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My Top 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2023

I know many readers are fiction all the way, but I think it’s important to have some balance in your reading materials. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good mystery or romcom, but this year I have actively tried to read more nonfiction, especially while traveling. These are my favorite nonfiction books of 2023 that I read. Not all are current, but I hope at least a few of them find their way onto your reading list!

top 10 favorite nonfiction reads of 2023 sign with mint green background

Looking for fiction, check out my top 10 best fiction books of 2023!  

Spending time in so many Muslim countries this year had me more curious than ever about the cultural aspects of Islam. A good friend recommended this book, and even if you are not a Christian, I would encourage a read. It’s a powerful testimony of Nabeel Qureshi’s search to know and be known by Allah.

Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He explores the question: what makes high-achievers different? I loved all the different anecdotes that brought to life the countless hours of research and data. Fascinating read!

Afred Lansing’s in-depth account of Captain Shackleton’s 1914 voyage is one of the best adventures of the last century and I can’t believe it’s a true story. Planning to cross the last uncharted continent on foot, Shackleton and his 27-member crew battled packed ice, sick dogs, lack of clean water and a harrowing journey through the Drake Passage. I can only imagine what a movie this tale would make!

Love, loss, and kimchi.

From the indie rock star of Japanese Breakfast fame, Crying in H Mart is a powerful memoir by Michelle Zauner about growing up Korean American, losing her mom and forging her own identity.


Looking for a behind-the-scenes book? J.B. West provides such a fascinating look at the Presidential families from the Roosevelts to the Nixons. It’s hard to believe one First Lady stayed in bed until noon, while another President swam nude in the pool! His account is a rich account of the American history that took place just behind the Palladian doors of the North Portico.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. Rebecca Skloot’s clear passion for Henrietta’s journey helps raise awareness to the bioethical issues surrounding tissue donation.

Now a major motion picture directed by George Clooney, Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat tells the epic quest of 9 young men in search of Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. If you liked Unbroken, you will love this unforgettable portrait of the Depression era with working-class boys fighting for a position in the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team.

Lori Gottlieb offers a deeply personal and yet universal look at life’s struggle; she makes you laugh and cry through it all. A therapist and her therapist. Even though you aren’t sitting in her office, this book touches you with startling humor and wisdom. ABC supposedly has a TV series in the works as well. I would love to see who they cast as the self-absorbed Hollywood producer, John!

1 in 25 Americans has had a near-death experience. Words cannot describe what feelings this book brings to life – suffice to say it’s simply amazing and makes me long to be on the other side. But in the meantime, I hope John Burke’s book brings believers even greater confidence and hope those still searching will take comfort in the universality of NDEs.

10. Bad Blood 

John Carreyrou was the original journalist who broke the true story of the web of lies at this Silicon Valley startup. Bad Blood is the unbelievable story of the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. Claiming to change the face of medicine with only a drop of blood, by 2017 the company was bankrupt, and the secrets exposed. The high-profile lawsuits and criminal cases that followed were covered in Carreyrou’s follow-up podcast.

I'm always looking for a great nonfiction read. Comment below with your own favorites!

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Dec 30, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I loved Bad Blood and his podcast!

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