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6 Nonfiction Books That Will Teach You Something New

Throughout my life, something that has always stayed true is my love of books. I never really loved unrealistic fiction like dragons and dystopian plots. But two genres that I have always loved have been thrillers and nonfiction.

Even though I always loved nonfiction books, I had trouble finding them in the young adult section. But once I started emerging into the world of adult novels, I realized there’s a ton of nonfiction topics I really do love and can find a lot of.

Why do I love nonfiction? I love learning. I’m a big advocate for lifelong learning, and within the last couple of years I found subjects that really fit with that. Making nonfiction one of my favorite genres to read.

So, here are 6 nonfiction books that will ignite your love for learning and hopefully teach you something new.

Affiliate links may be included at no cost to you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. To learn more, see here.


Related: 10 Ideas for Lifelong Learning


The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

1. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

Genre: Astronomy, Cosmology

Written by the highly esteemed physicist, Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design answers the ultimate questions to life. “When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves?”

At only 208 pages, The Grand Design offers a digestible yet educational insight into the makings of the universe.

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Your Inner Fish

2. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin

Genre: Biology, Evolution

Your Inner Fish dives into the fundamentals of evolution and human biology.

Shubin takes us on a journey into how humans evolved into what they are today from examining fossils to DNA, and getting a closer look into our 3.5-billion-year history.

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Related: 8 Best Environmental Documentaries and Docuseries on Curiosity Stream



3. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Genre: Evolution, History

I’ve actually already read Sapiens, and I 100% attribute this book to my newfound interest in science and particularly evolution.

This book is big, at 464 pages, and gives a complete look into our history as Homo Sapiens and the other species of humans that walked among us from millions of years ago to now.

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Homo Deus

4. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

Genre: Evolution, History

Written by the author of Sapiens, Homo Deus takes a look into future generations and what is in store for our society. He asks the fundamental questions: “Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers?”

Homo Deus, paired with Sapiens is a great introduction into the world of Evolution and our History (and future) as humans.

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are we smart enough

5. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal

Genre: Evolution, Zoology

We’ve always assumed humans are on top of the intelligence latter. But are we smart enough to grasp the intelligence of other animal species?

This New York Times bestseller explores the question, how smart are animals, really? From octopuses using coconut shells as tools, to elephants classifying humans by language and gender. How much have we been underestimating the complexities of other species intelligence?

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Related: 6 Books to Combat Speciesism


6. She Has Her Mothers Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Hereditary by Carl Zimmer

Genre: Biology, Genetics

Written by a New York Times columnist and writer, Carl Zimmer presents a unique perspective into hereditary and DNA.

Weaving both personal experience and scientific research, this book offers an insight about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.

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Final Notes

Hopefully these nonfiction books spark your love for learning and will teach you something new about the world. Which book on this list seems the most interesting? Let me know in the comments below!

Related: How to Start Reading Nonfiction


  1. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I’ve been meaning to pick up some more non-fiction book, as I need to add to my minuscule collection ASAP! Will definitely take some of these recommendations on board, great post xx

  2. Those are some interesting books!! I am reading Brief History of Time by S. Hawking right now but unfortunately, some parts are hard to understand (I am not good with sciences lol). The one about the animals must be interesting for sure. Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Very interesting list! My husband is obsessed with Carl Sagan–to the point where we quoted him at our wedding! I have watched Cosmos but I haven’t actually read any of his work. It’s on my bucket list! In terms of the body or genetics, I tend to spend more of my time thinking about modern medicine, health, or education/creativity but it definitely is important to know where we came from and how we got to where we are.

    1. I completely agree, Lindsay. I hope to read more into the human body and genetics. I think it’s a great tangent off of evolution.
      I haven’t spent much time reading about medicine or education, but those topics sound so fascinating! And that sounds like an awesome wedding! Thanks for reading. (:

  4. That’s a great list, thank you. I’ve read all of Stephen Hawking BUT for the Grand Design, so I’ll take your suggestion to read it as soon as possible 🙂

    1. That’s so awesome that you’ve read almost all of his work! Stephen Hawking has been one of my favorite scientists for a long time. Thanks for stopping by! (:

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