Best nonfiction reads of 2018

Image: Pixabay

Holiday shopping can be stressful and books are good options, but only if you know they’re good! Here are five of my favorite nonfiction reads of 2018. Maybe one of these will be just right for your friends or family.


Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder by Claudia Kalb – Charles Darwin was a worrier, Fyodor Dostoevsky was a compulsive gambler, and Howard Hughes had OCD. Was Andy Warhol a hoarder or simply a collector? Was Albert Einstein autistic or just focused? In this excellent collection of mini biographies, Claudia Kalb looks at twelve famous personalities and explains their known or likely battles with mental illness.


David Bowie – A Life by Dylan Jones – The story of rock legend David Bowie, who hit the scene in the 1960s and for decades delivered music, art, film and stage performances through ever-changing personas. A compilation of interviews and quotes from nearly two hundred people describing Bowie’s career. It is a terrific view into a complicated and private person.


Educated – A Memoir by Tara Westover – a young woman’s fascinating memoir about being raised in isolation by survivalist parents, tolerating her father’s mental illness and a brother’s abuse, and ultimately breaking free. Westover taught herself enough math and grammar to take the SATs and go to college, first at Brigham Young University. She later studied at Cambridge University and earned her PhD at Harvard.


Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann – a true-crime account of a shameful period of American history in which members of the Osage tribe were murdered for the headrights to oil-rich land on their reservation in Oklahoma. David Grann tells this shocking story, including the investigation of the murders led by J. Edgar Hoover’s newly-formed Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – Excellent memoir about being different. Through a rambling, often irreverent and always hilarious “where is this story going?” narration, with plenty of colorful vocabulary, Lawson tells you about her childhood, depression, anxiety and illness, her family, early jobs, marriage, motherhood and how she became a blogger and writer.


What are your favorite nonfiction reads of 2018?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

20 thoughts on “Best nonfiction reads of 2018

    1. Hi Jeff, Yes, I did! I wasn’t a huge Bowie fan (just liked the usual Bowie stuff that every kid did back then), but I really enjoy biographies and thought this was very good. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi Cathy, yes I enjoyed it very much. The things we take for granted, like going to school as a child and attending college if we like, were nearly out of reach for the author. She was able to make them happen and that’s what I found most interesting about her story. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    1. I know, I run a mystery book club at the library where I work and that was our book one month. I had no idea about that period of history. We behaved badly. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are doing well!

      1. Absolutely. I don’t know much about American history in general and this particular part is a complete mystery.

        I’m doing good, just not active like I’d like to be on here but that’s the life of a toddler mom 🙂

  1. What a great list, Barbara. I’d be quite interested (if I had time) in reading the first three, and you’ve reminded me that I did really want to read ‘Educated’.

      1. I’m going to find out it it’s an audiobook. Although it takes ages, there’s more chance of me finishing them than of finishing a Kindle book. I keep adding to the collection. 😦 🙂 I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

      2. Hi Norah, I bet it is out on audio since it’s a hot book right now. I do enjoy listening to audio books, but I have to work it into my day – at least to get it started. Thanks for coming by!

      3. My pleasure, Barbara. 🙂 And you’re right. It is available on audiobook and I’ve just ordered it. It’s next on the list. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the list, Barbara! I just finished a friend’s wonderful book, Blow Me A Kiss, by Jo Vaughn Gross. Now I’m moving onto Nick Sparks’ new book, Every Breath, while finishing Joe Biden’s book, Promise me, Dad. Then Liane Moriarty, Mitch Albom, and Michelle Obama have new books out that will be on my Christmas list for Santa. And now your list sounds good! I need more time in each day to write, blog, and read. 🙂

Tell me what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s