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Challenged (well, asked) by a fiction-reading friend (well, her tastes are eclectic) to produce a canonical list of ten non-fiction books (not really, just some good for her), I, of course, obliged. (What’s the point in writing without a little hyperbole?) Hereunder, THE LIST.

History | The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown | A misfit rowing crew takes on the Berlin Olympics in a book that is higher, faster, stronger.

History | The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King | My riskiest suggestion for her tastes, but a stunning, snarky voice that makes Canadian history interesting.

History | A Spy Among Friends by Ben MacIntyre | Captures deep friendship, brutal betrayals, and the English class system in a good old fashioned Cold War intrigue.

History | In The Kingdom Of Ice by Hampton Sides | The talk of the book office at the moment, an epic of comradeship, adventure, and Arctic survival.

Memoir | An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth by Chris Hadfield | Umm, it’s Chris Hadfield. Why haven’t you read it yet?

Memoir | Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston | An intimate self-portrait by a woman who had it all and lost it in a bottle. Because drinking isn’t just a guy problem.

Memoir | Buddy by Brian McGrory | Who wouldn’t want to read a story about a couple who fell in love, healed, and built a family around a pet rooster?

Cultural | Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo | Eye-opening reporting on globalization from the bottom of the world’s heap.

Cultural | Sex And The Citadel by Shereen El Feki | Want to understand how the Middle East is changing in the modern world? Then figure out their sex lives (still the best cover of 2013).

Science | How Mother Nature Is Trying To Kill You by Dan Riskin | An ewww-worthy book that uncovers the less nurturing side of Mother Nature.

And, as a bonus, because I know she likes the comic books| The Great War by Joe Sacco | A twenty-four foot graphic extravaganza.

Other lists created on demand.