The Greatest Romanian, Australian, French "Nonfiction" Books Since 1990

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 305 '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. 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.

    The 2356th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. 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.

    The 4823rd Greatest Book of All Time
  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.

    The 5329th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Journal, 1935 44 by Mihail Sebastian

    "Journal, 1935-44" is a captivating collection of diary entries written by an insightful and introspective individual named Mihail Sebastian. Spanning almost a decade, the journal provides a unique glimpse into the author's personal thoughts, experiences, and observations during a tumultuous period in history. Through his poignant reflections, Sebastian explores themes of identity, love, politics, and the human condition, offering readers a profound and thought-provoking journey through his inner world.

    The 5457th Greatest Book of All Time
  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.

    The 6638th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Capitalism, Socialism, Ecology by Andre Gorz

    In "Capitalism, Socialism, Ecology," the author explores the complex relationships and conflicts between economic systems and environmental sustainability. He critically examines the failures of both capitalism and real-existing socialism in addressing ecological crises, arguing that neither system is adequately equipped to tackle the environmental challenges of our time. The book advocates for a new ecological order that transcends traditional economic paradigms, proposing a radical restructuring of societal values and economic practices to prioritize sustainability, social justice, and human well-being over profit and growth. Through this analysis, the author contributes to the broader discourse on environmental politics and the search for viable alternatives to unsustainable economic models.

    The 6687th Greatest Book of All Time
  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.

    The 6712th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Fighting Mc Kenzie Anzac Chaplain by Col Stringer

    The book tells the story of Daniel "Fighting Mac" McKenzie, a remarkable military chaplain who served with the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) forces during World War I. Known for his unorthodox methods and fierce determination, McKenzie was a spiritual guide who also physically defended and rescued soldiers in the trenches, earning him legendary status among the troops. His story is one of bravery, compassion, and unwavering faith, as he navigated the horrors of war to provide comfort and support to the soldiers fighting on the front lines. Through his actions, McKenzie became a symbol of hope and resilience, embodying the spirit of the ANZACs.

    The 7002nd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

    The book is a memoir of a Chinese peasant boy who, chosen at a young age by Madame Mao's cultural delegates to become a ballet dancer, undergoes a grueling training at Beijing Dance Academy. Through sheer determination and resilience, he excels and earns a rare opportunity to study in America. His experiences abroad open his eyes to the stark contrasts between the communist regime of China and the freedoms of the West. The story follows his emotional and ideological struggle as he eventually defects, leaving behind his family and homeland to pursue his passion for dance and a life of artistic and personal freedom.

    The 7119th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. 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.

    The 7783rd Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Acts Of Resistance by Pierre Bourdieu

    "Acts of Resistance" is a critical examination of the negative impacts of neoliberal policies on various aspects of society, including culture, education, and the economy. The book argues that these policies, which prioritize market values and corporate interests, undermine the foundations of democratic life and social justice. The author, a prominent sociologist, calls for intellectuals and citizens to resist these trends by defending the values of public welfare and social solidarity. Through a series of essays, the book explores the ways in which power and media manipulate public opinion and emphasizes the importance of critical thinking and collective action in the face of growing inequality and social fragmentation.

    The 7784th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. The Years by Annie Ernaux

    "The Years" is a compelling narrative that blends autobiography and collective history to depict the evolution of French society from the 1940s to the early 2000s. Through a blend of personal memories, shared experiences, and common artifacts, the book captures the passage of time and the changes it brings to individual lives and collective identity. The author uses an innovative form of writing, eschewing a traditional linear narrative and personal pronouns, to create a reflective and powerful exploration of memory, aging, and the continuous transformation of societal norms and personal aspirations.

    The 7915th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. 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.

    The 8296th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. Fathoms: The World In The Whale by Rebecca Giggs

    "Fathoms: The World In The Whale" is a profound exploration of the relationship between humans and whales, delving into the history, mythology, and biology of these majestic creatures. The book weaves together environmental and cultural narratives, examining the impact of human activity on whales and their habitats, while also reflecting on what whales signify in our collective imagination. Through lyrical prose, the author invites readers to consider the ethical dimensions of wildlife conservation, the consequences of climate change, and the intricate connections between the natural world and human society, all through the lens of the awe-inspiring presence of whales in our oceans.

    The 8432nd Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. 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.

