Our Favorite Nonfiction Books: 2018

A book-ish tree

A book-ish tree

It has been said that “people who read seven or more books per year are more than 122% likelier to be millionaires than those who read three or fewer. Also, those who read inspirational works are up to 14.1 percent happier” (Success).

Some of the most successful men in the world read on a daily basis. For example:

  • Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day

  • Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day

  • Bill Gates reads 50 books a year

This past year, we’ve really taken this to heart and worked on our reading habit. Here are 19 of our favorite nonfiction books we had the pleasure of reading this year.


Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts by Ryan Holiday — If you work in media, content creation, or marketing, check out this book. Holiday examines big hits and breaks down elements of classic, timeless content.

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield — A mere 114 pages, this short powerhouse will inspire you to push on.


Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker — A very refreshing look at the world after the doom and gloom we’re bombarded with in the news. Statistically and technically speaking, we are currently living in the most peaceful, prosperous, most advanced time in all of human history.

Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson — Another look at what is popular, what makes something popular, and the elements involved in popularity.

A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking — A more concise version of A Brief History of Time, this book is packed full of accessible factoids about the nature of the universe.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari — A sweeping, and altogether enjoyable summary of human history.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown — “True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz — Filled with tons of statistics and revealing Google searches, very interesting.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond — Diamond is a force, and Collapse is almost as excellent as Guns, Germs, and Steel. Contains a warning metered with hope.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson — Not very science-y? No problem! Neil lays out the science in a very approachable, easy to understand presentation.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain — A sleeper hit, this one will pull you in and make you think.


Lab Girl by Hope Jahren — Science, the life of trees, and the parallels of one woman’s scientific endeavors.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing — I can’t say enough about this book, and would buy this as a gift for anyone. In fact, I had my whole family read it and they very much enjoyed it. (My review.)

Calypso by David Sedaris — Listen to the audiobook! There is nothing quite like Sedaris reading his own story, highly recommend.

Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer by Lisa McCubbin — Betty Ford was a woman unafraid to speak her mind or the truth, a very warm look at her remarkable life.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik — A wonderful overview of this iconic Supreme Court Justice’s life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama — Warm, intimate, and honest, this book is especially great as an audiobook, read by Michelle herself.

True Crime/History

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson — This was my fourth Larson book, and they are all fastidiously researched and read almost like fiction (in a good way).

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder — Short, to the point, necessary.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi — Creepy, yet fascinating.

Keep Reading

This is the abbreviated version of a longer list of fiction, see the rest of the books here.

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