Five Incredible Non-Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

For most of my reading career, I never read non-fiction books. In fact I think I only started actively reading non-fiction books about a year-and-a-half ago. Since then, however, I have read quite a few.

I have compiled a list of five terrifically written and moving non-fiction books I believe everyone should read at least once in their life.

They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery

This book broke my heart. As a white woman, I will never be able to fully understand the hardships Black people all over the world have to face daily. I can, however, educate myself by reading, listening, and giving my support in any way I can (whether this be financially or re-sharing good educational resources I have found.

From the back of the book:

“This is the story of the birth of a movement, from the award-winning journalist who reported at the heart of it. Based on more than a year of on-the-ground reporting, They Can’t Kill Us All is an enduring portrait of the reality of police violence and endemic racism in the United States, and those trying to combat it.”

Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue edited by Amy Ferris

This is one of the first non-fiction books I remember reading and although it is an incredibly hard book to read at times, it sparked my love for non-fiction.

From Goodreads:

“The silent epidemic of depression affects millions of people and takes dozens of lives every day, while our culture grapples with a stigma against open discussion of mental health issues. Editor Amy Ferris has collected these stories to illuminate the truth behind that stigma and offer compassion, solidarity, and hope for all those who have struggled with depression.”

Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

This is one of the funniest books I have ever read and it was so hard to put down. I made my Mum read it quite recently and she also thoroughly enjoyed it.

From Goodreads:

“Have you ever made a drunken bet? Worse still, have you ever tried to win one? In attempting to hitchhike round Ireland with a fridge, Tony Hawks did both, and his foolhardiness led him to one of the best experiences of his life. Joined by his trusty traveling companion-cum-domestic appliance, he made his way from Dublin to Donegal, from Sligo through Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Wexford, Wicklow–and back again to Dublin. In their month of madness, Tony and his fridge met a real prince, a bogus king, and the fridge got christened. They surfed together, entered a bachelor festival, and one of them had sex without the other knowing. And unexpectedly, the fridge itself became a momentary focus for the people of Ireland.”

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff

I read this book two years ago and I still can’t stop talking about it. It has appeared on both my YouTube channel and this blog several times, and whenever I’m having a conversation with almost anyone I usually bring it up at least once.

Before reading this book, and Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, I was almost blind to the impact addictions can have on a family. This book opened my eyes, like many others on this list, and sparked my motivation to help raise awareness about addiction.

From Goodreads:

“Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.”

The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler

After first learning about the Holocaust in school years ago, I have always wanted to read this book. About one year ago, after receiving the book for Christmas a few years prior, I finally got around to it.

From Chapters Indigo:

“In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.”

What are some of your favourite non-fiction books?


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