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Best Non-Fiction Books For 2020

Need a great memoir, biography or self-help book? Look no further

By Primer team

We’ve rounded up 13 of the best real-life reads and smart non-fiction, whether you’re looking for a gift or simply something for yourself.

More Than A Woman, Caitlin Moran 

British journalist and columnist Caitlin Moran’s collection of essays on womanhood and ageing is warm, witty, wise – and at times devastatingly powerful. A great gift

Phosphorescence Julia Baird 

A bestseller by Australian journalist and TV presenter Julia Baird, Phosphoresence examines how we can find – and retain – the kind of happiness from within that will sustain us.

Greenlights Mathew McConnaughey

It’s been described as ‘a book that only Matthew McConaughey could have written’ – and this memoir from the award-winning actor is delivered with originality and honesty.

I Catch Killers, Gary Jubelin

He was one of Australia’s most celebrated homicide detectives – and presided over some of the country’s most famous cases, from William Tyrell to Mathew Leveson. Now Gary Jubelin has written a book about his career and life.

PHOTO: Georgina Egan STYLING: Jack Milenkovic

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

The latest release from blockbuster US author Glennon Doyle, Untamed is part-self-help book, and part-memoir. Not only does it recount falling in love with US soccer star Abby Wambach, for whom she leaves her husband, but it tackles bigger questions about identifying what truly makes you happy.

Rising Heart by Aminata Conteh-Biger 

A captivating and inspirational memoir about Aminata Conteh-Biger who endured unimaginable cruelties during Sierra Leone’s civil war before settling in Sydney as a refugee. Today, she runs a foundation helping young mothers in her country of birth.

Sir Bob Charles, The Biography, Geoff Saunders

He’s one of New Zealand’s greatest golfers – and played witness to some of golf’s greatest sporting moments. This biography of Bob Charles is a great gift for golf-lovers. (Shameless nepotism alert: it was also written by co-founder Anna Saunders’ dad.)

Mary’s Last Dance, Mary Li 

The untold story of the wife of Li Cunxin (who wrote the bestselling memoir, Mao’s Last Dancer), who was once one of the most celebrated ballerinas in the world – but disappeared from view after the birth of her daughter.

A Promised Land, Barack Obama 

The highly anticipated memoir from the former US President Barack Obama, which reflects on his early career up until his inauguration. Hello perfect Christmas gift.

Women and leadership, Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala 

Need a shot of inspiration? Look no further than this practical and informative book by former Australian Primer Minister Julia Gillard and Nigerian-born economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Happy, Turia Pitt 

In this book, athlete and survivor Turia Pitt investigates whether it’s possible to be happier, via research and interviews with the likes of Zoe Foster-Blake, Leigh Sales and more

You’ve Got This, Bec Brown

Billed as ‘the essential handbook for creative women’, You’ve Got This is packed with practical tips. A perfect Christmas pressie for someone starting out in their career.


BY Primer team

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