Books that matter - Booktober 2022

Books that matter

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A reading list of books that shine a light on important concerns or argue for a better world.

All Our Relations

A powerful call for action, justice, and a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples.

‘A burning missive about what is happening now, on the ground, and what needs to be done to make for safe and healthy indigenous communities.’

—The Age

City on Fire

A long-term resident and expert observer of dissent in Hong Kong takes readers to the frontlines of Hong Kong’s revolution.

‘The most comprehensive book about the Hong Kong protests from a professional observer.’

—Ai Weiwei


An examination of the lives of whales, and through them the natural world, and our connection to it.

‘The book is a masterpiece.’

—Tim Flannery, The Australian

Just Mercy

A clarion call to fix America’s broken system of justice.

‘Bryan Stevenson is America’s young Nelson Mandela — a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all.’

—Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

No Visible Bruises

An award-winning journalist’s exploration of the domestic violence epidemic, and how to combat it.


—The New York Times

The Still-Burning Bush

Traces the ecological and social significance of the use of fire to shape the environment through Australian history.

‘The world’s leading authority on the history of fire.’

—Science Magazine

The Rare Metals War

The resources race is on. Powering our digital lives and green technologies are some of the Earth’s most precious metals — but they are running out. And what will happen when they do?

‘An expert account of a poorly understood but critical element in our economy.’

—Kirkus Reviews

The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code

The true story of the little-known mental-health pioneer who revolutionised how we see the defining problem of our era: anxiety.

‘It’s truly astonishing that Dr Claire Weekes is not a household name.’

—Leigh Sales

The Doctor Who Fooled the World

A reporter uncovers the secrets behind the scientific scam of the century.

‘A remarkable book’

—The Times

The Genes That Make Us

Genes — we all have them and we're all affected by them, often in unknown ways.

‘Kirk balances academic rigour with a coy and delightfully grounded sense of humour.’

—The Canberra Times