2017 In Review: My Favorite Nonfiction

Last week I announced my favorite fiction from 2017 and now it’s time to do the same with my favorite nonfiction works of the year. Of course, it doesn’t matter when these books were published. All that matters is I enjoyed the heck out of them.

  1. The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End by Robert Gerwarth
  2. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  3. Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan
  4. The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan by Gregory Feifer
  5. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark
  6. The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature by Adam Kirsch
  7. Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers
  8. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil
  9. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville
  10. Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century by Tony Judt
  11. The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell
  12. Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books by Mark Glickman

Considering my reading tastes, perhaps none of us should be surprised 10 out of 12 these books deal with history. Interestingly, four out of those 10 books are about World War One and/or its aftermath. Declaring an overall winner was not easy. In keeping with my World War One focus, I’ll bestow Margaret MacMillan’s Paris 1919 as my favorite nonfiction book of the year.


19 thoughts on “2017 In Review: My Favorite Nonfiction

  1. Very interesting and lots to put on my TBR list (or elevate the ones already on it). Paris 1919 is the only one of these I’ve read in full (the Mary Beard languishes half-finished at my parents’ holiday home, waiting to be reunited with me) and I can easily understand why it’s your favourite of the bunch. I love everything she writes.

    I hope 2018 brings you just as many fascinating and entertaining books!


  2. What a great list! You are my go-to source for history book suggestions. I particularly want to take a look at Zoobiquity and Weapons of Math Destruction. (Yes, I know those are not history books. Sometimes I have to force myself to take on the big thick history books.)


  3. I read about 25 non-fiction books this year which is so much more than I’ve read in previous years … I was actually going to try a Mary Beard the other day but just didn’t have the time. I really want to try one of hers in 2018 because I’ve heard such great things! I hope your 2018 is great with non-fiction. 🙂


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