The Greatest Nigerian, Russian, Egyptian "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 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.

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  1. 1. Ake: The Years Of Childhood by Wole Soyinka

    "Ake: The Years of Childhood" is a memoir that chronicles the early years of a Nigerian boy growing up in the town of Ake. Set in the 1940s, the book vividly captures the author's experiences, from his close-knit family life to his encounters with colonialism and the struggle for independence. Through his insightful and lyrical prose, the author takes readers on a nostalgic journey filled with rich cultural traditions, humorous anecdotes, and poignant reflections on the complexities of childhood.

    The 2188th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Unwomanly Face Of War by Svetlana Alexievich

    "The Unwomanly Face Of War" is a powerful and poignant collection of interviews with Soviet women who fought in World War II. Through their testimonies, the author sheds light on the often overlooked and untold stories of these brave women who served as snipers, pilots, nurses, and soldiers on the front lines. The book explores their experiences, sacrifices, and the lasting impact of war on their lives, providing a unique and intimate perspective on the realities of war from a female point of view.

    The 4439th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. A Bridge Through Time by Laila Abou-Saif

    "A Bridge Through Time" is a poignant memoir that chronicles the author's life journey, weaving together the rich tapestry of her Egyptian heritage with her experiences in the Western world. The narrative delves into the complexities of identity, culture, and the sense of belonging as the author navigates the challenges of assimilation and the preservation of her roots. Through a series of reflective anecdotes and personal insights, the book offers a unique perspective on the universal quest for self-discovery and the reconciliation of disparate worlds, ultimately serving as a metaphorical bridge connecting the past with the present.

    The 4577th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Male Daughters, Female Husbands by Ifi Amadiume

    "Male Daughters, Female Husbands" is an anthropological exploration of gender roles and power dynamics within the Igbo society of Nigeria. The book challenges traditional Western notions of gender and sexuality, focusing on the concept of "female husbands" - women who assume the roles and responsibilities typically associated with men. Through extensive research and personal narratives, the author examines the historical and cultural context of these gender roles, shedding light on the complex intersections of gender, power, and identity in Igbo society.

    The 5090th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Memoirs From The Women’s Prison by Nawal El Saadawi

    The book is a powerful autobiographical account of the author's imprisonment in 1981 by the Egyptian government for alleged crimes against the state, primarily due to her outspoken views on women's rights and her criticisms of political repression. Within the confines of the women's prison, she encounters a diverse group of inmates, from political dissidents to murderers, each with their own story and struggles. The narrative delves into the harsh realities of life behind bars and the resilience of women who support one another in the face of adversity, revealing the oppressive mechanisms of the state and the enduring spirit of resistance among women.

    The 6254th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    The book explores the importance of feminism in today's society and argues that gender equality is not just a women's issue, but a concern for everyone. Drawing from personal experiences and anecdotes, the author highlights the various ways in which gender inequality manifests itself and offers insightful perspectives on how we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable world for all.

    The 6406th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. My Half Century by Anna Akhmatova

    "My Half Century" is a reflective anthology that encapsulates the personal and professional life of a prominent Russian poetess through her own writings and letters, as well as critical essays about her work. The collection spans the tumultuous periods of Russian history from the early 20th century through the Stalinist era, providing a window into the poet's profound resilience and adaptation in the face of personal and political upheaval. Her poetry, marked by its emotional depth and lyrical beauty, explores themes of love, grief, and the endurance of the human spirit, while also subtly critiquing the oppressive political climate of her time. This compilation not only celebrates her literary genius but also her role as a witness to a critical period in Russian history.

    The 7120th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

    "Cleopatra: A Life" by Stacy Schiff is a detailed biography of one of the most famous and enigmatic figures in history, Cleopatra VII of Egypt. The book explores her life from childhood to her reign as queen, her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her eventual downfall. Schiff uses primary sources and historical records to paint a vivid picture of Cleopatra's world and dispel many of the myths surrounding her life. The book also delves into the political and cultural context of ancient Egypt and Rome, providing a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.

    The 7780th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Truth About Chernobyl by Grigory Medvedev

    "The Truth About Chernobyl" is a detailed account of the catastrophic 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, written by Grigory Medvedev, a chief engineer at the plant during the 1970s. Drawing from his own experiences and extensive research, Medvedev exposes the series of events leading up to the explosion, the aftermath, and the cover-up by Soviet officials. The book provides an insider’s perspective on the failures in design, management, and operation of the reactor, and criticizes the lack of safety culture in the Soviet nuclear industry. Medvedev’s narrative not only highlights the technical aspects of the disaster but also delves into the human stories of those who lived through the tragedy, offering a poignant look at one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.

    The 8204th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Diary Of A Gulag Prison Guard 1935 6 by Ivan Chistyakov

    "The Diary Of A Gulag Prison Guard 1935-6" is a chilling and harrowing memoir that provides a firsthand account of the atrocities and cruelty witnessed by Ivan Chistyakov during his time as a guard in a Soviet Gulag prison. Through his detailed entries, Chistyakov reveals the dehumanizing conditions, brutal punishments, and constant fear that both prisoners and guards endured within the oppressive Soviet regime. This haunting narrative serves as a stark reminder of the dark realities of the Gulag system and the lasting impact it had on the lives of countless individuals.

    The 8380th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. In Confidence by Anatoly Dobrynin

    "In Confidence" is a memoir by a former Soviet ambassador that provides an insider's view of Cold War diplomacy from the perspective of the Soviet Union. The book offers detailed accounts of the ambassador's interactions with several U.S. administrations, revealing the complexities of U.S.-Soviet relations and the personal and political challenges of navigating this high-stakes diplomatic landscape. Through his unique vantage point, the author sheds light on major historical events and decisions, offering insights into the strategic thinking and interpersonal dynamics that shaped the Cold War era.

    The 8468th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Other Russias by Victoria Lomasko

    "Other Russias" is a powerful and thought-provoking graphic novel that offers an intimate and unfiltered glimpse into the lives of marginalized individuals and communities in contemporary Russia. Through her stunning illustrations and poignant interviews, Victoria Lomasko sheds light on the struggles, hopes, and resilience of diverse groups such as LGBTQ+ activists, migrant workers, political dissidents, and the forgotten voices of rural communities. This eye-opening book challenges stereotypes and provides a humanizing portrayal of those who are often overlooked or silenced in Russian society.

    The 8495th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. 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 9613th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

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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