The Greatest Swedish, Irish "Nonfiction" Books Since 1900

Click to learn how this list is calculated.

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.

Filter by: Genres Dates Countries
Follow on:



Add additional genre filters




Add additional country filters

Date Range


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.

  1. 1. Autobiographies by William Butler Yeats

    This book is a collection of autobiographical essays by a renowned Irish poet and playwright, reflecting on his personal and professional life. It provides a deep insight into his early life, family, influences, and the evolution of his poetic and dramatic works. The author also gives a vivid account of the Irish literary scene and the cultural and political climate of his time, including his involvement in the Irish National Theatre and the Irish Literary Society.

  2. 2. An American Dilemma by Gunnar Myrdal

    This book is a comprehensive sociological study on the issues faced by African Americans in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. The author examines the deep-rooted racial discrimination and inequality prevalent in American society, exploring its origins, implications, and potential solutions. The work is notable for its detailed analysis and its impact on subsequent civil rights movements.

  3. 3. Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan

    "Borstal Boy" is a semi-autobiographical novel that depicts the author's experiences in a British juvenile detention center, or borstal, during World War II. The young protagonist is arrested in Liverpool for his involvement with the Irish Republican Army and is sent to borstal where he spends his formative years. The narrative explores themes of patriotism, identity, and the complexities of adolescence, presenting a raw and compelling portrayal of life in detention and the relationships formed there.

  4. 4. 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.

  5. 5. Selected Stories by William Trevor

    "Selected Stories" is a collection of short stories by acclaimed author William Trevor. The book features some of Trevor's most memorable and haunting tales, exploring themes of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. With his signature style of understated elegance and quiet, observant prose, Trevor creates characters that are both ordinary and extraordinary, capturing the subtle nuances of their lives and the emotions that drive them. From the Irish countryside to London's bustling streets, these stories offer a glimpse into the human experience and the ways in which we navigate the world around us.

  6. 6. 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.

  7. 7. Essays Of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

    This collection of essays showcases the sharp wit and insightful social commentary of one of the most celebrated writers of the late 19th century. The essays span a range of topics, from art and aesthetics to criticism and personal reflections, all delivered with the author's distinctive blend of eloquence and irony. The author's keen observations on Victorian society, his exploration of beauty and its relation to life, and his thoughts on the role of the artist make this compilation a treasure trove for readers interested in literature, philosophy, and the enduring complexities of human nature.

  8. 8. A Vision by William Butler Yeats

    The book in question is an esoteric exploration of the cyclical nature of history, art, and the human experience, as seen through the lens of the author's unique system of symbolism and mysticism. Drawing upon a wide array of influences, including the occult, astrology, and the author's own imaginative faculties, it presents a complex framework for understanding the interplay of personal and universal forces. The work is divided into sections that delve into philosophical and poetic discussions, offering a vision of reality that is structured around the phases of the moon and characterized by a series of gyres or spirals, representing the evolution and involution of the soul, history, and civilization.

  9. 9. Major Critical Essays by George Bernard Shaw

    This collection of essays showcases the author's incisive wit and profound critical thinking as he delves into a variety of subjects, ranging from the intricacies of Shakespearean drama to the social responsibilities of the artist. The author's articulate and often controversial opinions challenge the status quo and provoke readers to reconsider their preconceptions about literature, theater, and society. His essays are celebrated for their intellectual rigor, humor, and the author's unwavering commitment to social reform, making them an enduring contribution to literary criticism and cultural discourse.

  10. 10. A Fanatic Heart by Edna O'Brien

    "A Fanatic Heart" is a collection of short stories that delve into the complexities of human emotions and relationships, often set against the backdrop of Ireland's lush landscapes and social upheavals. The narratives explore themes of love, betrayal, and the struggles of the human spirit through a variety of characters, from young girls to aging men, each grappling with their own desires, regrets, and search for meaning. The author's lyrical prose and keen insight into the intricacies of the heart and society weave together tales that are both poignant and revealing, offering a window into the soul of her characters and the cultural tensions of the time.

  11. 11. 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.

  12. 12. We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O'Toole

    "We Don't Know Ourselves" by Fintan O'Toole is a collection of essays that explores the current state of Ireland and its people. O'Toole argues that Ireland's sense of identity has been shaped by its history of colonization and the struggle for independence, but that this identity is now being challenged by globalization and the changing social and economic landscape. He examines issues such as immigration, the Catholic Church's declining influence, and the rise of nationalism, and ultimately argues that Ireland needs to embrace a new sense of identity that is inclusive and forward-thinking.

  13. 13. The Complete Letters Of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

    This compilation is an exhaustive collection of correspondence penned by one of the most celebrated writers of the Victorian era, known for his wit, eloquence, and flamboyant style. The letters provide an intimate glimpse into the author's life, covering his rise to fame, his relationships, his trials, and his time in prison. They reveal his personal thoughts on art, literature, society, and his own creative process. The collection is not only a treasure trove for literary enthusiasts and scholars but also a poignant, revealing portrait of a complex man who was a central figure in the aesthetic movement of the late 19th century.

  14. 14. My Life as an Explorer by Sven Hedin

    "My Life as an Explorer" is an autobiographical account of a famous Swedish explorer's adventures across Central Asia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The book includes vivid descriptions of his encounters with diverse cultures, dangerous wilderness, and ancient civilizations. The author also shares his experiences of mapping uncharted territories, surviving harsh climates, and uncovering archaeological treasures, providing readers with an intimate glimpse into the life of an explorer during this era.

  15. 15. Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy

    "Full Tilt" is a captivating travelogue that documents the author's adventurous bicycle journey from Ireland to India. The journey is filled with diverse landscapes, cultures, and people, as well as several challenges, including harsh weather conditions, illness, and political unrest. The author's resilience, determination, and passion for exploration are evident throughout the book, providing an inspiring and insightful perspective on solo travel and self-discovery.

  16. 16. 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.

  17. 17. 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.

  18. 18. Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan

    This novel is a semi-autobiographical account of a young man with cerebral palsy who uses his intelligence and determination to overcome his physical disability. Despite being unable to speak or move without assistance, the protagonist excels academically, eventually earning a place at a prestigious university. The book is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the potential within us all to rise above our limitations.

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.