February, 2020

I like browsing various lists of the best books of the year.

45 Nonfiction Books We Couldn't Put Down in 2019

The best nonfiction books of 2019 represent the genre in all of its eclectic glory. There are tell-all celebrity memoirs, harrowing true stories, and at least one deep dive into the history of the high heel shoe.

The Best Self-Help Books of 2019
The self-help genre is sometimes dismissed as simplistic or over-earnest. But, at their best, self-help books offer powerful insights into how to live. Oliver Burkeman, the Guardian columnist and author of The Antidote, recommends five of the best self-help books published in 2019.

Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 for Contrarians and the Curious

These 15 books will challenge your assumptions and could change how you see the world. The title of this article grabbed me but the list is far from radical.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know 

This book has been added to my 2020 wish list.

How to sell good ideas

Malcolm Gladwell’s cool, playful intelligence has made him one of our leading public thinkers, and he has a host of imitators. But, in a time of antagonistic debate and polarised opinion, does he still have something to say?

What if Australia Were Its Own Planet?

This is a recent article  by Bill McKibben, author of Falter, the ABC book selection for October, 2019.

As often happens, an Aeon essays results in another addition to my wish list... People who talk of political revolution should understand the history of revolutions. Most do not turn out as planned.

A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution

What can we learn from the French Revolution today?

Must radical political change generate uncontainable violence? The French Revolution is both a cautionary and inspiring tale... Much more openly than the Americans, the French revolutionaries recognised that the principles of liberty and equality they had articulated posed fundamental questions about such issues as the status of women and the justification of slavery.

 In The Ones We've Been Waiting For, TIME correspondent Charlotte Alter defines the class of young leaders who are remaking the nation--how grappling with 9/11 as teens, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying Wall Street and protesting with Black Lives Matter, and shouldering their way into a financially rigged political system has shaped the people who will govern the future.


The TIME 100 Next members all have grand ambitions, and they know they may face even greater setbacks. But by and large, “they are driven by hope,” says TIME executive editor Dan Macsai, who oversees the TIME 100 franchise. “They are eager to defy the odds—and fight for a better future.”

Best Books of 2019: Nonfiction - another list.

Best Books of 2019: Lighthearted Nonfiction - and one more list.

After I completed my list of the best nonfiction books of 2019, I couldn’t help but notice how serious they all were. Nonfiction as a genre has a way of raising the stakes—such that the books that stand apart at the end of the year do so because they’re Important, with a capital I. They give a voice to someone who hasn’t had a voice. They highlight an issue that hasn’t been adequately studied. They change the world.
For anyone who could use a respite from our hard and disheartening world, I recommend picking up one of these books, having a laugh, having some fun and coming away refreshed.
But if I’m being honest, many of the books I loved the most in 2019 had ever so slightly lower stakes. I loved these books because they were entertaining, or inspiring, or they left me feeling warmer than when I began. I believe books like that are utterly essential, too, so I’ve rounded up 20 of my favorites.

This list is the basis for the ABC book selection for April.