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100 Non-Fiction Books

This is part of my Life List.

Now, I’m going to be honest, this list terrifies me more than any other part of my life list. Fiction books I can handle, but non-fiction can be really hard if you have little to no interest in the topic of what you’re reading. There are no symbols to look for, just cold, hard facts and if the author is a very dry writer then there is no hope. Now, while I do trust the list, I’m also a little reasonably suspicious. These books might be great for their audience, but what if that’s not me? Maybe I’m not intellectually there just yet….

So I’m giving myself a little cushion. You know, so that my cause of death isn’t this list…

The goal is to attempt to read all of these books, but it is only mandatory for me to completely read fifty of them. Also, in the spirit of good sportsmanship I will define what would qualify as an “attempt.”

An attempt means that I would read 50 pages or at least 10% of the book [whichever is longer], not including introductions and all that crap.

Now, no more useless talking, here are the lovely hundred:

1. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams

2. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard

3. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

4. The Second World War by Winston Churchill (6 volumes)

5. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D. Watson

6. Selected Essays of T. S. Eliot by T. S. Eliot

7. Confessions by St. Augustine

8. The Histories of Herodotus by Herodotus

9. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

10. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

11. The Civil War by Shelby Foote (3 volumes)

12. The Republic by Plato

13. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

14. The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides

15. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

16. Essays by Michel de Montaigne

17. Relativity by Albert Einstein

18. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

19. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr and E. B. White

20. The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

21. The Liberal Imagination by Lionel Trilling

22. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

23. The Open Society by Karl Popper ( 2 Volumes)

24. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Dame Rebecca West

25. Black Boy by Richard Wright

26. Witness by Whittaker Chambers

27. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

28. The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek

29. An American Dilemma by Gunnar Myrdal

30. Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas

31. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

32. Annals by Cornelius Tacitus

33. Euclid’s Elements by Euclid

34. Principia Mathematica by Issac Newton

35. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

36. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

37. Corpus Aristotelicum by Aristotle

38. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (3 Volumes)

39. A Study of History by Arnold J. Toynbee (12 Volumes)

40. Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington

41. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

42. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

43. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (2 volumes)

44. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

45. Samuel Johnson by Walter Jackson Bate

46. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

47. The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick von Hayek

48. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman

49. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

50. Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves

51. The Frontier in American History by Frederick Jackson Turner

52. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter

53. The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt

54. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

55. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

56. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein

57. The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

58. Jefferson and His Time by Dumas Malone

59. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

60. The Golden Bough by James George Frazer

61. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber

62. R. E. Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman

63. Pragmatism by William James

64. West With the Night by Beryl Markham

65. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

66. The Quest for Community by Robert Nisbet

67. The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga

68. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

69. Children of Crisis by Robert Coles (5 Volumes)

70. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

71. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

72. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

73. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

74. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

75. Collected Essays of George Orwell by George Orwell

76. The Guide for the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides

77. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

78. The Complete Works of Plato by Plato

79. Discourse on Method by Rene Descartes

80. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy by Johannes Kepler

81. Works of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

82. Novum Organum by Francis Bacon

83. Almagest by Ptolemy

84. Pensées by Blaise Pascal

85. Patriotic Gore by Edmund Wilson

86. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

87. The Worst Journey in the World by Robert Falcon Scott

88. The Revolt of the Masses by José Ortega y Gasset

89. The American Language by H. L. Mencken

90. The Age of Jackson by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

91. A Mathematician’s Apology by G. H. Hardy

92. Henry James by Leon Edel

93. The Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas

94. Roll, Jordan, Roll by Eugene Genovese

95. The Age of Reform by Richard Hofstadter

96. Rationalism in Politics by Michael Oakeshott

97. Aspects of the Novel by E. M. Forster

98. Economy and Society by Max Weber

99. Present at the Creation by Dean Acheson

100. The Praise of Folly by Erasmus

bolded – finished

italicized – read before

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