The 10 best-selling non-fiction books of all time


Books magically transport us to wondrous places and expose us to an unknown future or past and endless possibilities. Reading fiction may seem like the go-to choice for the creative mind, but non-fiction is just as compelling and consuming as its fictional counterpart. The best non-fiction books can draw your attention to their worlds, taking many forms and focusing on everything from history, science, crime, politics, race, travel and sex. . A similar thing about non-working books is that the authors bring the subject matter to life and make it remarkably compelling. Here is a review of the 10 best-selling non-fiction books of all time.

10. Dinosaurs by Kathleen Zoefeld – Approximately 50,000 copies sold

Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures. Released in 2011, this level 1 reader teaches children about these petrifying giants that roamed the earth before disappearing. Children are wowed by the rich information and magical illustrations from National Geographic, one of the reputable sources of non-fiction content for children. As one of the best-selling non-fiction books, it has already sold over 50,000 copies.

9. Spiders by Gail Gibbons – Estimate over 50,000 copies sold

Spiders are amazing animals, whether digging burrows, weaving webs or floating on strands of silk. The non-fiction book takes you into the fascinating world of these arachnids, reminding readers that while they are scary, most of them are harmless. The book highlights more than thirty thousand species of spiders and their means of survival, accompanied by clear illustrations and vocabulary.

8. Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer, Steve Jenkins – Estimated over 50,000 copies sold

Worms are hand-working creatures, spending their lives crawling through the soil and helping plants grow. These creatures help the vegetables and fruits we eat by feeding the plants and loosening the soil for better soil aeration. This book takes you into the world of worms and helps you understand how they work to help the whole environment. This non-fiction book is excellent for homeschooling children aged five to seven and provides a fun way to read and learn.

7. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe – Approximately 100,000 copies sold

Listed as one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of the Year, it is a complex and startling story about the unsavory murders in Northern Ireland and the devastating consequences they had. Thoroughly articulated, the author recounts the troubles and history of Northern Ireland. Interviewing both the conflicting side, the non-fiction story transforms a tragedy into an utterly captivating saga. The book has already won several awards including; the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Orwell Prize, and TIME Magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of the Year.

6. Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar – Approximately 100,000 copies sold

Dead Mountain is a respectful and well-researched story about the Dyatlov Pass incident that resulted in the deaths of nine Russian university students. According to Goodreadsthese students were experienced hikers who mysteriously died on the rise popularly known as Dead Mountain in the Russian Urals in February 1959. Investigative journalist Donnie Eichar sets out to explore all the murder theories, a series that will leave you stuck in the story for hours.

5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese – Estimate over 200,000 copies sold

This non-fiction book is an attempt by a young neurosurgeon to answer the question of what makes life worth living. It’s no surprise that the book was named one of Paste’s best memoirs of the decade and the New York Times Book of the Year. After completing his career as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. He was a doctor treating patients, and now he is the patient struggling to live. It is the story of a memorable and inspiring reflection on the challenge of facing death and the relationship between a doctor and his patient.

4. Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky – Estimated over 200,000 copies sold

According to reviewers, Behave is one of the best non-fiction books of all time. The book is a scientific non-fiction genre that examines human behavior, both bad and good, trying to understand why humans do the things they do. It starts with looking at what’s going on in a person’s brain shortly before a behavior occurs, the hormones that influence the response, and the stimuli that activate the nervous system. It builds understanding to try to answer questions about xenophobia, tribalism, morality, competition, peace and war.

3. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Cold War Spy Story by Ben Macintyre – Estimated over 500,000 copies sold

The Spy and the Traitor features the most remarkable spy story about Oleg Gordievsky, a Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War. A graduate of one of the best Soviet institutions and the son of two KGB agents, Oleg grew up witnessing Russian Communism. Posted as Russian intelligence and becoming the most senior man in the SOVIET union in London, he began working secretly for the M16 and helped the West turn the tide against the KGB. The novel plunges readers into the world of betrayal and betrayal, where one person’s hatred for communism changed the future of nations.

2. On Writing Well: The Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser – Estimated over 500,000 copies sold

Next on the list of best-selling non-fiction books is On Writing Well. With estimated sales of over 500,000 copies, this book has received praise for its sound advice, excellent clarity, and warm style. According to Amazon, it’s for anyone looking to learn to write or who needs to write a little to get through their day, especially in the age of the internet and email. Whether you want to write about places, people, technology, science, sports, arts, sports, or a biography, On Writing Well provides essential information and principles from an illustrious teacher and writer.

1. Breath: The New Science of Lost Art by James Nestor – Estimated over one million copies sold

With over a million copies sold and awarded Best Book of 2020 by NPR, Breath is an incredible book of non-fiction not to be missed. According to Goodreads, the non-fiction book presents an exciting cultural, scientific, evolutionary and spiritual history of human breath and how they have misbehaved it in recent years. While breathing is essential, humans have lost their ability to breathe properly, with fatal consequences. James Nestor travels the world to find what went wrong and how to fix it. Mild breathing adjustments are believed to restore higher athletic performance, treat respiratory diseases, and revitalize internal organs. With this book, you will never breathe the same again.


These are some of the 10 best-selling non-fiction books of all time. As you can see, reading non-fiction texts is the best way to entertain yourself while learning new things and experiencing intense personal growth at the same time.


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