Non-fiction literature includes memoirs, collections of essays, investigative journalism narratives, and at-length books breaking down our complex. This niche of literature is our technical guide to understanding the 21st Century, and be sure that 2020 was full of magnificent reads that you just can’t miss.
Why read non-fiction at all? Contemporary news media alongside social media make our reality barraged with information, which is all sometimes too hard to digest and figure out.
Non-fiction literature is exactly what you need to expand your knowledge on a particular matter and deepen your understanding of the world without the roaring headlines and the confusing excess of information.
So, which non-fiction novels should you consider reaching out for?
Humankind by Rutger Bregman
Rutger Bregman is a Dutch historian and author, who brings us closer to grasping the ways our society works through economics, history, and philosophy.
He was the progress corresponder for the Dutch ‘slow news’ publication The Correspondent, where he elaborated on climate change, prejudice, and more.
In Humankind, Bregman gives us a new outlook on history and human nature, going against the beliefs of such geniuses as Freud, Machiavelli, and Hobbes, arguing that humans aren’t driven solely by selfishness and self-interest.
Bregman provides a new, more hopeful perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history, assuming that “it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good.”
Such an optimistic approach is all we need after this year of economic and health crises.
Pandemic!: COVID-19 Shakes the World by Slavoj Žižek
The controversial, modern philosopher, Slavoj Žižek, born in Slovenia and known for his criticism of modern politics as well as the unconventional battle against political correctness, offers a solution to preventing a future pandemic.
A self-indentified Marxist and a Hegelian thinker, Žižek breaks down all the ways we should reconstruct our society to control and regulate the global economy and establish a global healthcare network.
Žižek has developed a characteristic style of writing, entailing a fair share of loose associations and digressions, which oftentimes leaves the reader perplexed and challenges our current views.
No doubt, reading his Pandemic! will leave you with a lot of room for novel perspectives and views on the future of society.
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
Today, Silicon Valley has gained the status of the cradle of technology, being home to such global tech behemoths as Apple, Alphabet (Google mother-company), Facebook, and Visa, yet the author Anna Wiener presents her memoir of the not-so-cotton-candy new American Dream of the tech industry.
In this extraordinarily thorough non-fiction novel, she elaborates on the misogynist infamy of the Silicon Valley, the incessant rat race for money, status, and fame, as well as reality of this billionaire-producing place.
Going against the general idea of Silicon Valley, Wiener’s Uncanny Valley shows us how reality can differ from the pictures in our heads, yet not following the shocking-inducing style – a trend quite common among books on similar subjects.
You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy
A must-read for all of you future politicians, businessmen, or journalists – Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters presents the right skill-set to lead a meaningful debate and learn to truly pay attention to what others have to say.
Yet, this non-fiction book will also help you in your everyday life, for the art of mediating is doubtlessly useful when trying to maintain familial relations and disagree effectively.
Too often do we forget to just listen, forgetting that there’s so much we don’t know, and in You’re Not Listening, Murphy tries to persuade us to change our approach.
Find Your Fire: Stories and Strategies to Inspire the Changemaker Inside You, by Terri Broussard Williams
Another great pick for young idealists and future reformers, Terri Williams’ Find Your Fire gives us a full account of meaningful stories to inspire you to action with more than a few pieces of advice on how to find the motivation to action inside you.
Aspiring politicians, activists, and other change-makers will surely find this non-fiction book a spark to lit up the wildfire of action and inspiration within.
Terri Williams is a passionate initiator in the name of service community, she focuses on policy, philanthropy, and movement building – which makes her a great role-model for young action-starters.
It’s your turn to shape the future, and if you can’t wait to make a change, organisations like Youth Time are here to empower you and arm you in all the tools you need to change the world – because you can.
The 100% Solution, by Solomon Goldstein-Rose
Climate change is still an issue to be tackled, and one likely to be at the forefront of our minds for the next couple of decades. Hence, it seems not only reasonable but also advisable to constantly deepen your knowledge on the issue.
In The 100% Solution, the author presents his global plan on how to change our politics, economy, and society as a whole to successfully combat climate change.
The 100% Solution outlines a worldwide mobilisation we ought to undertake to fight this global problem, and – surely – the more you know, the more you’ll be able to do in the foreseeable future to drive change and inspire others to do just the same.
Of course, there’s so many brilliant books to read and only so much time in life – don’t feel discouraged though, and grab yet another book instead.
After 2020, a fresh supply of non-fiction arrived at all your local bookshops and libraries, so don’t waste any more time, take action to expand your mind, and then use this knowledge to change the world.
It’s not all been doom and gloom this year. Here are some positives that we can all take into 2021: