Holy Kaw!

All the topics that interest us.

The 100 greatest non-fiction books

Media_httpfarm4static_tgtgc

Looking for a few additions to your summer reading list? The Guardian can help with a mega list of the 100 greatest non-fiction books ever published. Organized by category, the British newspaper’s top bookworms carefully selected the finest selections of factual writing.

A sampling to get started:

Biography

Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects by Giorgio Vasari (1550)

Biography mixes with anecdote in this Florentine-inflected portrait of the painters and sculptors who shaped the Renaissance

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell (1791)

Boswell draws on his journals to create an affectionate portrait of the great lexicographer

The Diaries of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys (1825)

“Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health,” begins this extraordinarily vivid diary of the Restoration period

Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey (1918)

Strachey set the template for modern biography, with this witty and irreverent account of four Victorian heroes

Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929)

Graves’ autobiography tells the story of his childhood and the early years of his marriage, but the core of the book is his account of the brutalities and banalities of the first world war

The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas by Gertrude Stein (1933)

Stein’s groundbreaking biography, written in the guise of an autobiography, of her lover

Politics

The Art of War by Sun Tzu (c500 BC)

A study of warfare that stresses the importance of positioning and the ability to react to changing circumstances

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (1532)

Machiavelli injects realism into the study of power, arguing that rulers should be prepared to abandon virtue to defend stability

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651)

Hobbes makes the case for absolute power, to prevent life from being “nasty, brutish and short”

The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (1791)

A hugely influential defence of the French revolution, which points out the illegitimacy of governments that do not defend the rights of citizens

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)

Wollstonecraft argues that women should be afforded an education in order that they might contribute to society

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848)

An analysis of society and politics in terms of class struggle, which launched a movement with the ringing declaration that “proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains”

The Souls of Black Folk by WEB DuBois (1903)

A series of essays makes the case for equality in the American south

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949)

De Beauvoir examines what it means to be a woman, and how female identity has been defined with reference to men throughout history

The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon (1961)

An exploration of the psychological impact of colonialisation

The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan (1967)

This bestselling graphic popularisation of McLuhan’s ideas about technology and culture was cocreated with Quentin Fiore

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970)

Greer argues that male society represses the sexuality of women

Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman (1988)

Chomsky argues that corporate media present a distorted picture of the world, so as to maximise their profits

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky (2008)

A vibrant first history of the ongoing social media revolution

Full list at The Guardian.

Curl up with a good book.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Posted by

1 Comment

  • Anonymous

    Some very interesting books to help us journey through the different areas of life! What did you find helpful?

Leave a Reply