    The 8445th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. Wrong About Japan by Peter Carey

    In this travel memoir, a father and his anime-obsessed son embark on a journey to Japan in an attempt to understand the son's fascination with the country's pop culture. Their adventure leads them to meet manga artists, anime directors, and cultural commentators, through which they explore the nuances of Japanese animation and its historical contexts. As the father attempts to bridge the cultural gap and connect with his son, he confronts his own preconceptions and discovers the complexities of modern Japanese culture, which cannot be easily understood through the lens of Western perspectives. The narrative delves into themes of cultural exchange, the generational divide, and the search for authenticity in a land where the line between reality and fiction often blurs.

    The 8445th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. 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 8536th Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 18. Reading The Holocaust by Inga Clendinnen

    "Reading the Holocaust" is an insightful exploration into the complex human realities of the Holocaust. The book delves into the motives and behaviors of both the perpetrators and the victims, challenging simplistic explanations and moral judgments. Through a meticulous examination of diaries, letters, and official documents, the author provides a nuanced analysis of the events and psychology that shaped this dark period in history. The work emphasizes the importance of understanding the Holocaust in all its complexity to better grasp the capacities and limits of human nature.

    The 8968th Greatest Book of All Time
  19. 19. Stasiland by Anna Funder

    This non-fiction work delves into the haunting legacy of the Stasi, the secret police of the former East Germany, through a series of personal narratives and interviews. The author explores the pervasive surveillance and oppression that characterized the German Democratic Republic, weaving together the stories of those who resisted the regime, those who worked for it, and those who were its victims. The book serves as a poignant examination of the human spirit under the strain of totalitarianism, revealing the scars left by a society where privacy was eradicated and trust was a commodity few could afford.

    The 9052nd Greatest Book of All Time
  20. 20. The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

    "The Weather Makers" is an informative and thought-provoking book about climate change. It explores the history of global warming, its current impact on our planet, and the potential future consequences if we do not take action. The book also discusses the role of humans in accelerating climate change, the science behind it, and the measures that can be taken to mitigate its effects. It serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding the complexities of climate change and urges the reader to acknowledge and act upon this urgent global issue.

    The 9367th Greatest Book of All Time
  21. 21. This House of Grief by Helen Garner

    This book is a true crime story about a man who is accused of murdering his three sons by driving them into a dam in Australia. The narrative follows the court case, providing a detailed account of the proceedings and evidence presented. It also delves into the emotional turmoil of the family and community, exploring themes of grief, loss, and the search for truth. The author's journalistic style of writing offers a balanced and thoughtful perspective on this tragic event.

    The 9480th Greatest Book of All Time
  22. 22. La Grotte Chauvet À Vallon Pont D'arc by Jean-Marie Chauvet

    The book provides an in-depth exploration of the Chauvet Cave, discovered in 1994 in the Ardèche region of southern France, which houses some of the oldest known prehistoric cave paintings. It details the discovery and significance of the cave's artwork, which dates back approximately 32,000 years, offering insights into the lives and environments of early human societies. The author, a key figure in the cave's discovery, combines scientific analysis with vivid photographic documentation to present a comprehensive study of the cave's intricate depictions of ancient animals and human figures, emphasizing the artistic sophistication and cultural complexities of our Paleolithic ancestors.

    The 9775th Greatest Book of All Time
  23. 23. A History Of Molecular Biology by Michel Morange

    "A History of Molecular Biology" delves into the scientific advancements and discoveries that shaped the field of molecular biology from the early 20th century to the late 1990s. The book explores the pivotal experiments, technologies, and figures that contributed to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying life processes. It highlights the interdisciplinary nature of the field, drawing on contributions from genetics, biochemistry, and physics, and discusses the impact of molecular biology on related scientific areas and its implications for biotechnology and medicine. The narrative also addresses the philosophical and ethical issues raised by new biotechnological capabilities.

    The 9976th Greatest Book of All Time
  24. 24. Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith

    This book delves into the fascinating world of cephalopods, particularly octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish, to explore the nature and origins of consciousness. The author, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, draws parallels between the development of the human mind and the intelligence of cephalopods, which evolved independently. Through a blend of scientific research, philosophical inquiry, and personal encounters with these enigmatic creatures, the book examines the profound implications of cephalopod consciousness for our understanding of the mind and the evolution of intelligence across different species.

    The 10104th Greatest Book of All Time
  25. 25. 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.

    The 10894th Greatest Book of All Time

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.