100 best nonfiction books. Hmmm…

Since I’ve become a nonfiction fanatic, I was thrilled beyond speech to see the announcement, on Red Room Library, that Time magazine had published a list of the all-time best nonfiction books.
Then I wondered, What kind of list is this gonna be? One of those horrible “books you should read” lists, or one of the lists of books a person actually would want to read.
And I’m thinking it’s a little of both.
Turns out, I’ve read only 10 of the books on the list (shown in bold font in the list below). I’ve perused/skimmed 3 more (in bold italics).
There are 8 books on the list that I’m interested in reading (shown in ALL CAPS ITALICS).
Autobiography / Memoir

Biography

Business

Culture
A CHILD OF THE CENTURY BY BEN HECHT
MYSTERY TRAIN BY GREIL MARCUS

Essays

Food Writing

Health

History
THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST BY DAVID HALBERSTAM

Ideas

Nonfiction Novels
OUT OF AFRICA BY ISAK DINESEN

Politics
THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT BY THEODORE WHITE
THE PARANOID STYLE IN AMERICAN POLITICS BY RICHARD HOFSTADTER

Science

Self-Help / Instructional

Social History

Sports
BALL FOUR BY JIM BOUTON

War
DISPATCHES BY MICHAEL HERR
What do you think of this list?

11 thoughts on “100 best nonfiction books. Hmmm…

  1. I've only read 15 of these books, but I see so many that have been on my lists that I've not gotten around to reading yet.

    The list inspires me to check out titles both old and new to me!

    P.S. Working by Studs Terkel is wonderful and so is the soundtrack from the musical. My daughters can still sing some of the songs from this.

    Working, the musical.

  2. I say, Meh.
    Looks like the same old NF books you always see listed on these same old "you should read" lists. That said, if you're looking for any suggestions on what to read just on this list, I'd go with Autobiography of Malcolm X (which was strangely fascinating), definitely "A Supposedly…" by David Foster Wallace, the Joan Didion, The Double Helix (Watson is a total trip), and The American Way of Death. I'd agree with Jenclair that "Working" is good too. Oh, and DEFINITELY Hiroshima, it's unbelievable.

  3. Citizen — "Meh" is a good response. I like it!

    Yeah, I feel like there are a few books there that I might actually tackle one fine day, but others just leave me cold. That "Ideas" section of the list fills me with a particular feeling of dread…

    Since tales of complete devastation are something I actually read, I've added "Hiroshima" to my TBR. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I thought the biography section was a little skimpy. Ditto the sports section. I've always wanted to read those two books, though. The ideas section left me a little cold. Haven't stopped to count up what I've read. Yay, more for the wishlist!

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