How Do You Choose a Good Non-Fiction Book?


Quick Answer

Choose a good non-fiction book by consulting lists of top titles and choosing a book based on personal interests. Websites such as TheGuardian.com, TheStreet.com and TheGreatestBooks.org all offer lists of highly praised non-fiction books on a variety of subjects.

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The Guardian offers an infographic cataloging many of the most celebrated non-fiction books of all time. Drawing on a number of critical lists, the graphic allows readers to browse non-fiction titles by popularity or by category, including history, biography, politics, science and society. From complex philosophical treatises such as Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” to Truman Capote’s true crime thriller “In Cold Blood,” the list offers selections for any reader.

The Street offers a list of more recent non-fiction books that include subjects such as technology, history, biography and memoir. From Lena Dunham’s audacious “Not That Kind of Girl” to “Killing Patton,” Bill O’Reilly’s massively popular historical investigation, the list features a range of titles to appeal to a range of tastes.

The Greatest Books seeks to compile a comprehensive listing of respected titles, drawing on a large selection of “best of” lists from a variety of sources. Arranged by publication era, the site’s listings include everything from the essays of Michel de Montaigne to “Our Band Could Be Your Life,” Michael Azerrad’s chronicle of the 1980s American punk rock scene.

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