Books are full of words. Words are full of letters. Letters make up the alphabet.
In honor of words, letters, and the alphabet we are sharing twenty-six of our favorite books from A to Z.
This idea is not original to me. I have seen this on several other book sites and on Pinterest and I loved it. We now have well over four hundred book reviews here on From Our Bookshelf, so I knew Grace and I could easily come up with a list of favorite books A to Z.
We decided to change it up a little bit though and make our list all nonfiction books. We love sharing great nonfiction books so putting together an A to Z list of nonfiction books was a lot of fun.
This list contains a little bit of everything. It includes WWII books, books about animals, science type books, memoirs, interesting history, and more.
We hope you find some great nonfiction books to add to your to be read list! And yes we may have cheated on a few of the book titles since it can be a little hard to find a book that begins with Q, X, or Z.
Herriot’s tale, which he weaves in All Creatures Great and Small, is very entertaining and fun. Both Grace and I love this book.
B- Bad Blood
This was one of my favorite books of 2018. Once I picked Bad Blood up and started reading it and could not put it down. I read it in less than two days. This is one of those books that makes you realize that fact is often stranger than fiction.
This book was hilarious. If you have kids, or came from a big family, Cheaper By the Dozen is a must read. It is full of funny stories and real life mishaps. This book is one that you won’t forget.
This book was very well written. Grace liked that Devotion is a unique story and that there was so much covered in the book. Adam Makos is one of Grace’s favorite nonfiction history authors.
Elephant Company was one of my favorite books of 2015. It is half war book and half animal book. It is a look at a part of the world during WWII that very few people know about.
I loved Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall. It is the real life story that follows a family through multiple generations that lived on both sides of the Berlin Wall.
G- Girl Sleuth
I never knew much about Nancy Drew’s author or should I say authors. Girl Sleuth shares the story behind the Nancy Drew books and the authors that wrote them. Yes, authors. This shares the behind the scenes facts about who wrote the books and why. It is a must read for Nancy Drew fans.
Books like Hellhound on His Trail remind me of why I love reading nonfiction. Well written nonfiction books makes history interesting and teaches you something you would have never known. On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel. With Hellhound On His Trail, Sides is able to show the details before, during, after this assassination.
In the Heart of the Sea is one of Grace’s all time favorite nonfiction books. She loves the insight and details about whaling which is a subject she has read little about. The story of Essex inspired the famous story Moby Dick.
J- John Adams
John Adams by David McCullough was a good presidential read. It is over 600 pages and is a bit of a tedious read, but it contains a lot about John Adams and the time around his life. He is an important American figure and this is one of the best books about his life.
Multiple people kept telling me how great Killers of the Flower Moon and once I read it we understood why. It is one of those books that is so well written and has a fascinating story that is almost so bizarre that it sounds like fiction. But it is true. I not only found it interesting to learn about the Osage Indians, but I also liked reading about the FBI back in those days and how they figured out this case. I highly recommend this book for history lovers and those who love good mystery books because this is one. Multiple people in our family have read and loved this one.
The Last Castle, is a well written fascinating non-fiction read. I knew very little about Biltmore and the Vanderbilt family, so I loved that aspect of the book. But I also loved that this book contained so much history in general. From basic facts about presidents, Europe, the depression, to lesser known facts about forestry and architecture in American. Now someday, I just need to visit Biltmore.
A Jewish boy who survived Auschwitz became one off America’s best known tailors. That is the story of Measure of a Man. He overcame many obstacles in his life and was able to rise above poverty. This book also shows how hard it was to get into America after World War II, which isn’t something a lot of people talk about.
Grace loved reading about Dusty and his memories of World War II. Never Call Me A Hero was an amazing story which is very well written. Grace says this is one of her favorite World War II stories and she cannot believe how much I enjoyed it. It is a well written fascinating read.
I loved Once Upon a Town because it shared a unique view of WWII. I have read quite a few WWII books, but I have never read one quite like this one. This book shared how a small town in middle America made a huge difference in WWII. This book shares the story of how simple acts of kindness made a difference in thousands of young men’s lives.
I found The Polar Bear Expedition to be so fascinating. I had no clue that the USA, Great Britain, and several other countries tried to invade Russia and help a group over throw the communist government. This book focus on the American men who went into Russia fighting for a war that was given up rather quickly making their families and friends wondering why they had lost relatives their. And also the men who fought and survived wondering why they wasted time in the cold land.
History books, that discuss people that overcame difficult situations to accomplish something that seemed impossible, are some of my favorite books. The Queen of Katwe is about a girl, Phiona, from African poverty who became one of the best female chess players in the world.
RAF is a story that is not told a lot because people do not often think about how things were first created. We think of things as they are not how or when they started. The RAF had a rough started, but with the help of many people, including Winston Churchill, it was formed. This book is a fascinating look into how and why it was formed.
S- Shoe Dog
Nike is a popular shoe company now, but it started with just an idea. Shoe Dog was very interesting. It had many facts about Nike and it’s founder, Phil Knight. Since the book is written by Phil Knight, it focuses more on his life and a less on Nike especially since he had companies before Nike.
Grace enjoys weird history and nonfiction books, and I think The Thirty-Three Strategies of War classifies as one of them. A friend from work let her borrow her son’s copy of this book, and she read it in three days. She could not put it down because it was so fascinating. She has recommended this book to quite a few people.
I have read a lot of WWII books, but I think Unbroken is one of my favorite. In fact, if I had to make a list of my 10 favorite books of all time this would make the list. This book was a powerful story of survival, strength, and forgiveness. The story of Louis Zamperini is an amazing story, but what I really loved about this book is the powerful writing. This book is a true story, but it reads like a novel.
The writing of Voices of the Pacific by Adam Makos was great. I enjoyed being able to follow fifteen marines island hoping across the Pacific during World War II. I was able to see the war through so many eyes and experiences that it was opening for me to the difference and similarities between so many soldiers in World War II. The writing in this book was well done because it highlights the marines and their actual stories. This is the second book by Adam Makos to make our list. He really is one of my favorite nonfiction writers.
We’ll Always Have Casablanca contains so much history of Hollywood, the mood before and during World War II, and everyone’s interest in Casablanca. It was very well written and brought out a lot of facts. I enjoyed how this book brought up about it talking about culture of Hollywood and how there were tons of immigrants making it easier for Casablanca to be made. It added to authenticity as many of the actors were playing rolls for cultures they were actually from. If you like the movie Casablanca or Hollywood, you will want to check this out.
The one is a little bit of a stretch for X since it doesn’t begin with X, but since we couldn’t find a book that we have read that began with X we decided this one was close enough. I had never heard of mini submarines until I picked up The Real X-Men at a used bookstore. I had no idea that these small machines were used in World War II by Great Britain. I think if you love weird history this is right up your alley.
You Learn By Living by Eleanor Roosevelt was originally published in 1960, but I was amazed at how easily it could have been written today. The title, You Learn By Living, says exactly what this book is about. Eleanor Roosevelt shares her the lessons she has learned through living her life. This book is part memoir and part lessons on living life. You Learn By Living makes the perfect book for Y.
I love World War II stories and animal stories, so The Zoo Keeper’s Wife was a definite read for me. The story is well written, but I thought it was a little choppy. This is a true story with amazing people in it. If you have seen the movie you need to read the book. The book shares more details and information than the movie could.