30 Non-Fiction Books I Rated 


  1. Rethink It/ Michael Cohen 4
  2. 24 Keys That Bring Complete Success/ Paul Meyer 5
  3. The Smartest Kids In The World/ Amanda Ripley 4
  4. Intentional Living/ John Maxwell 5
  5. Jumpstart Your Growth/ John Maxwell 5
  6. WELLth/ Jason Wachob 4
  7. Why Diets Fail/ Nicole Avena 3
  8. The Art of People/ Dave Kerpen 4
  9. Business Secrets From The Bible/ Daniel Lapin 5
  10. The Richest Man in Babylon/ George S. Clason 5
  11. Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn/ John Maxwell 5
  12. Little Red Book of Selling/ Jeffrey Gitomer 4
  13. Get Smart/ Brian Tracy 5
  14. The More of Less/ Joshua Becker 5
  15. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind/ T. Harv Eker 4
  16. Write That Novel/ Karen McQuestion 5
  17. The $100 StartUp/ Chris Guilleabeau 4
  18. Eat That Frog/ Brian Tracy 4
  19. Son of Hamas/ Mosab Hassan Yousef 4
  20. David and Goliath/ Malcolm Gladwell 5
  21. What The Dog Saw/ Malcolm Gladwell 4
  22. Talk Like Ted/ Carmine Gallo 5
  23. Rich Dad, Poor Dad/ Robert T. Kiyosaki 4
  24. Originals/ Adam Grant 4
  25. Find Your Extraordinary/ Jessica DiLullo Herrin 4
  26. Living Forward/ Michael Hyatt 4
  27. The Art of Creative Thinking/ Ron Judkins 4
  28. Year of Yes/ Shonda Rhimes 5
  29. Who Moved My Cheese/ Spencer Johnson 5
  30. Between the World and Me/ Ta-nehisi Coates 5

My Non-Fiction reading has taken a definite hit in the past 2 months. Blame it on my foray into BookTubing and all the Fiction that’s had me engrossed most of the summer. At the end of June, I’d read 27, at the end of July, the tally was 29 and 28 days later, I’ve only added one more NF book to the pile.

That’s because I don’t read NF the way I read Fiction – I study NF books, often reading a chapter or a few pages and putting it aside to let the lesson marinate before I move on.

All in all, though, I haven’t been spending as much time reading these study books as before. Now that I realize, I can take steps to change that.

Do you read a lot of Non-Fiction/ Self-Help/ Self-Improvement books? What’s the best one you’ve read this year?

Pulitzer Prize Winners

My interest in the Pulitzer Prize is a bit selfish. My goal is to win the prize myself someday soon.  I berate myself for not having started working toward that goal earlier. There are a few years when no award was given, and I wonder, Was that supposed to be my year? In 2012, that could have been my name instead of those unsatisfactory words – No Award Given.

I wonder also, how the finalists felt. When you lose to someone better than you, that’s one thing. When you lose but there is no winner, what does that say about you? 

That’s why you can’t do it for the prize. Just like you can’t act hoping to get an Oscar nod. You can’t sing hoping to get a Grammy. As an artist, you do your craft because you love it. Because you’d do it even if no one noticed. The recognition and the prizes, well they just have to be an unnecessary bonus. 

But I still want to win one someday 😀

Here is a list of the novels that won the Pulitzer Prize and the books that came close.


2016: The Sympathizer/ Viet Thanh Nguyen

2015: All The Light We Cannot See/ Anthony Doerr

2014: The Goldfinch/ Donna Tart

2013: The Orphan Master’s Son/ Adam Johnson

2012: No Awardee

2011: A Visit From The Goon Squad/ Jennifer Egan

2010: Tinkers/ Paul Harding

2009: Olive Kitteridge/ Elizabeth Strout

2008: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao/ Junot Diaz

2007: The Road/ Cormac McCarthy

2006: March/ Geraldine Brooks

2005: Gilead/ Marilynne Robinson

2004: The Known World/ Edward P. Jones

2003: Middlesex/ Jeffrey Eugenides

2002: Empire Falls/ Richard Russo

2001: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay/ Michael Chabon

2000: Interpreter of Maladies/ Jhumpa Lahiri

1999: The Hours/ Michael Cunningham

1998: American Pastoral/ Philip Roth

1997: Martin Dressler/ The Tale of an American

1996: Independence Day/ Richard Ford

1995: The Stone Diaries/ Carol Shields

1994: The Shipping News/ E. Annie Proulx

1993: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain/ Robert Olen Butler

