Best Books: Nonfiction and Journalism

Continuing to list the Best Books and breaking it up by genre, we have now made our way to nonfiction and journalism. Actually, I compiled this one long ago, but the length of the list intimidated me into procrastinating on it. Plus, I would much rather be reading fiction, right? Maybe not. I have read some really awesome nonfiction books, and some that have changed my life.

Please excuse any repeats (or just let me know in the comments), and also note that this list is very American-centric, by no design of my own. Feel free to make more global suggestions.

  • The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr.ELEMENTS OF STYLE
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
  • Maus, Art Spiegelman
  • On Writing, Stephen King
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared DiamondHiroshima, John Hersey
  • A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm XZEN AND THE ART OF
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
  • Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenrich
  • A Room of Ones Own, Virginia Woolf
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  • Out of Africa, Karen Blixen
  • All the President’s Men, Carl Bernstein
  • A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves
  • Black Boy, Richard WrightBLACK BOY
  • The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
  • The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
  • And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer
  • What Color Is Your Parachute?, Richard N. Bolles
  • A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
  • Dreams from My Father, Barak Obama
  • The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe
  • Mastering the Art of French Coking, Julia Child
  • The Joy of Sex, Alex ComfortDOUBLE HELIX
  • The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine PagelThe Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolfe
  • The Double Helix, James D. Watson
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
  • Homeage to Catalonia, George Orwell
  • Baby and Childcare, Benjamin Spock
  • The Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes
  • No Logo, Naomi Klein
  • The Executioner’s Song, Normal Mailer
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, James AgesSLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM
  • The Making of the President 1960, Theodore H. White
  • The Power Broker, Robert A. Caro
  • Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nobokov
  • The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris
  • Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin
  • Working, Studs Terkel
  • The Lives of a Cell, Lewis Thomas
  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein
  • The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam
  • The Civil War, Shelby Foote
  • An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. HofstadterCOMING OF AGE IN SOMOA
  • Coming of Age in Somoa, Margaret Meade
  • Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman
  • Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown
  • Emporer of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn
  • The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright
  • Why We Can’t Wait, Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Ball Four, Jim Bouton
  • Unsafe at Any Speed, Ralph NaderSILENT SPRING
  • Animal Liberation, Peter Singer
  • Orientalism, Edward W. Said
  • The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, John Maynard Keyes
  • The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom
  • God and Man at Yale, Buckley
  • The Other America, Michael Harrington
  • The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt
  • Dispatches, Michael Herr
  • The American Way of Death Revisited, Jessica Mitford
  • The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, Samuel P. Huntingdon
  • The Last Lion, William R. Manchester
  • The End of History and the Last Man, Francis FukuyamaTHE END OF HISTORY AND
  • Syntactic Structures, Noam Chomsky
  • On Human Nature, Edward O. Wilson
  • The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays, Richard Hofstadter
  • The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry M. Goldwater
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
  • Carry Me Home, Dianne McWhorter
  • The Nature and Destiny of Man, Volume 1, Reinhold Neibur
  • The Story of Art, E.H. Gombrich
  • How to Cook a Wolf, M.F.K. Fisher
  • A Theory of Justice, John Rawls
  • The American Cinema, Andrew Sarris
  • A Child of the Century, Ben HechtTHE AMERICAN CINEMA
  • Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Alfred Kinsey
  • What It Takes, Richard Ben Kramer
  • Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan
  • Within the Context of No Context, George W.S. Trow
  • Mystery Train, Griel Marcus
  • The Sweet Science, A.J. Liebling
  • The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell
  • Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson
  • The Education of Henry Adams, Henry Adams
  • The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James
  • Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington
  • A Room of One’s Own, Virginia WoolfA ROOM OF ONE'S OWN
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • Selected Essays 1917-1932, T.S. Eliot
  • The American Language, H.L. Mencken
  • The Frontier in American History, Frederick Jackson Turner
  • Aspects of the Novel, E.M. Forster
  • The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman
  • The Proper Study of Mankind, Isaiah Berlin
  • The Nature and Destiny of Man, Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin
  • The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
  • An American Dilemma, Gunnar Myrdal
  • Principia Mathematica, North and RussellMISMEASURE OF MAN
  • The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould
  • The Mirror and the Lamp, Meyer Howard Abrams
  • The Art of the Soluble, Peter B. Medawar
