The Greatest Nigerian, Russian, Norwegian "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 Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

    This book provides an intimate and eye-opening look into the everyday life of an Afghan family. The narrative follows a bookseller in Kabul, who despite the oppressive Taliban regime, courageously continues his trade. The story delves into his family dynamics, the struggles of his two wives, his children's lives, and the societal norms and customs they navigate. It paints a vivid picture of life in Afghanistan, exploring the themes of love, courage, resilience, and the power of literature.

    The 2822nd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard

    The book in question is an autobiographical novel that delves deeply into the minutiae of the author's life, exploring his personal relationships, emotions, and the everyday experiences that shape his identity. It is a candid and introspective narrative that spans across various stages of his life, from childhood to adulthood, and examines themes such as family, death, love, and ambition. The author's unflinching honesty and detailed prose invite readers to reflect on the complexities of their own lives, as he scrutinizes the ordinary moments that, collectively, define who we are.

    The 3065th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  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. One Of Us: The Story Of Anders Breivik And The Massacre In Norway by Asne Seierstad

    One of Us by Asne Seierstad is a detailed account of the 2011 terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway, carried out by Anders Breivik. The book explores Breivik's background, motives, and planning leading up to the attack, as well as the aftermath and impact on the survivors and families of the victims. Seierstad's thorough research and interviews with those affected provide a comprehensive and emotional portrayal of the tragedy, shedding light on the complexities of extremism and the devastating consequences of hate.

    The 6435th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Ecology, Community And Lifestyle by Arne Naess

    "Ecology, Community and Lifestyle" is a philosophical text that outlines the principles of deep ecology, a movement emphasizing the intrinsic value of all living beings and the need for radical shifts in modern human societies to sustain ecological balance. The book delves into the interdependence between human life and the environment, advocating for a comprehensive transformation in our lifestyles and political systems to foster a sustainable relationship with the earth. It combines insights from ecology, philosophy, and sociology to propose a more harmonious way of living that respects the limits of the planet's resources and promotes a thriving, diverse biosphere.

    The 6595th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard

    "A Death in the Family" is a deeply personal and introspective narrative that delves into the complexities of familial relationships, childhood, death, and memory. The protagonist, a writer, is forced to confront his past and his relationship with his alcoholic father after his death. The novel explores the impact of this death on the protagonist's life and his struggle to come to terms with his complicated feelings of love, resentment, and guilt. The narrative is a profound exploration of the human condition, the intricacies of family dynamics, and the lasting impact of grief and loss.

    The 8947th Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. Poor Numbers by Morten Jerven

    This book critically examines the reliability of economic statistics in Sub-Saharan Africa, revealing a significant gap between the reported data and the actual economic realities on the ground. The author delves into the systemic issues plaguing statistical offices across the continent, including underfunding, political interference, and a lack of technical capacity, which collectively contribute to the production of inaccurate economic data. By analyzing the processes and methodologies used to gather and report these statistics, the book sheds light on the profound implications these "poor numbers" have for policy-making, economic development, and international perceptions of African economies. Through this exploration, it calls for a reevaluation of how economic data in these countries is collected and used, advocating for reforms that could lead to more accurate and meaningful measurements of economic progress.

    The 9498th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. 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

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

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