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Here are 3 that I particularly liked in the last few years:

The Information, James Gleick

A Universe from Nothing, Lawrence Krauss

Abundance, Peter Diamandis

I was surprised to see a recommdation for The Information. Gleick seems the epitome of a rambling author who says almost nothing. I made it through Chaos, but could not get through Feynman or The Information. This kind of InfoJunk is what the OP is trying to avoid, I think.

Maybe you are right, it is not in the same category as The Selfish Gene. However, I thought the parts about the early history of computing were written very well, as someone who did not know much about it before.

I was also thinking that a non-fiction book with no fluff and no injection of personality/flair from the author is a textbook. There are many outstanding textbooks (like Molecular Biology of the Cell) which offer pure information, but I think commercial non-fiction books are aimed at a more general audience. The author needs to fluff a book up a bit to make the material approachable. I also wonder how some non-fiction books would read if untouched by editors.

I disagree. The Information has a broad scope, so there is a lot of content but none of which I found to be InfoJunk. I thought it was very interesting and just kept on reading.

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