Favorite Nonfiction Reads of 2012

by Kim on December 19, 2012 · 14 comments

This is part two of a series of post highlight my favorite books of the year and the books that got away. On Monday I highlighted my favorite fiction, and this Friday I’ll showcase my favorite memoirs. 

I tried, really, to get this list down to five books… but, you guys, I read a lot of fabulous nonfiction this year. So instead of ignoring some deserving books I decided to highlight 10 of my favorites in 140 characters or less each. The links with each title go to posts with my full reviews, if you want to learn more.

methland homicide game change everybody was so young
future perfect born to run fooling houdini behind the beautiful forevers
best american essays 2011 quiet

Methland by Nick Reding — The story of meth in the United States as seen through the struggle of one small town in Iowa. Perfect example of narrative nonfiction.

Homicide by David Simon — A chronicle of the year David Simon, creator of ‘The Wire,’ spent shadowing detectives of the Baltimore PD. A must for true crime junkies.

Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — A gossipy, inside politics narrative of the 2008 election, from the historic primary to the process to select Palin to the general election.

Everybody Was So Young by Amanda Vaill — I loved reading this portrait of the boozy, artsy, enchanted life Gerald and Sara Murphy led and the artists’ community they cultivated.

Future Perfect by Steven Johnson — We are making slow, incremental progress thanks to the development of peer networks across the public and private sectors. Thinky politics.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall — Extreme runners are… extreme. A secret tribe of Mexican super athletes can teach us about how to run safer, better, and further.

Fooling Houdini by Alex Stone — All my weaknesses: A quirky, first person account of a secret society will a smattering of psychology, true crime, and history. Delightful.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo — In a world of corrupt institutions stacked against the poor, the residents of a Mumbai slum have to turn on each other. Heartbreaking read.

Best American Essays 2011 edited by Edwidge Danticat — Edwidge Danticat and I have the same taste in essays. Therefore, I loved every piece in this collection and will tell everyone to read it.

Quiet by Susan Cain — What does science have to say about introversion/extroversion, and is the world really better off being ruled by extroverted people?

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