Dazzle your fellow guests at dinner parties and make sure you’ve read the non-fiction books that everyone has been talking about in 2017!
Our top ten picks for non-fiction for 2017 includes books from Georgia Blain, Richard Branson and Oliver Sacks, and covers everything from farming techniques to modern utopias to nasty women.
To say these books are fascinating would be a huge understatement - read your way through this list and be inspired!
Affluenza is that strange desire we feel to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know . . .
A truly modern affliction, affluenza is endemic in Western societies, encouraged by those who profit from a culture of exploitation and waste. So how do we cure ourselves?
In this sparkling book of ideas, Richard Denniss shows we must distinguish between consumerism, the love of buying things, which is undeniably harmful to us and the planet, and materialism, the love of things, which can in fact be beneficial. We should cherish the things we own preserve them, repair them, and then gift or sell them when we no longer need them. We must foster new ways of thinking and acting that do not squander limited resources, and which support the things we value most: vibrant communities and rich experiences.
At once a lucid explanation of a critical global issue and a stirring call to action, Curing Affluenza will change the way you think about your place in the world.
With special contributions from Bob Brown Kumi Naidoo Marilyn Waring John Quiggin Leanne Minshull Jim Stanford Bill McKibben Craig Bennett
‘Richard Denniss is the freshest economic thinker I know, brimming with ideas, challenging old views and finding new opportunities for progress. A path-breaking book.’ Ross Gittins
Prior to this, Georgia's only warning had been a niggling sense that her speech was slightly awry. She ignored it, and on a bright spring day, as she was mowing the lawn, she collapsed on a bed of blossoms, blood frothing at her mouth.
Waking up to find herself in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital, she tries to answer questions, but is unable to speak. After the shock of a bleak prognosis and a long, gruelling treatment schedule, she immediately turns to writing to rebuild her language and herself.
At the same time, her mother, Anne Deveson, moves into a nursing home with Alzheimer's; weeks earlier, her best friend and mentor had been diagnosed with the same brain tumour. All three of them are writers, with language at the core of their being.
The Museum of Words is a meditation on writing, reading, first words and last words, picking up thread after thread as it builds on each story to become a much larger narrative. This idiosyncratic and deeply personal memoir is a writer's take on how language shapes us, and how often we take it for granted until we are in danger of losing it.
50 years ago, Sir Richard Branson started his first business. In his new autobiography, Finding My Virginity, the Virgin Founder shares his personal, intimate thoughts on five decades as the world’s ultimate entrepreneur.
In Finding My Virginity, Sir Richard Branson shares the secrets that have seen his family business grow from a student magazine into a global brand, his dreams of private citizens flying to space develop from a childhood fantasy to the brink of reality, and his focus shift from battling bigger rivals to changing business for good.
Following on from where bestselling Losing My Virginity left off at the dawn of the new millennium, Finding My Virginity takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride with the enigmatic entrepreneur. Learn how Branson created 12 different billion dollar businesses and hundreds more companies across dozens of sectors, going from a houseboat to his own private island. But this book goes far beyond the numbers - it is a journey into the heart and mind of Britain’s best-loved businessman.
Join Sir Richard as he juggles working life with raising his children Holly and Sam, building a marriage with his wife Joan and creating a unique company culture. Discover how he created a new life on Necker Island, while continuing to grow the Virgin brand into all corners of the world. Get the real story behind adventures and run-ins with everyone from Bill Gates and Kate Moss to Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama.
Go behind the scenes as Sir Richard Branson creates the world’s first commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic, and handles the biggest crisis he has ever faced. Get under the skin of world record attempts on land, sea and air, and see how the original business hippy adapted to becoming a doting ‘grand-dude’ to his four grandchildren, Eva-Deia, Etta, Artie and Bluey.
This is the true account of how the Virgin Founder reinvented himself and his brand for the 21st Century, while continuing to push boundaries, break rules and reach for the stars in more ways than one. This is the story of the man behind the beard, the business, the bravado and the brand. Find out how the ultimate entrepreneur did it for the first time - all over again.
