100 Best Non-Fiction Books Who says a summer read has to be light? By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jun 18, 2011 1:35 PM CDT 17 comments Comments Joan Didion's 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem.' (Amazon.com) (Newser) – Looking for a summer read that’s a little weightier than the norm? Check out the Guardian’s list of the 100 greatest non-fiction books. Some samples: Art: The Shock of the New, by Robert Hughes, traces the story of modern art. Biography: Robert Graves talks, of course, about his childhood and marriage in his autobiography Goodbye to All That, but also gives a brutal account of WWI. Environment: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is credited with launching the environmental movement. History: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, by Philip Gourevitch, is a terrifying account of the Rwandan massacre. Journalism: In The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe follows Ken Kesey on a cross-country, LSD-infused road trip. Memoir: Mahatma Gandhi recounts his early struggles in The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Philosophy: Plato’s The Symposium meditates on the nature of love via a dinner party debate. Politics: Mary Wollstonecraft makes a case for women’s education in her 1792 book, A Vindication on the Rights of Woman. Religion: The Golden Bough by James George Frazer identifies elements the world’s religions share. Science: Stephen Hawking explores the origins of the universe in A Brief History of Time. Society: Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a classic series of essays about California in the 1960s. Travel: Jonathan Raban recounts a voyage from Seattle to Alaska in Passage to Juneau. Click for the complete list, or if you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter, try these.