Summer School for Readers

4 Nonfiction novels to capture your attention!

by: pranav Thurgam


Just as a preface, I’ve always been a ‘fantasy’ hard-liner, and rejected any hopes of reading non-fic books. The following are some of the literary pieces that really changed my perspective on this genre, and I hope it may be a source of enjoyment for others as well!


1. Trevor Noah: Born a Crime

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Kindle edition by  Noah, Trevor. Humor & Entertainment Kindle eBooks @

Trevor Noah: Born A Crime is a testament to the seemingly impossible, that “it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be” (J.K. Rowling). 

On a personal basis, this novel is a unique look into a ‘world’ not often seen. Through each chapter, the reader is guided through the compelling story of Noah – struggling in a society which marks him outcast, yet still striving towards his personal ‘success’. It is a captivating peek into ‘life’s lessons’, while of course incorporating the comedic flare unique to the popular Daily Show Host.

2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

In his bestselling novel, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, author Yuval Noah Harrari delivers a stunning look into the progress of humanity over the millenia – well summarizing the unique phases of human development (Cognitive, Agricultural, Scientific).

He dissects popular social factors – as in money, religion, and stigma – within modern society, documenting their growth over time.

Looking back, the novel’s simple nature as a compilation of ‘all’ human history lends to its value – and it’s intriguing and well-built narrative can only be considered additive. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: Harari, Yuval Noah: Books

3. A Promised Land A Promised Land (9781524763169): Obama, Barack: Books

A Promised Land, an autobiography from the 44th American President – Barack Hussein Obama II, details the renowned politician’s life as he travels from an unknown upstart to the well-respected voice today.

From my experience, the novel’s value lies in its unique approach towards the modern political landscape; explaining the various ideologies affecting our modern undercurrent, and conveying the valuable lessons Obama stands by. To a greater extent, the ‘sneak-peek’ into the major decisions of Obama’s presidency adds to an already riveting novel.

4. Night

In his novel, Night, author Elie Wiesel provides insight into the harrowing story of the Holocaust. Documenting the journey of the young Eliezer as he braves the coming adversities of WW2, the novel depicts the struggle between personal values and the surrender to madness.

As a ‘memoir’ of one of the most harrowing events in human history, Night is a warning for the future. Elie Wisel once said, “[I]f anything can, it is memory that will save humanity. For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope.” In its completion, the novel ‘opens’ the eyes of its readers, providing a compelling perspective on modern life. Night (Night Trilogy) eBook: Wiesel, Elie, Wiesel, Elie, Wiesel,  Marion: Kindle Store

Image Credit: TheGuardian / PR