100+ Narrative Nonfiction Writers

The list starts with author, then typical subjects and style, and then a good starter title.

 

Diane Ackerman Philosophy and physiology examined in sensual detail A Natural History of the Senses
Peter Ackroyd Biographies of English subjects, particularly writers Chaucer
Amir D. Aczel Popularized treatments of the history of science Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science
Noah Adams NPR host continues to consider all things Piano Lessons
Scott Adams A humorous take on office and workplace culture The Dilbert Principle
Mortimer Adler Philosophy, great books, and how to educate yourself How to Think About the Great Ideas
Stephen Ambrose American history focusing on the brotherhood of men Citizen Soldiers
Maya Angelou Spirited autobiographies from a resilient black woman I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Karen Armstrong History of religion or the writer’s spiritual journey The Spiral Staircase

Peter Atkins

Popular science with a focus on chemistry

Galileo’s Finger: Ten Great Ideas of Science

Rick Atkinson Modern military history An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa
David Attenborough The natural world, generously illustrated The Private Life of Plants
Edward Ball History of American race relations in investigative style Slaves in the Family
Phillip Ball The human side of science and its history The Devil’s Doctor: Paracelsus and the
    World of Renaissance Magic and Science
Richard Barber Medieval history, particularly of England and knights The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief
Burl Barer Tragic tales of true crime Body Count
Dave Barry Wacky, sometimes sarcastic humor on many topics Dave Barry Slept Here
Jacques Barzun Surprisingly accessible criticism of Western culture A Jacques Barzun Reader
Nicholas Basbanes Books and the people who love them A Gentle Madness
Rick Bass Animals and environment of the American West Caribou Rising
John Baxter Film directors and other cultural topics Woody Allen: a Biography
Wendy Beckett Sister Wendy makes art charming and approachable The Story of Painting
Laurence Bergreen Biography and popular history from a variety of fields Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Ira Berlin African-American slavery and its aftermath Many Thousands Gone: the First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America
Wendell Berry Farmer poet writes on community, simplicity & more What Are People For?: Essays
Michael Beschloss American presidents, particularly in the 20th Century The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman, and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany
Stanley Bing Sarcastic business humor and career advice The Big Bing
Edwin Black An investigative approach to historical topics IBM and the Holocaust
Jerry Bledsoe True crime with strong feel for criminal’s background Bitter Blood
Harold Bloom Yale academic is controversial dean of literary criticism The Western Canon
Benson Bobrick Accessible history on a broad range of subjects Wide as the Waters: the Story of the English Bible and the Revolution it Inspired
David Bodanis Popular science, heavy on historical/social background Electric Universe
Erma Bombeck Earthy humor about families and the domestic life The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank
Jan Bondeson Historical curiosities and exotica The Great Pretenders: the True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries
Daniel Boorstin History with an upbeat focus on human achievement The Creators
Anthony Bourdain The culinary life, especially the unusual underside Kitchen Confidential
Mark Bowden Recent history told through detailed life accounts Black Hawk Down
Rick Bragg Memoirs of the rural poor in the American South All Over But the Shoutin’
Taylor Branch Vivid, definitive histories of the Civil Rights movement Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963
H.W. Brands Densely-detailed but readable American history The Age of Gold: the California Gold Rush and the New American Dream
Dee Brown History of the American West, esp. Native Americans Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Sylvia Browne One-woman cottage industry for psychics & afterlife Phenomenon: Everything You Need to Know About the Paranormal
Bill Bryson Mostly travel narratives told with sarcastic humor A Walk in the Woods
Vincent Bugliosi True crime and courts coverage Helter Skelter
Elinor Burkett Journalist immerses herself in socio-political groups Another Planet: a Year in the Life of a Suburban High School
Augusten Burroughs  Humorous memoirs of dysfunctional life Running with Scissors
Deborah Cadbury Science history with a flare for human drama The Lost King of France: a True Story of Revolution, Revenge, and DNA
Thomas Cahill Long-lasting contributions of early civilizations How the Irish Saved Civilization
Tim Cahill Adventure travel with dollops of humor and insight Pass the Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered
James Carroll Humanistic Catholicism or recent American policy House of War: the Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power
Bruce Catton Classic histories of the American Civil War The Coming Fury
Iris Chang Dramatic histories of China and Chinese Americans The Rape of Nanking
Bruce Chatwin The iconoclastic travels of a great writer and wanderer The Songlines
Ron Chernow Biographies of historical giants of the business world Titan: the Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Deepak Chopra Spiritual approach to daily life from Eastern perspective The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Catherine Clinton Lives of women and African-Americans in Old South Harriet Tubman: the Road to Freedom
Andrei Codrescu Quirky essays by Transylvania-born NPR commentator New Orleans, Mon Amour
Rich Cohen The Jewish-American story told from many angles Sweet and Low: a Family Story
Robert Coles Moral behavior and the mental life of children The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism
Jill Ker Conway Memoirs of a woman finding her place in the world The Road from Coorain
John Cornwell Investigative history, particularly about the popes Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII
Miles Corwin Up-close portrayals of the people of urban Los Angeles Homicide Special: on the Streets with the LAPD’s Elite Detective Unit
Stephen R. Covey Wisdom from the guru of ‘highly effective’ behavior The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Richard Ben Cramer Portraits of sports figures and political reporting Joe DiMaggio: the Hero’s Life
The Dalai Lama How to live happily, ethically, and with tranquility Ethics for the New Millennium
Robert Dallek Biographies of the Presidents of the sixties An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy
Mike Dash Socio-historical looks at behaviors on society’s edge Batavia’s Graveyard
Richard Dawkins Biology writing and the clash of science and religion A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science and Love
Alain de Botton Sophisticated, philosophical works of ‘literary self-help’ The Consolations of Philosophy

