What are the best non-fiction books that read like fiction?

asked by Anonymous
289 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 47

    #1Eat, Pray, Love

    Eat, Pray, Love

    Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert is a memoir-novel originally published in 2006. This book has a film adaptaion released in 2010 under Columbia Pictures.


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    Patrick Walker
    Written on May 24, 2018
    "After reading Big Magic I am completely hooked on Elizabeth Gilbert. I love her voice! Having never read the book that made her famous I thought it was time. I can see why so many people have connected with it. I felt as if she was speaking directly to me, addressing my struggles and fears. It made me want to hop on a plane and run away to exotic locations for some serious self-reflection. But it also reminded me that that type of thing is not necessarily for everyone and that’s ok. Everyone’s path is different. All I need to do is walk mine."
  2. 42

    #2Into the Wild

    Into the Wild

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a non-fiction book about a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless who left everything he had to start a new life. Months after, his body was found and his unforgettable death will be uncovered. This book was printed in 14 languages.


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    Sharon Elliott
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "These are the stories that make me love non-fiction! This is one of the non-fiction pieces that is a pleasure read and you do not want to put down. I wanted to know more about Christopher, the more I read. Truly a great novel! "
  3. 35

    #3Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea is a book by Barbara Demick which follows the lives of six North Koreans over a span of fifteen years and exposes the closed world of North Korea. It was published in 2009 by Spiegel & Grau. 


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    Eric Santos
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "An interesting read for those curious about the hermit kingdom. Many of the accounts read like nothing else. It is hard to believe such a place exists."
  1. 32

    #4The Glass Castle

    The Glass Castle
    The Glass Castle is Jeanette Walls' best-selling memoir about her poverty-stricken family, which is a balanced story of despair, happiness, love, and loyalty. This novel spent seven years in NYT's bestsellers list and was adapted into a major motion picture.

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    Sharon Moreno
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "One of the problems that I have always had with non-fiction books is that they are pretty bland and boring. One of the best non-fiction books that I have read is most likely The Glass Castle. One of the great things about this book is that it reads like fiction."
  2. 29

    #5A Walk in the Woods

    A Walk in the Woods

    A Walk in the Woods is an autobiographical novel by Bill Bryson, who wanted to rediscover his country upon his return from Britain. With his friend from college Stephen Katz, the two men hike the 2,100-mile long Appalachian Trail.


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    Jacob Gonzalez
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "A walk in the woods is a fantastic autobiography from Bill Bryson that feels like a fiction while reading it. Stephen Katz along with Bill hiked the Appalachian trail and this book is their story."
  3. 25

    #6Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival

    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival
    'Unbroken' is the true and incredible story of Louis Zamperini, a lieutenant that survives a plane crash during the Pacific War in 1943. This is one of the most incredible odysseys of the 20th century and the inspiration for a motion picture, directed by Angelina Jolie.

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    Shreya Chatterjee
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "Unbroken is a great book, it's actually non-fiction, but it reads like fiction. Following Zamperini through all his ups and downs really keeps you on the edge of your seat."
  4. 22

    #7In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is the story of a murder, and the investigation that leads to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers. This book transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

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    George Hall
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "In Cold Blood is Truman Capote's true crime masterpiece about the brutal murder of a family that takes place in Finney County, Kansas, in 1959. The writing is so intensely good that I often mistakenly thought I was reading a book of fiction."
  5. 18

    #8The 231 Club

    The 231 Club
    The 231 Club is a true story of the CIA recruiting a therapist to become their courier and spy. The title comes from the "The 231 Club," one of the extensions of the CIA's black ops division whose weapon of choice uses the 231 gunpowder.

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    Paul Gomez
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "The first time I read this, I couldn't believe it was a true story, it was an absolutely extraordinary story! As a big fan of the CIA and it's history, I loved this retelling of such a unique story. "
  6. 16

    #9Detour from Normal

    Detour from Normal

    Detour from Normal is a memoir written by Ken Dickson wherein he chronicles how he lands in a high-security psychiatric war after an improper treatment following his life-saving surgery. 


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    Ethan Fernandez
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "I got the book Detour from Normal on my kindle sometime last year. I just recently picked it up and started reading it, and what a great book it is! It's non-fiction about a person that winds up in a high-security psychiatric ward and it very much reads like a novel. "
  7. 13

    #10Shadow Divers

    Shadow Divers

    Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II was written by Robert Kurson. With over 300 pages, this book was published in 2004 by Random House.


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    Ridhi Sen
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "Shadow Divers is a book full of action and promise. There is never a dull moment, and it's a fairly cheap book. Must read!"


Best What are the best non-fiction books that read like fiction
1Eat, Pray, LoveBooks 47 Paid
2Into the WildBooks 42 Paid
3Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North KoreaBooks 35 Paid
4The Glass CastleBooks 32 Paid
5A Walk in the WoodsBooks 29 Paid
6Unbroken: A World War II Story of SurvivalBooks 25 Paid
7In Cold BloodBooks 22 Paid
8The 231 ClubBooks 18 Paid
9Detour from NormalBooks 16 Paid
10Shadow DiversBooks 13 Paid

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