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Source: Greenpeace New Zealand

Keep calm and read on.

While we’re all in lockdown, what better way to pass the time than by settling down with a good book? There’s no doubt that Coronavirus, or Covid-19, will significantly change the course of our society. It’s up to us to make sure those changes are as positive as possible. Here are some great reads to get you thinking about a better future.

1. Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements

This collection of short stories, collated by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, calls itself ‘speculative fiction’. It comes in the form of imaginings from worlds without capitalism, with more justice, peace and compassion. Inspired by and named after science fiction writer Octavia Butler, these hopeful glimpses of a radically different future provide a compass to get us through these uncertain times.

2. 2040: A Handbook for Regeneration

Damon Gameau’s beautiful 2040 is an exploration of what might happen if we put our minds to creating a low-carbon world full of community, connection and renewal. Realistic but hopeful, both a practical manual and a source of inspiration, this book is an excellent partner to the documentary by the same name (great for whiling away some more lockdown time).

3. Hope in the Dark

Rebecca Solnit has written extensively about climate change, feminism and social justice. In this collection of essays, she combines her years of involvement in activism with wide-ranging lessons from change-makers throughout history to make a strong case for hope as a guiding and essential force when building better futures. An amazing read to remind you that despair rests on knowing exactly what happens next, and that beautiful things can arise from the unknown.

4. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming

Whether you want to stop oil drilling, end plastic pollution, clean up our rivers or make sure our oceans are protected, it can often feel like you’re working in isolation. Environmental and social issues can seem like they don’t have much crossover. But in Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken weaves together the stories of hundreds of different grassroots groups and NGOs, showing that the work we do benefits each other’s causes and sparks change as one diverse movement. Together, we’re powerful.

Remember, to have the best chance at slowing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our friends and whānau healthy, we need to be staying home as much as possible. And having a stack of inspiring books to keep you going makes it a whole lot easier!

Tell us in the comments what’s on your reading list and why.

READ MORE: 11 simple ways to care for each other during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic