My focus is mainly restricted to comparative religion, history, international relations/area studies, biographies, current affairs, narrative non-fiction and some memoirs. Gombrich examines the technical and aesthetic problems confronted by artists since the dawn of time Ways of Seeing by John Berger (1972) A study of the ways in which we look at art, which changed the terms of a generation's engagement with visual culture By Barbara Tuchman | Used Price: 70% Off. 22. 100. Readers' Favorite Non-Fiction - Historical genre features book reviews for today's newest Non-Fiction - Historical authors, including book award contest winners. But most importantly, it was the first book … Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (1995) This remarkably candid memoir revealed not only a literary talent, but a force that would change the face of US politics for ever. Error rating book. The Life of Samuel Johnson LLD by James Boswell (1791) This huge work is one of the greatest of all English biographies and a testament to one of the great literary friendships. I also have a fond weakness for books from university presses. The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper (1947) The historian’s vivid, terrifying account of the Führer’s demise, based on his postwar work for British intelligence, remains unsurpassed. 45. North by Seamus Heaney (1975) This raw, tender, unguarded collection transcends politics, reflecting Heaney’s desire to move “like a double agent among the big concepts”. 40. 79. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (1621)Burton’s garrulous, repetitive masterpiece is a compendious study of melancholia, a sublime literary doorstop that explores humanity in all its aspects. 86. Household Education by Harriet Martineau (1848) This protest at the lack of women’s education was as pioneering as its author was in Victorian literary circles. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883) This memoir of Samuel Clemens’s time as a steamboat pilot provides insight into his best-known characters, as well as the writer he would become. published 2010, avg rating 4.01 — 50. London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew (1851)The influence of the Victorian journalist’s detailed, dispassionate descriptions of London lower-class life is clear, right up to the present day. 75. The Pulitzer Prize winning, The Guns of August, by Barbara W. Tuchman, is focussed on the first month of World War I. Tuchman explains in detail the events that led to the war. Adam Higginbotham’s page-turner of a historical nonfiction book tells the story of the April 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey (1822) An addiction memoir, by the celebrated and supremely talented contemporary of Coleridge and Wordsworth, outlining his life hooked on the the drug. 545,287 ratings — Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom by Nik Cohn (1969) This passionate account of how rock’n’roll changed the world was written with the wild energy of its subject matter. 3. published 1995, avg rating 3.70 — published 2004, avg rating 4.34 — There’s a broad array of subjects and stories that fall under the umbrella of historical … Try it today & read your way to a better you. This list of the best history books includes bestsellers, Pulizter Prize winners and editor's picks from distinguished historians and biographers. 78. published 2010, avg rating 3.73 — published 1997, avg rating 4.08 — published 2020, avg rating 3.92 — Read 33 166 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Higginbotham’s book draws from hundreds of hours of interviews. Dispatches is a non-fiction book by Michael Herr that describes the author's experiences in Vietnam as a war correspondent for Esquire magazine. Good nonfiction books about history: espionage and cyber war The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel by Uri Bar-Joseph – An extraordinary episode in Israeli history In the Enemy’s House: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies by Howard Blum – How the Soviet atomic spies were caught Paperback $18.99. Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold (1869) Arnold caught the public mood with this high-minded but entertaining critique of Victorian society posing questions about the art of civilised living that still perplex us. The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1789) This curate’s beautiful and lucid observations on the wildlife of a Hampshire village inspired generations of naturalists. 995,556 ratings — 94. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946) The groundbreaking manual urged parents to trust themselves, but was also accused of being the source of postwar “permissiveness”. 82. 74. American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin in 1979. 40,990 ratings — Here, the best nonfiction books of 2020. published 2010, avg rating 4.03 — The Diary of Fanny Burney (1778)Burney’s acutely observed memoirs open a window on the literary and courtly circles of late 18th-century England. 39,191 ratings — 6. 113,601 ratings — How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936) The original self-help manual on American life – with its influence stretching from the Great Depression to Donald Trump – has a lot to answer for. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933) Brittain’s study of her experience of the first world war as a nurse and then victim of loss remains a powerful anti-war and feminist statement. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Print | eBook | Audiobook 60. Some nonfiction categories—like literary nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and creative nonfiction—overlap with historical nonfiction, and many bestselling books can be categorized in two or more of these genres. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859) Darwin’s revolutionary, humane and highly readable introduction to his theory of evolution is arguably the most important book of the Victorian era. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963)This influential, painstakingly compiled masterpiece reads as an anatomy of pre-industrial Britain – and a description of the lost experience of the common man. 12. I didn't mean this to be a list of pop history, but I think it's too late now, so you might as well go ahead. Travels With a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson (1879)The Scottish writer’s hike in the French mountains with a donkey is a pioneering classic in outdoor literature – and as influential as his fiction. published 2004, avg rating 4.15 — 58. 19,782 ratings — Baby & Toddler (0-2) Pre-K (3–5) Growing Reader (6–8) Tween (9–12) Teen (13+) Discover Baby & Toddler (0-2) Pre-K (3–5) Growing Reader (6–8) Tween (9–12) Teen (13+) Editor's Pick. 32. published 1959, avg rating 4.13 — 97. 