The Guardian's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All-Time

Given by The Guardian

100 Works 359,740 Books 4,437 Reviews ½ 4.0
Robert McCrum's guide to the 100 greatest nonfiction books in English, published in full December 2017. 

Please note that this is a separate list from Guardian 100 Greatest Non-Fiction, published show more June 2011.

The Guardian's Hannah Jane Parkinson offers A response to the 100 best nonfiction books list. McCrum explains How I chose my list of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time. show less
WorkOrder Label
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014) by Elizabeth Kolbert
1
The Year of Magical Thinking (2005) by Joan Didion
2
No Logo (2000) by Naomi Klein
3
Birthday Letters (1998) by Ted Hughes
4
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) by Barack Obama
5
A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988) by Stephen Hawking
6
The Right Stuff (1979) by Tom Wolfe
7
Orientalism (1978) by Edward W. Said
8
Dispatches (1977) by Michael Herr
9
The Selfish Gene (1976) by Richard Dawkins
10
North (1975) by Seamus Heaney
11
Awakenings (1973) by Oliver Sacks
12
The Female Eunuch (1970) by Germaine Greer
13
Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock (1970) by Nik Cohn
14
The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (1969) by James D. Watson
15
Against Interpretation: And Other Essays (1966) by Susan Sontag
16
Ariel (1965) by Sylvia Plath
17
The Feminine Mystique (1963) by Betty Friedan
18
The Making of the English Working Class (1963) by E. P. Thompson
19
Silent Spring (1962) by Rachel Carson
20
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) by Thomas S. Kuhn
21
A Grief Observed (1961) by C. S. Lewis
22
The Elements of Style (1959) by William Jr. Strunk
23
The Affluent Society (1958) by John Kenneth Galbraith
24
The Uses of Literacy (1957) by Richard Hoggart
25
Notes of a Native Son (1955) by James Baldwin
26
The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form (1956) by Kenneth Clark
27
The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History (1953) by Isaiah Berlin
28
Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (1953) by Samuel Beckett
29
A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950) by Elizabeth David
30
The Great Tradition (1948) by F. R. Leavis
31
The Last Days of Hitler (1962) by Hugh Trevor-Roper
32
Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care (1945) by Benjamin Spock
33
Hiroshima (original edition) (1946) by John Hersey
34
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1962) by Karl Popper
35
Black Boy (1945) by Richard Wright
36
How to Cook a Wolf (1942) by M. F. K. Fisher
37
Enemies of promise (1938) by Cyril Connolly
38
The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) by George Orwell
39
The Road to Oxiana (1937) by Robert Byron
40
How to Win Friends & Influence People (1936) by Dale Carnegie
41
Testament of Youth (1933) by Vera Brittain
42
My Early Life: 1874-1904 (1930) by Winston S. Churchill
43
Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography (1929) by Robert Graves
44
A Room of One's Own (1929) by Virginia Woolf
45
The Waste Land (1922) by T. S. Eliot
46
Ten Days that Shook the World (1919) by John Reed
47
The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919) by John Maynard Keynes
48
The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States (1936) by H. L. Mencken
49
Eminent Victorians (1918) by Lytton Strachey
50
The Souls of Black Folk (1903) by W. E. B. Du Bois
51
De Profundis (1905) by Oscar Wilde
52
The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) by William James
53
Brief Lives (1898) by John Aubrey
54
The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1886) by Ulysses S. Grant
55
Life on the Mississippi (1883) by Mark Twain
56
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879) by Robert Louis Stevenson
57
Nonsense Songs (1951) by Edward Lear
58
Culture and Anarchy (1867) by Matthew Arnold
59
On the Origin of Species (1859) by Charles Darwin
60
On Liberty (1859) by John Stuart Mill
61
Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857) by Mary Seacole
62
The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) by Elizabeth Gaskell
63
Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau
64
Roget's International Thesaurus (1852) by Peter Mark Roget
65
London Labour and the London Poor [4 Volume Set] (1967) by Henry Mayhew
66
Household Education (2011) by Harriet Martineau
67
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845) by Frederick Douglass
68
Essays: First Series and Second Series (1934) by Ralph Waldo Emerson
69
Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832) by Fanny Trollope
70
A Dictionary of the English Language (1967) by Noah Webster
71
Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) by Thomas De Quincey
72
Tales from Shakespeare (1807) by Charles Lamb
73
Travels in the Interior of Africa (1799) by Mungo Park
74
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1791) by Benjamin Franklin
75
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft
76
The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) by James Boswell
77
Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) by Edmund Burke
78
The Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) by Olaudah Equiano
79
Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1788) by Gilbert White
80
The Federalist Papers (1787) by Alexander Hamilton
81
The diary of Fanny Burney (1940) by Fanny Burney
82
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1788) by Edward Gibbon
83
The Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith
84
Common Sense (1776) by Thomas Paine
85
A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) by Samuel Johnson
86
A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) by David Hume
87
A Modest Proposal [essay] (1729) by Jonathan Swift
88
A Tour through England and Wales (1724) by Daniel Defoe
89
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) by John Locke
90
The Book of Common Prayer [1953] (1945) by Episcopal Church
91
The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1825) by Samuel Pepys
92
Hydriotaphia (Urn Burial) and The Garden of Cyrus (1658) by Thomas Browne
93
Leviathan (1651) by Thomas Hobbes
94
Areopagitica (1644) by John Milton
95
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1960) by John Donne
96
The First Folio of Shakespeare (1623) by William Shakespeare
97
The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) by Robert Burton
98
The history of the world (1820) by Sir Walter Raleigh
99
Holy Bible: King James Version (1400) by KJV (Bible Version)
100

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