Non-fiction has a lot to appeal to readers lately, with the rise of literacy and the advent of digital technology. As a result, in the past five years, we have seen an explosion of great books being published. Non-fiction, in particular, has seen a remarkable surge in the last two decades, with more and more being published by the likes of Untamed, Greenlights, Caste, Night, The Bomber Mafia, and Hiroshima.

Sometimes you just need a dose of non-fiction to get through the day. We all need to read to keep our brains working and our imaginations firing. However, some books are better for working out problems in your own life than others. I’ve put together my list of the best non-fiction books to read. These books are superbly written with engaging stories that make me feel as though I could have lived through what the writer was talking about.

If you’re looking for some great books to read, there’s a whole lot of options out there. Whether it’s biographies, memoirs, history, or anything else, there’s a top 10 different non-fiction books out there to choose from.

Must Read Top 10 Best Selling Non Fiction Books

To be successful in any career, a solid foundation in simple reading is a necessity. The same rule applies in the realm of nonfiction. Numerous nonfiction books are available for every subject matter. When it comes to nonfiction books to read, the best ones I’ve listed in this article are the best of the best. They are, in my opinion, the top 10 best selling non-fiction books to read, and are available in both digital and print form.

1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

When you think of a book that has a plot that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, you think of the book “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. On 10 March 2020, The Dial Press published this book.

Glennon Doyle is a well-known author who writes her three memoir books, and one of them is “Untamed”.  Her other two memoir books are “Love Warrior” and “Carry on, Warrior”.

The New York Times declared Untamed is a best seller nonfiction book. It was sold more than two million copies. Available in three formats, print, e-book, and audiobook.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Untamed by Glennon Doyle

2. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Greenlights:  A Memoir of Love, Family, and Dreams is a memoir written by American actor Matthew McConaughey. The book was released by the Crown Publishing Group on 20 October 2020. It is sold more than two million copies.

In 1993, Matthew McConaughey, then a struggling actor, met his fate in the unlikeliest of places—Austin, Texas. That’s where he met his wife, Camila Alves, and where soon after he landed his first big role, in Dazed and Confused. This book looks back at the major moments of his career, from the Texas stage to the big screen.

In this book, Matthew McConaughey discusses his life and career, including his time as an actor, his role in “Interstellar”, his change in diet, and his religion.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

3. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is a nonfiction book. An American journalist Isabel Wilkerson has written this best seller nonfiction book. It is published in August 2020 by Random House.

The book discusses the caste system in India and the United States. The book also discusses the system of caste in Europe.

In Caste, journalist Isabel Wilkerson looks at the rise of the concept of caste in America and the obstacles faced by those who wish to eradicate it.

Ever since the social and political upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, new data and insights on the phenomenon of caste have been appearing. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is a distillation of all that is known about caste today. It is an inquiry into the ethnicity, religion, and class of people we call “caste-members” and an exploration into their behavior, mindset, and outlook.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, published in 1969, was the first of six autobiographical volumes by African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014). It details Angelou’s early life, including her childhood in the South, her failed marriage, her one grandson, two great-grandchildren, and her career as a performer and singer. The book is widely used in schools and universities across the world.

In this seminal work, beloved poet, novelist, and memoirist Maya Angelou shares her life story, from her childhood in the South through her years in San Francisco, New York, the South again, and Hawaii to her current home in North Carolina. A classic autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is a vivid and powerful portrait of a woman’s coming of age and a stirring testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

The “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is a moving and beautifully written account of the young poet’s life in the American South at the beginning of the 20th century. It follows her through the trauma of her childhood rape at the age of 8 and the subsequent prejudice and rejection of the community in which she lives. The book is written in the tone of a Southern-style oral history, with the language and rhythm of the stories Angelou.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

5. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time was originally published in 1988 by Bantam Dell Publishing Group. The book goes on to be a bestselling nonfiction book with over 25 million copies sold.

Hawking writes his own accessible version of A Brief History of Time, making the theories of the General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics understandable to general readers. He reveals the latest discovery and tackles the biggest mysteries, including the possible existence of a multiverse.

According to Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, the universe was born between 10 and 20 billion years ago. And, in its infancy, was a small, hot, and dense object, about one hundred million times the size of the earth. Everything we see today was also compressed into this space. The universe has been expanding ever since. It will continue to expand for a long time to come and its energy will be gradually dissipated.

