Non-Fiction Adventure Challenge

Marble pedestal, old books and text - A Non-fiction Adventure

Update: October 26, 2021

Well, I haven’t done so well with this challenge so far. There will be some changes to the lists as there are books on there now that I really have no interest in reading anymore. But I will also try to get back to this. I didn’t read many “new” books during the pandemic. When life is stressful, I like to reread so there’s no angst added.

Original Post

This challenge isn’t like the others that I’ve made pages for. This challenge, hosted by, Gather Together & Read takes place over anywhere from 5 to 10 years. I’m choosing to do mine over 10 years. The premise of this challenge is to pick 50+ non-fiction books that you’ve really wanted to read and to challenge yourself to finish them in 5-10 years. I have chosen 107 books from various categories of non-fiction that I will be trying to work through in 10 years, which breaks down to between 10 and 11 books per year. Ten to eleven non-fiction books a year will be a challenge for me as I usually read about 3-4 in a year. These are not necessarily books that I own. In fact, most of them I don’t since I only buy books if I know I’m going to read them more than once, but these are the books I’ve discovered over the years that I want to read. You’ll find my list below, which has been separated into categories and each category’s list is in alphabetical order. As I read them, I’ll strike them off with the date next to them and a link to a review if I wrote one.

If you would like to participate in the challenge, please click on the button/link at the bottom of the page to be taken to the main page of the challenge!

Approximately 120 Non fiction Books
10 Years to Read them

December 30, 2017 through December 30, 2027


  1. 99: Stories of the Game – Wayne Gretzky
  2. A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century by Witold Rybczynski
  3. Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow
  4. Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton; Denis Medri (Illustrations)
  5. Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano
  6. Chopin’s Funeral by Benita Eisler
  7. Dinner with Edward: The story of a remarkable friendship – Isabel Vincent
  8. Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes
  9. Hockeytown hero : the Steve Yzerman story : an authorized biography by Lazarus, Shelley.
  10. Made in America by Chelios, Chris.
  11. Made in Detroit: A Memoir by Paul Clemens
  12. My last fight: the true story of a hockey rock star by McCarty, Darren.
  13. My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett (With), Wendy W. Williams(With)
  14. Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel
  15. Neverland: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon
  16. Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen
  17. Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julia Fox
  18. Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson


  1. Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age by James Essinger
  2. Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are? – Frans de Waal
  3. Blood, Iron And Gold: How The Railways Transformed The World by Christian Wolmar
  4. Gorilla : struggle for survival in the Virungas by Nichols, Michael.
  5. Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly
  6. Island on fire : the extraordinary story of a forgotten volcano that changed the world by Witze, Alexandra.
  7. Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being by Brian R. Little
  8. Music of the earth : volcanoes, earthquakes, and other geological wonders by Morton, R. L.
  9. No apparent danger : the true story of a volcano’s deadly power by Bruce, Victoria.
  10. November’s Fury: The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913 by Michael Schumacher
  11. Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit by Andrew Moore
  12. Surviving Galeras by Williams, Stanley, 1952-
  13. Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World by Gillen D’Arcy Wood
  14. The Amber Room: The Fate of the World’s Greatest Lost Treasure by Cathy Scott-Clark, Adrian Levy
  15. The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik – 2018
  16. The intimate ape : orangutans and the secret life of a vanishing species by Thompson, Shawn
  17. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf
  18. The Last Volcano: A Man, a Romance, and the Quest to Understand Nature’s Most Magnificant Fury by John Dvorak
  19. The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 by Brian M. Fagan
  20. The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals—and Other Forgotten Skills by Tristan Gooley
  21. The Man who Made Things out of Trees by Robert Penn
  22. The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto
  23. The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives by Stephen Buchmann
  24. The Telomerase Revolution: What the Latest Science Reveals About the Nature of Aging and the Potential for Dramatic Life Extension by Michael Fossel
  25. The year without summer : 1816 and the volcano that darkened the world and changed history by Klingaman, William K.
  26. Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees in the American Cityscape by Jill Jonnes