1992: A Thousand Acres/ Jane Smiley

1991: Rabbit At Rest/ John Updike

1990: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love/ Oscar Hijuelos

1989: Breathing Lessons/ Anne Tyler

1988: Beloved/ Toni Morrison

1987: A Sum Summons to Memphis/ Peter Taylor

1986: Lonesome Dove/ Larry McMurty

1985: Foreign Affairs/ Alison Lurie

1984: Ironweed/ William Kennedy

1983: The Color Purple/ Alice Walker

1982: Rabbit Is Rich/ John Updike

1981: A Confederacy of Dunces/ John Kennedy Toole

1980: The Executioner’s Song/ Norman Mailer

1979: The Stories of John Cheever/ John Cheever

1978: Elbow Room/ James Alan McPherson

1977: No Awardee

1976: Humbolt’s Gift/ Saul Bellow

1975: The Killer Angels/ Michael Shaara

1974: No Awardee

1973: The Optimist’s Daughter/ Eudora Welty

1972: Angle of Repose/ Wallace Stegner

1971: No Awardee

1970: Collected Stories/ Jean Stafford

1969: House Made of Dawn/ N. Scott Momaday

1968: The Confessions of Nat Turner/ William Styron

1967: The Fixer/ Bernard Malamud

1966: Collected Stories/ Katharine Anne Porter

1965: The Keepers Of The House/ Shirley Ann Grau

1964: No Awardee

1963: The Reivers/ William Faulkner

1962: TheEdge of Sadness/ Edwin O’Connor

1961: To Kill A Mockingbird/ Harper Lee

1960: Advise and Consent/ Allen Drury

1959: The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters/ Robert Lewis Taylor

1958: A Death In The Family/ James Agee

1957: No Awardee

1956: Andersonville/ MacKinlay Kantor

1955: A Fable/ William Faulkner

1954: No Awardee

1953: The Old Man And The Sea/ Ernest Hemingway

1952: The Caine Mutiny/ Herman Wouk

1951: The Town/ Conrad Richter

1950: The Way West/ A. B. Guthrie

1949: Guard of Honor/ James Gould Cozzens

1948: Tales of the South Pacific/ James A. Michener



Get In Trouble: Stories/ Kelly Link

Maud’s Line/ Margaret Verble



Let Me Be Frank With You/ Richard Ford

Lovely, Dark, Deep/ Joyce Carol Oates

The Moor’s Account/ Laila Lalami


The Son/ Philipp Meyer

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul/ Bob Shacochis


2013 Finalists:

The Snow Child/ Eowyn Ivey

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank/ Nathan Englander

2012 Finalists:

Swamplandia/ Karen Russell

The Pale King/ David Foster Wallace

Train Dreams/ Denis Johnson


2011 Finalists:

The Privileges/ Jonathan Dee

The Surrendered/ Chang-rae Lee


2010 Finalists: 

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders/ Daniyal Mueenuddin

Love In Infant Monkeys/ Lydia Millet

2009 Finalists

All Souls/ Christine Schutt

The Plague of Doves/ Louise Erdich

2008 Finalists: Shakespeare’s kitchen/ Love Segal

Tree of Smoke/ Denis Johnson

2007 Finalists:

After This/ Alice McDermott

The Echo Maker/ Richard Powers


2006 Finalists:

The Bright Forever/ Lee Martin

The March/ E. L. Doctorow


2005 Finalists:

An Unfinished Season/ Ward Just

War Trash/ Ha Jin


2004 Winner:

American Woman/ Susan Choi

Evidence of Things Unseen/ Marianne Wiggins


2003 Winner:

Servants of the Map: Stories/ Andrea Barrett

You Are Not A Stranger Here/ Adam Haslett


2002 Winner:

John Henry Days/ Colson Whitehead

The Corrections/ Jonathan Franzen


2001 Winner:

Blonde/ Joyce Carol Oates

The Quick And The Dead/ Joy Williams


2000 Winner:

Close Range: Wyoming Stories/ Annie Proulx

Waiting/ Ha Jin


1999 Winner:

Cloudsplitter/ Russell Banks

The Poisonwood Bible/ Barbara Kingsolver


1998 Winner:

Bear and His Daughter: Stories/ Robert Stone

Underworld/ Don DeLillo


The Manikin/ Joanna Scott

Unlocking The Air and Other Stories/ Ursula K. LeGuin


Mr. Ives’ Christmas/ Oscar Hijuelos

Sabbath’s Theater/ Philip Roth


Collected Stories/ Grace Paley

What I Lived For/ Joyce Carol Oates


Operation Shylock: A Confession/ Philip Roth

The Collected Stories/ Reynolds Price


At Weddings And Wakes/ Alice McDermott

Black Water/ Joyce Carol Oates


Jernigan/ David Gates

Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals/ Robert M. Pirsig

Mao II/ Don DeLillo


Mean Spirit/ Linda Hogan

The Things They Carried/ Tim O’Brien


Billy Bathgate/ E. L. Doctorow


Where I’m Calling From/ Raymond Carver


Persian Nights/ Diane Johnson

That Night/ Alice McDermott


Paradise/ Donald Marthelme

Whites/ Norman Rush


Continental Drift/ Russell Banks

The Accidental Tourist/ Anne Tyler


I Wish This War Were Over/ Diana O’Hehir

Leaving The Land/ Donald Unger


Cathedral/ Raymond Carver

The Feud/ Thomas Berger


Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant/ Anne Tyler

Rabbis and Wives/ Chaim Grade


A Flag for Sunrise/ Robert Stone

Housekeeping/ Marilynne Robinson


Godric/ Frederick Buechner

So Long, See You Tomorrow/ Williams Maxwell


Birdy/ William Wharton

The Ghost Writer/ Philip Roth



***Between The World And Me/ Ta-nehisi Coates was a finalist for the 2016 Non-Fiction prize. I have the book on my TBR this week.

The prize for Fiction is awarded for distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. It carries with it a purse of Ten thousand dollars.

See other categories of the Pulitzer Prize awardees here