The 50 Best Books of Literary Journalism

This is one of the 305 lists we use to generate our main The Greatest Books list.

  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

    This book is a gripping narrative that provides an in-depth look into the lives of residents in a Mumbai slum, focusing on their struggles and aspirations. The author paints a vivid picture of the harsh realities of poverty, corruption, and inequality, while also highlighting the resilience and hope of the inhabitants. The narrative is a powerful exploration of the complexities of modern India, revealing the stark contrast between the country's booming economy and the grim living conditions of its underprivileged citizens.

    The 2955th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

    "The Warmth of Other Suns" is a powerful and deeply moving narrative that chronicles the Great Migration, a significant event in American history that saw millions of African Americans leave the South in search of better opportunities and freedom from racial oppression. Through the compelling stories of three individuals, the book explores the challenges, triumphs, and sacrifices made by these courageous migrants as they embarked on a journey to find a new life in the North and West, ultimately reshaping the social and cultural landscape of America.

    The 1435th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann

    The book investigates a series of murders in the 1920s targeting the Osage Nation, whose members became immensely wealthy after oil was discovered beneath their land in Oklahoma. As the death toll climbed, the newly formed FBI took up the case and uncovered a chilling conspiracy. The narrative reveals the depths of corruption and the racial injustices that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity, shedding light on a largely forgotten chapter in American history where greed and prejudice led to the systemic exploitation and killing of Osage people.

    The 7787th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

    The book is an intimate exploration of urban life in the Bronx, focusing on the struggles of two women, their families, and their community. The narrative delves into the complexities of love, drugs, teenage pregnancy, and poverty, offering a raw and unflinching portrayal of the American underclass. It reveals the cycles of disadvantage and the impact of societal neglect on marginalized communities.

    The 4898th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Passage Of Power: The Years Of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro

    "The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson" by Robert Caro is the fourth volume in his acclaimed biography of the 36th President of the United States. This book covers the years from 1958 to 1964, including Johnson's ascent to the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Caro explores Johnson's struggles to pass civil rights legislation, his relationship with Kennedy's family, and his efforts to establish his own presidential legacy. The book also delves into Johnson's personal life, including his marriage to Lady Bird Johnson and his health issues. Overall, "The Passage of Power" provides a comprehensive and insightful look into one of the most complex and consequential figures in American political history.

    The 5475th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The book is a profound work that explores the concept of race in America through the lens of the author's personal experiences. It is written as a letter to the author's teenage son, offering him a stark portrayal of his place in a society that is marked by racial injustice. The narrative provides a deeply personal analysis of American history and its lasting impact on the African American community, with the author sharing his experiences of fear, violence, and struggle. It is an exploration of the physical and psychological impacts of being black in the United States, and a call for a deeper understanding of the nation's racial history.

    The 2207th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Going Clear by Lawrence Wright

    This book is a comprehensive exploration of Scientology, from its inception by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to its status as a controversial and secretive religion. Through extensive research and interviews with current and former members, the narrative delves into the organization's practices, beliefs, and the alleged abuses within its ranks. It also examines the church's aggressive tactics against critics and the media, as well as its influence in Hollywood. The work is a revealing look at the inner workings of a faith that has captivated and perplexed millions worldwide.

    The 6684th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère

    "The Adversary" is a gripping non-fiction narrative that delves into the chilling true story of Jean-Claude Romand, a man who deceived his family and friends for nearly two decades by pretending to be a successful medical professional. The deception culminates in a tragic and violent conclusion when Romand's lies begin to unravel, leading him to commit an unimaginable crime. The book explores the psychological depth of a pathological liar whose life is built on a complex web of fabrications, and it raises profound questions about truth and identity.

    The 8555th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

    This book is a gripping exploration of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, focusing on the disappearance of Jean McConville, a mother of ten who was abducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1972. The narrative weaves together the stories of several key figures in the IRA, including Dolours Price, an IRA member who became disillusioned with the organization, and Brendan Hughes, a former IRA commander. The book delves deep into the political and personal complexities of the conflict, revealing the long-lasting trauma and moral ambiguities that continue to haunt those involved.

