Booked out: What to read to get your brain back into gear

Bronte Coates, digital content coordinator for iconic Melbourne bookstore Readings, prescribes us some good reads.

Q: My brain is full of Ashanti lyrics and memes I need to DM to my best friend while my boss isn’t looking. But what can I read to get my brain back into gear? (If it makes me sound really bloody clever at a dinner party, that would be an added bonus.)

A: A fascinating non-fiction read might be your best bet here – the kind filled with facts that you can pull out at the dinner table when the conversation lulls! Last year I adored Emily Voigt’s The Dragon Behind the Glass, an investigation into the strange and dangerous world of the Asian arowana or ‘dragon fish’. For weeks after reading it, I couldn’t stop sharing anecdotes from the book with friends.

You might also be interested in some recent non-fiction releases that will deepen your knowledge about current world news and politics. J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is an analysis of white working-class Americans. Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu argues for a new understanding of pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. Angela Pippos’s Breaking the Mouldtackle sexism in sport, and touches on the amazing new women AFL league. Rebecca Huntley’s Still Lucky shares a cross-section of what Australian people are really thinking. Madeline Gleeson’s Offshore is an uncompromising overview of what actually happens in Australia’s offshore detention centres.