In this book, Professor Hawking grapples with the most fundamental question of all time: Why is the universe as we observe it so well ordered and seemingly so benign? What is the nature of the force that propels the universe into the future? How and why did it begin, and what will be its ultimate fate? He will guide us through the mysteries of such matters as curved space, black holes, the big bang, and singularities.

A Brief History of Time
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood, the bestseller nonfiction book is an account of a multiple murders in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas. It is the true story of the murder of a Kansas family. In November 1959 told from four points of view: the two murderers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s lead investigator, Alvin Dewey, and Capote himself.

Truman Capote’s masterpiece, a true crime story that remains a literary and cultural touchstone, tells the tale of the brutal murder of the Clutter family in rural Kansas. “In Cold Blood” is a work of literary non-fiction by Truman Capote published in 1966 by Random House.

Capote spent five years researching the book, traveling to Kansas, and interviewing almost all of the participants after the crime.

In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

7. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage is one of the must-read books non-fiction, written by Alfred Lansing. This book was first published in 1959 by Hodder & Stoughton.

In the summer of 1914, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition set out from England to trek across the Antarctic. The ship, Endurance, was frozen in pack ice before the shore party had even landed; ten months later, Endurance sank. With no means of escape, Shackleton and his twenty-eight men were forced to take drastic measures. They rowed three small boats hundreds of miles to reach a remote island, where they spent a miserable winter before being rescued.

Captain Ernest Shackleton’s ship was trapped in the ice of the Weddell Sea, and the future looked bleak. But Shackleton didn’t give up. He and his crew of 27 men took to the lifeboats and rescued themselves. Their survival and the incredible journey is one of the most inspiring survival stories ever told.

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

8. Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard

“Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America” is the New York Times bestseller nonfiction book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, published on May 4, 2021, by St. Martin’s Press. This book sold nearly 18 million copies worldwide.

In this searing expose, former television host, American journalist and bestselling author Bill O’Reilly exposes the corruption and criminal activity that have long characterized America’s mob families. Drawing on hundreds of interviews conducted over the past five years, O’Reilly traces the roots of organized crime from its inception in time from the 1930s to the 1980s to its widespread resurgence today.

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard are two of the most successful authors in the world, and this is their most ambitious project to date. In Killing the Mob, they offer a riveting, true-life tale of the killing of the Mafia, a complex undertaking involving hundreds of characters that spans more than sixty years. O’Reilly and Dugard provide extensive on-the-scene reporting from all the major locations in this story.

Killing the Mob
Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard

9. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant

Adam Grant is a renowned expert on human behavior. His first book, Give and Take, was a New York Times bestseller. In his latest book, he explains how we can teach our children to think differently about what they don’t know.

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know is one of the number-one New York Times Bestsellers by Adam Grant was published on 2 February 2021. And published by Viking.

Think Again
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant

10. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown

Dee Brown’s bestselling book about the destruction of the American Indian, which has never been out of print before 15 May 2007 (published by Picador) since its original publication in 1970.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West is a nonfiction history book written by American author Dee Brown and published by New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. It relates to the history of the American West. It is the winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award in 1971.

The bloodiest years of the American West, from 1890 to many years, are best remembered as a time when the buffalo nearly disappeared, and the Indians were reduced to a pitiful remnant.

In Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown presents a startlingly original view of the entire Indian-white relationship. He tells the tragic story of the American West in a manner it has never been told before. Brown explains how the white man imposed his civilization with its concomitant vices of greed.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
Top 10 Best Selling Non Fiction Books

List of Top 40 Non Fiction Books

If one wants to read a book that is interesting, engaging, and eventually becomes a favorite, he has to choose a good book. The choice of books is very important because they are a mirror of the person. Everyone has a story to tell and there are different genres that help you to explore different aspects of life.  A list of the 40 best nonfiction books ever published include:

