Saturday, February 9, 2019

Non-Fiction Books: Top 100

First posted 2/9/2019.

image from prowritingaid.com

These are the best non-fiction books of all-time, according to an aggregate of more than 20 lists focused specifically on non-fiction books and another 50+ general book lists.

  1. Various writers The Holy Bible: King James Version (1451)
  2. Mao Zedong Quotations from Mao Tse-tung (1966)
  3. Muhammad Quran (632 A.D.)
  4. Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl (aka The Diary of Anne Frank) (1947)
  5. Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince (1532)
  6. Charles Darwin The Origin of Species (1859)
  7. Stephen Hawking A Brief History of Time (1988)
  8. Plato The Republic (380 B.C.)
  9. Henry David Thoreau Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854)
  10. Rachel Carson Silent Spring (1962)

  11. Wei Jiangong (editor) Xinhua Zidian (Xinhua Dictionary) (1953)
  12. Truman Capote In Cold Blood (1966)
  13. Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
  14. Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own (1929)
  15. William Strunk & E.B. White The Elements of Style (1959)
  16. Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex (1948)
  17. Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto (1888)
  18. Alex Haley & Malcolm X The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)
  19. Adam Smith Wealth of Nations (1776)
  20. George Orwell Homage to Catalonia (1938)

  21. John Maynard Kenyes General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936)
  22. Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970)
  23. Elie Weisel Night (Un di Velt Hot Geshvign) (1958)
  24. Hunter S. Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971)
  25. James D. Watson The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (1968)
  26. St. Augustine of Hippo The Confessions (400 A.D.)
  27. Thomas S. Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)
  28. Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936)
  29. Sun Tzu The Art of War (5th century B.C.)
  30. Marcus Aurelius Meditations (167 A.D.)

  31. Henry Adams The Education of Henry Adams (1918)
  32. Dr. Benjamin Spock The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946)
  33. Thucydides The History of the Peloponnesian War (5th century B.C.)
  34. Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845)
  35. Confucious The Analects (4th century B.C.)
  36. W.E.B. DuBois The Souls of Black Folks (1903)
  37. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan (1651)
  38. Herodotus The Histories of… (5th century B.C.)
  39. Albert Einstein Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (1916)
  40. Betty Friedan The Feminine Mystique (1963)

  41. Jean-Jacques Rousseau Confessions (1781)
  42. Thomas Paine The Rights of Man (1791)
  43. Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
  44. Thomas Paine Common Sense (1776)
  45. Jared Diamond Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (2005)
  46. Michel de Montaigne Essays (1580)
  47. William James The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902)
  48. Howard Zinn A People's History of the United States (2005)
  49. Oxford University Press The Oxford English Dictionary (1948)
  50. Tom Wolfe The Right Stuff (1979)

  51. Robert Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974)
  52. Edward Said Orientalism (1978)
  53. Publius (Alexander Hamilton/James Madison/John Jay) (edited by Clinton Rossiter) The Federalist Papers (1788)
  54. Vladimir Nabokov Speak, Memory (1951)
  55. Noah Webster Webster’s Dictionary (1783)
  56. Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich (1937)
  57. Thomas Cranmer The Book of Common Prayer (1549)
  58. Lao Tzu The Way and Its Power (Tao Te Ching) (4th century B.C.)
  59. Joseph Smith The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (1830)
  60. Edward Gibbon The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1787)

  61. Robert Baden-Powell Scouting for Boys (1908)
  62. Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America (1840)
  63. John Stewart Mill On Liberty (1859)
  64. William James Pragmatism (1907)
  65. Shelby Foote The Civil War (1974)
  66. Mark C. Young The Guinness Book of Records (1955)
  67. Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene (2006)
  68. Robert Graves Goodbye to All That (1929)
  69. Frank McCourt Angela’s Ashes (1996)
  70. Stephen R. Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)

  71. Gertrude Stein The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1993)
  72. Karl Marx Das Kapital (Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1: The Process of Production of Capital) (1867)
  73. Karen Blixen (as Isak Dinesen) Out of Africa (1937)
  74. Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793)
  75. Tom Wolfe The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968)
  76. James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
  77. Jehovah’s Witnesses The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life (1982)
  78. René DescartesDiscourse on Method (Discours sur la Méthode) (1637)
  79. Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spake Zarathustra (1885)
  80. Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love (2010)

  81. Paul Kalanithi When Breath Becomes Air (2016)
  82. Eric Schlosser Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001)
  83. Joan Didion The Year of Magical Thinking (2005)
  84. Ernest Hemingway Moveable Feast (1964)
  85. John Hersey Hiroshima (1946)
  86. Henry David Thoreau Civil Disobedience (1849)
  87. Winston Churchill The Second World War (series: 1948-1953)
  88. Richard Wright Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth (1945)
  89. Ellen G. White Steps to Christ (1892)
  90. E.P. Thompson Making of the English Working Class (1963)

  91. Bill Wilson Alcoholic’s Anonymous Big Book (1939)
  92. Milton Friedman Capitalism and Freedom (1962)
  93. Euclid Euclid’s Elements (280 B.C.)
  94. Hannah Arendt The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
  95. Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays (1841)
  96. World Almanac Editors World Almanac (1868)
  97. Jack Canfield & Victor Hansen Chicken Soup for the Soul (1993)
  98. Viktor Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)
  99. Mitch Albom Tuesdays with Morrie (1997)
  100. Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (1999

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