And The New York Times fires back with a Greatest Non-Fic List of its own, which is quite revealing

New York Public Library Reading Room

The interesting thing about lists is that they tell you more about the writer than the do whatever is being listed.  After The Guardian posted their 100 Greatest Non-Fic List, the NY Times Magazine staffers decided to “wing it” and create a 100 Best Non-Fic List of their own. It was published a few days later in: As if You Don’t Have Enough to Read By HUGO LINDGREN. We find it rather interesting to compare the two because it speaks volumes about what it means to be a New Yorker vs a Londoner.

Here’s the unabridged list, in no particular order.

“The Gathering Storm,” by Winston Churchill

“The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,” by Neil Strauss

“Friday Night Lights,” by Buzz Bissinger

“A Brief History of Time,” by Stephen Hawking

“Homage to Catalonia,” by George Orwell

“The Author of Himself,” by Marcel Reich-Ranicki

“On Writing,” by Stephen King

“Transit Maps of the World,” by Mark Ovenden and Mike Ashworth

“Ways of Seeing,” by John Berger

“Fermat’s Enigma,” by Simon Singh

“Twelve Who Ruled: The Year of Terror in the French Revolution,” by R.R. Palmer

“Into Thin Air,” by Jon Krakauer

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” by Richard Feynman

“Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” by Joan Didion

“Random Family,” by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

“The Lost City of Z,” by David Grann

“The Year of Magical Thinking,” by Joan Didion

“Cleopatra: A Life,” by Stacy Schiff

“Surprised by Sin,” by Stanley Fish

“Dispatches,” by Michael Herr

“A Civil Action,” by Jonathan Harr

“Under the Banner of Heaven,” by Jon Krakauer

“Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football,” by David Winner

“The Silent Woman,” by Janet Malcolm

“Maus,” by Art Spiegelman

“The White Album,” by Joan Didion

“A Season on the Brink,” by John Feinstein

“Deeper Into Movies,” by Pauline Kael

“The Diary of Anne Frank,” by Anne Frank

“All the President’s Men,” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

“Personal History,” by Katharine Graham

“Out of Sheer Rage,” By Geoff Dyer

“Mayflower,” by Nathaniel Philbrick

“A Severe Mercy,” by Sheldon Vanauken

“Burning the Days,” by James Salter

“The Arcades Project,” by Walter Benjamin

“Twiggy and Justin,” by Thomas Whiteside

“Speak, Memory,” by Vladimir Nabokov

“On Being Ill,” by Virginia Woolf

“The Arc of Justice,” by Kevin Boyle

“The Path to Power,” by Robert A. Caro

“The Emperor,” by Ryszard Kapuscinski

“The Warmth of Other Suns,” by Isabel Wilkerson

“A Midwife’s Tale,” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“The Elements of Typographic Style,” by Robert Bringhurst

“Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist,” by Tibor Kalman

“Seabiscuit,” by Laura Hillenbrand

“Into the Wild,” by Jon Krakauer

“The Substance of Style,” by Virginia Postrel

“Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster,” by Svetlana Alexievich

“The Difficulty of Being,” by Jean Cocteau

“The Human Condition,” by Hannah Arendt

“Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer,” by Peter Turchi

“Nature’s Metropolis,” by William Cronon

“The Looming Tower,” by Lawrence Wright

“A Savage War of Peace,” by Alistair Horne

“Understanding Comics,” by Scott McCloud

“Moneyball,” by Michael Lewis

“The Emperor,” by Ryszard Kapuscinski

“The Price of the Ticket,” by James Baldwin

“Between the Woods and the Water,” by Patrick Leigh Fermor

“Confucian China and Its Modern Fate,” by Joseph R. Levenson

“Basel in the Age of Burckhardt,” by Lionel Gossman

“The Heart That Bleeds,” by Alma Guillermoprieto

“In Patagonia,” by Bruce Chatwin (arguably this is not nonfiction)

