Phosphorescence by Julia Baird: Your Preview Verdict

Phosphorescence by Julia Baird: Your Preview Verdict

Awe-inspiring and captivating, Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence is a deep dive into all that makes life worth living. This book is a wondrous investigation into the ways in which we may nurture our souls in times of darkness.

Read some 5 star reviews from our Preview readers here:

Julia Baird’s “Phosphorescence” is not the usual type of book that I read but I really enjoyed this book.  I have learned so many things that I didn’t know and the chapter “Letter to a Young Woman”, is absolutely beautiful and just the kind of thing I want to write to my daughter.  It was a fascinating book and I would like to thank Better Reading & Harper Collins for my advanced copy. – Hannelie, WA, 5 stars

What an amazing read – thoroughly recommend to everybody. – Sally, VIC, 5 stars

Such a beautiful read. Nothing could have prepared me for the enlightenment and awakening of my senses that this read produced within me. – Rebecca, QLD, 5 stars

Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence is a wonderful meditation on life, love, the search for meaning and how to sustain happiness.  With it seems some kind of other-worldly prescience, this book arrives with perfect timing, a guiding light for our suddenly dark times.  Beautiful inside and out, Phosphorescence acts as a contemplative exploration of the wonder of nature, the power of stillness and the joy of simple pleasures.  An inspirational guidebook for life! – Imogen, VIC 5 stars

What a great book!  I am usually a fan of fiction, as reading is my escape from the real world.  I cannot remember the last time I read a non fiction book.  This book had me interested from page one, and has put all my thoughts and feelings over the last few years, during which time I have explored many landscapes, down on paper and I feel connected more than ever.  If only more people could read this, and understand the impact of awe on our psyche.  The conversations this would open up would be beneficial to all.  Perhaps we could send copies to the decision makers responsible for the massive increase in density of the population…if only they would read it. – Sarah, VIC 5 stars

A bright light in our dark world. So now. So relevant. Tear pages out. Highlight them. Pin them up at your work. This book will get you through our current dark times – Louise, NSW, 5 stars

Julia Baird’s, Phosphorescence is exactly what I needed to read in this new Covid 19 world. I would highly recommend this mind opening and mind altering book to anybody who is looking for some hope or guidance. Although writing about very profound matters, Julia’s writing style makes it easy to read, learn and take on board new ideas.  I think Phosphorescence is a book that I will regularly return to as a reminder that all around us there really is, ‘awe, wonder & things that sustain you when the world goes dark’. – Jo, QLD 5 stars

This was an interesting read, and not the usual book I would actually choose.  I was slow to get into it, wondering if it was all “useful”, but as i continued to read, reflecting on the current challenges people are facing, I did find it may have a relevance that people may draw comfort from. – Jenny, NSW, 3 stars

The title Phosphorescence encapsulates the illuminated content within. Baird’s narrative is a shining wonder itself, with a profound impact both unexpected and joyous. It is hard to believe that I could be taken into the core of my own connectedness with all that is manifest and sublime through mere words; but this book can do just that, if you allow it. Baird is an inspired woman, who is gifted in her ability to infuse joy and wonder into her narrative. Reading this book is likened to joining Baird on her morning swim. We wade into the ocean with her; to venture out deep to sense the awe she feels through our own heart strings. Baird inspires us to endure whatever challenges we face by sharing anecdotes of heroic lives and insights worth “tattooing over our hearts”.  Baird’s words are full of appreciation for the great moments she lives and it is evident this positive outlook keeps her thriving. I am left with inspiration within my suburban life.  Suddenly I notice the glow of morning light and that particular mottled cloud pattern that heralds a change as it streaks in from the coast, instead of arching my head low into a screen image. The impact of reading this book is lasting. I feel more of purpose and less that I am doing this gig alone.       There is a synchronicity with the appearance of Phosphorescence, with the needs of the world today. As we declare war on everything from bushfires to viruses, we are  lost in a world of separatist mentality. Baird’s book arises as an antidote to self-centred fears as she reminds of us of our deeper connections with one another, and that the remembering of this will brings us strength and hope. I can’t wait to gift this book to all the special people in my life.  – Wendy, WA, 5 stars

