Good Weekend’s cool summer reading round-up


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Who higher than The Age and Sydney Morning Herald crossword aficionado David Astle to write down in regards to the rewards of puzzle-solving, together with the newest science on the way it can assist chase away dementia. In Rewording the Mind (ALLEN & UNWIN, $30), Astle additionally offers recommendations on easy methods to remedy cryptic crosswords – then provides 50 to check your wits over summer time.


English author Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Ladies (HAMISH HAMILTON, $33) retells The Iliad from a girl’s perspective. Barker reminds us of the horrible destiny of girls in warfare – to be enslaved to the lads who killed their husbands and brothers. The story is advised via the eyes of the gorgeous Briseis, taken by Achilles as a trophy of warfare. Highly effective and stunning.

There’s nothing like sinking your enamel into an extended, absorbing novel over summer time, and Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay (PICADOR, $33) matches the invoice. It is about 5 brothers whose mom has died younger and whose grief-stricken father has abandoned them, advised via the eyes of Clay, the fourth brother. A giant-hearted e-book with a strong love story at its core, it is also a meditation on grief, loss, redemption and the constructing of bridges, literal and metaphorical.

For beautiful writing about love, need and obsession, learn Enigma Variations by André Aciman (FABER & FABER, $28). Aciman is greatest recognized right here for Name Me By Your Identify, which was made right into a profitable film final 12 months. A terrific author.


The True Color of the Sea  (HAMISH HAMILTON, $30), grasp storyteller Robert Drewe’s newest assortment of quick tales – all linked to the ocean – is the right e-book to ease you into the summer time break. Some tales are about forbidden love – between a mother-in-law and her son-in-law, and a person and his greatest mate’s spouse. Others are about ageing and dying, household and the fantastic thing about artwork. Witty, insightful and typically surprisingly darkish (cannibalism, anybody?).

Should you’re in need of concepts on the place to spend the lengthy summer time days, look no additional than Locations We Swim by Dillon Seitchik-Reardon and Caroline Clements (HARDIE GRANT TRAVEL, $40). The authors travelled round Australia looking for one of the best waterholes, seashores and public swimming pools and chosen 60, some well-known, others much less so. For every location they supply recommendations on easy methods to get there, locations to eat and welcoming pictures. Dive in.

For those who love thrillers, summer and creativity.

For individuals who love thrillers, summer time and creativity. Credit score:Jennifer Soo


Due to Jane Harper, whose The Dry has gone gangbusters right here and internationally, Australia’s very personal crime style, rural noir, is on a roll. Two new ones, Harper’s personal The Misplaced Man (PAN MACMILLAN, $33), her third e-book, and Chris Hammer’s Scrublands (ALLEN & UNWIN, $33), his first, each set within the drought-stricken outback, are glorious summer time reads. Harper’s e-book is in regards to the mysterious dying of one in every of three brothers from a rural household. It’s as a lot a household saga and love story as a thriller. Hammer’s e-book opens with the priest in a small nation city capturing lifeless 5 of his parishioners. Martin Scarsden, a journalist battling his personal demons, is shipped to cowl the story. Gripping, with a fiendishly intelligent dénouement.

For individuals who choose non-fiction, bestselling English writer Ben Macintyre’s The Spy and the Traitor (VIKING, $35), a couple of senior KGB agent who grew to become a British spy through the Chilly Battle, may have you studying into the small hours. It is a riveting, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction espionage story, with all of the intrigue, suspense and subterfuge you’d anticipate. Good.


Australian journalist Damon Kitney’s new biography of James Packer, The Worth of Fortune (HARPERCOLLINS, $45), is one of the best e-book but in regards to the troubled magnate. Drawing on in depth interviews with Packer, his buddies and associates, Kitney describes his enterprise dealings, private crises (Mariah Carey; a battle with sister Gretel over their father’s property) and psychological well being challenges. A reminder that, in Packer’s phrases, “wealth and fortune do not assure happiness”.