Recently, however, he had been reflecting on his experiences with such patients in the context of a lifetime of medical practice, and in light of recent neuroscientific evidence and theories. The River of Consciousness will be a broader and more direct look at how the brain and mind work, as always, incorporating Sacks' rich historical and personal context.
Advances in neuroscience have revolutionised our ability to visualise the brain in action. For the first time we are able to close the gap between the philosophical questions which have consumed the world's thinkers since the eighteenth century and the true physiological basis of perception and consciousness.
In The River of Consciousness, Sacks will examine questions of memory, time, and consciousness. How do we think, how do we remember? Do different individuals have different speeds or ways of thinking? Is memory reliable? How do the neural correlates of memory differ for true memories and false memories?
How do we construct our sense of time, our visual world? What is consciousness, neurologically speaking? And most importantly, what is creativity?
On 22 June 2013, Corporal Cameron Baird was a 2nd Commando Regiment Special Forces soldier when he led his platoon into a known Taliban stronghold to back-up another Australian unit under heavy fire. In the pronged firefight, Cameron was mortally wounded.
In 2014, Cameron's bravery and courage under fire saw him posthumously awarded the 100th Victoria Cross, our highest award possible for bravery in the presence of the enemy.
Cameron Baird died how he lived at the front, giving it his all, without any indecision. He will forever be remembered by his mates and the soldiers he served with in the 2nd Commando Regiment.
The Commando reveals Cameron's life, from young boy and aspiring AFL player, who only missed out on being drafted because of injury, to exemplary soldier and leader.
Cameron's story and that of 4RAR and 2nd Commando personifies the courage and character of the men and women who go to war and will show us the good man we have lost.
This ground-breaking book will change the way we think of, farm and grow food. Author and radical farmer Charles Massy explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is a story of how a grassroots revolution – a true underground insurgency – can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.
Using his personal experience as a touchstone – from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health – Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. He shows through evocative stories – how innovative farmers are finding a new way and interweaves his own local landscape, its seasons and biological richness.
At stake is not only a revolution in human health and our communities but the very survival of the planet. For farmer, backyard gardener, food buyer, health worker, policy maker and public leader alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward for the future of our food supply, our Australian landscape and our earth. It comprises a powerful and moving paean of hope.
In this revealingly honest collection, successful Australian women talk about the challenges they have overcome, from sexual assault and domestic violence to racism, miscarriage, depression and loss, and how they let the past go to move forward with their lives. Courageously, the contributors delve deep into how these experiences made them feel, what the personal cost was and why they may have chosen to remain quiet until now.
In a time when bragging about sexual assault doesn’t preclude being elected President of the United States, women must stand together and speak out against violence against women. Unbreakable shows that every woman, no matter her success, has a story, and that together we are stronger.
In Jane Caro’s words: I want to pass on courage and hope to women who have also gone through such things by all of us speaking up about our own experiences. These things do not need to either define us or destroy us. We can find the strength to move forward, and this book shows how successful women have done just that.
Contributors include Kathy Lette, Mariam Veiszadeh, Tracey Spicer, Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin, Rebecca Lim, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Susan Wyndham, Andie Fox, Dee Madigan, Catherine Fox, Zora Simic, Nina Funnell, Sandra Levy, Polly Dunning and Jacinda Woodhead, with a foreword by Tanya Plibersek.
We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, when technology and so-called progress have made us richer but more uncertain than ever before. We have questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. So, too, does the time seem to be coming to an end when we looked to economists to help us define the qualities necessary to create a successful society.
We need a new movement. One defined by a young historian who can tell us the truth about how we got here. They'd be a political outsider, the voice of their generation, one who doesn't harness rage or agitate grievances but who provides us with the answer's for which we've been looking. That person is Rutger Bregman and his vision is Utopia for Realists.