20 best non-fiction books of all time to add to your reading list

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When you read so many fictional horror books, you started sleeping with the lights on, or if romance novels started to feel too far-fetched for your current emotional state, these non-fiction books will give you a dose of reality to keep you firmly grounded. There is nothing quite like opening a memory and walking in someone else’s shoes for a while or learning a period of history from a fresher point of view ( and more exciting) than what your high school teachers could offer. A well-written non-fiction book can also help break down complicated topics in a way that anyone can digest, not to mention providing plenty of talking points for a cocktail party beyond what happened. in that reality TV show that everyone seems to be watching.

If you’re generally a fan of fiction and you’ve ever called true stories too dry – or too close to real life – for your liking, we’ve got something to change your mind. Just like fiction, there is non-fiction reading to suit all tastes, whether yours leans towards poetry or whether you are a “just the facts, ma’am” reader. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, including classic staples and stellar newcomers to the scene, to give you a solid introduction to the genre. And once you’re done here, head over to our Wellness Book Club page, where you’ll find other heartwarming reads to love.

1

Housekeeper: hard work, low wages and a mother’s will to survive

Stephanie Terre
amazon.com

$ 15.16

This unshakeable memoir of what it is like to struggle as a single mother working as a housekeeper to keep herself and her daughter housed is not just a woman’s testimony to the major challenges of her own situation. It’s a searing indictment of how the system is failing the most vulnerable, and must read.

2

Visibility of disability: 21st century first-person stories

Alice wong
amazon.com

$ 13.19

Explore the beautiful diversity of the disability community through this collection of essays that offers insight into the complex perspectives that the group embodies. It celebrates the societal contributions of people with disabilities and envisions a future in which we achieve true equity for all, no matter how we present ourselves in the world.

RELATED: 15 disability books to add to your TBR list

3

Educated: a thesis

Tara Westover
amazon.com

$ 13.00

After growing up the child of isolated survivors, Tara didn’t go to school for the first time until she was late in her teens. She went on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University after discovering a thirst for knowledge. Her story is inspiring and may even stimulate your own desire to learn.

4

Hunger: a memory of (my) body

Roxane Gay
amazon.com

$ 11.59

In candid essays that address our society’s anxieties regarding food, pleasure, diet, and body size, this book explores the dualities of one of our most essential and complex social forces: eating and how we use it against each other and against ourselves.

5

Down

Marie Gardon
Amazon.com

$ 26.95

Literally everything Mary Roach writes is worth reading, and her latest is no exception. This investigation into the clashes that occur when the human and animal worlds meet combines forensic science, conservation, and a healthy dose of his signature spirit. Even if you aren’t too keen on preserving wildlife when you start reading, you’ll be on the last page.

6

Citizen: An American Lyric

Claudia rankine
amazon.com

$ 11.79

A tale of racial assaults in America today, this triumph from one of our finest living essayists and lyric poets takes us to the grocery store, the football field, the news channels and all kinds. of digital spaces to investigate what it means to be a citizen today in essay, poetry and thought-provoking images.

RELATED: The best poetry books to challenge and inspire you

7

Thick: and other tests

Tressie McMillan Cotton
amazon.com

$ 16.99

In eight essays that connect the personal to the political and the analytic to the revealing, this book tackles the beauty, misogyny, pop culture, and the intersections of it all. It’s an electrifying read for women of all ages and backgrounds.

8

The Liars Club: A Brief

Marie karr
amazon.com

$ 12.89

Anytime someone says they don’t read briefs I recommend this one. A dark, funny tale of his life in a small Texas oil town with a family that basically defines dysfunction, this is a book you’ll want to read in tatters.

