sclerosis: A Guide for Patients and Their Families (1983)
Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe (2000)
The Problems of Philosophy (1912)
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1991)
Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy (1985)
The Eat Right 4 Your Type (1991)
Chloe Plus Olivia: An Anthology of Lesbian Literature from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (1994)
Yoga Mind and Body (1996)
The Lost Wolves of Japan (2000)
Leonardo Da Vinci (1996)
From Difficult to Disturbed: Understanding and Managing Dysfunctional Employees (1905)
Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics (1956)
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine (1990)
Tracking The Vanishing Frogs: An Ecological Mystery (1994)
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (1997)
Introduction to Logic: and to the Methodology of Deductive Sciences (1993)
Historia de la Economia (1987)
A Measure of Danger (1991)
Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998)
The Art of Happiness (1998)

The description clearly says "Books originally published in 2000 or before are not eligible."


message 11: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Booklovinglady wrote: "Removed for not being first published in the 21st century:
Booklovinglady - Thank you for all your hard work! I think this is an important list and your diligence is appreciated.



message 12: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Elyse wrote: "Booklovinglady wrote: "Removed for not being first published in the 21st century:
Booklovinglady - Thank you for all your hard work! I think this is an important list and your diligence is apprecia..."


Thanks Elyse 😊


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Consider yourself reported for spam, "Kardi."


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Consider yourself flagged, you disgusting spammer.


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