The Greatest Swedish, French "Nonfiction" Books Since 1990

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 270 '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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  1. 1. Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras

    "Essential Cuisine" is a comprehensive guide to gourmet cooking, written by a renowned French chef. The book provides readers with recipes that highlight the chef's innovative and unique approach to cooking, focusing on the use of fresh, local ingredients. The book also includes stunning photography of the dishes and the chef's home region, making it as much a visual feast as a culinary one. It is a must-have for anyone interested in haute cuisine and the art of fine dining.

  2. 2. Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir by Sissela Bok

    This memoir provides an intimate portrayal of a Nobel laureate and prominent figure in international diplomacy and social reform, as seen through the eyes of her daughter. The book delves into the complexities of the subject's public achievements and personal life, exploring the challenges she faced as a woman in the mid-20th century balancing a career with family responsibilities. The daughter's perspective offers a unique insight into the character and legacy of a woman who made significant contributions to social policy and disarmament, while also shedding light on the familial relationships that shaped her life and work.

  3. 3. The Straight Mind by Monique Wittig

    The book is a collection of feminist essays that challenge the conventional understanding of gender and sexuality, positing that the concept of "woman" is a social construct created by a heterosexual society to uphold a binary gender system. The author argues that this system perpetuates the oppression of women and LGBTQ+ individuals by reinforcing the straight mind, a heteronormative way of thinking that marginalizes any form of difference. Through a radical rethinking of language, literature, and social structures, the essays advocate for a new feminist perspective that seeks to dismantle the straight mind and create a society where all forms of identity and expression are valued equally.

  4. 4. Factfulness by Hans Rosling

    The book challenges common misconceptions about the state of the world, using a wealth of statistical data to argue that, contrary to popular belief, global living conditions are improving significantly. It introduces ten instincts that distort our perspective—from the fear instinct (which leads us to perceive the world as more frightening than it is) to the destiny instinct (which causes us to assume that the fates of populations are predetermined). The author, a renowned public health expert, encourages readers to adopt a "factful" mindset, which relies on data and evidence to create a more accurate understanding of the world, ultimately fostering a more positive and productive approach to global challenges.

  5. 5. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

    This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics of capital accumulation and distribution over the last few centuries. The author argues that the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, leading to high levels of wealth inequality. The book further suggests that the level of income inequality is not primarily a result of differences in individual labor income but rather the result of differences in capital ownership and the income derived from it. The author proposes a global tax on wealth to prevent soaring inequality.

  6. 6. To The Friend Who Did Not Save My Life by Hervé Guibert

    The book is a candid and harrowing autobiographical novel that chronicles the life of a man grappling with the devastating impact of AIDS during the early years of the epidemic. Through a blend of fact and fiction, the narrative delves into the protagonist's personal experiences with illness, the medical establishment, and the emotional complexities of friendship and mortality. As he confronts his own declining health, the protagonist reflects on the relationships with those around him, including a close friend who is also facing the disease, and the betrayal he feels when a promised miracle cure fails to materialize. The novel is a raw and poignant exploration of the human condition in the face of an unforgiving illness.

  7. 7. Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English by Jacques Lacan

    This book is a comprehensive collection of essays by a renowned psychoanalyst, offering readers an in-depth understanding of his theories on human psychology. The author delves into complex topics such as the unconscious, the mirror stage, and the concept of the Other, while also exploring the intersection of psychoanalysis with philosophy, linguistics, and anthropology. The book challenges conventional understanding of subjectivity and identity, making it a seminal work in the field of psychoanalysis.

  8. 8. Exterminate All The Brutes by Sven Lindqvist

    The book is a profound exploration of European imperialism and the roots of genocide, blending travelogue, personal diary, and historical analysis. The narrative delves into the dark history of colonialism, examining how racist ideologies were used to justify the extermination and subjugation of non-European peoples under the guise of civilization and progress. Through a series of interwoven reflections and accounts, the author confronts the violence and atrocities committed by European powers in Africa and beyond, challenging readers to acknowledge and understand the brutal legacy of colonialism that has shaped the modern world.

  9. 9. Passagère Du Silence by Fabienne Verdier

    "Passagère du Silence" is a memoir that chronicles the transformative journey of a young Western woman who immerses herself in the ancient traditions of Chinese art and philosophy. Seeking to understand the depths of Chinese painting, she endures years of rigorous training under the tutelage of venerable Chinese masters, navigating cultural barriers and personal challenges. Her narrative weaves together her artistic growth with introspective reflections, revealing how the disciplined practice of calligraphy and painting leads to profound insights into the nature of silence, creativity, and the human spirit. Through her experiences, the memoir explores the fusion of Eastern and Western perspectives, ultimately portraying a quest for universal truths within the realm of art.

  10. 10. Lives Other Than My Own by Emmanuel Carrère

    "Lives Other Than My Own" is an emotionally charged narrative that explores the lives of two women who have experienced immense loss, one from a tsunami and the other from cancer. The author, through his personal encounters, delves into the raw emotions, resilience, and the profound bonds of family and friendship that emerge from these tragic circumstances. The book is a thoughtful exploration of empathy, offering a poignant look at the strength of human spirit in the face of adversity.

  11. 11. Them: A Memoir Of Parents by Francine du Plessix Gray

    "Them: A Memoir of Parents" is a compelling exploration of the author's complex relationship with her glamorous and larger-than-life parents. The author delves into her mother's past as a Russian émigré and fashion icon, and her stepfather's career as a renowned magazine editor. The memoir is a study of the glittering world of mid-20th century New York, the impact of war and displacement, the power dynamics in her parents' marriage, and the author's struggle to carve out her own identity amidst these overwhelming personalities.

  12. 12. Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark

    This book explores the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on the fabric of human existence, proposing a framework for understanding the progression of life through the lens of technological evolution. It delves into the potential scenarios that could unfold as AI surpasses human intelligence, raising profound questions about consciousness, the role of humans in a world shared with advanced AI, and how society can navigate the ethical, political, and existential challenges this new era presents. The author encourages a proactive approach to designing and governing AI technologies, emphasizing the importance of aligning them with human values and interests to ensure a future where humanity can thrive alongside increasingly intelligent machines.

  13. 13. No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

    "No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference" is a collection of speeches by Greta Thunberg, a young climate activist who gained international recognition for her efforts to combat climate change. Through her powerful and passionate words, Thunberg emphasizes the urgency of taking action and highlights the responsibility of individuals, governments, and corporations to address the environmental crisis. This book serves as a call to action, inspiring readers to join the global movement for a sustainable future.

  14. 14. The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

    This book tells the true story of General Alex Dumas, a man of mixed race who rose to power in France during the French Revolution. Despite his achievements and contributions, Dumas faced severe racial discrimination and was eventually imprisoned. His life and experiences served as inspiration for his son, who became a famous novelist. The book explores themes of race, class, and the struggle for equality, providing a fascinating look at a lesser-known figure in French history.

Reading Statistics

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


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.