5 Must-Read Nonfiction Books

College students are super busy people. We are always rushing to classes, club meetings, and study groups. With all of the things we have going on, we can sometimes forget what we are at college to do, and that is learn. Dealing with homework and general life stress can get in the way of that goal, so it is nice to have a nonfiction book to bring back that feeling of learning something new every day. Here are five nonfiction books that will definitely teach you about some topics you may not otherwise have learned about!


1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Photo Credit: Amazon

The amazing former First Lady of the United States is someone we can all look up to. In her memoir, we get to follow her on her path to becoming Michelle Obama. From stories about her relationship with former President Obama to raising two daughters in the White House, there is never a dull moment in this well-written book. She tells the reader how she found her voice and purpose while detailing the events of her life.


2. Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (and How to Reverse It) by Robert D. Lupton

Photo Credit: Walmart 

In this book, the founder of a Christian ministry group explains the dangers of short term mission trips and “toxic charity.” It was a particularly eye-opening one for me, as I have gone on a short term Christian mission trip. He explains that in many cases, short term mission trips do more harm than good, and actually halt the development of a community. He also provides insight into the way we, as a society, should be looking at mission trips and aid for developing communities.


3. How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood by Peter Moskowitz

The topic of gentrification is one of the most daunting but prevalent topics of the current age. If you are interested in learning more and understanding this often misunderstood term, pick up journalist Peter Moskowitz’s book on the topic. He splits the book into four parts and focuses on four different cities: New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. The anecdotal approach makes the difficult topic palatable for the reader.


4. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

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This book will have you thinking for months after you read it. I read it over a year ago, and I still find myself pondering it today. Malcolm Gladwell, a sociologist, journalist, author, and public speaker, writes about the many factors that combine to create success. Each chapter focuses on a different anecdote about success, with extensive data evidence, ranging from why professional hockey players are mostly born at the beginning of the year to how many hours you need to master a skill.


5. Night by Elie Wiesel

Photo Credit: Penguin Books Australia 

This incredible memoir is the retelling of a man’s experience in Nazi concentration camps as a child during the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel and his father get separated from the rest of their family and had to struggle to survive the ordeal. The novel focuses not only on the actual events that occurred but also on the philosophical questions involved with the Holocaust and its legacy.


Whether you’re interested in memoirs of captivating people, the problems facing our world, or strange sociological data, these nonfiction books are sure to teach you a thing or two. Each of these page-turners leaves you with some unique insight and a greater understanding of how you wish to go through life.


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