Reading lists

Books that could change your life in 2021

Lessons we've learnt from some of the best non-fiction of 2020 – and how you can use them to be wiser and happier in the new year.

A variety of 2020 non-fiction books that taught us lessons for the year ahead, shot from above.
Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

Every year it shakes out roughly the same way: we begin January with a set of goals and hopes for the year ahead; we achieve some, abandon the rest, and along the way, we learn lessons.

Not so in 2020. By March, our goals for 2020 felt promptly dashed, and the lessons we learned weren't alway the ones we expected. Many centred on taking better care of ourselves and others, our relationships, how we approach mental health, and having our perceptions of socio-political issues like racism and class changed forever.

As we head into 2021, we’ve collected a list of the books that can help continue that learning, and maybe even just change your life for the better.

How to scale back capitalism to save the environment

How to establish your ideal work life

How to protect your data and privacy

How to raise empowered young women

How to be antiracist

How to effect change

How to push against oppressive caste and class systems…

… and learn from the past

How to take care of our bodies

How to breathe

How to trust our instincts

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