Recommended cultural studies books

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

Jia Tolentino

Following in the footsteps of American luminaries such as Susan Sontag, Joan Didion and Rebecca Solnit, comes this dazzling collection of essays on the internet, the self, feminism and politics from one of the brightest young...

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 Read reviewWhite Tears, Brown Scars

White Tears, Brown Scars

Ruby Hamad

White Tears/Brown Scars blows open the inconvenient truth that when it comes to race, white entitlement is too often masked by victimhood.

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Fixed It

Fixed It

Jane Gilmore

Violence and the representation of women in the media.

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How To Be an Antiracist

How To Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

A radical new way to think about racism and an inspiring treatise for what to do about it from the Winner of the National Book Award 2016 and founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center.

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This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality

This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality

Peter Pomerantsev

Stunning and much anticipated follow up to the acclaimed, prize-winning, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible.

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We Need New Stories

We Need New Stories

Nesrine Malik

A radical and thought-provoking polemic which examines the foundational myths at the centre of current culture wars

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About a Girl

About a Girl

Rebekah Robertson

Rebekah Robertson's extraordinary personal story of raising her transgender child, Georgie Stone, who has become a voice not just for other transgender kids - but for an emerging generation.

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Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and Their Bodies

Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and Their Bodies

Gabrielle Jackson

The health version of Invisible Women, this book lifts the lid about how at every level of medicine, medical research, government funding, and education, women's minds and bodies are controlled by a lack of access to everything.

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The Writing on the Wall

The Writing on the Wall

Juliet Rieden

In 1939, as Hitler's troops are marching on Prague, a Jewish couple makes a heartbreaking decision that will save their eight-year-old son's life but change their family forever.

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Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia

Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia

Samia Khatun

An evocative and gracefully written reflection on cultural encounters between Aboriginals and Indians in the Outback, from the nineteenth century.

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Quarterly Essay 75: Men at Work: Australia's Parenthood Trap

Quarterly Essay 75: Men at Work: Australia’s Parenthood Trap

Annabel Crabb

In this Quarterly Essay, Annabel Crabb deploys political observation, workplace research and her characteristic humour and intelligence to argue that gender equity cannot be achieved until men are as free to leave...

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The Golden Country: Australia's Changing Identity

The Golden Country: Australia’s Changing Identity

Tim Watts

A topical and provocative exploration of Australian identity by Federal MP and author Tim Watts.

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Fallen

Fallen

Lucie Morris-Marr

The dramatic story of the trial of 'God's treasurer' for child sex abuse, and the conviction that sent ripples around the world.

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Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers

Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers

Sady Doyle

The Female Monster is alive and well in the pop-cultural imagination. What does she tell us about ourselves and how we live today?Share this

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The Kabul Peace House

The Kabul Peace House

Mark Isaacs

A story of peace in a land of unending war.

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Clear Bright Future

Clear Bright Future

Paul Mason

Has capitalism stripped us of our common humanity? In an age of fragmented identities and authoritarianism, award-winning journalist Paul Mason calls for a new humanism.

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Everything in its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

Everything in its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

Oliver Sacks

A remarkable celebration of Sacks's varied interests, told with his characteristic compassion and erudition, and in his luminous prose.

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 Special priceThe Power of Cute

The Power of Cute

Simon May

An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions

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Stop Being Reasonable

Stop Being Reasonable

Eleanor Gordon-Smith

Inspiring, perceptive and full of moving stories, Stop Being Reasonable is an illuminating exploration of the place where philosophy and real life meet.

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The Good Immigrant USA

The Good Immigrant USA

Nikesh Shukla, Chimene Suleyman

The Good Immigrant USA is a collection of twenty personal essays by writers and personalities exploring race, identity and culture, a follow up to the British Book Award nominated and crowdfunded publishing phenomenon, The Good...

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Thick: And Other Essays

Thick: And Other Essays

Tressie McMillan Cottom

In these eight ... explorations on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom--award-winning professor and ... author of Lower Ed--embraces her ... role as a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and Black Twitter snark about all...

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The Little Virtues

The Little Virtues

Natalia Ginzburg, Dick Davis

An extraordinary collection of 11 essays by Natalia Ginzburg, one of the most important Italian writers of the twentienth century. Originally published in the 1960s, Ginzburg's wisdom and poetically resonant style ensure these...

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What Dementia Teaches Us About Love

What Dementia Teaches Us About Love

Nicci Gerrard

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Constellations: Reflections From Life

Constellations: Reflections From Life

Sinead Gleeson

An extraordinarily intimate memoir in a series of bodily encounters that have made Sinead Gleeson the woman and the writer she is today.

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Look Alive Out There: Essays

Look Alive Out There: Essays

Sloane Crosley

A brand-new collection of essays filled with hilarity, wit, and charm. The characteristic heart and punch-packing observations are back, but with a newfound coat of maturity. A thin coat. More of a blazer, really.

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Notes to Self

Notes to Self

Emilie Pine

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I Miss You When I Blink

I Miss You When I Blink

Mary Laura Philpott

Spot-on observations about domestic, professional, and creative life, taking on the conflicting pressures of modern womanhood with humour and thoughtful contemplation, from an author who is connected to highly influential writers...

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How to do Nothing

How to do Nothing

Jenny Odell

Jaron Lanier meets John Muir in Jenny Odell's How to do Nothing, an action plan for political resistance to the attention economy.

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No Apologies

No Apologies

Joanne Brookfield

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Literature: Why It Matters

Literature: Why It Matters

Robert Eaglestone

Despite centuries of arguments, no one can agree on what literature is, or how to study it. But, argues Eaglestone, it is precisely the open-ended nature of literature that makes it such a rewarding and useful subject of study....

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The Baby

The Baby

Marie Darrieussecq, Penny Hueston

A renowned French author asks fundamental questions about motherhood, gender roles and identity. A must read for fans of Rachel Cusk, Sheila Heti, Jenny Offill and Maggie Nelson

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 Read reviewCity of Trees

City of Trees

Sophie Cunningham

A rich and insightful collection of personal essays about life, death and our connection to the environment from bestselling Australian author Sophie Cunningham

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Mother: An Unconventional History

Mother: An Unconventional History

Sarah Knott

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The Destiny Thief

The Destiny Thief

Richard Russo

A master of the novel, short story and memoir, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Everybody's Fool now gives us his very first collection of personal essays, thoughts on writing, reading and living.

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This Young Monster

This Young Monster

Charlie Fox

This Young Monster is a hallucinatory celebration of artists who raise hell, transform their bodies, anger their elders .

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It's Not About the Burqa

It’s Not About the Burqa

Mariam Khan

When was the last time you heard a Muslim woman speak for herself without a filter?

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 Read reviewWitches: What Women Do Together

Witches: What Women Do Together

Sam George-Allen

An exploration of the work women do together.   

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Choice Words: A Collection of Writing about Abortion

Choice Words: A Collection of Writing about Abortion

Louise Swinn

Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion is a cri de coeur, a passionate appeal, from writers, thinkers, musicians, actors, comedians, activists and political staffers, offering personal stories of abortion alongside...

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Mouth Full of Blood

Mouth Full of Blood

Toni Morrison

A vital new non-fiction collection from one of the most celebrated and revered writers of our time.

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The Thinking Woman

The Thinking Woman

Julienne Van Loon

A memoir combined with rigorous thinking and analysis, a book that prompts insightful questions about how we live. One of the age-old questions of philosophy is what does it mean to live a good life? In this extraordinary book,...

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Betraying Big Brother

Betraying Big Brother

Leta Hong Fincher

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 Read reviewThe Edge of Memory

The Edge of Memory

Patrick Nunn

In today's society it is generally the written word that holds the authority. We are more likely to trust the words found in a history textbook over the version of history retold by a friend - after all, human memory is...

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The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy

Michael Lewis

What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works? Stay tuned.

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Troll Hunting

Troll Hunting

Ginger Gorman

Topical and gripping, Troll Hunting is an extraordinary first-person investigation of a disturbing new online reality that goes well beyond cyberbullying

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Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up

Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up

Gabrielle Chan

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 Read reviewAxiomatic

Axiomatic

Maria Tumarkin

Janet Malcolm meets The Empathy Exams, in a genre-bending work on how we understand the traumas we inherit.

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How to Lose a Country

How to Lose a Country

Ece Temelkuran

An urgent call to action from one of Europe's most well-regarded political thinkers. How to Lose a Country: The Seven Warning Signs of Rising Populism is a field guide to spotting the insidious patterns and mechanisms of the...

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 Read reviewUtopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There

Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There

Rutger Bregman

A Sunday Times bestseller

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 Read reviewThe World Was Whole

The World Was Whole

Fiona Wright

The follow-up to Fiona Wright's essay collection Small Acts of Disappearance - winner of the Nita B. Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for Non-fiction, shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the NSW Premier's Award for...

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 Read reviewHappy Never After

Happy Never After

Jill Stark

Jill Stark was living the dream. She had a coveted job as a senior journalist, she was dating a sports star, and her first book had just become a bestseller. After years of chasing the fairytale ending, she'd finally found it. And...

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We Were Eight Years in Power

We Were Eight Years in Power

Ta-Nehisi Coates

From 2008-2016, the leader of the free world was a black man. Obama's presidency was a watershed moment in American history. In those eight years, the political conversation around race, gender, class and wealth shifted...

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Against Creativity

Against Creativity

Oli Mould

Everything you have been told about creativity is wrong.

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 Read reviewBoys Will be Boys

Boys Will be Boys

Clementine Ford

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Hope In The Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Hope In The Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Rebecca Solnit

This updated edition confirms Solnit's seminal work as a timeless classic on politics and change

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Rage Becomes Her

Rage Becomes Her

Soraya Chemaly

A conversation-shifting book urging 21st-century women to understand their anger, embrace its power, and use it as a tool for positive change

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Natural Causes: Life, Death and the Illusion of Control

Natural Causes: Life, Death and the Illusion of Control

Barbara Ehrenreich

The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich explores how we are killing ourselves to live longer, not better.

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 Read reviewThe Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Olivia Laing

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of...

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Dead Girls

Dead Girls

Alice Bolin

A collection of essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our national obsession with stories about dead women.   

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Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life

Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life

George Monbiot

How many of us sometimes feel that we are scratching at the walls of this life, seeking to find our way into a wider space beyond? That our mild, polite existence sometimes seems to crush the breath out of us? This book deals with...

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The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World

Michael Pollan

The startling truth behind the food we consume in the twenty-first century

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Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an invigorating intellectual journey to show us what makes an extreme overachiever. He reveals that we pay far too much attention to what successful people are like, and too...

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