Marq de Villiers

Natural history, weather, and the environment

Water: the Fate of Our Most Precious Resource

Daniel Dennett Philosophy of mind and neuroscience Consciousness Explained
Jared Diamond Explores big questions of anthropology & geography Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
Joan Didion All things considered: especially U.S. politics & culture Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Annie Dillard Personal metaphysics grounded in the natural world Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Michael Dirda

The life of a reader and book critic

Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments

James Dodson

Golf, family, and travel in inspirational blends

Final Rounds: A Father, A Son, The Golf Journey of a Lifetime

David Herbert Donald Abraham Lincoln (and other great Americans) Lincoln
John E. Douglas Serial killers from point of view of former FBI profiler Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial  Crime Unit
Wayne Dyer Positive, spiritual approaches to self-actualization Your Erroneous Zones
Pete Earley Insider looks at prisons, casinos & mental institutions The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth
David Edmonds & John Eidinow Meetings of great minds & the ideas that underlie them Wittgenstein’s Poker
Barbara Ehrenreich The difficulties of getting by in modern America Nickel and Dimed
Gretel Ehrlich Lyrical looks at natural environments The Solace of Open Spaces
Paul & Anne Ehrlich Warnings about overpopulation & overconsumption One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future
Benita Eisler Biographies of romantic historical figures Chopin’s Funeral
Marc Eliot Show business biographies, often as ghostwriter Cary Grant: a Biography
Joseph J. Ellis Accessible, relatively short looks at Founding Fathers His Excellency: George Washington
Richard Ellis Marine life, from the fantastic to the realistic Singing Whales and Flying Squid
John Emsley Popular science with emphasis on chemistry Nature’s Building Blocks: an A-Z Guide to the Elements
Joseph Epstein Erudite personal essays spiced with a dash of wit Narcissus Leaves the Pool: Familiar Essays
Carolly Erickson Biographies of royalty that read like novels The First Elizabeth
Bruce Feiler A mix of theology, history, and geographic exploration Walking the Bible
John Feinstein Sports books, particularly about golf and basketball Caddy for Life: the Bruce Edwards Story
Niall Ferguson Economic and military history on a global scale The House of Rothschild, Vols. 1 & 2
Timothy Ferris Astronomy and the universe The Whole Shebang: a State-of-the- Universe(s)  Report
Richard P. Feynman  Physics with a hearty dose of rebellious humor Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
David Hackett Fischer American history, mostly of the Revolutionary era Washington’s Crossing
M.F.K. Fisher Memoirs and food writing from a master stylist The Art of Eating
Fergus Fleming Stirring stories of exploration and adventure Barrow’s Boys
Al Franken Absurd humor used to skewer right-wing politicians Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Antonia Fraser Histories and biographies of royals, mainly the English The Wives of Henry VIII
Ian Frazier Edgy, anecdote-filled  humorous travel essays On the Rez
Thomas Friedman Analysis of global political and business trends The World is Flat
Paul Fussell Contrarian views of history, particularly of WWI & II The Great War and Modern Memory
Henry Louis Gates African-American society, history & literary criticism The Future of the Race
Martin Gilbert 20th century history, particularly of Churchill & WWII Churchill and America
Debra Ginsberg Thematic memoirs about aspects of the author’s life About My Sisters
Todd Gitlin Activism and the media, from the sixties to today The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
Malcolm Gladwell Sociological patterns underlying behavior and thought The Tipping Point
John Glatt Sensational topics: true crime & celebrity biographies Blind Passion
James Gleick Science writing & biographies with stylistic flair Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feynman
Bernard Goldberg Media analysis and politics from rightist perspective Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite
Natalie Goldberg Advice to unlock self-expression and creativity Writing Down the Bones
Peter Golenbock Athlete and team biographies that go behind the scenes Bums: an Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers
Larry Gonick Witty and educational cartoon primes for adults The Cartoon History of the Universe
Jane Goodall Chimpanzees, and a life spent protecting them Reason for Hope: a Spiritual Journey
Doris Kearns Goodwin American history emphasizing personality & character Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
