The Greatest "Nonfiction, Diaries" Books of All Time

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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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Diaries are a category of books that typically consist of personal accounts of daily experiences, thoughts, and emotions written by an individual. These books offer a unique insight into the author's life and can cover a wide range of topics, from travel and adventure to love and loss. Diaries can be fictional or non-fictional and can be written in various formats, including traditional journal entries, letters, and even social media posts. They provide readers with an intimate look into the author's life and can be a source of inspiration, entertainment, and reflection.

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  1. 1. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys

    "The Diary of Samuel Pepys" is a detailed personal account written by a 17th-century English naval administrator and Member of Parliament. The diary offers an intimate look at life in London during a time of great historical significance, including the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague of London, and the Second Dutch War. Pepys' entries provide keen observations on politics, social customs, and personal relationships, making it an invaluable primary source for understanding the period.

    The 1040th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Journal of Jules Renard by Jules Renard

    "The Journal of Jules Renard" is a collection of the author's personal thoughts, observations, and reflections recorded over a period of almost 30 years. The entries range from the author's insights into human nature, his commentary on social and political issues of his time, his struggles with writing and creativity, and his personal life. The journal is celebrated for its sharp wit, keen observation, and profound insight into the human condition, making it a timeless classic in literature.

    The 1607th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Journals by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark

    This book is a compilation of the detailed journals kept by two explorers during their expedition across the American West, from 1804 to 1806. The journals provide a first-hand account of their encounters with Native American tribes, their observations of new plant and animal species, and the challenges they faced while traversing uncharted territories. The explorers' writings not only offer insights into their historic journey but also serve as a valuable resource for understanding early 19th-century American history and the country's westward expansion.

    The 1668th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Journals (Cook) by James Cook

    This book is a compilation of the personal journals of an 18th-century British explorer and naval captain, who embarked on three significant voyages of discovery across the Pacific Ocean. These entries provide a firsthand account of his encounters with various indigenous peoples, his detailed observations of the flora, fauna, and geography of newly discovered lands, and his experiences of seafaring life. The journals also record his scientific experiments and astronomical observations, contributing to the fields of geography, anthropology, and ethnography.

    The 3991st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. A World Apart by Gustaw Herling-Grudziński

    "A World Apart" is a powerful memoir that recounts the author's experiences as a political prisoner in a Soviet labor camp during World War II. Through vivid and harrowing descriptions, the book exposes the brutality and inhumanity of the camp system, as well as the resilience and strength of the prisoners. It serves as a haunting reminder of the atrocities committed during this dark period of history and the enduring human spirit.

    The 4650th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Diaries by Alan Clark

    "Diaries" is a candid and often controversial collection of journal entries by a prominent British politician and historian. The book offers a unique insider's perspective on the UK's political landscape from the 1970s to the late 1990s. It is filled with the author's personal observations, experiences, and interactions with key political figures, providing readers with a rare glimpse into the inner workings of British politics. The author's sharp wit, colorful language, and unabashed honesty make this book a compelling read.

    The 4708th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Diary of Fanny Burney by Fanny Burney

    "The Diary of Fanny Burney" is a collection of personal entries by a prominent English novelist and playwright from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The diary provides a unique perspective on the social and literary life of England during this period, with Fanny Burney's observations on the people and events around her. It offers intimate glimpses into her relationships with notable figures such as Samuel Johnson and King George III, as well as her own struggles with her writing career and personal life.

    The 4708th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763 by James Boswell

    This book is a journal-style account of a young Scottish man's experiences in 18th-century London. It provides a vivid and detailed account of the social, political, and cultural landscape of the time. The author, a law student, records his interactions with notable figures of the day, his romantic pursuits, his struggles with depression, and his efforts to establish himself in London society. His observations offer unique insights into the life and times of 18th-century London.

    The 5099th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Untold Stories by Alan Bennett

    "Untold Stories" is a collection of essays, diary entries, and recollections by a renowned playwright. It provides an insightful look into his life, experiences, and thoughts. The book is divided into two parts, with the first part focusing on his family history and the second part containing his personal reflections and observations about various topics, including art, architecture, and literature. It offers a unique perspective on the author's upbringing in Leeds and his later life in London, as well as his views on society and culture.

    The 6869th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Blair Years by Alastair Campbell

    "The Blair Years" is a comprehensive and insightful account of British politics from 1994 to 2003, as seen through the eyes of the author, who served as the Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair. The book provides readers with an insider's perspective on the key political events of the time, including the 1997 general election victory, the peace process in Northern Ireland, and the controversial decision to go to war in Iraq. This memoir offers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of Downing Street and the complex dynamics of Blair's government.

    The 10244th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life by Joan D. Hedrick

    This book is a comprehensive biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the renowned author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin". It delves into her personal life, her family upbringing, her marriage, and her relationships with her children. The book also explores her fervent abolitionist beliefs, her writing career, and the impact of her work on the American Civil War. It paints a vivid picture of Stowe's life and times, providing an in-depth look at her contributions to American literature and social reform.

    The 11569th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

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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.