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Publisher's Summary

The national best seller Phosphorescence is 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.

Winner of the Australian Book Industry Book of the Year Award 2021

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 the 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 of 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? 

An intimate, achingly beautiful, and inspiring exploration of the ways we can pursue awe, wonder, and purpose, from one of our best, most perceptive writers.

Winner, Non-Fiction Category, Indie Book Awards 2021 

"Like spending an evening with a wonderful friend, with unlimited time and a glass of good wine in hand.... A beautiful and rallying read." (The Australian)

"Julia Baird's new, beautiful consideration of the things that glow through the murk...a book such as this one - one that aims to provoke delight and wonder and comfort, that is at its heart trying to find answers or modes of connection, or light - is of the moment in the best possible way." (The Guardian

"Intelligent and emotionally astute.... Many will find sustenance in reading it." (Sydney Morning Herald

"That is the beauty of this profound book. It transports you into all the deep, inner yearnings you've had for a long time, and then articulates them for you.... I could rave about this gem of a book forever. We need this book. You need this book. It is the perfect gift for us all right now. It is perfect." (Better Reading)

©2020 Julia Baird (P)2020 HarperAudio

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What listeners say about Phosphorescence

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Entitled, arrogant nonsense

This is honestly trash.
A wealthy and privileged woman using the words of others to put together a list of things to 'inspire' including hours of talking about how great she is and all the wonderful things she has done.
I agree with her - it would be easy to feel happy about life if you lived in one of Sydney's best suburbs and had the freedom to head to the beach every morning for a swim.
Give me a break. Absolute nonsense.

35 people found this helpful

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essentially a biography

was great at the beginning then morphed into the author's memoirs. didn't finish as i didn't want a biography.

13 people found this helpful

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This is the perfect book for these imperfect times

I really loved this book. Weeks after listening to Julia read it so beautifully, it resonates with me on a daily basis. I have bought it for friends and have sung its praises it to anyone who will listen to me. Uplifting and honest. My book of the year.

10 people found this helpful

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Firefly interpretations of the world around us

The most eloquent descriptors of awe and loving life

I particularly adore how well versed this non fiction book is

Julia makes facts delectable

I love the texture of the book cover

The colours the design

The inside cover

The pages are the right thickness

The font size delightful

I love how intellectual it is

But malleable

I’m not sure how many people will understand the magnitude of research that is entwined in this book

Julia is using history as a metaphor for her life

I am so impressed

Thank you for this firefly interpretation of the world around us

Epic

9 people found this helpful

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Loved her soothing voice

I loved her soothing voice, but not sure what I really got out of this book. I did not expect for it to be an autobiography about Julia. I would not recommend this book to someone looking for personal growth.

6 people found this helpful

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This book will make your soul sparkle

I selected this book simply because of the title, because Phosphorescence fills ME with wonder and awe. I cannot recall reading (actually hearing I guess since this is an audible book) anything that has quite made me feel the deep sense of peace and warmth I experienced listening to Julia’s collections of experiences, research, conversations and thoughts. This book accompanied me on my long commutes to work and left a contented smile on my face instead of the usual traffic snarl. Thank you Julia.

4 people found this helpful

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What a lovely woman... I took away some little nuggets

Refreshing to listen to an Aussie accent- great narration by the author.
I was inspired by this book to get into the water in winter and go for a swim.
Julia’s been through a lot and listening to her was like listening to a slightly older, wiser, better educated girlfriend, interesting scientific stuff, some words of wisdom, some boring bits (the Christian stuff) but generally an overall respect for her story. It’s worth a listen.

4 people found this helpful

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Brave and inspiring

I wish there were more books like this to help the many of us hidden away, leading “different lives”, struggling daily with pain and huge challenges. We can gain strength in community and in learning from each other; from different ways to cope and new things to try. Thank you Julia for your sharing and helping to light the way.

4 people found this helpful

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Not life changing

I liked when how Julia spoke about her own raw experiences. It was difficult to listen to the book without cringing at some parts though. Research cited almost only for imagery and not really to make a strong point.

3 people found this helpful

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A bit religious for me

had some good inspirational concepts but as another reviewer stated, it becomes more autobiographical and in the end a bit religious for my liking. Will suit others well.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for claire
  • claire
  • 25-04-2021

Learning to live our previous life

Everyone should have the energy, sea amd love of this Marvellous author. Having survived cancer Dr Baird maintains her love of life and the planet hunting out those natural bright lights. Swim. Walk. Love.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.