Fight the doomscroll when you read these hopeful non-fiction picks

Right now it’s understandable to be overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and fear. But in current times, when we’re feeling increasingly disillusioned and disenfranchised, books can be the path to reclaiming our empowerment. The following non-fiction books can help reinvigorate your resolve for enacting change while also reminding us there’s still hope yet.


Luminous Solution by Charlotte Wood

Writer Charlotte Wood shares the insights she has gained over a career paying close attention to her own mind, to the world around her and to the way she and others work. Drawing on research and decades of observant conversation and immersive reading, Charlotte shares what artists can teach the rest of us about inspiration and hard work, how to pursue truth in art and life, and to find courage during the difficult times: facing down what we fear and keeping going when things seem hopeless.


Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

When our world goes dark, when we’re overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness - the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’ - which will sustain us even through the darkest times.


Full Circle by Scott Ludlam

Travelling the world, Ludlam discovers an emerging post-capitalist economics, and investigates everything from systems theory to community activism. Above all, he looks for what works: the falling grain of sand that sets off the avalanche of environmental and democratic change. This is a book about hidden connections and fresh possibilities, and what happens when we invite natural systems back into the urban world.


The Kindness Revolution by Hugh McKay

Revolutions never start at the top. If we dare to dream of a more loving country - kinder, more compassionate, more cooperative, more respectful, more inclusive, more egalitarian, more harmonious, less cynical - there’s only one way to start turning that dream into a reality: each of us must live as if this is already that country. Written for our times, this truly remarkable book shows how crises and catastrophes often turn out to be the making of us.


What White People Can Do Next by Emma Dabiri

We need to talk about racial injustice in a new way - one that builds on the revolutionary ideas of the past and forges new connections. In this robust and nuanced examination of race, class and capitalism, Emma Dabiri draws on years of academic study and lived experience, as well as personal reflections on a year like no other. With intellectual rigour, wit and clarity, Dabiri articulates a powerful vision for meaningful and lasting change.


My Year of Living Vulnerably by Rick Morton

Over the course of twelve months, Rick went on a journey to rediscover love. To get better. Not cured, not fixed. Just, better.This is a book about Rick’s journey to betterness, his year of living vulnerably. It’s a book about love. What love is, how we see it, what forms it takes, how we practice it in our lives, what it means to us, and how we really, really can’t live without it, even if, like Rick for many years, we think we can.


The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall

In extraordinary conversations with her co-author Doug Abrams that weave together stories from her travels and activism, Goodall offers readers a new understanding of the crisis we face and a compelling path forward for us all to create hope in our own lives and in the world. The world needs a manifesto of hope now more than ever. This profound book from a legendary figure in the fight against climate change shows that even in the face of great adversity, we can find hope in human nature, and in nature itself.


Love Stories by Trent Dalton

Inspired by a personal moment of profound love and generosity, Trent Dalton spent two months in 2021 pounding city pavements, speaking to Australians from all walks of life and asking them one simple and direct question: ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’ For two straight weeks he sat at a desk with a sky-blue 1960s Olivetti typewriter, on the bustling corner of Adelaide and Albert streets, Brisbane, with a sign saying, ‘Sentimental writer collecting love stories.


Think Again by Adam Grant

Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse – there’s evidence that being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder we can become to our own limitations. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, Grant investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, harness the surprising advantages of impostor syndrome, bring nuance into charged conversations about abortion and climate change, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners.


Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia by Sophie Cousins

In the face of disaster and devastation, we are also afforded a great privilege - the chance to reconsider the principles and values that underpin our society, and rebuild accordingly. Identifying five major areas for discussion - government and politics, health and education, welfare, Indigenous affairs, and industry and climate change - Sophie Cousins talks to some of Australia’s brightest thinkers about the possibilities for renewal and the best way forward.


Signs and Wonders by Delia Falconer

Scientists write about a ‘great acceleration’ in human impact on the natural world. Signs and Wonders shows that we are also in a period of profound cultural acceleration, which is just as dynamic, strange, extreme and, sometimes, beautiful. Ranging from an ‘unnatural' history of coal to the effect of a large fur seal turning up in the park below her apartment, this book is a searching and poetic examination of the ways we are thinking about how, and why, to live now.

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The Luminous Solution: Creativity, Resilience and the Inner Life

The Luminous Solution: Creativity, Resilience and the Inner Life

Charlotte Wood

$32.99Buy now

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