RELATED: 25 best memories of all time to make you laugh, cry and think

9

How to be anti-racist

Ibram X. Kendi
amazon.com

$ 15.16

No matter where we are in our quest to unlearn the unconscious biases so deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, this powerful book will be a great resource. It’s part an introduction, part a personal story, part a call to action and everything you need to know.

ten

The sixth extinction: an unnatural story

Elizabeth kolbert
amazon.com

$ 15.59

Humans have only been around for a few thousand years, but we have caused a tremendous amount of damage during that time. In this multidisciplinary book, Kolbert breaks down the science of our current crisis in a conversational and accessible way that even those of us who haven’t done so well in Grade 9 Earth Science can appreciate.

11

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

Susan cain
amazon.com

$ 15.47

Anyone who was constantly told to “talk” as a kid or who still hangs out with the dog at parties rather than around the appetizer table, this one’s for you. It explores the power of introverts and what we lose when we devalue their contribution to society. It’s a great reminder not to forget the quieter ones.

12

Emperor of all diseases: a biography of cancer

Siddhartha Mukherjee
amazon.com

$ 17.41

This heavy tome delves into the history, biology and sociology of cancer, but this description does not do it justice. Think of it as the gripping story of an accomplice adversary told through the prism of the people who have dedicated their lives to studying it and those who have suffered from it through the centuries we have dealt with the “Big C”. “.

13

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca skloot
amazon.com

$ 14.32

Henrietta Lacks cells were used to develop the polio vaccine, study the effects of radiation, and even led to advances in cloning and reproductive technology, but her family never even knew she had contributed until decades after his death. It is the story of the Lacks family as much as it is of our medical system as a whole, and it is a fascinating and revealing story.

14

Between the world and me

Ta-Nehisi Coates
amazon.com

$ 12.92

If this National Book Award winner is considered required reading for Toni Morrison, it’s definitely good enough for me. It is Coates’ attempt to heed our country’s racist history and find a way to live as a black man in America today written as a letter to his son through a heartbreaking personal experience and painful historical accounts.

15

The Other Slavery: The Uncovered History of Indian Slavery in America

Andrés Resendez
amazon.com

$ 68.53

Even though the enslavement of indigenous peoples had been illegal since Columbus first fell in the Americas, it has been practiced as an open secret for centuries. This eye-opening tale sheds light on a long neglected piece of American history, which it is high time we added to our collective consciousness.

RELATED: 15 best books by Native American authors to add to your library

16

Midnight in the garden of good and evil: a story of the savannah

Jean Berendt
amazon.com

$ 14.49

This real-life crime story about a 1981 Savannah mansion shootout reads like a novel, with a cast of characters almost too good to be true. It’s delightfully entertaining, spooky, and the perfect introduction to non-fiction for dedicated thriller fans.

RELATED: 25 best true crime books of all time to unleash your inner Sherlock

17

How to do nothing: resist the attention economy

Jenny odell
amazon.com

$ 13.99

The idea of ​​doing nothing seems more revolutionary than ever, especially when you consider how deeply rooted we are in the cult of productivity. Take the time to read this book and think about where you are devoting your precious attention; it just might change the way you operate in the world.

18

The Secret History of Food: Weird But True Stories About The Origins Of Everything We Eat

Matt Siegel
amazon.com

$ 20.99

Did you know that ice cream helped defeat the Nazis? Or have you ever wondered why we love foods that hurt us like super spicy peppers? Have a snack and swallow this food history book full of facts too weird to be true about what’s in your fridge.

19

A heartbreaking work of astonishing genius

Dave Eggers
amazon.com

$ 12.99

This memoir of losing both of his parents within five weeks and having to take care of himself and his eight-year-old brother while still a student is poignant, funny, and brutally self-aware. It is essentially the godfather of a certain style of personal essay, which you might start to notice as you read it.

20

three women

Lisa Taddeo
amazon.com

$ 13.31

After nearly a decade of immersive reporting, Taddeo tells the true stories of three women living very different lives: a mother having an affair that brings color back into her life, a high school student whose married English teacher is on trial after. their alleged affair and a successful restaurateur whose husband is voyeuristic. It’s a new take on feminism, sex, desire and how they intersect.

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