These Were the Nation’s Favorite Non-Fiction Books in 2021

published Jan 3, 2022
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Credit: Liz Calka

For some people, 2021 was a year full of books. Whether the goal was to read as many books as possible or update the TBR pile thanks to wonderful world of BookTok (the hashtag has 23.9 billion views and counting), reading became a lifeline throughout another turbulent year when many people were still spending a lot more time at home.

While reading for escapism is still a great way to spend your free time, many Americans turned to books to learn something last year, delving into political and social issues through motivational and thought-provoking non-fiction.

As part of a recent survey to determine the year’s best in pop culture, OnePoll surveyed 2,000 Americans to indicate which books they’d read from the coveted New York Times Best Seller list in 2021.

Politics and current events reigned with three of the top five most popular books specifically focused on President Trumps’ final year in office.

The most-popular non-fiction book among survey respondents was “Walk In My Combat Boots: True Stories from America’s Bravest Warriors,” by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney. A moving and powerful collection of original interviews, the book is an eye-opening look into what wearing the uniform, fighting in combat, losing friends and coming home is really like.

Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” was written by Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta and is an account of the chaos and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to devastating consequences over the last two years. “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” became an instant New York Times bestseller and was also written by two Washington Post journalists, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, and details Trump’s last year in office.

Another political bestseller, “Midnight in Washington,” is a first-hand account of Congressman Adam Schiff’s role in both impeachment trials, including his firsthand account of the Jan. 6 capitol insurrection.

Finally, the fifth most popular book was “Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of The Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It”, giving fans of The Real Housewives franchise all the insider secrets, from its unlikely start in the gated communities of Orange County to the pop culture phenomenon it has become today.