books that make you think

10 Non-Fiction Books That Will Make You Think in 2021

26 August 2021 | by Gina Lucia

If you’re looking to shift your perspective about the world around you, diving into one of these books that make you think is one of the best ways to do it.

Books that will change the way you think can help to take your mind off the troubles you’re going through. While also giving you a new perspective on situations we all experience.

So, in this article, we’re going to share ten of the top books that make you think. We hope they will inspire you to expand your perspective moving forward.

10 books that will make you think

With so many different books to make you think on offer, it can be challenging to know where to begin.

These books are suitable for people in various stages of their life. They will inspire you to think differently – no matter what your current perspective is.

Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead?

Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead?: The Munk Debates

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The Munk Debates is a semi-annual event, and during the November 2015 meeting in Toronto, this book was born.

Four authors go head to head to debate whether our best days as humans still lie ahead. This book will help you discover whether progress is inevitable. It also talks about other key concepts about life on earth as a human.

Why it will make you think

Progress is something that defines us as humans, and with the ever-changing technologies in the world around us, it can sometimes feel hard to keep up. This book questions whether progress is inevitable. Which is a fascinating subject to explore.

If you feel like modern life is a challenge some days, this book may help you come to terms with the benefits of the world we live in now. Thinking about the world in a different way can make the struggles you’re going through now seem less important in the wider scheme of things.


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

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Minimalism is a topic that many people enjoy exploring at some stage in their life, and it’s a practice that can offer you so many benefits. In Essentialism, you’ll learn more about being more selective about what is essential in life.

This pursuit of less can help us to take back control of our time and energy. Instead of spending it on things that no longer fulfil us.

Why it will make you think

There’s no denying that our lives can be incredibly complex, but does it really have to be that way? By forcing yourself to think about everything you do and own, you can decide whether you’re spending your life in the most fulfilling way.

This is one of the world’s most popular books that make you think currently, and it’s no surprise that more people are looking to adopt a simpler life. For anyone who finds themselves constantly overwhelmed, you’ll appreciate the idea of reducing the stress and hassle in your life.

Brave, Not Perfect

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder

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If you could live life without worrying about not being good enough, how do you think your life would look today? This is one of our favourite books for anyone who often feels that they aren’t good enough. And for anyone that puts too much pressure on themselves on a daily basis.

Learning to fear less and live a bolder life is something we should all strive to do. This book will empower you to do just that.

Why it will make you think

This book focuses on the struggles that women go through throughout their lives. We are often taught to be polite and quiet and play things safe. But life doesn’t have to be that way.

As you read this book, you’ll be left wondering if you’re the one stopping yourself from being truly happy.

You’ll be encouraged to claim back your own voice and leave behind anything that makes you unhappy in life. Striving to live our best life is something that many of us are after. You’ll be empowered to take a different path after reading this book.

Bolder: How to Grow Older

Bolder: How to Grow Older

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Getting older is an inevitable part of life, but this book, that will make you think, will help you rethink the ageing process.

The book’s mission is to share that ageing can actually be fun. Which you’ll discover through a series of interviews and stories from those enjoying their later years.

Why it will make you think

While it’s perfectly normal to worry about growing older. There are many benefits to ageing. If you’ve always worried about getting older and struggle with limiting beliefs. This book will make you rethink the ageing process and the benefits that we may experience later on in life.

You’ll hear a diverse range of perspectives about ageing, including stories of falling in love in your 80s. It’s never too late to make a change in your life. This book will remind you of just that.

The Gender Games

The Gender Games: The Problem with Men and Women, from Someone Who Has Been Both

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Our gender is something many of us are aware of on a daily basis, and this is one of the best books that make you think on the subject.

It features stories from many of the top gender, trans, and feminist activists, who work to empower you to live in a world where you can be yourself.

Why it will make you think

For anyone who struggles with their gender identity or is fascinated by the way in which we’ve been programmed to react to certain situations. This is an excellent book to learn more about the topic.

Our lives are often shaped by society’s expectations of us, but this book questions why these actions and expectations are considered to be the norm.

You’ll enjoy some laughs throughout the book. But you’ll be left thinking about how tough life can be for people who don’t feel like they belong in the world.

The wide selection of stories told within the pages of this book will make you know that you are not alone and that there’s always someone out there you can identify with. 

Queer Intentions

Queer Intentions: A (Personal) Journey Through LGBTQ + Culture

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Whether you’re already in a same-sex marriage or are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this book explores whether same-sex marriage is all it’s cracked up to be.

You’ll go through a journey with the author as Amelia Abraham works to search for answers to some of the most pressing questions while engaging with community events around the world.

Why it will make you think

There’s no denying that many people are being left behind in the world today. With more options on offer in the West for the LGBTQ+ community, this will help you to learn more about what it means to be part of this community today.

You’ll put yourself in other people’s shoes while reading this book. Allowing you to think about what life would be like from another perspective. It will also make you think more about media visibility and whether this is a help or hindrance to this community.

How to Fail

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

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Failing is something that many of us are frightened of, but this is one of the top books that make you think and overcome this worry.

This book will take you through the lessons the author has learnt from failure. Including stories about dating, work, families, and friendship.

Why it will make you think

We all feel like a failure at some point in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn lessons from the more challenging times. Elizabeth Day will make you reconsider how things might really be going in the right direction. Even when the world seems to be crumbling down around you.

Learning to fail is often much harder to do than learning to succeed, but it might be one of life’s most valuable lessons. Celebrating when things go wrong can be difficult, to begin with, but it will give you a new perspective on the challenges you’re currently going through.

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)

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Our relationships often bring us so much joy in life, but there’s no denying that relationships of any type can be a challenge. This Sunday Times bestseller guides us through the do’s and don’ts of relationships to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that people make.

Why it will make you think

If you’re looking for books that will change the way you think about relationships, this is one of the must-read titles this year. You’ll discover how your upbringing shaped you and learn how to support your partner and children through any challenge.

This book is packed with realistic tips and advice that can be applied to almost any life situation. You’ll be left thinking about the relationships you’re currently in. You’ll also be left thinking about the changes you can make to improve them.

White Fragility

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism 

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It’s so important that as many of us as possible try to consider why we struggle to talk about racism.

This has been one of the most popular books that make you think in the past year. It will make you question how you think about racism and white fragility in particular.

Why it will make you think

If you think that racism is only reserved for bad people, this book will make you rethink your viewpoint. White fragility is a huge issue in the world today, and many people find themselves getting defensive when discussing this topic.

This book will make you question inequality in your community and how you can engage with racism in a more constructive manner moving forward.



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This essay shares insight into the challenges of anxiety and how the internet age has only worked to exasperate these issues. You’ll find this is one of the top books that make you think about anxiety, feminism, and mental health.

Why it will make you think

Anxiety is something that many of us are struggling with currently. If you find yourself trapped in an anxious spiral, you may feel like there’s no way out.

This book will also make you rethink the issues women face on a daily basis. Including how the internet and social media has made some of these problems worse.

Change the way you think

Sometimes in life, we need to shake things up a bit. These non-fiction books that will make you think are the perfect way to do just that.

When we’re going through challenging times, we often find ourselves so absorbed in our own thoughts. By reading another point of view, we realise the things we’re worried about today might not be the end of the world tomorrow.

Whichever one of these books, you pick up first, we hope you enjoy learning more about the world around us and listening to another perspective on some of the world’s most important topics.