Serial Book Name WriterPagesLast Publish Date
1Untamed by Glennon Doyle352 pagesMarch 10, 2020
2Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey304 pagesOctober 20, 2020
3Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson496 pagesAugust 4, 2020
4I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsby Maya Angelou304 pagesMarch 5, 2002
5A Brief History of Timeby Stephen Hawking256 pagesAugust 1, 2011
6In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote343 pagesFebruary 1, 1994
7Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyageby Alfred Lansing357 pagesApril 28, 2015
8Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in Americaby Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard304 pagesMay 4, 2021
9Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Knowby Adam Grant320 pagesFebruary 2, 2021
10Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American Westby Dee Brown512 pagesMay 15, 2007
11The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hatby Oliver Sacks320 pagesSeptember 14, 2021
12H is For Hawkby Helen Mcdonald288 pagesMarch 3, 2015
13What Happened to You? by Oprah Winfrey; Bruce D. Perry304 pagesApril 27, 2021
14Nightby Elie Wiesel120 pagesJanuary 16, 2006
15The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell256 pagesApril 27, 2021
16Hiroshimaby John Hersey152 pagesJanuary 22, 2019
17The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green304 pagesMay 18, 2021
18Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner256 pagesApril 20, 2021
19A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Lifeby George Saunders432 pagesJanuary 12, 2021
20How I Saved the World by Jesse Watters320 pagesJuly 6, 2021
21Out of Africaby Isak Dinesen416 pagesSeptember 5, 1992
22Never Cry Wolf: Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolvesby Farley Mowat256 pagesSeptember 13, 2001
23The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Womenby Naomi Wolf368 pagesSeptember 24, 2002
24We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Familiesby Philip Gourevitch356 pagesSeptember 1, 1999
25Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Futureby Elizabeth Kolbert256 pagesFebruary 9, 2021
26Fever Pitchby Nick Hornby247 pagesMarch 1, 1998
27Last Callby Elon Green272 pagesMarch 9, 2021
28Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Mythby Bryan Burrough; Chris Tomlinson; Jason Stanford416 pagesJune 8, 2021
29Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoirby Rebecca Carroll320 pagesFebruary 1, 2021
30The Diary of a Young Girlby Anne Frank400 pagesFebruary 3, 1997
31Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywoodby Danny Trejo; Donal Logue288 pagesJuly 6, 2021
32The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020by Rachel Kushner272 pagesApril 6, 2021
33Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshoppingby Matthew Salesses256 pagesJanuary 19, 2021
34This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan384 pagesJuly 27, 2021
35We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedyby Kliph Nesteroff336 pagesFebruary 16, 2021
36Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live and How Their Wealth Harms Us Allby Michael Mechanic416 pagesApril 13, 2021
37Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendshipby Catherine Raven304 pagesJuly 6, 2021
38An Ordinary Age: Finding Your Way in a World That Expects Exceptionalby Rainesford Stauffer288 pagesMay 4, 2021
39First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (And Unelected) People Who Shaped Our Presidentsby Gary Ginsberg416 pagesJuly 6, 2021
40On Violence and On Violence Against Womenby Jacqueline Rose432 pagesMay 18, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions About Nonfiction Books:

What non fiction books sell best?

A few non-fiction books that sell well include Untamed, Greenlights, Caste, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and A Brief History of Time.

What books should I read non fiction?

We recommend “The Verbal Behavior Approach” which is for parents of children with autism, and “Thinking in Pictures” by Temple Grandin. Also, you should read some of our list of top non-fiction books above.

What makes a good non fiction book?

A good non-fiction book provides factual and accurate information for the reader. It is best for the reader to be able to find the information easily.
The best non-fiction book will have a very engaging narrative that will keep the audience captivated by incorporating factual information in a narrative. The key for non fiction books is to keep the content fresh so that the reader will continue to be engaged. The book is not limited to having only one climax.

How long should a non fiction book be?

Non-fiction books generally range in size from 5,000 to 120,000 words. A non-fiction book should be at least 40,000 words, but the ideal length is 100-120,000.

What should I read in 2021 non fiction?

We have recommended a list of the top 40 best nonfiction books above for you to read in 2021.

Is non fiction real or fake?

Nonfiction is non-fictional; it is the opposite of fiction. Non-fiction is any written, audio, visual, or film work that presents information usually in the form of a narration or documentary.

Is Harry Potter fiction or nonfiction?

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by J.K Rowling and distributed by Scholastic Corporation. The Potter series of books has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide.

Which is better fiction or nonfiction?

Non-fiction titles are suitable for the vast majority of people since they deal with specific topics, while fiction books are written to entertain. Non-fiction books are of practical use and hence are favored by children and adults alike. Fiction books are works of imagination and therefore are liked by people who want to deviate from reality.

What is the difference between novel and non fiction books?

Nonfiction books are based on fact, real stories about real people or animals, or explain real information. Novels are written by an author based on his/her thoughts and ideas. They are not based on fact.