Stack of books on a wooden shelf, with We Can Do Better Than This facing outwards on top, alongside a vase of white flowers.

If the past year has taught us anything, it is that showing up for one another has never been more important. From small acts of kindness in our interpersonal relationships to big ideas to transform our society, from conscious anti-racist practice to the urgent struggle for LGBTQ+ equality, in committing to better support one another, we all stand to benefit. 

GO BIG: How to Fix Our World by Ed Miliband (2021)

How do we rein in the power of Big Tech? How do we tackle the climate crisis? The solutions for a better world are already out there, argues former Labour Party Leader and host of Reasons to be Cheerful podcast Ed Miliband. From equal parental leave to bicycle-friendly cities, GO BIG features twenty bold ideas to help achieve the kind of society we need – and tells us what part we can play in making these changes happen.

The Courage to Care: Nurses, Families and Hope by Christie Watson (2020)

We all deserve compassion, but we don’t always remember to show it to others. Drawing on the courageous work of nurses – a group of people whom we have never appreciated more than in recent years – Christie Watson reveals how we can find exceptional strength and kindness in the most challenging times. With fans including Nigella Lawson, Olivia Colman, Chris Evans and Jacqueline Wilson, this is an inspiring and timely book advocating for the importance of nursing in our care homes and communities, and the importance of compassion above all.

We Can Do Better Than This: 35 Voices on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights, edited by Amelia Abraham (2021)

We talk about LGBTQ+ equality, but what does it actually mean, and how do we get there? Edited by journalist and author Amelia Abraham, 35 brilliant voices including Beth Ditto, Owen Jones, Olly Alexander, Wolfgang Tillmans, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and more, share deeply moving personal stories and provocative new arguments for how we can make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ people. Whether you’re a member of the community or an ally, We Can Do Better Than This is a galvanising manifesto on why LGBTQ+ rights are everyone’s business.

  

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (2019)

Described by the New York Times as ‘The most courageous book to date on the problem of race’, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, one of the world’s most influential scholars of racism, shows that neutrality on racism is not an option: until we become part of the solution, we can only be part of the problem. By demolishing the myths and taboos that so often cloud our understanding, from arguments about what race is to the complications that arise when race intersects with ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, Kendi shows us how to move past false ideas of ‘not being racist’ into conscious and deliberate anti-racist action.

What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract by Minouche Shafik (2021)

Throughout history, humans who lived together answered the question of what we owe each other with the ‘social contract’ – an implicit agreement that shapes our societies, defines our politics and sets out how we provide for those who need our support. However, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science Minouche Shafik argues that our social contracts have become outdated and are ill-equipped to tackle the major challenges of the twenty-first century. Gathering evidence from across the globe, Shafik presents the path we can take towards a new and more generous social contract that is fit for today’s world.

Misjustice: How British Law is Failing Women by Helena Kennedy (2018)

The British justice system is failing women. In Misjustice, Helena Kennedy, one of Britain’s most pre-eminent lawyers and defenders of human rights, examines the pressing evidence that half of the population is being discriminated against when it comes to the law. From the shocking lack of female judges to the scandal of female prisons and the ways that other forms of discrimination intersect to aggravate these issues, Kennedy shows with force and fury that change for women must start at the heart of what makes society just.

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