My favourite non-fiction book I read this year is Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday. Having already become receptive to Stoicism through the Tim Ferriss podcast and The Daily Stoic (also by Ryan Holiday), Ego Is The Enemy arrived at the right time for me and was a great navigational reset on how to look at the world, as chaotic as it as at the moment.
I also really enjoyed Manchán Magan's Thirty Two Worlds For Field. A beautiful artifact of a book that weaves Irish history, folklore, Irish language etymology, and philosophy of life into a most enjoyable and easily digestible package. Not only does Manchán do a service to the Irish language by documentating and highlighting many endangered words and their illuminating historical contexts, he also adds his unique viewpoint and interpretation of aspects of the Irish language into the realm of the contemporary Irish language revival. I had the pleasure of interviewing Manchán for SmartThinkingBooks.com, which you can read here.
As for biographies, Mary McAleese's Here's The Story: A Memoir is an interesting and eye-opening read, from the first hand account of growing up during the troubles in Belfast to the monumentous work done by Mary & Martin during the peace process. An inspiring example of how imagination, vision and hard work can bring about previously thought impossible outcomes. Also full of empowering examples of speaking truth to power. I also had the pleasure of interviewing Mary McAleese for SmartThinkingBooks.com, which you can read here.