i'm just an educator stumbling upon new ways to do my job better (i hope)

Some Nonfiction Books & Authors That Have Changed My Worldview

I feel the need to provide a little more evidence that I'm actually a great fan of nonfiction. If that's silly, consider this recommended reading. When I say these works/authors have "changed my worldview," I mean they've either blown me away so completely by the quality of the writing that they actually impacted how I think about the written word, or they've been so insightful that I consciously changed the way I went about living because of them, or that they taught me something I would never have otherwise had occasion to learn.


  • David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon University, published posthumously as This Is Water. I've taken those three words as a sort of mantra, and often considered actually having them tattooed on my person.
  • Annie Dillard's For the Time Being. My words can't do these words justice.
  • Any number of books and articles by John McPhee. Start with Oranges.
  • Week after week of articles in The New Yorker, most specifically profiles written by David Remnick and Mark Singer
  • Michael Dirda's Bound to Please. It makes me want to read every book that Michael Dirda has ever loved.
  • Dave Eggers's Zeitoun. New Orleans, New Orleans.


What nonfiction has rocked your world?

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