Professor Andrew Roberts is the primary Churchill biographer to have had entry to the warfare diaries of King George VI. His Churchill (ALLEN LANE, $70) is a wealthy, nuanced examination of Churchill’s strengths in addition to his weaknesses, with emphasis on his management throughout World Battle II. A compelling account of a rare man, whose father as soon as advised him he was destined to stay a “shabby, sad and futile existence”.


Author and photographer Robyn Lea interviewed 20 artists from all over the world for Bohemian Dwelling (THAMES & HUDSON, $65), through which she explores the connection between inventive individuals and their properties. These residences, lofts and cottages are full of stunning objects which mirror the eclectic tastes of their house owners. Look out for the wallpaper constituted of outdated poetry books and the snake in formaldehyde. Beautiful pictures.

Mirka and Georges Mora had been the center and soul of Melbourne’s meals and artwork scene from the 1950s – and Mirka & Georges: A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (THE MIEGUNYAH PRESS, $55) is a festivity of their lives. The charismatic couple blended with Heide founders John and Sunday Reed, hosted Mick Jagger and employed artist Charles Blackman to cook dinner of their restaurant. Fantastically illustrated with Mirka’s paintings and with recipes for bouillabaisse and different French delights.


Unfettered and Alive

Like memoirs, history or maths? These books should be on your summer list.

Like memoirs, historical past or maths? These books must be in your summer time record.Credit score:Jennifer Soo

(ALLEN & UNWIN, $40) is Anne Summers’ chronicle of a life lived on the vanguard of feminism. She writes with ardour and perception of her work as a journalist, as head of the Workplace of the Standing of Ladies for the Hawke Labor authorities, as editor-in-chief of Ms. journal within the US and with PM Paul Keating. A superb profession certainly. It is nice social historical past, too – what a shock to be reminded that within the late 1970s a single girl couldn’t get a financial institution mortgage.

Michelle Obama’s long-awaited memoir, Changing into (VIKING, $50), is frank, genuine and deeply private. She writes of how onerous work and willpower propelled her from a working-class background in Chicago, to Princeton, Harvard, and a top-tier legislation agency, and the way her life modified after she met Barack Obama. She’s trustworthy in regards to the pressures political life positioned on their (sturdy) marriage, and her personal distaste for politics, vowing by no means to run for workplace.


Woo’s Fantastic World of Maths (MACMILLAN AUSTRALIA, $30) may have even essentially the most reluctant mathematician reaching for the pencil and ruler. Should you’ve ever puzzled why blood vessels appear like lightning flashes, this e-book by acclaimed Australian maths instructor Eddie Woo is for you. Woo explains an entire host of mathematical ideas in a easy, clear and attention-grabbing manner. He is humorous, too.


Australian historian Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom (TEXT, $50) tells the story of the feisty ladies who received the precise to vote for (white) Australian ladies federally in 1902, then helped their sisters in Britain do the identical. They had been up in opposition to it: it was instructed solely “a mere handful of girls with masculine ambition” wished the vote. Wright’s final e-book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, received the Stella Prize. An thrilling historical past of a trailblazing marketing campaign.

French journalist Agnès Poirier’s fantastic Left Financial institution (BLOOMSBURY, $40) will transport you to the Left Financial institution of Paris, the hub of creative and mental life, between 1940 and 1950. Poirier paints a captivating portrait of the difficult private and political lives of artists, writers and philosophers resembling Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus and Picasso through the Occupation, then within the euphoric post-war years. A vivid reconstruction of an thrilling time.

John Curtin’s Battle: Triumph and Decline (VIKING, $50), the second quantity of John Edwards’s Curtin biography, opens in 1942 with the PM getting ready for a Japanese invasion of Australia and ends together with his dying in mid-1945. A superb account of how he efficiently steered the nation via the Pacific Battle.

For Valour, by the Australian Battle Memorial’s Aaron Pegram and Craig Blanch (NEWSOUTH BOOKS, $80), is a large-format e-book on the 100 or so Australians who’ve received the Victoria Cross, from the Boer Battle via to Afghanistan. There is a detailed account of every man’s act of bravery, plus pictures. Advantageous writing and a becoming tribute.

To learn extra from Good Weekend journal, go to our web page at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Occasions.

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