I really love non-fiction and tend to get much more absorbed in it than I do fiction. After some amazing experiences overseas I have been absolutely infected with the travel bug and read travel stories very heavily. Poverty and feminism are a couple of my other favourite topics. Non-fiction doesn't have to be text-book boring. In the right hands it is funny, clever and incredibly interesting. Here's a few of my favourites.
Princesses and Pornstars by Emily Maguire. Australian feminism made accessible. Very entertaining and slightly shocking.
Emergency Sex by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson. Explores life as a UN peacekeeper. Challenging and somewhat inspiring.
A Girl's Own Adventure by Jacqueline Tomlins. When I think of the masses of books about travelling Africa on my bookshelves this one comes to mind first. While certainly not the best written novel of the lot it is certainly very fun to read and motivational.
Chasing the Devil by Tim Butcher. Tim Butcher writes particularly well about African history and current situations. Chasing the Devil mainly explores Liberian culture and its hidden devil-fearing culture. Very, very interesting and very, very sad.
The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer. Peter Singer is an incredibly controversial Australian ethicist and The Life You Can Save contains his approach to ending world poverty. While it seems a little out of reach it's a really good read and helps make global poverty a combatible issue. Dambisa Moyo wrote an unintentional counter to Singer's book: Dead Aid.
I've left out biographies and autobiographies but they probably deserve their own post. Most of these books aren't especially recent and I apologise. I'm a little slow on the uptake.