Yikes, the year is almost over and I haven’t done My Favorite Nonfiction of 2018 post. I better get cracking because 2019 is mere hours away. And to make matters worse, 2018 was a strong year for nonfiction and I read a ton of great books. Therefore, limiting my list to just 12 is going to be going to be hard. After a lot of thought I’ve narrowed it down to these outstanding works of nonfiction. Of course, it doesn’t matter when the books were published; all that matters is they’re excellent. As always, they’re listed in no particular order.
- Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine K. Albright
- When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry by Gal Beckerman
- She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer
- Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China by Paul French
- The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis by David E. Fishman
- Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb
- Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
- Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell
- An Iron Wind: Europe Under Hitler by Peter Fritzsche
- The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War by Ben Shephard
- God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicolson
- Fleeing Fundamentalism: A Minister’s Wife Examines Faith by Carlene Cross
As you can see, this list reflects my reading interests. It’s heavy on history, especially that of World War II and the Holocaust. I’m happy to report eight of these books came from the public library, with four of those complete unknowns until I spotted them on the shelf. Three books on this list I purchased years ago. One, Fascism: A Warning, I borrowed from a friend.
As difficult as it was to choose the year’s 12 best, harder still was selecting an overall favorite. For months I went back and forth between Lawrence O’Donnell’s Playing with Fire and Gal Beckerman’s When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone. After much thought I’ve decided to break with tradition and declare a tie. These two books will share the honor of being my favorite nonfiction book of 2018.