“The Forever War,” by Dexter Filkins

“The Loss of El Dorado,” by V.S. Naipaul

“Is There No Place on Earth for Me?” by Susan Sheehan

“The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee

“Zeitoun,” by Dave Eggers

“Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America,” by Paul Tough

“Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction,” by David Sheff

“Boswell’s London Journal, 1762-3,” edited by Frederick A. Pottle

“Role Models,” by John Waters

“Popism: The Warhol Sixties,” by Andy Warhol

“I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie,” by Pamela Des Barres

“Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk,” Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

“On Writing,” by Stephen King

“Conditions of Liberty,” by Ernest Gellner

“The Invisible Woman: the Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens,” by Claire Tomalin

“I Will Bear Witness,” by Victor Klemperer

“What It Takes,” by Richard Ben Cramer

“Tears in the Darkness,” by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman

“Great Plains,” by Ian Frazier

“The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800,” by Lawrence Stone

“Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages,” by Phyllis Rose

“The Politics of American English, 1776-1950,” by David Simpson

“Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey,” by Lillian Schiessel

“The Warrior’s Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience,” by Michael Ignatieff

“Boys on the Bus,” by Timothy Crouse

“Politics,” by Hendrik Hertzberg

“Arc of Justice,” by Kevin Boyle

“The Devil in the White City,” by Erik Larson

“Marie Antoinette,” by Antonia Fraser

“In Cold Blood,” by Truman Capote

“Into the Wild,” by Jon Krakauer

“Infidel,” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“Camera Lucida,” by Roland Barthes

“Mythologies,” by Roland Barthes

“Regarding the Pain of Others,” by Susan Sontag

“The Year of Magical Thinking,” by Joan Didion

“The Elements of Style,” William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

“The Devil’s Teeth,” by Susan Casey

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” by Malcolm X

“Shadow Divers,” by Robert Kurson

“Silent Spring,” by Rachel Carson

“What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng,” by Dave Eggers

“The Gnostic Gospels,” by Elaine Pagels

“Understanding Media,” by Marshall McLuhan

“Extra Lives,” by Tom Bissell

“Lenin’s Tomb,” by David Remnick

“On Photography,” by Susan Sontag

“The Americans,” by Robert Frank

“Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh,” by Irving Stone and Jean Stone

“Life Adjustment Center,” by Ryan McGinley

“A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction,” by Christopher Alexander

“Safe Area: Gorazde,” by Joe Sacco

“Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties,” by Ian MacDonald

“A Year (With Swollen Appendices),” by Brian Eno

“Fast Food Nation,” by Eric Schlosser

“The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America,” by Nicholas Lemann

“Genie: A Scientific Tragedy,” by Russ Rymer

“The Last Shot,” by Darcy Frey

“The Journalist and the Murderer,” by Janet Malcolm

“A Commotion in the Blood,” by Stephen S. Hall

“Always Magic in the Air,” by Ken Emerson

“The Bible,” by Various

“Lush Life,” by David Hajdu

“Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell

“About a Mountain,” by John D’Agata

“We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families,” by Philip Gourevitch

“The Perfect Storm,” by Sebastian Junger

“The Great War and Modern Memory,” by Paul Fussell

“Essays,” by Michel de Montaigne

“Hiroshima,” by John Hersey

“U and I,” by Nicholson Baker

“A History of Western Philosophy,” by Bertrand Russell

“A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” by David Foster Wallace

“Conversations With Igor Stravinsky,” by Robert Craft

“Discipline and Punish,” by Michael Foucault

“A Life of Picasso,” by John Richardson

“The Prince,” by Niccolo Machiavelli

“Mexico: Biography of Power,” by Enrique Krauze

“The Mysterious William Shakespeare: The Myth and the Reality,” by Charlton Ogburn

“A Giacometti Portrait,” by James Lord

“The Long Way,” by Bernard Moitessier

“Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72,” by Hunter S. Thompson

“The Poverty of Power,” by Barry Commoner

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