I've already selected the best fiction books I read in 2013, but I also wanted to select several non-fiction titles that stood out this year. Non-fiction doesn't get nearly as much love as it should, but hopefully there will be some readers out there willingly to spend some time with the below books.
The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg
When I wrote my review for The Prince of Frogtown I didn't have a single bad thing to say about the book, and I still don't. The Prince of Frogtown is non-fiction, a combination of biography and autobiography, but it is every bit as artistic and profound as the best fictional narrative. Rick Bragg is truly one of the finest authors I have ever read and The Prince of Frogtown is a masterpiece that no reader should miss. (It would be a good idea, of course, to read the two books that came before it).
The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant
Works of non-fiction, especially something that sounds as ambitious as The Lessons of History, can require a great deal of time and attention that many are not willing to invest. Lessons of History, however, is very, very short, and in its brevity it provides something different from other momentous works of fiction which have great value but lack any readers. Will and Ariel Durant write in an approachable way and make poignant observations about human history that are worth reading and pondering regardless of whether or not you agree with them.
Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Birth of a New Nation by David A. Price
The best part about Love and Hate in Jamestown is that I found it completely by accident. Having a sincere fascination with American history, learning about the Jamestown period was a great idea and reading Love and Hate in Jamestown was a great way to do it. David A. Price wrote a truly interesting and perfectly readable account of what took place and who was involved. After reading Price's book, it wasn't hard to see how the Jamestown events and the personalities involved shaped the eventual political and societal future of the American continent.
Other Topics of Interest:
Best Books of 2013: Fiction
Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2011