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books The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012  

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List Rules Non-fiction books released between January and December of 2012.

The best non-fiction books of 2012 include some of the greatest works of the year. Many of the non-fiction books listed here were best sellers, not surprisingly. A few might not be as well known, but they wound up landing on many "best of" year-end books lists. If you've read any (or all) of these books listed here, please vote for the ones you liked the most, and vote down any non-fiction reads you just didn't like in 2012. Also, if a favorite isn't listed, feel free to add it.

The most notable works of non-fiction in 2012 covered a variety of different subjects. From the political to the historical, each non-fiction book offers a reader a unique perspective. As always, memoirs are popular non-fiction works year after year. 2012's 'Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail' by Cheryl Strayed is an inspiring and uplifting true story of the author's journey (mental and physical) back from despair.

Other popular non-fiction books in 2012 included Susan Cain's 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking,' (a well-researched look at why introverts are successful and thriving), 'Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity' by Katherine Boo (the National Book Award winner in 2012), and 'Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956' by Anne Applebaum (an amazing study on the origins of the cold war).

Which of these great works of non-fiction deserve to be called the best of 2012? That's entirely up to you, so don't forget to vote. Also, if you're a fiction fan, check out this list of the best novels of 2012, too!

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No Easy Day is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
No Easy Day Mark Owen

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die The Best Biographical Novels Ever Written

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Wild: From Lost to Found on th... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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The End of Your Life Book Club is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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House of Stone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
House of Stone Anthony Shadid

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Iron Curtain: The Crushing of ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Detroit City is the Place to B... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Drift: The Unmooring of Americ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Why Nations Fail is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
Why Nations Fail James A. Robinson, Daron Acemo─člu

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The Power of Habit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
The Power of Habit Charles Duhigg

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Antifragile is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
Antifragile Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Double Cross: The True Story o... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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The Distance Between Us: A Mem... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

20 Books to Read in Your 20s Last Words Written By Famous People In Their Suicide Notes

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Fearless: The Undaunted Courag... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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The Passage of Power: The Year... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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The Signal and the Noise: Why ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of P... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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All We Know: Three Lives is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Lifespan of a Fact is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
Lifespan of a Fact John D'Agata and Jim Fingal

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Embers of War is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
Embers of War Fredrik Logevall

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The Passage Phillip M Vitti is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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The Woman Who Wasn't There: Th... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

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Killing Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012
Killing Kennedy Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard