Paperback Nonfiction

View all New York Times® Best Sellers book lists; This list was last updated on 5/26/2017
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The New York Times® Best Sellers List Paperback Nonfiction is maintained by The New York Times®. The list is updated on Friday, May 26, 2017.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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Best Seller Rank: 1. Weeks on list: 12.
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
"We are rapidly ripening for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves." —Svetlana Alexievich, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.  Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.
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Best Seller Rank: 2. Weeks on list: 42.
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

The New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture starring Jessica Chastain.

A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.

After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these "guests," and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became "The House Under a Crazy Star." Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story―sharing Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award. 8 pages of illustrations
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Best Seller Rank: 3. Weeks on list: 24.
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Best Seller Rank: 4. Weeks on list: 193.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
Best Seller Rank: 5. Weeks on list: 1.
Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America
A celebration of the revolutionary change Amy and David Goodman have witnessed during the two decades of their acclaimed television and radio news program Democracy Now!—and how small individual acts from progressive heroes have produced lasting results.

In 1996 Amy Goodman began hosting a show called Democracy Now! to focus on the issues and movements that are too often ignored by the corporate media. Today it is the largest public media collaboration in the US. This important book looks back over the past twenty years of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world. Goodman takes us along as she goes to where the silence is, bringing out voices from the streets of Ferguson to Staten Island, Wall Street, and South Carolina to East Timor—and other places where people are rising up to demand justice.

Giving voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken, and beaten down by the powerful, Democracy Now! pays tribute to those progressive heroes—the whistleblowers, the organizers, the protestors—who have brought about remarkable, often invisible change over the last couple of decades in seismic ways. This is “an impassioned book aiming to fuel informed participation, outrage, and dissent” (Kirkus Reviews).
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Best Seller Rank: 6. Weeks on list: 1.
The Better Angels of Our Nature
A provocative history of violence—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stuff of Thought and The Blank Slate

Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.

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Best Seller Rank: 7. Weeks on list: 336.
The Devil in the White City

Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

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Best Seller Rank: 8. Weeks on list: 12.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
The #1 national bestseller and New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink

“Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point

Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the world; it might just change the way you live your life. And it could very well inspire you to change your world.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation's most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
 
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn't even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
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Best Seller Rank: 9. Weeks on list: 2.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world

In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth's warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being—giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
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Best Seller Rank: 10. Weeks on list: 3.
The Gene: An Intimate History
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee's own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It's hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.
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