Reading regularly is the number one way to raise your SAT Reading Score. Some students find that fantasy stories catch their attention, but other students find real-world stories more interesting. Here are some of the best non-fiction books to raise your SAT score.


Stiff by Mary Roach

Mary Roach writes books that have been jokingly called a gateway drug to non-fiction, and I have to heartily agree. This book is a weird, often hilarious, exploration into what happens to our bodies after we die. If you feel like indulging a bit of morbid curiosity, this book is worth adding to your reading list.


Joan of Arc: A History by Helen Castor

Joan of Arc is an incredibly influential figure in our modern mythology. There have been as many media adaptations of her as there have been formats to adapt to. But behind that myth… who was she? Joan of Arc: A History reconstructs her history, adapting it into a narrative that’s easy to follow, portraying all the key figures and strange coincidences vividly.


The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios

Do you like superheroes? Do you look at their feats on the big screen and in the comics and think, “oh, how would that actually work?” This is the book for you. It is exactly what it says on the cover, and well-written and researched to boot. Though some stunts in comic books are obviously impossible, comic books sometimes stick to physics in surprising ways. Whether you’re a superhero fan or are working on writing a fantastical story of your own, this is definitely a book worth reading.


The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the United States’ progressive era, a time when America was coming apart at the seams and being mended at the same time. The story is told through the close friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and Howard Taft, a friendship that bolsters both men before it’s ripped apart in 1912. Their brutal competition for the presidential nomination divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history. This is a page-turning history that’s a must-read for anyone living through troubled times.


The Right To Speak by Patsy Rodenburg

This is a book for all the folks who want to use their voice more effectively. Whether you want to be an actor or a public speaker, or just want to use your voice a little better, The Right to Speak is definitely worth reading. It’s one of the best texts for learning how to control your voice, and provides a detailed road through vocal training and the many habits and factors that affect our voices.


The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross

If you love music or sound design, this book is worth a read. This book deals with the ongoing controversies of modern music, covering the 20th century through a musical lens. It’s a story of revolutions, rebellions, and riots as different schools war over noise and how it should be made. It introduces its readers to all sorts of twists and turns in musical history, and unpicks some of the very human dramas behind some of the greatest modern musical compositions. Definitely a good read for someone interested in music.



That’s all! Now go forth and check out some of these books! Pick one and get reading. If you want more SAT and ACT prep advice sure to join our mailing list for a free 27-item checklist and 30-day free SAT email course.

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