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FAQ
Why is this free?

We believe the ideas in these books are crucial for thinking through how to have a large impact with your career, and wish they were more widely-known. So we fundraised from donors to provide these books for free. You can help us reduce the costs by ordering if you’re likely to read it and/or passing it on after you’re done.

Why these books?

We think they’re important books to read if you want to have a big impact on the world.

We probably biased though. Peter (Non-trivial’s founder) is on the credits for 80,000 Hours, Toby Ord, the author of The Precipice is a trustee of 80,000 Hours, and Will MacAskill, author of Doing Good Better is 80,000 Hours’ president.

But you don’t need to trust us – you can read reviews (each book page links to the book’s Goodreads entry) and see if you want to read them.

What formats do you have?
  • Physical copies
  • Audiobooks via Audible

We have three books to choose from:

80,000 Hours

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A free guide based on five years of research alongside academics at Oxford

You have about 80,000 hours in your career, so your career choices are among the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

Ben Todd and his team of researchers have dedicated their careers to helping you find a career you enjoy, you’re good at, and that tackles the world’s most pressing problems.

It covers topics like:

  1. What makes for a dream job, and why “follow your passion” can be misleading.
  2. Why the most effective ways to make a difference aren’t always the obvious ones like working at a charity, or becoming a doctor.
  3. How to compare global problems, like climate change and education, in terms of their scale and urgency.
  4. How to discover and develop your strengths.

It’s also full of practical tips and tools. At the end, you'll have a plan to use your career in a way that's fulfilling and does good.

What people are saying

“This incredible group is helping people have a greater social impact with their careers.” - Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Every college grad should read this” - Tim Urban, creator of Wait But Why.

The Precipice

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This urgent and eye-opening book makes the case that protecting humanity's future is the central challenge of our time.

If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Our species could survive for billions of years - enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice, and to flourish in ways unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, where we face existential catastrophes - those from which we could never come back. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pathogens and artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it will soon be too late.

Drawing on over a decade of research, The Precipice explores the cutting-edge science behind the risks we face. It puts them in the context of the greater story of humanity: showing how ending these risks is among the most pressing moral issues of our time. And it points the way forward, to the actions and strategies that can safeguard humanity.

An Oxford philosopher committed to putting ideas into action, Toby Ord has advised the US National Intelligence Council, the UK Prime Minister's Office, and the World Bank on the biggest questions facing humanity. In The Precipice, he offers a startling reassessment of human history, the future we are failing to protect, and the steps we must take to ensure that our generation is not the last.

What others are saying:

“A powerfully argued book that alerts us to what is perhaps the most important — and yet also most neglected — problem we will ever face” - Peter Singer

“a book that seems made for the present moment … readers may find the sections that argue for why humanity deserves saving, and why we’re equipped to face the challenges, even more arresting than the array of potential cataclysms” — NEW YORKER

Doing Good Better

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Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference

Almost all of us want to make a difference. So we volunteer, donate to charity, recycle or try to cut down our carbon emissions. But rarely do we know how much of a difference we're really making.

In a remarkable re-examination of the evidence, Doing Good Better reveals why buying sweatshop-produced goods benefits the poor; why cosmetic surgeons can do more good than charity workers; and why giving to a relief fund is generally not the best way to help after a natural disaster. By examining the charities you give to, the volunteering you do, the goods you buy and the career you pursue, this fascinating and often surprising guide shows how through simple actions you can improve thousands of lives - including your own.

What people are saying:

Beautifully written and extremely smart. Doing Good Better should be required reading for anyone interested in making the world better.” - Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics

“MacAskill tackles a monumental question: How can we make the biggest dif- ference for the greatest number of people? His answer is a grand vision to make giving, volunteering, spending, and working more worthwhile.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take