    The 4573rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Ghettoside by Jill Leovy

    This book is a gripping exploration of homicide in America, focusing on the disproportionately high rates of murder among African American men in the country's inner cities. Through a detailed case study in South Los Angeles, the narrative delves into the lives of those affected by these crimes, including the dedicated detectives working tirelessly to solve them. The author presents a compelling argument that the lack of effective law enforcement and the criminal justice system's failure to address these homicides are at the heart of the issue, leading to a cycle of violence that devastates communities. This work is both a poignant account of individual stories and a powerful call to action for systemic change.

    The 9667th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

    "Hidden Valley Road" by Robert Kolker is a non-fiction book that tells the story of the Galvin family, who had 12 children, six of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The book delves into the family's struggles with mental illness, the medical community's understanding of schizophrenia at the time, and the impact the family's situation had on each member. It also explores the history of schizophrenia research and treatments, as well as the Galvin family's contribution to advancing our understanding of the disease.

    The 8106th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Tiger by John Vaillant

    "The Tiger" is a non-fiction book that delves into the gripping account of a man-eating Amur tiger's deadly rampage in a remote Russian village in the late 1990s. The narrative explores the complex relationship between humans and nature, highlighting the impact of poaching and habitat loss on the tiger's behavior. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, the book weaves together local history, conservation science, and socio-economic factors, offering a profound examination of the consequences when human encroachment and environmental degradation provoke the fierce retaliation of one of nature's most formidable predators.

    The 9545th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

    "Nothing to Envy" is a non-fiction narrative that provides an in-depth look at life in North Korea through the eyes of six defectors. The book covers a span of 15 years, during which the country faced a devastating famine. It explores the lives of ordinary citizens, their indoctrination, their gradual realization of the truth about their government, and their decision to defect. The book paints a vivid picture of the harsh realities of life under a totalitarian regime and the struggle for survival and escape.

    The 6471st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Moneyball by Michael M. Lewis

    This book tells the story of a baseball team manager who uses statistical analysis to assemble a competitive team on a tight budget. Despite facing criticism and skepticism, his unconventional methods prove successful, challenging traditional ideas about the value of players and the nature of the game. The book highlights the importance of data-driven decision making in sports, and its potential to disrupt established norms and practices.

    The 2169th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

    "The Forever War" is a non-fiction account of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq from a journalist's perspective. The author, who was embedded with American troops, provides a raw and unfiltered look at the realities of war. The book gives a detailed description of the experiences of soldiers, civilians, and the author himself, offering a unique perspective on the ongoing conflicts. It explores the complexities and consequences of war, and the impact it has on those directly involved and the wider world.

    The 3272nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

    "The New Jim Crow" is a thought-provoking and eye-opening book that examines the deeply ingrained racial bias within the American criminal justice system. Drawing on extensive research and personal anecdotes, the author explores how the War on Drugs has disproportionately targeted and marginalized Black communities, leading to a modern-day system of racial control and oppression. This powerful critique challenges readers to confront the systemic racism that continues to perpetuate inequality and injustice in the United States.

    The 1883rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

    This book is a detailed account of a family living in rural Pennsylvania, whose lives are disrupted by the fracking industry. It explores the economic desperation that leads small towns to welcome fracking, the environmental and health disasters that follow, and the legal battles that families must wage to protect their rights. The narrative also delves into the political and social divides that the fracking industry exacerbates, providing a comprehensive look at the impact of this controversial practice on American society.

    The 9711th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen

    This book provides a deeply researched examination of the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, focusing on the lives of four individuals born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. The book explores how, after the fall of the Soviet Union, instead of moving towards a democratic society, Russia has seen a rise in a new form of totalitarianism under its current leadership. It delves into the psychological shift in the Russian populace, the government's use of homophobia as a method of control, and how the internet and social media have been weaponized for political purposes.

    The 9631st Greatest Book of All Time
  • Under The Banner Of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

    The book delves into the disturbing world of religious extremism within certain sects of the Mormon faith, particularly focusing on a brutal double murder committed by two brothers who believed they were commanded by God to kill. Through meticulous research and interviews, the narrative explores the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and examines how its teachings have been interpreted and misused by fundamentalist offshoots. The author intertwines the true crime investigation with a broader discussion on the nature of faith and the potent influence of religious belief on human behavior.

    The 9004th Greatest Book of All Time
  • How The Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With The History Of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

    "How The Word Is Passed" is a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the legacy of slavery in America. Through a series of vivid and evocative essays, author Clint Smith takes readers on a journey across the United States, visiting sites that are deeply connected to the history of slavery and its aftermath. From Monticello to Angola Prison, Smith offers a nuanced and insightful look at the ways in which slavery has shaped our country and continues to impact our lives today. With a clear-eyed and compassionate approach, "How The Word Is Passed" is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complex and ongoing legacy of slavery in America.

    The 8315th Greatest Book of All Time
  • One Of Us: The Story Of Anders Breivik And The Massacre In Norway by Asne Seierstad

    One of Us by Asne Seierstad is a detailed account of the 2011 terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway, carried out by Anders Breivik. The book explores Breivik's background, motives, and planning leading up to the attack, as well as the aftermath and impact on the survivors and families of the victims. Seierstad's thorough research and interviews with those affected provide a comprehensive and emotional portrayal of the tragedy, shedding light on the complexities of extremism and the devastating consequences of hate.

    The 6457th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Night Draws Near by Anthony Shadid

    "Night Draws Near" provides an in-depth exploration of the Iraq War's impact on Iraqi citizens, delving into the everyday lives of people caught in the crossfire of conflict. Through a series of personal stories and interviews conducted by the author, a seasoned Middle Eastern correspondent, the book paints a vivid picture of the cultural, social, and political upheaval experienced by the Iraqis. The narrative captures the resilience and suffering of individuals as they navigate the complexities of occupation, insurgency, and the struggle for democracy, offering a poignant critique of the broader implications of U.S. foreign policy in the region.

    The 9142nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Dark Money: The Hidden History Of The Billionaires Behind The Rise Of The Radical Righ by Jane Mayer

    "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer is an investigative book that delves into the secretive world of political funding by wealthy individuals and corporations. Mayer exposes the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right, including the Koch brothers and their network of donors. She reveals how these donors have used their enormous wealth to shape American politics and policy, pushing their own interests and agendas while undermining democracy. Mayer's book is a sobering reminder of the dangers of unchecked political influence by the ultra-wealthy.

    The 5826th Greatest Book of All Time
  • No Good Men Among The Living by Anand Gopal

    The book provides a gripping and detailed account of the Afghan War through the eyes of three individuals: a Taliban commander, a warlord, and a housewife. By tracing their intertwined lives, the narrative reveals the profound misunderstandings and often tragic consequences of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. The author, through extensive on-the-ground reporting, uncovers how initial American successes were squandered, leading to the resurgence of the Taliban and a perpetuation of conflict. The work challenges the conventional narratives of the war and exposes the impact of foreign intervention on ordinary Afghan lives.

    The 9812th Greatest Book of All Time
  • No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid

    "No Turning Back" provides a gripping and intimate portrayal of the Syrian war through the eyes of four individuals whose lives are transformed by the uprising against the Assad regime. The narrative delves deep into the personal stories of a young revolutionary, a child refugee, a jihadist, and a disillusioned government soldier, offering a nuanced and humanizing perspective on the complex conflict. The book captures the brutal realities and emotional depths of the Syrian struggle, highlighting the enduring human spirit amidst chaos and destruction.

    The 10226th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

    The book offers an in-depth look at the social, political, and economic transformations that have occurred in America over the past three decades. It presents a series of personal narratives from various individuals, including a factory worker, a Silicon Valley billionaire, and a Washington insider, among others. These stories serve to illustrate the larger trends and changes that have taken place in the country, such as deindustrialization, the rise of technology, and the influence of money in politics, and how these shifts have affected the American dream.

    The 6566th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

    The book delves into the question of what we should have for dinner. It explores the paradox of the omnivore's dilemma, detailing the food chains that link farm to table, and explaining how the industrial revolution has changed the way we eat. The book also discusses the implications of our modern diet on our health and the environment, suggesting that we should return to more traditional methods of food production and consumption. It advocates for a more conscious and sustainable approach to eating.

    The 1697th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

    The book provides an in-depth investigation into the crisis at a New Orleans hospital in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It delves into the harrowing five days where staff, patients, and their families were trapped in the hospital without power or a functioning evacuation plan. The narrative explores the ethical dilemmas faced by the medical staff, including alleged euthanasia of critically ill patients, and the subsequent legal battles, raising profound questions about end-of-life care and disaster management.

    The 5463rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Heat by Bill Buford

    "Heat" is a captivating non-fiction narrative that delves into the intense and often chaotic world of professional cooking. The author embarks on a journey from his home kitchen to the kitchens of top Italian restaurants, exploring the rigorous skills and relentless pace required to excel in the culinary arts. Along the way, he apprentices under celebrated chefs, learns the intricacies of preparing Italian cuisine, and discovers the deep passion and drive that fuels those who choose the demanding life of a chef. The book provides a vivid behind-the-scenes look at the culinary industry, blending humor, personal anecdotes, and insights into the art and science of cooking.

    The 9217th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

    "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" is a memoir that chronicles the author's lifelong passion for surfing. The book takes readers on a journey from the author's childhood in California and Hawaii to his travels around the world in search of the perfect wave. Along the way, he experiences diverse cultures, faces danger and adventure, and examines his own character and motivations. The memoir is not just about surfing, but also a reflection on relationships, self-discovery, and the irresistible pull of the ocean.

    The 7132nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

    "The Yellow House" is a memoir that tells the story of a hundred years of the author's family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities, New Orleans. The narrative follows the author's journey from growing up in the titular house in New Orleans East, a largely ignored part of the city, to her pursuit of education and a career as a journalist, and her eventual return to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The book explores themes of race, poverty, and inequity in America, while also being a deeply personal exploration of family, identity, and place.

    The 6154th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Rising Out Of Hatred by Eli Saslow

    "Rising Out of Hatred" chronicles the transformative journey of a young man who was groomed to be a white nationalist leader but eventually rejected the ideology. Raised in a family prominent in the white supremacist movement, he was poised to continue their legacy. However, his exposure to diverse perspectives during his college years, coupled with meaningful relationships he formed with Jewish and non-white students, prompted a profound reevaluation of his beliefs. This narrative explores themes of identity, redemption, and the impact of education and empathy in challenging deeply ingrained prejudices.

    The 10226th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Beast by Óscar Martínez

    "The Beast" is a compelling non-fiction account that delves into the perilous journey of Central American migrants as they travel through Mexico to reach the United States. The book vividly describes the harsh realities and dangers these migrants face, including extortion, kidnapping, and violence, particularly on the freight train known as "The Beast" that many risk riding. Through meticulous reporting and personal stories, the narrative exposes the systemic failures and brutal conditions that challenge these individuals, highlighting the broader implications of migration, human rights, and survival.

    The 9744th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

    The book explores the concept of the sixth extinction, suggesting that we are currently in the midst of it due to human activity. By examining previous mass extinctions and the current rapid loss of species, the author argues that humans are causing a mass extinction event through climate change, habitat destruction, and spreading of non-native species. The book offers a sobering look at the impact of human behavior on the natural world, emphasizing the urgency of addressing these environmental issues.

    The 1566th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

    This book provides an in-depth exploration of the opioid crisis in America, tracing its origins and examining its devastating impact. It delves into the lives of addicts, doctors, drug traffickers, and families affected by the epidemic, providing a comprehensive look at the complex factors that contributed to the crisis. The narrative also discusses the role of pharmaceutical companies and uncovers how the aggressive marketing of painkillers led to widespread addiction. Additionally, it sheds light on the black tar heroin trade, revealing how it has infiltrated small towns and suburban communities.

    The 5250th Greatest Book of All Time
  • She Said by Jodi Kantor

    "She Said" is a compelling non-fiction book that delves into the investigative journalism efforts that exposed the pervasive sexual harassment and assault allegations against a prominent Hollywood mogul. The book details the rigorous investigation by two reporters who, through interviews and gathering of evidence, brought to light the stories of numerous women who had been silenced by legal and professional threats. Their reporting not only ignited a significant public outcry but also spurred the global #MeToo movement, challenging the culture of silence around sexual misconduct in various industries.

    The 10309th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

    This book delves into the riveting true story of a Silicon Valley startup that promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a groundbreaking device that could perform a full range of laboratory tests using just a few drops of blood. However, the company's charismatic founder's ambition and the immense pressure to succeed led to one of the most notorious cases of corporate fraud in recent history. Through extensive reporting and interviews, the narrative exposes how the company's misleading claims, toxic workplace culture, and unethical business practices put patients at risk, eventually leading to its dramatic downfall. The investigation into the company's practices not only captivated the nation but also raised critical questions about innovation, integrity, and regulation in the tech industry.

    The 8354th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Deep Down Dark by Héctor Tobar

    "Deep Down Dark" recounts the harrowing ordeal of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped deep beneath the Earth's surface for 69 days following a catastrophic collapse of the San José mine in 2010. The narrative delves into the psychological, emotional, and physical challenges faced by the miners as they struggled to survive in a dark, confined space, with limited food, water, and oxygen. The book also explores the global media frenzy surrounding the disaster and the miners' eventual dramatic rescue, highlighting the resilience of the human spirit and the power of collective hope and perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity.

    The 9812th Greatest Book of All Time
  • A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo

    "A Moonless, Starless Sky" is a compelling non-fiction book that delves into the lives of ordinary individuals across Africa who are fighting against extremist ideologies and oppressive cultural practices. Through a series of gripping narratives, the book portrays the resilience and courage of people such as a young couple in Somalia battling against the terror of al-Shabaab, a woman in Nigeria who escapes from Boko Haram, and an Ugandan man challenging deeply entrenched traditions. These personal stories highlight the struggles and triumphs of those who confront and defy tyranny and violence, offering a nuanced exploration of resistance and the human spirit’s capacity for hope and redemption.

    The 10115th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Disney War by James B. Stewart

    "Disney War" is an investigative narrative that delves into the tumultuous tenure of Michael Eisner as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The book provides an in-depth look at the internal politics, personal battles, and financial decisions that shaped the company during Eisner's leadership from 1984 to 2005. Through meticulous research and interviews, the narrative reveals the behind-the-scenes struggles involving key executives, as well as major company milestones and missteps. The book highlights the complexities of managing a vast entertainment empire and the dramatic impact leadership can have on its creative and financial success.

    The 9142nd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

    "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" provides an in-depth look at the American occupation of Iraq, focusing on the Green Zone in Baghdad, which served as the U.S. headquarters. The book reveals how the U.S. administration was ill-prepared for the task of rebuilding Iraq, and how their lack of understanding about the country and its culture led to many mistakes and blunders. The author, through his first-hand accounts and interviews, paints a picture of a surreal, insulated world within the Green Zone, cut off from the harsh realities of the war-torn country outside.

    The 5130th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum

    "Gulag: A History" provides an in-depth historical account of the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system, known as the Gulag. The book explores the inception of these camps during the reign of Vladimir Lenin, their expansion under Joseph Stalin, and their eventual decline and closure. It also delves into the daily lives of the prisoners, their hardships, and the brutal conditions they endured. The book is based on a wealth of archival material, personal interviews, and memoirs, offering a comprehensive understanding of one of the darkest periods in human history.

    The 8071st Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Return by Hisham Matar

    "The Return" is a poignant memoir detailing a man's search for his father, who disappeared in Libya's political prison system. The narrative offers a deeply personal exploration of loss, memory, and homecoming as the protagonist returns to his native country after years of living in exile. The book also provides a profound insight into Libya's turbulent history, its oppressive regime, and the devastating impact of politics on individual lives.

    The 6739th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Sum Of Us by Heather McGhee

    "The Sum of Us" explores the concept of the "zero-sum" paradigm—the idea that progress for some communities must come at the expense of others. Through compelling data and narratives, the book examines how this belief has fostered systemic racism and inequality in America, detrimentally affecting everyone, including white Americans. The author argues that policies designed to uplift one group do not necessarily harm others, and that a more inclusive approach to policy-making can lead to benefits for all members of society. By highlighting examples of places where cross-racial solidarity has led to greater economic prosperity and social cohesion, the book makes a case for rejecting zero-sum thinking and embracing a new vision of shared success.

    The 10440th Greatest Book of All Time
  • This Cold Heaven by Gretel Ehrlich

    "This Cold Heaven" is a captivating exploration of Greenland over a span of seven years, where the author delves into the harsh yet mesmerizing landscape of the Arctic. Through her journeys, she intertwines her personal experiences with the rich history and resilient culture of the Inuit people, providing a profound insight into their traditions, survival strategies, and the profound impact of the environment on their lifestyle. The narrative beautifully captures the stark contrasts and extreme conditions of Greenland, painting a vivid picture of a place where the natural world dictates the rhythm of life.

    The 8624th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Notes On A Foreign Country by Suzy Hansen

    "Notes on a Foreign Country" is an introspective exploration of American influence abroad and the complex realities of U.S. foreign policy, as experienced by an American journalist living in Istanbul. The book delves into the author's personal journey of discovering the often-unseen impacts of American interventions and cultural dominance while grappling with her own identity and preconceptions as an American. Through her travels across the Middle East and her interactions with locals, she gains a deeper understanding of the historical and contemporary geopolitical landscape, challenging her and, by extension, the reader's understanding of America's role in the world.

    The 10115th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta

    This book offers a comprehensive exploration of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), one of the world's largest and most complex cities. The author weaves together personal experiences, interviews and observations to paint a vivid picture of the city's diverse inhabitants and their daily lives. The narrative delves into the city’s underworld, its entertainment industry, its religious tensions, and its political landscape, providing an in-depth look at the dichotomies of wealth and poverty, modernity and tradition, and order and chaos that define Mumbai.

    The 8483rd Greatest Book of All Time
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

    "Three Women" is a non-fiction book that delves into the intimate and complex lives of three American women and their experiences with desire and relationships. Through extensive interviews and research, the narrative explores the emotional and sexual trials and tribulations faced by each woman, highlighting their struggles with love, infidelity, power dynamics, and societal expectations. The book provides a raw and revealing look at the intricacies of female desire and the ways in which these women navigate their lives amidst personal and external challenges.

    The 10309th Greatest Book of All Time
  • Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann

    "Play Their Hearts Out" is a gripping expose that delves into the underbelly of grassroots American basketball, chronicling the lives of young, talented players who are caught in the high-stakes world of competitive sports. The book follows a promising young athlete and his ambitious coach as they navigate the complex, often exploitative network of amateur athletics, where dreams of NBA stardom are dangled, and the pressures and temptations are intense. Through meticulous reporting, the narrative reveals how the industry impacts the players' personal and athletic development, shedding light on the broader issues of race, class, and the commercialization of sport.

    The 9545th Greatest Book of All Time
  • The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

    "The Beautiful Fall" is a captivating narrative that delves into the glamorous and competitive world of Paris fashion during the 1970s, focusing on the intense rivalry between two of the most iconic fashion designers of the era. The book provides a detailed exploration of their contrasting styles, personalities, and the cultural influences that shaped them, set against the backdrop of a vibrant and tumultuous Paris. Through meticulous research and interviews, the story also highlights the broader social and artistic changes of the time, offering a richly textured glimpse into the fashion industry's evolution and the lasting impact of these two designers on global fashion.

    The 9217th Greatest Book of All Time
About this list

GQ, 50 Books

In creating their list of the 50 best literary journalism books of the 21st century, GQ sought the opinions of an elite group of American journalists, including Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Magazine Award winners, as well as GQ contributors. These books, which range from explorations of significant events to deep dives into intriguing subjects, represent a form of journalism that combines meticulous reporting with the narrative depth of novels. The journalists who voted for these books considered them not only enjoyable but also significant in their ability to clarify and interpret contemporary and recent historical events, influencing other forms of art such as film and TV. The list, meant to update the canon of literary journalism, strictly features one book per author and excludes essay collections, focusing instead on works that fully articulate a single story or theme.

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