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20 of the Best Nonfiction Books of All Time for a Big Dose of Reality

If you're usually a fiction fan and have previously written off true stories as too dry – or too close to real life – for your tastes, we've got something to change your mind. Just like fiction, there's a nonfiction read to suit every taste, whether yours tends toward the poetic or you're a "just the facts, ma'am" kind of reader. We've gathered up a few of the best books of 2021, including both classic must-reads and stellar newcomers to the scene, to give you a solid introduction to the genre. And once you're done here, join our feel-good Book Club, where you'll find more heartwarming reads to love.
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1
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (Stephanie Land)
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (Stephanie Land)
2
Disability Visibility (Alice Wong)
Disability Visibility (Alice Wong)
3
Educated (Tara Westover)
Educated (Tara Westover)
4
Hunger (Roxane Gay)
Hunger (Roxane Gay)
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5
Fuzz (Mary Roach)
Fuzz (Mary Roach)
6
Citizen (Claudia Rankine)
Citizen (Claudia Rankine)
7
Thick (Tressie Mcmillan Cottom)
Thick (Tressie Mcmillan Cottom)
8
The Liar's Club (Mary Karr)
The Liar's Club (Mary Karr)
9
How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi)
How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi)
10
The Sixth Extinction (Elizabeth Kolbert)
The Sixth Extinction (Elizabeth Kolbert)
11
Quiet (Susan Cain)
Quiet (Susan Cain)
12
The Emperor of All Maladies (Siddhartha Mukherjee)
The Emperor of All Maladies (Siddhartha Mukherjee)
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13
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
14
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
15
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (Andrés Reséndez)
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (Andrés Reséndez)
16
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt)
17
How to Do Nothing (Jenny Odell)
How to Do Nothing (Jenny Odell)
18
The Secret History of Food (Matt Siegel)
The Secret History of Food (Matt Siegel)
19
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)
20
Three Women (Lisa Taddeo)
Three Women (Lisa Taddeo)
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