Your New Year Reading List

Books that make for enlightened reading

These titles aren’t the storytelling kind, rather they challenge conventional wisdom. To me, it seems they’re written for those on the fringe wondering why the norm isn’t working for them. In the Multi-Hyphen Method, workplace culture is put under the spotlight. Emma Gannon questions why the workplace has remained so unchanged, counselling instead on the merits of building a multi-stranded career. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking brings it all back in - examining what it means to be introverted in a highly social world (full disclosure, as an INFJ this book is of particular personal comfort). And to round out what is essentially the self-help section, Atomic Habits seemed a timely inclusion for New Year tendencies. It lays out practical strategies for habit-forming, in a gentler manner than most methods.

Classics of the informative kind

These titles are a little older than the others. Not vintage by any means but they’ve undoubtedly done the rounds and yet they still remain highly recommendable. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter is one of those books I feel obliged to pass on, especially as someone about to leave mine behind. It’s provocative and insightful and paints this decade in a very different light compared to the carefree way it is commonly spent. Changing tact, In Defence of Food likely needs to introduction at all. It’s about how our eating habits came to be and how we can fix them. The defining message; Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. The last inclusion; The Barefoot Investor is for Australians and for my fellow natives it will literally change your life. Yes, it is about finances but trust, it will actually make the topic enjoyable.

Because we all love cookbooks

I’d imagine it’s a fair assume to make that because you’re here you enjoy food and if you so, like me you may also have a mild cookbook obsession. The genre could well be a topic all of its own but for the sake of diversity, I’ve limited the suggestions. The Village by Matt & Lentil makes for an instant favourite; it focuses on the value of eating and cooking with your village and is filled with both wholesome staples and standout meals. How to Eat a Peach is the latest cookbook by Diana Henry. It collects recipes into menus lending a beautiful sense of storytelling and locality to the food. And lastly, Lateral Cooking is a phenomenal kitchen companion that reveals the basic principles behind recipe creation. It details the bare essentials in order to make experimentation more approachable.

Books to set your calendar by

Given the excitement of a pre-order, these titles are for your Twenty Nineteen wishlist. Due on March 1, A Tree in the House is the first from Annabelle Hickson. With her incredible eye for natural beauty and floral arrangement, this title is set to be stunning. It’s part guide and part ode to the idyllic nature of rural living. Along similar lines is The Garden Chef, due in April, which details garden-focused recipes from numerous world-famous chefs. It also offers a glimpse into some of the most enviable kitchen gardens. Lastly, Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen, features vegetarian recipes cooked at Eliasson's studio kitchen, that served as nourishment and source of creative inspiration and communal discussion for his staff, artists, and guest collaborators.

Stories to keep you up at night

The beauty of losing oneself to a good story is a remarkable pleasure and in these titles, you can do just that. Normal People at its heart is a love story about how one person can change another’s life. It’s enthralling, exhausting and it captures human experience entirely. Ninth Street Women is set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, chronicling five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting - not as muses but as artists. In a similarly deviant air, Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret is a ‘kalidescope biography’ of the defiant royal. It’s ridiculously absorbing and perfect to remedy withdrawals from The Crown.