Recommended cultural studies books

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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 Special priceEverything 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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The 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

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

Dementia is an unmaking, a de-creation - an apocalypse of meaning. Since my father's slow-motion dying, and his actual death in November 2014, I have been much preoccupied with dementia- by those who have it, by those who look...

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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

'I am afraid of being the disruptive woman. And of not being disruptive enough. I am afraid. But I am doing it anyway.' In this dazzling debut, Emilie Pine speaks powerfully from her painful personal experience - on the...

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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: Resisting the Attention Economy

How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

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

Joanne Brookfield has spent two decades working in the world of comedy, as both a journalist and a stand-up comedian. Over coffee, wine, laughter and tears, she's talked with the women of comedy about every aspect of their lives,...

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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

When acclaimed historian Sarah Knott became pregnant, she started looking for a history of motherhood - only to find that no such book exists. For centuries, historians have concerned themselves with wars and...

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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: Essays, Speeches, Meditations

Mouth Full of Blood: Essays, Speeches, Meditations

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 Rise Of Chinas Feminist Resistance

Betraying Big Brother Rise Of Chinas Feminist Resistance

Leta Hong Fincher

On the eve of International Women's Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for 37 days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out...

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 Read reviewThe Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World

The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World

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: Inside the World of Online Hate and Its Human Fallout

Troll Hunting: Inside the World of Online Hate and Its Human Fallout

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

A big story from a small town.Telling the story of Australia as it is today, Gabrielle Chan has gone hyper-local. In Rusted Off, she looks to her own rural community's main street for answers to the big questions...

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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 reviewFeel Free: Essays

Feel Free: Essays

Zadie Smith

Arranged into four sections--In the World, In the Audience, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this collection poses questions we may immediately recognize.

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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

Clementine Ford reports that one of the questions she is most asked in person and online is 'How do I raise my son to be a feminist? How do I make sure he's a supporter rather than a perpetrator?' That is a...

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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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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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 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: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession

Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession

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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