John Steele Gordon The history of American economics and business The Great Game: a History of Wall Street
Karen Elizabeth Gordon Playful, practical guides to grammar and punctuation The Deluxe Transitive Vampire
Stephen Jay Gould Evolution & natural history written by master stylist The Lying Stones of Marrakech
Brian Greene Elegant explanations of complex astrophysics concepts The Elegant Universe
Linda Greenlaw All things oceanic by captain from The Perfect Storm All Fisherman are Liars
John Gribbin Another great science writer, especially on physics The Scientists
Peter Guralnick The roots of American rock music Last Train to Memphis: the Rise of Elvis
David Halberstam American history and sports events since 1950 Firehouse
Paul Halpern Yet another excellent physics writer The Great Beyond
Pete Hamill A variety of subjects in New York settings Why Sinatra Matters
Eric Hansen Thematic travel with natural history or anthropology Orchid Fever
Stephen Hawking Astrophysics, cosmology, relativity, and mathematics A Briefer History of Time
William Least  Heat Moon Epic and atmospheric travels across America Blue Highways: a Journey Into America
Bernd Heinrich Zoology and other natural science in woodlands The Trees in my Forest
James Herriot All creatures great and small: the life of a country vet All Creatures Great and Small
Seymour M. Hersh An investigative journalist looks at American politics Chain of Command
Homer Hickam Memoirs of young adulthood in West Virginia Rocket Boys
James S. Hirsch Modern history with an eye to black/white relations Riot and Remembrance: the Tulsa Race War
Christopher Hitchens Political polemics taking on both left and right Love, Poverty, and War
bell hooks Cultural criticism taking aim at racism and sexism All About Love: New Visions
John Horgan The edges, future, and limitations of science Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality
David Horowitz Attacks on a variety of liberal political positions Radical Son: a Generational Odyssey
Tony Horwitz World journalism, sometimes with a personal slant Confederates in the Attic
Sue Hubbell Natural history with sense of place and personal touch A Country Year: Living the Questions
Peter Huchthausen Exciting military history, particularly at sea Hostile Waters
Robert Hughes Some art criticism, some world history Fatal Shore: the Epic of Australia’s Founding
Edward Humes Insider journalistic accounts of many settings School of Dreams: Making the Grade at a Top American High School
Walter Isaacson Political biographies of figures from all eras Benjamin Franklin: an American Life
Molly Ivins Humorous political essays from a liberal perspective Bushwhacked
Pico Iyer International travel writing with strong flair for culture Sun After Dark: Flights Into the Foreign
T.D. Jakes Bible-based inspirational self-help Maximize the Moment: God’s Action Plan for Your Life
Kay R. Jamison Matters of personality, especially mood disorders Exuberance: the Passion for Life
H. Paul Jeffers History, especially biographies of 20th-century figures Ace of Aces: the Life of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker
Peter Jenkins Long, slow American travels from introspective writer A Walk Across America
Sally Jenkins Sports biographies, often as a ghostwriter It’s Not About the Bike
Sebastian Junger True-life adventure, particularly disasters The Perfect Storm
Michio Kaku Cutting edge physics and cosmology for a lay audience Parallel Worlds
Robert D. Kaplan Travelogues from tough places & military journalism Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus
Sam Kashner Anecdotes of life among Hollywood stars and writers The Bad and the Beautiful: Hollywood in the 50s
Jon Katz Katz does dogs…and their place in the family A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
Alfred Kazin Memoirs of life among writers and literary criticism Writing Was Everything
John Keegan Scholarly and thorough military history The Second World War
Kitty Kelley Controversial and gossipy ‘unauthorized’ biographies The Royals
Alex Kershaw World War II and biographies of the adventurous The Bedford Boys
Ronald Kessler Pulpy political writing from a partisan of the right The Bureau: the Secret History of the FBI
Russell Kick Muckraking anti-establishment ‘disinformation’ Abuse Your Illusions
Tracy Kidder High-caliber narrative nonfiction on many subjects Among Schoolchildren
Dean King Sea adventures and the writer Patrick O’Brian Skeletons on the Zahara
Ross King Art history brought to life and relevance Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling
Barbara Kingsolver Essays about ecology, species diversity and biology High Tide in Tucson
Chuck Klosterman Gonzo essays on pop culture, especially rock and roll Chuck Klosterman IV: a Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas

Jeffrey Kluger

Space, disease control and other exciting science topics

Lost Moon: the Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13

Gina Kolata Science investigation & history with focus on biology Flu: the Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918
Jonathan Kozol Social issues, especially inequities in education The Shame of the Nation: the Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America
Jon Krakauer Extremes: Everest, Alaska and religious fanatics Into Thin Air
Mark Kurlansky Microhistories: history seen through a particular lens Cod: a Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
Harold S. Kushner Self-help and reassurance from a rabbi’s perspective When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Anne Lamott Spirituality, family & writing approached with humor Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
William Langewiesche Musings expanded from Atlantic Monthly articles Sahara Unveiled: a Journey Across the Desert
Erik Larson Little known historical events brought to life The Devil in the White City
Elizabeth Lawrence The joys of creating and maintaining a garden A Garden of One’s Own
Harriet Lerner Emotional patterns that govern women’s relationships The Dance of Anger
Primo Levi The history of the Holocaust The Periodic Table
Bernard Lewis Scholarly looks at the Middle East past and present From Babel to Dragomans
C.S. Lewis Eloquent arguments for the principles of Christianity The Screwtape Letters
Michael M. Lewis Business, sports, and trends in both Moneyball
Michael Lind Centrist but opinionated looks at US political values What Lincoln Believed
Herbert R. Lottman Biographies of famous French folks The Michelin Men: Driving an Empire
Max Lucado Upbeat life advice from Christian religious perspective Traveling Light
Peter Maas True crime and other real-life adventures Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano’s Story of Life in the Mafia
Ben Macintyre Biographies of adventurous lives The Man Who Would Be King: the First American in Afghanistan
William Manchester History and biography, particularly of the 20th century The Last Lion: Winston Churchill
Alberto Manguel The history of reading and books A History of Reading
Richard Manning Ecology, particularly as related to food production Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization
David Maraniss Biographies of 20th century heroes Clemente: the Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero
Robert K. Massie Two specialties: the Russian czars and war at sea The Romanovs: the Final Chapter
Jeffrey M. Masson The emotional life of animals from wild to domestic When Elephants Weep
Peter Matthiessen Endangered animals, people and places The Peter Matthiessen Reader
Frances Mayes American woman summers in Tuscany Under the Tuscan Sun
Peter Mayle British man summers in Provence A Year in Provence
Frank McCourt Memoirs of Ireland and Irish immigrants in America Angela’s Ashes
Malachy McCourt Roguish brother tells his own Irish stories Singing My Him Song
David McCullough Anecdote-filled American history from all eras 1776
Joe McGinniss True crime and other subjects with gift for storytelling Fatal Vision
Dr. Phil McGraw Strategies for life from the TV personality Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out
Bill McKibben Living “green” in a world of overconsumption Wandering Home: a Long Walk Across America’s Most Hopeful Landscape
Patrick McManus Humorous treatment of the outdoor life The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw
John McPhee Hands-on journalism about many places and people The Second John McPhee Reader
James McPherson The history of the American Civil War Battle Cry of Freedom: the Civil War Era
Jon Meacham Detailed, well-researched analysis of history Franklin and Winston: an Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship
Ved Mehta Memoirs from a blind New Yorker journalist Remembering Mr. Shawn’s New Yorker
Thomas Merton Spirituality of the simple life from poet turned monk The Seven Storey Mountain
Jeffrey Meyers Biographies of writers, artists, and actors Somerset Maugham: A Life
