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The 25 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018

This holiday, give 2018’s top nonfiction books to the person in your life who never stops learning! Keep them informed and interested with current events, inspirational reads, and eye-opening memoirs.

We’ve got the best cookbooks, best political books, best business books, and best self-help books, from authors like Michelle Obama, Stephen Hawking, Ina Garten, David Grann, & more.

Find more gift ideas for book lovers with our holiday guide!

  1. 1
    Directorate S Book Cover Picture
    Directorate S Book Cover Picture

    Directorate S

    by Steve Coll

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ghost Wars, this epic and enthralling story follows America’s intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.
    Directorate S Book Cover Picture
    Directorate S Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2
    Rising Out of Hatred Book Cover Picture
    Rising Out of Hatred Book Cover Picture

    Rising Out of Hatred

    by Eli Saslow

    Rising Out of Hatred Book Cover Picture
    Rising Out of Hatred Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3
    Bad Blood Book Cover Picture
    Bad Blood Book Cover Picture

    Bad Blood

    by John Carreyrou

    The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
    Bad Blood Book Cover Picture
    Bad Blood Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4
    Becoming Book Cover Picture
    Becoming Book Cover Picture

    Becoming

    by Michelle Obama

    Becoming Book Cover Picture
    Becoming Book Cover Picture

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  5. 5
    Almost Everything Book Cover Picture
    Almost Everything Book Cover Picture

    Almost Everything

    by Anne Lamott

    Anne Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.
    Almost Everything Book Cover Picture
    Almost Everything Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6
    Enchantments Book Cover Picture
    Enchantments Book Cover Picture

    Enchantments

    by Mya Spalter

    Mya Spalter has spent years among candles, herbs, cats, and spells at New York City’s oldest occult shop, Enchantments. This beautifully illustrated book is a guide to its secrets and stories. Mya introduces the reader to mystical concepts that can be used to build spells and rituals.
    Enchantments Book Cover Picture
    Enchantments Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7
    Brief Answers to the Big Questions Book Cover Picture
    Brief Answers to the Big Questions Book Cover Picture

    Brief Answers to the Big Questions

    by Stephen Hawking

    The world-famous cosmologist and #1 bestselling author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind. Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.
    Brief Answers to the Big Questions Book Cover Picture
    Brief Answers to the Big Questions Book Cover Picture

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  8. 8
    The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Book Cover Picture
    The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Book Cover Picture

    The World of Lore: Dreadful Places

    by Aaron Mahnke

    Featuring stories from the podcast Lore, Aaron Mahnke recounts captivating stories of the places where human evil has left a nefarious mark. Filled with evocative illustrations, this eerie tour of lurid landmarks and doomed destinations takes readers to places they never thought they’d visit in their wildest, scariest dreams.
    The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Book Cover Picture
    The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Book Cover Picture

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  9. 9
    On the Other Side of Freedom Book Cover Picture
    On the Other Side of Freedom Book Cover Picture

    On the Other Side of Freedom

    by DeRay Mckesson

    Internationally recognized civil rights activist and organizer and host of the podcast Pod Save the People DeRay Mckesson brings a meditation on resistance, justice, and freedom, and an intimate portrait of a movement from the front lines.
    On the Other Side of Freedom Book Cover Picture
    On the Other Side of Freedom Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    Presidents of War Book Cover Picture
    Presidents of War Book Cover Picture

    Presidents of War

    by Michael Beschloss

    Presidents of War is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and mobilized their country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President.
    Presidents of War Book Cover Picture
    Presidents of War Book Cover Picture

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  11. 11
    Crashed Book Cover Picture
    Crashed Book Cover Picture

    Crashed

    by Adam Tooze

    From prizewinning economic historian Adam Tooze comes an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today.
    Crashed Book Cover Picture
    Crashed Book Cover Picture

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  12. 12
    Cook Like a Pro Book Cover Picture
    Cook Like a Pro Book Cover Picture

    Cook Like a Pro

    by Ina Garten

    In her cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, Ina Garten shares a brand-new collection of recipes, tips, and techniques, so readers can cook with confidence no matter how much experience they have in the kitchen.
    Cook Like a Pro Book Cover Picture
    Cook Like a Pro Book Cover Picture

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  13. 13
    The Spy and the Traitor Book Cover Picture
    The Spy and the Traitor Book Cover Picture

    The Spy and the Traitor

    by Ben Macintyre

    Ben Macintyre returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.
    The Spy and the Traitor Book Cover Picture
    The Spy and the Traitor Book Cover Picture

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  14. 14
    Comfort in an Instant Book Cover Picture
    Comfort in an Instant Book Cover Picture

    Comfort in an Instant

    by Melissa Clark

    With 75 all-new recipes, Melissa Clark brings her easy sophistication to comfort food classics for any electric pressure cooker, multicooker, or Instant Pot.
    Comfort in an Instant Book Cover Picture
    Comfort in an Instant Book Cover Picture

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  15. 15
    Skinnytaste One and Done Book Cover Picture
    Skinnytaste One and Done Book Cover Picture

    Skinnytaste One and Done

    by Gina Homolka and Heather K. Jones

    Skinnytaste One and Done is the perfect resource for busy home cooks looking for easy, good-for-you dinnertime solutions. Bestselling author Gina Homolka incorporates her healthy, flavor-forward recipes with everyone’s favorite way to cook–in one vessel, whether a sheet pan or multi-cooker, and everything in-between.
    Skinnytaste One and Done Book Cover Picture
    Skinnytaste One and Done Book Cover Picture

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  16. 16
    American Prison Book Cover Picture
    American Prison Book Cover Picture

    American Prison

    by Shane Bauer

    In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he now reveals a blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it.
    American Prison Book Cover Picture
    American Prison Book Cover Picture

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  17. 17
    Educated Book Cover Picture
    Educated Book Cover Picture

    Educated

    by Tara Westover

    Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Educated is an unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
    Educated Book Cover Picture
    Educated Book Cover Picture

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  18. 18
    The White Darkness Book Cover Picture
    The White Darkness Book Cover Picture

    The White Darkness

    by David Grann

    By the bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon comes a powerful true story of adventure and obsession in the Antarctic, lavishly illustrated with color photographs.
    The White Darkness Book Cover Picture
    The White Darkness Book Cover Picture

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  19. 19
    On Desperate Ground Book Cover Picture
    On Desperate Ground Book Cover Picture

    On Desperate Ground

    by Hampton Sides

    Bestselling author Hampton Sides chronicles the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War.
    On Desperate Ground Book Cover Picture
    On Desperate Ground Book Cover Picture

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  20. 20
    Heirs of the Founders Book Cover Picture
    Heirs of the Founders Book Cover Picture

    Heirs of the Founders

    by H. W. Brands

    From bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how America’s second generation of political giants, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun, battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the shape of our democracy.
    Heirs of the Founders Book Cover Picture
    Heirs of the Founders Book Cover Picture

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  21. 21
    The Perfect Weapon Book Cover Picture
    The Perfect Weapon Book Cover Picture

    The Perfect Weapon

    by David E. Sanger

    The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes, cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.
    The Perfect Weapon Book Cover Picture
    The Perfect Weapon Book Cover Picture

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  22. 22
    Danielle Walker's Eat What You Love Book Cover Picture
    Danielle Walker's Eat What You Love Book Cover Picture

    Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love

    by Danielle Walker

    From the bestselling author of the Against All Grain series comes 125 recipes for gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo comfort food, from nourishing breakfasts and packable lunches to quick and easy, one-pot, and make-ahead meals.
    Danielle Walker's Eat What You Love Book Cover Picture
    Danielle Walker's Eat What You Love Book Cover Picture

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  23. 23
    The Point of It All Book Cover Picture
    The Point of It All Book Cover Picture

    The Point of It All

    by Charles Krauthammer

    Created and compiled by Charles Krauthammer before his death, The Point of It All is an intimate collection of the influential columnist’s most important works.
    The Point of It All Book Cover Picture
    The Point of It All Book Cover Picture

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  24. 24
    You're the Only One I Can Tell Book Cover Picture
    You're the Only One I Can Tell Book Cover Picture

    You’re the Only One I Can Tell

    by Deborah Tannen

    Deborah Tannen deconstructs the ways women friends talk and how those ways can bring friends closer or pull them apart. Drawing on interviews with eighty women of diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from nine to ninety-seven, You’re the Only One I Can Tell gets to the heart of women’s friendships.
    You're the Only One I Can Tell Book Cover Picture
    You're the Only One I Can Tell Book Cover Picture

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  25. 25
    How to Change Your Mind Book Cover Picture
    How to Change Your Mind Book Cover Picture

    How to Change Your Mind

    by Michael Pollan

    Bestselling author Michael Pollan investigates the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs, and shares the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences.
    How to Change Your Mind Book Cover Picture
    How to Change Your Mind Book Cover Picture

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