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Happy’s Best New Books of 2021

Updated weekly by the fine folk at Happy Mag, these are the best new books that this week has to offer from Australia and around the world!

Elizabeth Becker – You Don’t Belong Here

A riveting historical account of three female journalists — Australian Kate Webb, French photographer Catherine Leroy, and American Frances FitzGerald — and their groundbreaking coverage of the Vietnam War is painstakingly detailed in You Don’t Belong Here. Recalling a time when women were considered to be unfit for foreign correspondence, Becker’s book shines a light on this vital contribution to journalism.

8.8

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You Don't Belong Here
YOU DON’T BELONG HERE
ELIZABETH BECKER

Sarah Krasnostein – The Believer

From the author of the extraordinary The Trauma Cleaner, Sarah Krasnostein returns with an exploration of the power of belief. She tells the stories of six people, who alongside outwardly conventional lives, hold unconventional beliefs. The power of The Believer lies in the exploration between what we hold to be true, and the realities presented to us by the outside world.

9.1

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The Believer
THE BELIEVER
SARAH KRASNOSTEIN

Madeleine Ryan – A Room Called Earth

A Room Called Earth is Madeleine Ryan’s strikingly singular debut. It’s rare that a novel invites you to form such an intimate connection with its protagonist as you plot a 24-hour course. One on hand banal, on the other, a completely fresh perspective on a night’s events through neurodivergent eyes.

9.3

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A Room Called Earth
A ROOM CALLED EARTH
MADELEINE RYAN

Jean Hinchliffe – Lead the Way

The world was stunned by the outpouring of rage from students across the globe in response to the climate emergency. In Australia, we have a lot to thank Jean Hinchliffe for — one of the integral organisers of School Strikes 4 Climate protest movement. By her own admission, she dived into something that she wasn’t quite ready for, but learned a hell of a lot along the way. Her excellent book offers practical advice for potential activists of any age. From identifying how power works, to lobbying your local politicians, and a step-by-step guide to putting on your own event.

9.1

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Lead the Way
LEAD THE WAY
JEAN HINCHLIFFE

Yumiko Kadota – Emotional Female

Yumiko Kadota had achieved her dream, but her compelling and empathetic book, Emotional Female, is actually a cautionary tale. The life of a surgeon is punishingly exhausting for anyone, but making it as a female in a traditionally male-dominated field is took on a new dimension of pain. Now rebuilding her health, Kadota offers a unique perspective on what it means to become captive to your dreams while experiencing a brutal workplace culture.

8.5

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Emotional Female
EMOTIONAL FEMALE
YUMIKO KADOTA

Ethan Kross – Chatter

The trend of mindfulness aims to quell the inner voice, which if left unchecked, can cause serious harm. In Chatter, Professor Ethan Kross argues that this essential evolutionary tool is one that can be harnessed for our own good. Through a series of case-studies, Kross demonstrates that these inner conversations can lead to enhanced productivity and positive mental health outcomes.

9.0

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Chatter
CHATTER
ETHAN KROSS

Jess Eva – Why Wouldn’t Ya?

Never has a title been so apt. Jess Eva, reality TV star and now radio personality suffers, like many, from negative self-talk. The self-described “93-kilo piece of white chocolate” imparts her own brand of self-deprecating wisdom in her courageous and often hilarious book. For those who have often imagined living out their dreams, and later regretted not chasing them, the message is simple: Why Wouldn’t Ya?

8.2

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Why Wouldn't Ya
WHY WOULDN’T YA?
JESS EVA

Bill Gates – How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

The threat of climate change is simultaneously existential and impossible to fully grasp: how can we take practical steps towards mitigating human effects on the climate? Bill Gates has applied his experience and resources to comprehending this question throughout the last decade. Though he concludes that a goal of net-zero carbon emissions is no easy feat, this book lays out a roadmap to meet this target.

9.0

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How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
HOW TO AVOID CLIMATE DISASTER
BILL GATES

John Colapinto – This Is The Voice

It’s hard to imagine an undertaking as ambitious as this book. Yet, the voice — the hearing of it, the using of it — couldn’t be more intimate and elemental. Colapinto’s wide-ranging and endlessly engaging book looks at this inherently human ability, which is at the foundation of our ability to communicate.

9.1

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This is the Voice
THIS IS THE VOICE
JOHN COLAPINTO

Justin Fenton – We Own This City

If you loved The Wire, this book will resonate with you in a special way. The Baltimore Sun’s Justin Fenton’s unforgettable exposé chronicles the most turbulent periods in the city’s recent history. Set in the wake of riots following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Fenton’s book covers the sensational trial of the city’s Gun Trace Task Force, laying bare the systemic corruption that has infiltrated the city’s law enforcement.

8.9

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We Own this City
WE OWN THIS CITY
JUSTIN FENTON