Nathan Miller History, particularly of 20th century America New World Coming: the 1920s and the Making of Modern America
Sy Montgomery Animals, from exotic wildlife to her own pets The Good Good Pig: the Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
Leigh Montville Sports biographies, particularly of baseball stars Big Bam: the Life and Times of Babe Ruth
Michael Moore Political commentary and humor with a liberal slant Stupid White Men…and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation
Thomas Moore Cultivation and feeding of the human soul Care of the Soul
Tim Moore Comic adventures of a pretentious English traveler Travels with My Donkey: One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago
Edmund Morris Biographies, especially of American presidents The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Jan Morris Descriptive travel accounts from around the world The World: Travels 1950-2000
Farley Mowat Adventure in the natural world, particularly the Arctic Never Cry Wolf
Bill Moyers PBS journalist considers all things Moyers on America
V.S. Naipaul Memoirs, international travel, and literary criticism Between Father and Son: Family Letters
Kathleen Norris Poetic view of spirituality from Benedictine monastic The Cloister Walk
Laurie Notaro Chick-lit as nonfiction: humorous personal essays I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl
Stephen B. Oates 19th century American historical figures With Malice Toward None: the Life of Abraham Lincoln
Nuala O’Faolain The memoirs of an Irishwoman Are You Somebody: the Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman
Redmond O'Hanlon Adventure travels to the world’s wildest places In Trouble Again: a Journey Between Orinoco and the Amazon
Jack Olsen One of the best of the true crime writers Predator: Rape, Madness, and Injustice in Seattle
Susan Orlean Unusual travels and personal encounters My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who’s Been Everywhere
P.J. O’Rourke Sarcastic political humor with conservative slant Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut
David Owen Home repair & golf with practical but humorous touch Sheetrock & Shellac
Cynthia Ozick Essays on literature intersecting with other subjects Quarrel & Quandary: Essays
Elaine Pagels Gnostic religion: the origins of Christianity The Gnostic Gospels
James M. Perry Military history, mostly of the American Civil War Touched With Fire: Five Presidents and the Civil War Battles That Made Them
Henry Petroski Engineering and design of objects from small to large Invention by Design; How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing
Nathaniel Philbrick Historical adventures on the high seas In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Steven Pinker Evolutionary psychology and neuroscience How the Mind Works
George Plimpton Humor & adventure through participatory journalism The Best of Plimpton
Michael Pollan The boundaries of the natural and human worlds The Botany of Desire: a Plant’s-Eye View of the World
Gerald L. Posner Assassinations, terrorist acts, & historical investigations Killing the Dream: James Earl Ray and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Neil Postman The limitations and dangers of technology Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Diana Preston Nuclear weapons, the Lusitania, & explorers Before the Fallout: from Marie Curie to Hiroshima
Richard Preston Popular science, particularly of medical dangers The Demon in the Freezer: a True Story
Heather Pringle The history of scientists on the fringe The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust
Francine Prose All around the humanities: writing, reading, the arts Reading Like a Writer
David Quammen Natural history and ‘ecojournalism’ Monster of God: the Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind
Joe Queenan Sarcastic humor on popular culture subjects True Believers: the Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans
Anna Quindlen Essays on everything from geopolitics to domestic life Loud and Clear
Jonathan Raban History, adventure, and travel think pieces Bad Land: an American Romance