  1. $2.00 a day: Living on almost nothing in America – Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer
  2. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
  5. Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City – Matthew Desmond
  6. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and was shot by the Taliban – by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
  7. Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected by Devora Zack
  8. Our revolution: a future to believe in – Bernie Sanders
  9. Part of our lives : a people’s history of the American public library by Wiegand, Wayne A., 1946-
  10. Stories from the polycule : real life in polyamorous families by Sheff, Elisabeth (EDT)
  11. The bad-ass librarians of Timbuktu – Joshua Hammer
  12. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
  13. The Library Book by Rebecca Gray (Foreword); James Brown; Alan Bennett; Michael Brooks; Seth Godin; Caitlin Moran; Lionel Shriver; and Julie Myerson
  14. The Lost Ark of the Covenant: The Remarkable Story of How the Fabled Ark Was Found by Tudor Parfitt
  15. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
  16. The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg
  17. Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling, Joel Holland (Illustrations)
  18. We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer
  19. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – June 2021


  1. Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land That Disappeared by Christopher Robbins
  2. Culloden: Scotland’s last battle and the forging of the British Empire – Trevor Royle
  3. Duel with the devil : the true story of how Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr teamed up to take on America’s first sensational murder mystery by Collins, Paul, 1969-
  4. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, Robert Byrd (Illustrator)
  5. Kazakhstan: Nomadic Routes from Caspian to Altai by Dagmar Schreiber
  6. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
  7. Life and Death in the Andes: On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes, and Revolutionaries by Kim MacQuarrie
  8. Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It by Michael J. Trinklein
  9. One Homeland or Two?: The Nationalization and Transnationalization of Mongolia’s Kazakhs by Alexander C. Diener
  10. Planning the Home Front: Building Bombers and Communities at Willow Run by Sarah Jo Peterson
  11. Real steel : an illustrated history of the world’s greatest trains by Garratt, Colin Dennis.
  12. The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War by A.J. Baime
  13. The Edge of the Empire: A Journey to Britannia: From the Heart of Rome to Hadrian’s Wall by Bronwen Riley
  14. The great railroad revolution : the history of trains in America by Wolmar, Christian.
  15. The Jefferson Highway: Blazing the Way from Winnepeg to New Orleans by Lyell D., Jr. Henry
  16. The Lost World of the Old Ones: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest by David Roberts
  17. The Oral Art And Literature Of The Kazakhs Of Russian Central Asia by Thomas Gustav Winner
  18. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts
  19. War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the duel that stunned the nation – John Sedgwick
  20. Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America by Tony Williams; Stephen Knott
  21. Wonder Women: 25 innovators, inventors, and trailblazers who made history – Sam Maggs (author) & Sophia Foster-Dimino (illus.)

Fine Arts/Languages/Literature

  1. Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen – Mary Norris
  2. Children of the stone : the power of music in a hard land by Tolan, Sandy,
  3. Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro
  4. I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan
  5. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
  6. Library : an unquiet history by Battles, Matthew.
  7. Literary Wonderlands: a journey through the greatest fictional worlds ever created – Laura Miller, editor
  8. The Hero is You: Sharpen your focus, conquer your demons, and become the writer you were born to be – Kendra Levin
  9. The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion – Maria Piscopo
  10. The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman
  11. The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox
  12. Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language by Christopher Stevens


  1. Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices (California Studies in Food and Culture #1) by Andrew Dalby
  2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
  3. Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman
  4. Scarlet women : the scandalous lives of courtesans, concubines, and royal mistresses by Graham, Ian, 1953-
  5. Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society That Shocked Depression-Era Detroit by Tom Stanton
  6. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  7. The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Edward Dolnick
  8. The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey
  9. The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief by Ben Macintyre
  10. Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste by Ole G. Mouritsen, Klavs Styrbæk
  11. Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti
  12. You could look it up: the reference shelf from Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia – Jack Lynch

 Marble pedestal, old books and text - A Non-fiction Adventure