Five must read English nonfiction ebooks

The Art Of War – Sun Tzu

The Art of War is a military book written in ancient China, in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). A high-ranking general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu is usually credited as the author of the book, although many historians doubt this person ever existed. In 13 chapters, the text analyzes the basic principles of war, teaching military commanders when and how to fight battles. In the early 2000s the book became a bestseller, when it was found out many of its theories were surprisingly relevant in marketing and finance.

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

This is Virginia Woolf’s classic non-fiction book and one of the most important feminist texts. It’s an extended essay narrated by a fictional character, a Shakespeare’s sister named Judith, we learn whether women were ready – and free – to create work of the quality of William Shakespeare. The title of the essay comes from Woolf’s opinion that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

The Elements of Style – William Strunk

A classic prescriptive American English writing style guide, written by Cornell University professor William Strunk, and first published in 1919. In the introduction to the first edition we read: This book aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.

The Heart of Haiku – Jane Hirshfield

A beautiful essay on haiku and its most famous purveyor, Matsuo Bashō. Haiku is a seventeen-syllable poetic form, now extremely popular and widely shared on social media. This essay offers readers unparalleled insight into the living heart of haiku—how haiku work and what they hold, and how to read through and into their images to find a full expression of human life and perceptions, sometimes profound, sometimes playful.

Poke the Box – Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and marketing guru, who almost twenty books. Poke the Box is a little book but a huge inspiration for anyone, who faces doing something for the first time. It’s not about thinking outside the box, because it might not be enough. It’s about poking the box. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking – in your job or in your life.

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