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The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2022 | The Non-Obvious Book Awards Longlist

It’s mid-November and this time of year means one thing for our team over here at Non-Obvious Company … it’s Book Awards time! This year we considered a record number of titles for our awards (more than 1000 books from publishers of all sizes) and narrowed the list to our selections for the top 100 non-fiction books of the year which made the Non-Obvious Book Awards Longlist. Our choices are a diverse set of titles that talk about everything from zoning cities to speaking with whales.

The honorees feature the very best ideas and writing of the year. On December 1st at 11am we will announce our 10 Shortlist selections and top 5 books of the year in a livestream broadcast of my Non-Obvious Book Review Show.

For now, congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to all the authors and publishers who submitted books – the choices for which ones to include were harder than ever this year!

How Are Books Chosen?

We consider every aspect of a book, from its writing and quality of the ideas to the originality of the work. We are, of course, looking for “Non-Obvious” ideas above all. What this means to us is a concept or way of thinking that we haven’t seen before. Something uniquely interesting and useful. An idea that makes us think. Read more about how our awards work and our selection process >>

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing reviews of the selected titles and on December 1st at 11am EST we will live stream an episode of my Non-Obvious Book Review Show where I announce the 10 books that made the Shortlist and our 5 top winners. During the show, I will also share my picks for the books with the best titles and covers as well as share some insights on the five biggest book trends of the year. If you love books, you won’t want to miss it!

The 2022 Non-Obvious Book Awards Longlist Selections

(Listed in alphabetical order by book title – all books available for purchase in our official Bookshop.org store and a portion of process go to support independent bookstores).

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  • A Man of the World by Gilbert Grosvenor and Mark Collins Jenkins
  • A More Just Future by Dolly Chugh
  • All the Living and the Dead by Hayley Campbell
  • An Immense World by Ed Yong
  • Arbritrary Lines by M. Nolan Gray
  • Asian American Histories of the United States by Catherine Ceniza Choy
  • Atlas of the Invisible by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti
  • Barred by Daniel S. Medwed
  • Before You Say Anything by Victoria Wellman
  • Between Us by Batja Mesquita
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  • Bi by Julia Shaw
  • Bittersweet by Susan Cain
  • Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke
  • Chokepoint Capitalism by Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow
  • Converted by Neil Hoyne
  • Cues by Vanessa Van Edwards
  • Curious Minds by Perry Zurn and Dani S. Bassett
  • Davos Man by Peter S. Goodman
  • Direct by Kathryn Judge
  • Don’t Get Mad at Penguins by Gabe Karp
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  • Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino
  • Escaping Gravity by Lori Garver
  • Everything I Need I Get from You by Kaitlyn Tiffany
  • Fight Like Hell by Kim Kelly
  • Geopedia by Marcia Bjornerud and Haley Hagerman
  • Get Rich or Lie Trying by Symeon Brown
  • Getting Along by Amy Gallo
  • Go Back to Where You Came From by Wajahat Ali
  • Good Arguments by Bo Seo
  • Goodbye, Status Quo by Dr. Joan Fallon
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  • How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter
  • How Minds Change by David McRaney
  • How to Begin by Michael Bungay Stanier
  • How to Break Up With Your Friends by Erin Falconer
  • How to Host a Viking Funeral by Kyle Scheele
  • How to Read Now: Essays by Elaine Castillo
  • How to Speak Whale by Tom Mustill
  • How to Stay Smart in a Smart World by Gerd Gigerenzer
  • How to Talk to Your Boss About Race by Y-Vonne Hutchinson
  • How to Tell a Story by Meg Bowles, Catherine Burns, Kate Tellers, Jenifer Hixson and Sarah Austin Jenness
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  • How We Eat by Paco Underhill
  • I Never Thought of It That Way by Mónica Guzmán
  • If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal by Justin Gregg
  • In Praise of Good Bookstores by Jeff Deutsch
  • Index, A History of the by Dennis Duncan
  • Influence is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance
  • Kingdom of Characters by Jing Tsu
  • Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman
  • Majority Minority by Justin Gest
  • Making Numbers Count by Chip Heath and Karla Starr
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  • Meet Me by the Fountain by Alexandra Lange
  • Of Boys and Men by Richard V. Reeves
  • Overdue by Amanda Oliver
  • Plays Well with Others by Eric Barker
  • Quit by Annie Duke
  • Radical Curiosity by Seth Goldenberg
  • Return of the Artisan by Grant McCracken
  • Revelations in Air by Jude Stewart
  • Signals by Jeff Desjardins
  • Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz
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  • Speaking of Race by Celeste Headlee
  • Special Characters by Laurie Segall
  • Stealing My Religion by Liz Bucar
  • Stolen Focus by Johann Hari
  • Strangers to Ourselves by Rachel Aviv
  • Suppression, Deception, Snobbery, and Bias by Ari Fleischer
  • The 6 Phase Meditation Method by Vishen Lakhiani
  • The Black Experience in Design by Anne H. Berry, Kareem Collie, Penina Acayao Laker, Lesley-Ann Noel, Jennifer Rittner and Kelly Walters
  • The Chaos Machine by Max Fisher
  • The Cryptopians by Laura Shin
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  • The First, the Few, the Only by Deepa Purushothaman
  • The Founders by Jimmy Soni
  • The Future is Analog by David Sax
  • The Generation Myth by Bobby Duffy
  • The Greatest Invention by Silvia Ferrara and Todd Portnowitz
  • The LEGO Story by Jens Andersen
  • The Light We Give by Simran Jeet Singh
  • The Newlyweds by Mansi Choksi
  • The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman
  • The No Club by Linda Babcock, Brenda Peyser, Laurie R. Weingart, and Lise Vesterlund
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  • The Persuaders by Anand Giridharadas
  • The Power Law by Sebastian Mallaby
  • The Power of Conflict by Jon Taffer
  • The Power of Regret by Daniel H. Pink
  • The Rescue Effect by Michael Mehta Webster
  • The Secret Life of Secrets by Michael Slepian
  • The Shame Machine by Cathy O’Neil
  • The Story Paradox by Jonathan Gottschall
  • The Things We Love by Aaron Ahuvia PhD
  • The Titanium Economy by Asutosh Padhi and Gaurav Batra
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  • There Are No Accidents by Jessie Singer
  • Thinking 101 by Woo-kyoung Ahn
  • This Beauty by Nick Riggle
  • Toxic Positivity by Whitney Goodman
  • Trigger Points by Mark Follman
  • What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill
  • When Everyone Leads by Ed O’Malley and Julia Fabris McBride
  • Write a Must-Read by AJ Harper
  • You Should Smile More by Dawn Hudson, Cie Nicholson, Mitzi Short, Katie Lacey, Lori Tauber Marcus, and Angelique Bellmer Krembs
  • You’ve Been Played by Dr. Adrian Hon

About the Non-Obvious Book Awards

We believe in the power of books.

Unlike other industry awards programs, books are not entered into predefined categories and authors or publishers are not charged a fee to enter a book. Rather than creating a profit-making venture, we focus on selecting the very best books of the year and sharing them with our global audience.

The Non-Obvious Book Awards are curated, judged and created for people who love books. Especially non-fiction books.

Every year we start by selecting a Longlist of our favorite books of the year – selected from hundreds of books submitted every year. This is followed by our Shortlist of the 15 top books of the year, and then we select winners based on five themes – importance, originality, readability, usefulness, and shareability.

See Past Winners of the Non-Obvious Book Awards >>

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