Self isolation got you down? We’ve put together a list of our top 10 books, articles and reports to pull you out of your world.
person lying on a bed reading a book

Sick of self isolation? We’ve got some reading material to keep you occupied.

During those long days at home in self isolation, the phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ can feel even more begrudging. But you know what will help take you away? A good read. Especially if you’re after an escape from all the bad news.

We’ve put together a list of our top 10 books, articles and reports to pull you out of your world for as long as it takes you to read your chosen text. We’ve got you covered for all your isolation reading needs with online reads and real books you can order online.

Top 10 isolation reading ideas

1. Article: When distant voyagers call home

Read time: 19 minutes
Heard of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC)? Meet some of the people who have worked alongside the large radio antennas for decades.

2. Article: Magpie geese return with help from ethical AI and Indigenous Knowledge

Read time: Seven minutes
In the wetlands of Kakadu, rangers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Indigenous Knowledge to are for Country. The results are promising – thousands of magpie geese are returning to roost.

3. Report: Artificial Intelligence Roadmap

Read time: A few hours
Want insight to the future of artificial intelligence (AI)? We co-developed the Artificial Intelligence Roadmap for Australia’s future. It outlines actions to capture the benefits of AI, estimated to be worth AU$22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

4. Children’s book: Windcatcher: Migration of the short-tailed shearwater

Read time: Depends on your reading style/child
A short-tailed shearwater bird flies from the edge of the Southern Ocean to the rim of the Arctic Circle – and back – every year. This remarkable 30,000-kilometre journey is driven by seabird law. Find out how they fly this far. Hint: it has something to do with the wind! Windcatcher was longlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year.

5. Article: One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish: Species recognition software for sustainable fisheries

Read time: 10 minutes
Technology adapted from the security industry is being used to monitor fishing operations, manage the seafood supply chain and ensure the sustainability of our fisheries. Find out what technology we’re using this valuable resource.

6. Children’s book: Hollow is a Home

Read time: Depends on your reading style/child
More than 340 Australian species use hollows in trees as shelter or home. A Hollow is a Home will show you how hollows are created, why they are threatened and how to become a hollow-hunter! A Hollow is a Home was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.

7. Report: Australian National Outlook 2019

Read time: A full day
What kind of country will Australia be in 2060? This is exactly the question the 2019 Australian National Outlook report investigated. To do this, we looked at two scenarios for 2060. One was a ‘slow decline’ and the other was an ‘outlook vision’. These two scenarios looked at 13 different national issues, as well as two global contexts relating to trade and action on climate change. Find out the amazing results in the report.

8. Children’s book: Imagining the Future

Read time: Depends on your reading style/child
Flying through time and flying in cars. Living underwater and living forever. Robot servants. 3D printed food. Wouldn’t it be amazing if science fiction became science fact? We have a guide to some of these unbelievable and incredible inventions.

9. Article: Itchy, scratchy and unironed: Life before our quirkiest inventions

Read time: Six minutes
We couldn’t finish this list without a little humble brag. You probably know we invented WiFi (you’re welcome) and the world’s first effective influenza treatment. But how much do you know about some our less mainstream inventions.

10. Book: The allure of fungi

Read time: Days
This one will be right up the alley of fans of our regular #fungifriday on Instagram. This beautiful book documents this forgotten corner of the natural world that is both beguiling and fundamental to life.


  1. I can’t remember who said this but he worked in AI: “intelligence can never be artificial” no computational engine will ever display intelligence. I mean it does not have a Neocortex.

  2. Sounds like a great list. I believe that The future we choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac is a book which should also be widely read and promoted in these times. It is simple, easy to read, deals with the science competently and accessibly, suggests simple practical actions and inspires when it is so easy to collapse into gloom and despair.

  3. Just fantastic and unexpected re “Book it in” 🙂 (I’m a librarian)

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