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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

    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
  2. 2

    Rising Out of Hatred

    Rising Out of Hatred Book Cover Picture
  3. 3

    Bad Blood

    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
  4. 4


    Becoming Book Cover Picture
  5. 5

    Almost Everything

    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
  6. 6


    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
  7. 7

    Brief Answers to the Big Questions

    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
  8. 8

    The World of Lore: Dreadful Places

    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
  9. 9

    On the Other Side of Freedom

    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
  10. 10

    Presidents of War

    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
  11. 11


    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
  12. 12

    Cook Like a Pro

    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
  13. 13

    The Spy and the Traitor

    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
  14. 14

    Comfort in an Instant

    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
  15. 15

    Skinnytaste One and Done

    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
  16. 16

    American Prison

    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
  17. 17


    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
  18. 18

    The White Darkness

    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
  19. 19

    On Desperate Ground

    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
  20. 20

    Heirs of the Founders

    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
  21. 21

    The Perfect Weapon

    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
  22. 22

    Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love

    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
  23. 23

    The Point of It All

    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
  24. 24

    You’re the Only One I Can Tell

    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
  25. 25

    How to Change Your Mind

    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

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