Ray Raphael

The role of the individual in the American Revolution

A People’s History of the American Revolution

Janisse Ray The landscape and life of the rural South Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
Chet Raymo Popular science, especially astronomy 365 Starry Nights
Piers Paul Read A grab bag: disasters, religion, biographies Alive: the Story of the Andes Survivors
Ruth Reichl Culinary memoirs: the life of a foodie Tender at the Bone
Robert V. Remini American history between Revolution and Civil War The Battle of New Orleans
Richard M. Restak Neurosurgeon writes about the science of the brain The Naked Brain
Gordon Rhea The Civil War, battle by battle The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864
Richard Rhodes Historian takes on a variety of subjects Audubon: the Making of an American
Cheryl Richardson Personal coach shows how to take control of your life Stand Up for Your Life
Matt Ridley Genetics and human behavior Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
Jeremy Rifkin The future of business and environment on Earth The Biotech Century
Cokie Roberts Lives of American women past and present Founding Mothers
Michael Ruhlman Insider looks at careers, particularly at chefs The Soul of a Chef
Ann Rule The reigning queen of true crime stories The Stranger Beside Me
Sharman Apt Russell Microhistories, particularly about natural topics Hunger: an Unnatural History
Witold Rybczynski Graceful writing about architecture and the home Home: a Short History of an Idea
Oliver Sacks Tales of clinical neurobiology told with humor & pathos The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Carl Sagan Space, the brain, evolution, and other science topics Cosmos
May Sarton One of the great memoirists, especially of later years The Journal of a Solitude
Simon Schama Sprawling histories by a great humanities scholar Citizens
Harold Schechter Serial killers and violence in America Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho
Eric Schlosser Opinionated, muckraking exposes of business practices Fast Food Nation
Juliet Schor Commercialization and loss of leisure time Born to Buy
Stephen Sears Military history, especially the American Civil War To the Gates of Richmond: the Peninsula Campaign
David Sedaris Snide, bittersweet humor with a biographical base Naked
Charles Seife The mathematics that underlie existence Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea
Richard Selzer Detailed essays about life & death by a surgeon writer The Exact Location of the Soul
Tahir Shah Afghani-English writer travels in Southern hemisphere The Caliph’s House: a Year in Casablanca
David W. Shaw Nautical adventures in Atlantic from maritime historian The Sea Shall Embrace Them: the Tragic Story of the Steamship Arctic
Gail Sheehy Psychological and social changes experienced by adults New Passages
Michael Shermer Meeting points of science and human behavior The Science of Good and Evil
David K. Shipler Effects of race & class on society, especially in America The Working Poor: Invisible in America
Hampton Sides Novel-like accounts of historical events Blood and Thunder: an Epic of the American West
Dava Sobel The history of scientific discovery Longitude
Rebecca Solnit Essays of cultural history, linked in thematic chains A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Anne Somerset Lively, readable biographies of French & British royals The Affair of the Poisons
Donald Spoto Psychological biographies of the rich & famous Enchantment: the Life of Audrey Hepburn
Tom Standage Obscure but fascinating episodes of world history A History of the World in 6 Glasses
David Starkey Another fine biographer of the Tudor royalty Elizabeth: the Struggle for the Throne
Rick Steves A readable line of European travel guides Rick Steves’ Postcards from Europe
James B. Stewart Fast-paced narratives of business, politics & crime Disney War
