The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012 Books
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The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

List Criteria: 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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  1. 1
    Up 19
    Down 5

    No Easy Day

    Mark Owen More
  2. 2
    Up 15
    Down 3

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    Susan Cain More
  3. 3
    Up 15
    Down 4
    Cheryl Strayed More
  4. 4
    Up 13
    Down 3

    The End of Your Life Book Club

    Will Schwalbe More
  5. 5
    Up 16
    Down 7

    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill

    William Manchester More
  6. 6
    Up 10
    Down 2
    Anthony Shadid More
  7. 7
    Up 11
    Down 3

    Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956

    Anne Applebaum More
  8. 8
    Up 9
    Down 2

    Detroit City is the Place to Be

    Mark Binelli More
  9. 9
    Up 12
    Down 6

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers

    Katherine Boo More
  10. 10
    Up 8
    Down 3

    Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    Rachel Maddow More
  11. 11
    Up 8
    Down 4

    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    James A. Robinson, Daron Acemoğlu More
  12. 12
    Up 4
    Down 1


    Nassim Nicholas Taleb More
  13. 13
    Up 5
    Down 2

    The Power of Habit

    Charles Duhigg More
  14. 14
    Up 3
    Down 1

    The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. 4

    Robert A. Caro More
  15. 15
    Up 3
    Down 1

    Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

    Eric Blehm More
  16. 16
    Up 4
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    The Distance Between Us: A Memoir

    Reyna Grande More
  17. 17
    Up 6
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    The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail-But Some Don't

    Nate Silver More
  18. 18
    Up 6
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    Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    Jon Meacham More
  19. 19
    Up 3
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    Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

    Ben Macintyre More
  20. 20
    Up 2
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    All We Know: Three Lives

    Lisa Cohen More
  21. 21
    Up 3
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    Lifespan of a Fact

    John D'Agata and Jim Fingal More
  22. 22
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    Embers of War

    Fredrik Logevall More
  23. 23
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    The Woman Who Wasn't There: The True Story of an Incredible Deception

    Robin Gaby Fisher More
  24. 24
    Up 0
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    new! The Passage Phillip M Vitti

    added by: philthepassage
  25. 25
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    Killing Kennedy

    Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard More
  26. 26 +

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