Non-Fiction Reading Checklist

Recommended by scholars, reviewers and bloggers, these nonfiction titles are great additions to your lifetime reading list. Find a checklist that includes these selections and more at the Lititz Public Library.

Thinking, Fast and SlowThinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Nobel laureate explains the two systems that drive the way we think and the capabilities, faults and biases of each.

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
The rise of agriculture, technology, writing, government and religion are parts of a unifying theory of history, illustrating why the peoples of certain continents succeeded in invading and conquering other continents.

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
Illustrated volume explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
A practicing surgeon addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families of the terminally ill.

The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration in the Age of ColorblindnessThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Despite the dismantling of laws that forced African-Americans into segregation, the author argues the mass incarceration of a disproportionate number of black men amounts to a devastating system of racial control.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
The abundance of unlimited food varieties has resulted in negative implications to human health and the environment.

Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour by Neil deGrasse
The author describes the latest discoveries in astrophysics, from planets, stars and galaxies to black holes, wormholes and time travel.

Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior by Richard O’Connor, PhD
Using new knowledge about how the brain works, a psychotherapist reveals exactly why bad habits die so hard.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Cleaning consultant shares step-by-step instructions for simplifying, organizing and storing.

A Little History of the WorldA Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich
The author relates the story of mankind from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb, focusing not on small details but on the sweep of human experience.

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
Historian re-creates the first month of WWI, tracing each step that led to the inevitable clash of nations.

In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
William E. Dodd became America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in 1933, a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
Meticulously documented research follows the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century.

17761776 by David McCullough
Drawing on personal correspondence and period diaries, the author presents a history of the Revolution from the siege of Boston to the American victory at Trenton.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, offer a fresh and funny perspective on the formation of a writer.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
A memoir of the author’s family and upbringing describes how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan while navigating the demands of middle-class life yet never fully escaping demons of the past.

September 14, 2018