Top Ten Nonfiction Books I Want to Read in 2021

For Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, the theme is “resolutions/hopes for 2021.” Here are some of the books I want to read in 2021 – with a focus on nonfiction, since it’s one of my resolves to read more of it.

Totalitarian and oppressive regimes — These are threatening and scary, and therefore I think I need to know more about them. The following have been lingering on my list for a while, so I hope I get to them in 2021.

Brain development and learning – On the more positive side, I am fascinated by all we are now learning about how the brain works. Here are a just a few of the books that I’ve been eyeing and hope to get to this year.

Medical topics – I also think these are fascinating and so important to know about. I find that one has to educate oneself about health rather than relying on the medical system. There are caring and knowledgeable people to be found in it, but I encounter most of those through books.

Have you read any of these? Do you have any others to recommend on these topics? What are your own reading resolutions and goals for 2021?

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33 thoughts on “Top Ten Nonfiction Books I Want to Read in 2021

  1. This is a great goal! I always read a few non-fiction titles at the beginning of the year to set me on the right path. I’m currently reading “Meditation for Fidgety Sceptics” by Dan Harris in hopes that I can master the habit.

    1. I used to pretty much only read fiction, but getting involved in Nonfiction November changed all that. i would recommend it except beware that your TBR will explode. 🙂

  2. I have read ‘Dear Life’ and found it incredibly thought-provoking. I’ve not read any of the others, although a couple of oppressive regime books appeal. I read a fair bit of non-fiction, mainly history and biography but I don’t set myself a specific non-fiction goal.

    1. I have to laugh at “a couple of oppressive regime books appeal.” The regimes do not appeal at all, of course, but let’s hope that by learning about them we can maybe do something about them.

      Glad to know you also recommend Dear Life. I’ve seen it on a lot of people’s lists.

  3. I don’t read much nonfiction, but if I did, these are topics I would read about too! For medical topics, I would like to read The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness. Did you ever read Brain on Fire? That was very good on audio.
    I didn’t make any public blogging or reading resolutions, but I have been developing a daily writing habit, which I’m proud of, but that then makes it hard to fit blogging and reading time in in the mornings. I’m trying to complete the draft of an actual novel that I started in November for NaNoWriMo. Good luck with your reading resolutions!

    1. I have not read Brain on Fire but I considered putting it on the list too. There are so many good books, I wish I had three heads! I’m excited to hear you are working on a draft of a novel. Keep us posted on how that goes.

  4. I’m reading a lot more NF these days too. Gut was great by the way and led me to the books about nutrition and microbiome by Prof Tim Spector which are superb. The Rachel Clark book Dear Life is on my TBR pile too.

    1. I think the microbiome is the next frontier we really need to discover. Far more important than traveling to Mars in my opinion! I’m always glad to have recommendations of good books on that topic.

  5. Speaking of totalitarianism I’m intending to get back to It Can’t Happen Here having pressed the pause button when the enormity of POTUS 45’s perfidy was increasing day in day in 2017: many of its opening chapters felt like non-fiction to me at the time. There’s a glimmer of hope now, but it’s not over till it’s over, is it? I hadn’t planned on specific titles but I have a number of books on, er, books and libraries, some folklore studies and a few studies of writers like Lewis and Tolkien and their works, plus works on medieval literature and history, and essays by the likes of Moorcock, all of which I’d like to read soon or at least during the coming year. And I have an essay to write for a March event you’re organising…

    1. There is hope but also so much evil coming out, it’s pretty stunning. And the evil is fighting to prevail. However, it’s my opinion that it must come out in order to be dealt with, whatever the risk that involves. I do wonder what Sinclair Lewis’s take on all this was. Hope we make it to next month to find out.

  6. I’ve had a harder time reading nonfiction this past year with reality being so scary. My nonfiction has consisted mostly of just memoirs. But I do enjoy nonfiction that educates me! Happy reading in 2021!

    1. I know the feeling. I can only take in the scary topics a little at a time. But when I do, I notice that knowledge strengthens me.

  7. These all look interesting! I especially like the look of the China one. I’m always interested in reading about Asian cultures, and the degree to which a totalitarian gov’t maintains control over such a sprawling country is fascinating (and scary).

    1. Seems it’s gone to a new level now. We need to be informed so we can resist such domination. It’s getting closer by the day.

  8. I haven’t read any of these, but this sounds like a good plan.
    In nonfiction, I really want to read The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson, coming out in March.
    And I just finished The Romanov Sisters, by the amazing Helen Rappaport

    1. Human gene editing sounds like a nightmare to me, shouldn’t we try to get a handle on the existing world before messing around with it? However, I do think it’s always good to be informed about these developments.

  9. I have not read any of these, but they all sound like fascinating areas to dig in to. One of the books that has been on my TBR the longest is a book about Russia. For such a significant player on the global stage, I feel like I should really know more about its history…

  10. The Brain That Changes Itself is a strange one – there’s a lot of really fascinating, seemingly-legit stuff… but it takes this really weird puritanical turn at one point, and by the end some of it just doesn’t quite add up? I think it’d be good to read in conjunction with the others, for a balanced view. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it!

    1. We Have Been Harmonized sounds like the planet Camazotz from A Wrinkle in Time has come to pass in real life. Scary but also fascinating.

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