Studs Terkel Oral social history through groups of themed interviews Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times
Paul Theroux Curmudgeonly travel to every corner of the world Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas Anthropology in Africa and the social lives of animals The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture
Evan Thomas Personalities and events from American history Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945
Hunter S. Thompson   Anti-authority gonzo adventures Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
James Thurber One of the great American wits, with illustrations Writing and Drawings
James Tobin Engineering, economics & wartime reporting To Conquer the Air: the Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
Alvin Toffler Forecasting the future for almost forty years Powershift
Eckhart Tolle How to live spiritually in the ‘now’ The Power of Now
Nick Tosches Musicians, underworld figures, & gritty journalism The Nick Tosches Reader
Susan Allen Toth Homely memoirs and personalized travel sketches England for All Seasons
Calvin Trillin Food, family life & travel with a sense of humor The Tummy Trilogy
Lynne Truss Humor about, of all subjects, punctuation & grammar Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Barbara Tuchman One of the all-time great historians A Distant Mirror
Mark Twain His travel tales are his best nonfiction Innocents Abroad; Roughing It
Sarah Vowell American history, politics & the author’s quirks Assassination Vacation
Elijah Wald Adventurous travel in pursuit of legendary journeys Riding with Strangers
David Foster Wallace  Witty essays (don’t skip the footnotes!) Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
Joseph Wambaugh True crime tales, usually set in Southern California Fire Lover: a True Story
Peter D. Ward Evolution and life on this planet (and others) Life as We Do Not Know It: the NASA Search for (and Synthesis of) Alien Life
Jack Weatherford Historian debunks myths of ‘savage’ peoples Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Scott Weidensaul Natural history on the American continent Return to Wild America
Alison Weir Famous royals, particularly the English The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Cornel West Essays about ideals of democracy (and their betrayal) Democracy Matters
E.B. White Classics of satirical humor Writings from the New Yorker: 1927-1976
Elie Wiesel Holocaust memoirs and Jewish faith Night
Terry Tempest Williams The connection of personal life with the natural world Refuge: an Unnatural History of Family and Place
Marianne Williamson Finding serenity & spirituality in everyday life Everyday Grace
Garry Wills Two main subjects: American history and Catholicism Lincoln at Gettysburg
A.N. Wilson Revisionist religious works and English history Paul: the Mind of the Apostle
Derek Wilson European history from the Middle Ages Charlemagne
Edward O. Wilson Sociobiology and the power of natural selection The Diversity of Life
Simon Winchester Historic curiosities, natural disasters, and world travel The Professor and the Madman
Jon Winokur Sarcastic, curmudgeonly humor & quotation collections The Portable Curmudgeon

David Wise

Espionage: the world of the FBI and CIA

Cassidy’s Run: the Secret Spy War over Nerve Gas

Tom Wolfe The world of the 60s and 70s in highly stylized prose The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Gordon S. Wood The history of the American Revolution Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different
Bob Woodward Behind the scenes of American politics The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court
David Yeadon Off-the-beaten-path world travels Seasons on Harris: A Year in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides
Bill Zehme Celebrity biographies, sometimes as a ghostwriter The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin’