The Greatest Russian, British "Contemporary, Nonfiction" Books Since 1980

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 313 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Contemporary

Contemporary books are a genre that focuses on stories set in the present day, often exploring current social, cultural, and political issues. These books are typically written in a modern style and often feature relatable characters dealing with real-life situations. Contemporary books can cover a wide range of topics, from romance and family drama to coming-of-age stories and thrillers. The genre is constantly evolving to reflect the changing world we live in, making it a popular choice for readers who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and issues.

Nonfiction

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  1. 1. Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud

    A young woman travels to Morocco with her two daughters in search of a more fulfilling and adventurous life. The novel explores the experiences of the two young girls as they navigate this new and unfamiliar culture, their mother's search for spiritual enlightenment, and their struggles with poverty. The narrative is a poignant exploration of childhood innocence, the complexities of motherhood, and the clash of cultures.

    The 3082nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Out Of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer

    In this unconventional work, the author grapples with his own writer's block and the overwhelming challenge of articulating his thoughts on a literary figure he admires. Oscillating between a travelogue, memoir, and a study in procrastination, the narrative takes the reader on a journey through various locations and states of mind. The author candidly shares his struggles with the creative process, his distractions, and his personal life, all the while reflecting on the nature of writing and the difficulties of completing a project. The book is as much an exploration of the author's internal landscape as it is an homage to the elusiveness of the artistic endeavor.

    The 5000th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. 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 9220th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. H Is For Hawk by Helen MacDonald

    The book is a profound and elegantly written memoir that intertwines the story of the author's journey through grief following her father's death with her decision to train a fierce goshawk named Mabel. As she confronts the challenges of falconry, the narrative explores themes of solitude, human connection to the natural world, and the process of healing. The author's experience with Mabel serves as a mirror to her inner turmoil, providing a raw and intimate examination of loss, while also offering insights into the history and art of falconry, and reflecting on the life of a notable historical figure who shared her passion for hawks.

    The 9879th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy

    "The Cost of Living" is a memoir that explores the author's journey through womanhood, motherhood, and writing. After her marriage dissolves, the author moves to a dreary apartment with her two daughters, facing the challenges of single parenthood while trying to maintain her career as a writer. The book is a reflection on societal expectations of women, the sacrifices made, and the price paid for freedom and independence. It's a thoughtful meditation on feminism, the complexities of love, and the pursuit of a creative life.

    The 10032nd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Underland by Robert Macfarlane

    "Underland" is a deep exploration into the world beneath our feet, taking readers on a journey into the Earth's underworlds. The book delves into the hidden landscapes of the subterranean, from the catacombs of Paris, the underground fungal networks in forests, to the deep sea caves and glacial crevasses. It beautifully combines natural history, mythology, and environmental science, while exploring themes of human impact on the planet, our relationship with darkness, and the concept of deep time.

    The 10175th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

    The book is a candid and humorous memoir based on the personal diaries of a former doctor, chronicling the trials and tribulations of life on the front lines of the NHS. It provides an eye-opening look at the reality of working in a hospital, capturing the high stakes, the grueling hours, and the emotional toll on medical staff. Through a series of anecdotes ranging from the hilarious to the heart-wrenching, the author paints a vivid picture of the pressures faced by healthcare professionals, while also highlighting the critical need for support and reform within the system. The narrative serves as both a tribute to those who toil in the medical field and a call to action for better treatment of the individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

    The 10216th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download