5 non-fiction books that inspired us in 2020

While escaping reality through novels and TV shows proved to be an essential relief this year, non-fiction books provided us with some much-needed inspiration.

by Julia Migné

What a year we’ve been through! Between the pandemic, the American elections, and Brexit still unfolding like a never-ending saga, 2020 saw many of us stuck at home, doomscrolling on our phones with little to look forward to.

While I initially found some comfort in watching boxsets, I quickly reached out for my favourite coping companions, books! With a mix of constant exhaustion and brain fog, I often decided to escape the doom and gloom by picking comfort reads. Christmas feel-good reads were now allowed all-year long. Re-reading Harry Potter instead of discovering new books and authors was acceptable.

From time to time, though, my brain fog seemed to lift and I’d pick up a non-fiction book to balance my reading diet. Here are five gems I stumbled upon that lifted my spirits during this unprecedented (and finally almost over!) year.

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Do you feel like 2020 sucked away all your creativity? Look no further! Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, is the perfect person to get your creative flow back on. An absolute delight to read, the book dives into how to build a creative work culture by using examples from Pixar blockbusters. Creativity, Inc. is a great read for managers and creatives alike, and it is bound to bring out your inner child.

The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile

Written by Harvard Divinity School fellow and co-host of the popular Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, Casper ter Kuile, The Power of Ritual will make you turn your everyday activities into soulful practices. While it reminds us of how much social interaction we have lost this year, it also highlights the importance of rituals in our lives and how easily they can be created. It is the perfect book to help us heal during this strange period of social isolation and is a great reminder of the importance of completely disconnecting from time to time.

Speak Up! by Adora Svitak

Speak Up! is a collection of speeches by young people from around the globe and it is guaranteed to inspire you. From social justice to the environment, the passion of these children truly shines through here, and it is a genuine testament to the power that the next generation holds. Each speaker is beautifully illustrated by Camila Pinheiro and adds a delightful visual aspect to this empowering read.

Tough Women Adventure Stories edited by Jenny Tough

With many of us still facing lockdown and other levels of restrictions, travelling has become near impossible. But fear not if you are experiencing a case of severe wanderlust, this book is the perfect read for you. Tough Women Adventure Stories will take you on incredible adventures alongside inspiring women cycling, swimming, kayaking, and running around the globe. A great read, it will give you new ideas for future excursions (and a reminder that adventure can also happen in your backyard!).

How To Make A Difference by Kate and Ella Robertson

Wondering how to make a difference in the world but not sure where to start? How To Make A Difference provides a step by step guide into activism with tips from a range of inspiring activists. It will help you identify what you want to stand up for and will give you all the tools you need to defend the causes you have at heart. A great read to move away from the theories and into practical actions!

While we don’t know what 2021 has in store for us, one thing is certain, we can always depend on books to inspire us and lift our spirits. So grab your next read, register with your local library or download a fresh stock of audiobooks, and get ready to escape for at least a little while!

Share the positive!