These eleven non-fiction writers and their books are worth checking out and adding to your library!

  1. Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson’s masterful The Warmth of Other Suns depicts the lives of a handful of African-Americans who were among the millions that migrated from the Jim Crow South to the Northeast, Midwest, and California in search of a better life.
  2. Maya Angelou. My favorite of Angelou’s seven-volume memoir series is All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, recounting the writer-poet’s journey to Africa during the early 1960s and her return to a volatile United States.
  3. Tim O’Brien. The Things They Carried, O’Brien’s poignant account of his experiences in Vietnam and the people he met, is a powerful demonstration of how the smallest details can haunt a reader’s mind.
  4. Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert’s Big Magic eschews the cliché of the starving, tortured artist and teaches us how to successfully integrate creativity into a fulfilling and productive life and career.
  5. Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the late mythology professor’s most famous book, illuminates humankind’s “one great story” across the entire world’s arts, cultures, and religions.
  6. Richard Rohr. In Falling Upward, Rohr inspires readers to evolve from the “first half” of our lives, with its focus on ego and accomplishments, into a “second half” of compassion and fulfillment.
  7. Krista Tippett. In Becoming Wise, Tippett, host of the On Being podcast, writes with gentleness and depth as she tackles complex issues such as war, violence, racism, politics, and religion.
  8. Thich Nhat Hanh. The Miracle of Mindfulness is a helpful introduction to the many books written by this prolific Buddhist monk.
  9. Viktor Frankl. The Holocaust survivor’s Man’s Search for Meaning is an unforgettable testimony to how human beings can endure and grow through even the most horrific experiences.
  10. Joan Didion. Didion’s The White Album, a collection of essays about the events, people, and trends of the 1960s, displays the power of writing with close observation and precision.
  11. Jon-Kabat-Zinn. Meditation is Not What You Think is the first book in a repackaging of some of this wonderful teacher’s previous works, with new prefaces and updated material, and is one of the best volumes you can read on mindfulness.


Who are some of your favorite non-fiction writers? Which of their works do you enjoy the most? Do you enjoy a nice reading balance between non-fiction and fiction?