By page TWO I was in awe, thinking this needs to be read out load to an audience, it is so “now”.  It’s exactly what’s needed for now.  It will sustain you through the darkest time ie. now.  It’s inspiring, beautiful and intense.  Some parts did feel like you’re reading a textbook but that’s exactly how it needs to be presented!  Read it, borrow it, highlight sections, fold down pages, you will refer back to pages that hit a sensitive part of you again and again.  I’m reading it for the second time! – Penny, NSW, 5 stars

Heartfelt and beautifully told stories of the many lessons, big and small, that are presented to us as we go through life – some we learn straight away and others are illuminated in retrospect.   Every chapter is full of interesting characters and lessons to remember. Thank you, Julia Baird, for this book! – Robyn, WA, 5 stars

What a  beautifully written and soul healing book.  Julia Baird’s poetic prose grabbed me from the very first page, when she describes how the unearthly glow in the wild “they have for any centuries, enchanted us, like glowing missionaries of wonder, emissaries of awe”.  I could feel my body relaxing as she describes swimming in the ocean and later in the week when  the trials of everyday life began to take their toll and stress began to overwhelm me, I immediately thought of those passages again and my body began to relax as I could feel the wonder and awe of the ocean envelope me. As she mentions life is not all “pollyanna”.  Sometimes life is difficult.  At these times it is very useful to know how to return to “the quiet healing properties of nature;  the forest, the sea and the creatures they contain”.  We need a way to find peace and tranquillity.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am about to start reading it for a second time. – Susan, QLD, 5 stars

Such an elegantly written mix of scientific facts and the human experience. All the things we know our bodies intrinsically tell us, yet we wait for science to confirm for us before believing as truth. An extremely timely tool for the general public. – Kayla, QLD, 5 stars

Fascinating read! Nature at its best, nurturing, healing and making us feel happy and lighter. – Angelynn, NSW, 5 stars

‘Is there anything more beautiful than living light?’ Julia Baird asks the reader  in the Prelude to Phosphorescence.  This is, in her view, a rhetorical question. Baird explores wonders in nature and connections to family and friends that can sustain and uplift us in the face of an uncertain and, at times, frightening world.    Baird has cast her net wide, quoting scientists, astronauts, Indigenous leaders and psychologists. She refers to her own experiences and then expands her view to look at the bigger picture, often through a feminist lens.    Her two chapters addressed to her children are sublime and eloquent. She celebrates her friends, referring to them as ‘the crossbeams of [her] resilience’. And she reminds us that the greatest antidote for loneliness is to help another ‘and in doing so you may happily forget yourself for a while.’    Baird says she wrote this book ‘in the hope that it might be a salve for the weary’. When I finished this book, I felt an enormous sense of peace, and found that I approached the world with a renewed sense of optimism, awe and wonder.  – Gaby, NSW, 5 stars

Phosphorescence by Julia Baird is a beautiful collection of anecdotes to make one laugh, cry (sometimes at the same time), & ponder all the wonderful things in this life which may not be visible to all, but are brought to our attention so lovingly & descriptively. A book to read many times over. – Lynne, QLD, 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading Julia’s book. To me it was about the best possible way to navigate your journey through life. Julia suggests how to deal with adversity (not minor problems but major adversity and how to keep the wonder and awe we all probably had in childhood. It was very positive and uplifting for me. It was very well written and researched. I loved it. – Gloria, SA, 5 stars


Preview Reviews: Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

Review | Preview

20 April 2020

Preview Reviews: Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

    Utterly Sublime, Deeply Moving: See Why you Must Read Julia Baird's Phosphorescence Here

    Review | Extract

    30 March 2020

    Utterly Sublime, Deeply Moving: See Why you Must Read Julia Baird's Phosphorescence Here

      We Need this Book. Julia Baird's Phosphorescence is the Perfect Read

      Review | Our Review

      24 March 2020

      We Need this Book. Julia Baird's Phosphorescence is the Perfect Read

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                Publisher details

                Julia Baird
                Biography and Memoir
                23 March, 2020


                A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness - the 'light within' that Julia Baird calls 'phosphorescence' - which will sustain us even through the darkest times.Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we're overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most - finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril - how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light - a light to ward off the darkness?Absorbing, achingly beautiful, inspiring and deeply moving, Julia Baird has written exactly the book we need for these times.
                Julia Baird
                About the author

                Julia Baird

                Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster and author based in Sydney, Australia. She is hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and the International New York Times. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Guardian, the Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun-Herald, The Monthly and Harper’s Bazaar.

                Books by Julia Baird


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