  • The Ants, Bert Hoelldobler
  • A Theory of Justice, John Rawls
  • Art and Illusion, Ernest H. Gombrich
  • The Making of the English Working Class, E.P. Thompson
  • The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Principia Ethica, G.E. Moore
  • Philosophy and Civilization, John Dewey
  • On Growth and Form, D’Arcy ThompsonBLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON
  • Ideas and Opinions, Albert Einstein
  • The Age of Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes
  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Rebecca West
  • Autobiographies, W.B. Yeats
  • Science and Civilization in China, Joseph Needham
  • Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves
  • The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Mark Twain
  • Children of Crisis, Robert Coles
  • A Study of History, Arnold J. Toynbee
  • The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Present at the Creation, Dean Acheson
  • The Great Bridge, David McCulloughEMINENT VICTORIANS
  • Patriotic Gore, Edmund Wilson
  • Samuel Johnson, Walter Jackson Bate
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
  • The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe
  • Eminent Victorians, Lytton Strachey
  • Working, Studs Terkel
  • Darkness Visible, William Stryon
  • The Liberal Imagination, Lionel Trilling
  • The Second World War, Winston Churchill
  • Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
  • Jefferson and His Times, Dumus Malone
  • In the American Grain, William Carlos Williams
  • Cadillac Desert, Marc ReisnerCADILLAC DESERT
  • The House of Morgan, Ron Chernow
  • The Sweet Science, A.J. Liebling
  • The Open Society and Its Enemies, Karl Popper
  • The Art of Memory, Frances A. Yates
  • Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, R.H. Tawney
  • A Preface to Morals, Walter Lippman
  • The Gate of Heavenly Peace, Jonathan D. Spence
  • The Strange Career of Jim Crow, Vann Woodward
  • The Rise of the West, William H. McNeill
  • James Joyce, RIchard Ellmann
  • Florence Nightengale, Cecil Woodham-Smith
  • The City in History, Lewis MumfordJAMES JOYCE BOOK
  • Battle Cry of Freedom, James M. McPherson
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
  • Studies in Iconology, Erwin Panofsky
  • The Face of Battle, John Keegan
  • The Strange Death of Liberal England, George Dangerfield
  • Vermeer, Lawrence Going
  • A Bright Shining Lie, Neil Sheehan
  • West with the Night, Beryl Markham
  • This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff
  • A Mathematician’s Apology, G.H. Hardy
  • Six Easy Pieces, Richard P. Feynman
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  • The Golden Bough, James George FrazerPILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK
  • Shadow and Act, Ralph Ellison
  • The Power Broker, Robert A. Caro
  • The Contours of American History, William Appleman Williams
  • The Promise of American Life, Herbert Croly
  • The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm
  • The Taming of Chance, by Ian Hacking
  • Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott
  • Melbourne, Lord David Cecil
  • The Shock of the New, Robert Hughes
  • The Story of Art, Ernst Gombrich
  • Ways of Seeing, John Berger
  • Notes on Camp, Susan Sontag
  • Mythologies, Roland BarthesREVENGE OF GAIA
  • The Revenge of Gaia, James Lovelock
  • The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm
  • Dispatches, Michael Herr
  • The Lives of the Poets, Samuel Johnson
  • An Image of Africa, Chinua Achebe
  • The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettelheim
  • Confessions, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass
  • De Profundis, Oscar Wilde
  • The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
  • The Story of My Experience with Truth, Mahatma Gandhi
  • The Man Died, Wole Soyinka
  • The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
  • Bad Blood, Lorna SageBAD BLOOD
  • The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
  • The Romantic Generation, Charles Rosen
  • The Symposium, Plato
  • Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
  • Essays, Michel de Montaigne
  • The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton
  • Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume
  • Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant
  • Phenomenology of Mind, G.W.F. Hegel
  • Walden, H.D. Thoreau
  • On Liberty, John Stuart MillTHUS SPOKE ZARATHURSTA
  • Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzshe
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu
  • The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
  • The Rights of Man, Thomas Paine
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marxx
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Bouviour
  • The Wretched of the Earth, Franz Fanon
  • The Medium is the Message, Marshall McLuhan
  • The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer
  • Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky
  • Here Comes Everybody, Clay ShirkyTHE GOLDEN BOUGH
  • The Golden Bough, James George Frazer
  • The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James
  • On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
  • The Character of Physical Law, Richard Feynmann
  • The Double Helix, James Watson
  • The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  • The Book of the City of Ladies, Christine de Pisan
  • Praise of Folly, Erasmus
  • Letters Concerning the English Nation, Voltaire
  • Suicide, Emile Durkheim
  • Economy and Society, Max WeberGULAG ARCHIPELAGO
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee
  • The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
  • The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault
  • News of a Kidnapping, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Columbine, Dave Cullen
  • The American Paradox, David G. Myers
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