Favorite Nonfiction, 2010 – 2019

Okay, folks, this one hurt.  It would have been even worse were I aiming for a top ten list!    Interestingly,  history and science don’t fill the list as I expected; instead, books on society are the heavyweights, and many of my favorite authors are absent altogether.  Of course, it’s difficult to create a list like this when there’s so much good stuff to pick from — I saw quite a few fiction titles I missed in my first run-throughs for the fiction post, and was tempted to go back and edit it!

I was going to make a scatter graph to show what years contributed the most all-stars, but honestly it’s fairly boring.   2013 leads with 4;  2012 and 2017 tied for 2nd with 3;  2014 contributed two, and everyone else only had one.

  1. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann
  2. The Geography of Nowhere, Jim Kunstler
  3. A Guide to the Good Life: Stoicism and the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, William Irvine
  4. The Age of Faith, Will Durant
  5. A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, Neil Chaikin
  6. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Robert Putnam
  7. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
  8. John Adams, David McCullough
  9. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
  10. The Plain Reader: Essays on Making a Simpler Life, Scott Savage
  11. Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton
  12. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt
  13. small is beautiful: economics as if people mattered, E.F. Schumacher, and  Human Scale, Kirkpatrick Sale (I couldn’t decide between these two, and they’re so closely related I’m going to cheat and make them a single entry.)
  14. Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design, Charles Montgomery
  15. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming, Mike Brown
  16. Data and Goliath, Bruce Schneier
  17. In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist, Pete Jordan
  18. How to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, Anthony Esolen
  19. Verbal Judo: The Art of Persuasion, George Thompson
  20. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, Steven Novella et. al.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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8 Responses to Favorite Nonfiction, 2010 – 2019

  1. Mudpuddle says:

    wow… eclectic thy name hight Stephen! impressive spread, there…

  2. Marian says:

    Fantastic! Bookmarked for future reference (in my non-Goodreads TBR-folder I pretend doesn’t exist 😛 ). I watched the Verbal Judo series last time you reviewed it and found it very applicable. I also want to read Bowling Alone at some point… that title has got stuck in my memory, so every so often something triggers it as a visualization of what is happening.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the Verbal Judo series — Thompson’s often in my head when dealing with the public. Bowling Alone is one of those books that really shaped my thinking!

  3. great book study says:

    John Adams is on my TRR for this year or next. I also want to get a copy of Esolen’s book. You’re so diversified in your choices….I haven’t read any of these.

  4. You’ve got an impressive list of nonfiction that appeals to me. Some of my favorite authors are there including McCullough, Jacons, Haidt, Irvine, and Esolen (as translator of Dante).

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