41,291 ratings — published 2003, avg rating 4.16 — Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S Grant (1885) The civil war general turned president was a reluctant author, but set the gold standard for presidential memoirs, outlining his journey from boyhood onwards. published 2013, avg rating 4.00 — published 2000, avg rating 3.74 — Read 6 401 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. This is my list of the 10 best nonfiction books. published 1965, avg rating 3.99 — 93. About Blog Historical Fiction Reader is a book review blog that specializes in history based fiction and nonfiction. 82,280 ratings — published 1995, avg rating 4.00 — 17. Our world history is vast, and these 30 books are only the tip of the iceberg. 8. published 2017, avg rating 4.14 — 27. Shop by category 13,471 ratings — An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (1689) Eloquent and influential, the Enlightenment philosopher’s most celebrated work embodies the English spirit and retains an enduring relevance. 199,522 ratings — Get the key ideas from 3000+ bestselling nonfiction books in 15-minute text and audio. Brief Lives by John Aubrey, edited by Andrew Clark (1898) Truly ahead of his time, the 17th-century historian and gossip John Aubrey is rightly credited as the man who invented biography. The Devil in the White City book. 23. Jade City by Fonda Lee is $2.99! 44. 68. 47. Also read TIME’s lists of the 10 best fiction books of 2020, the 100 must-read books of the year and the 10 best video games of the year . 38. The First Folio by William Shakespeare (1623)The first edition of his plays established the playwright for all time in a trove of 36 plays with an assembled cast of immortal characters. The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands by Mary Seacole (1857)A gloriously entertaining autobiography by the widely revered Victorian sometimes described as “the black Florence Nightingale”. 71. 55. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and EB White (1959) Dorothy Parker and Stephen King have both urged aspiring writers towards this crisp guide to the English language where brevity is key. Of course not! 83. 1. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937)Orwell’s unflinchingly honest account of three northern towns during the Great Depression was a milestone in the writer’s political development. Night, by Elie Wiesel. published 1998, avg rating 4.39 — The Diary of a Young Girl book. 56. published 2003, avg rating 4.07 — 789,371 ratings — 84. 4. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne (1624)The poet’s intense meditation on the meaning of life and death is a dazzling work that contains some of his most memorable writing. published 2018, avg rating 4.38 — published 1978, avg rating 4.13 — But readers loved the world building and threads of mythology weaved into the story. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976) An intoxicating renewal of evolutionary theory that coined the idea of the meme and paved the way for Professor Dawkins’s later, more polemical works. Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa by Mungo Park (1799) The Scottish explorer’s account of his heroic one-man search for the river Niger was a contemporary bestseller and a huge influence on Conrad, Melville and Hemingway. 99. 39. 9. 85,846 ratings — 43. 555,383 ratings — The best history books. 73. published 2015, avg rating 4.06 — A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David (1950) This landmark recipe book, a horrified reaction to postwar rationing, introduced cooks to the food of southern Europe and readers to the art of food writing. This includes traditional historicals, historical fantasy, historical romance, time-slip novels, alternative history… 7. Here’s my list of the 27 best nonfiction books of all time, in no particular order. Read 33 166 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. 101,428 ratings — 88,868 ratings — Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929)Graves’s account of his experiences in the trenches of the first world war is a subversive tour de force. 26,125 ratings — To be honest, the book sounds intense and awesome. 36. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651)Hobbes’s essay on the social contract is both a founding text of western thought and a masterpiece of wit and imagination. Hiroshima by John Hersey (1946) Hersey’s extraordinary, gripping book tells the personal stories of six people who endured the 1945 atom bomb attack. 69,776 ratings — published 2015, avg rating 4.21 — De Profundis by Oscar Wilde (1905) There is a thrilling majesty to Oscar Wilde’s tormented tour de force written as he prepared for release from Reading jail. My blog is almost exclusively devoted to non-fiction. 14. This is the story of a human-made tragedy, and the … 53. How Google Works. 77. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1793) The US founding father’s life, drawn from four different manuscripts, combines the affairs of revolutionary America with his private struggles. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965) The groundbreaking collection, revolving around the poet’s fascination with her own death, established Plath as one of the last century’s most original and gifted poets. 15. Similiar to our list of 100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime, this list of 50 non-fiction books contains recommendations you might actually read (if you haven't already).This curated list covers the gamut of non-fiction, from compelling war stories to key feminist texts, to unbelievable struggles for survival, to tales of life in the culinary trade. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (1955) Baldwin’s landmark collection of essays explores, in telling language, what it means to be a black man in modern America. 57. The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art by Kenneth Clark (1956)Clark’s survey of the nude from the Greeks to Picasso foreshadows the critic’s towering claims for humanity in his later seminal work, Civilisation. published 2001, avg rating 4.19 — Nonsense Songs by Edward Lear (1871) The Victorians loved wordplay, and few could rival this compendium of verbal delirium by Britain’s “laureate of nonsense”. The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (1919) The great economist’s account of what went wrong at the Versailles conference after the first world war was polemical, passionate and prescient. In addition, the author referenced letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives. published 1947, avg rating 3.84 — Censorship and call for a free press reveals a brilliant English radical and awesome that depicts historical real-life... Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the best history books from university.... 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