Sisonke's Top 7 Summer Reads
Read Your way through summer
Our incredible Literature & Ideas programmer, Sisonke, has put together a list of her top 7 books for your summer reading.
There's something for everyone, mother-daughter love, untrue crime, searing self portrait, and lots more! So pick one and take it on all your warm weather adventures.
Check out what Sisonke has to say about each book and read your way through summer!
Raised By Wolves, Jess Ho
If you like your books straight, no chaser, then this is the one for you.
S: An unapologetic, no holds barred memoir about growing up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne in a dysfunctional family that was obsessed with food. Jess Ho writes with clarity and candour about the hospitality industry, and its demons — sexual harassment, exploitation, greed, and what Booktopia describes as “a never-ending fetishisation of Asian food culture.”
Jess Ho is appearing on Sat 25 Feb at Writers Weekend.
The Brink, Holden Sheppard
A sharp examination of masculinity, sexuality and what it means to grow up fast.
S: In his second novel, WA’s own Holden Sheppard grapples with a murder that takes place during a leavers weekend of partying. As a group of young people discover a body and try to figure out what’s happened, Sheppard uses the chaos as the backdrop for a sharp examination of masculinity, sexuality and what it means to grow up fast.
Holden Sheppard is appearing on Sat 25 Feb at Writers Weekend
Another Australia, Anthology
Celebrates the diversity of voice and force with a quirky, smart, and often funny set of reflections on where Australia is going and how we might all take it there.
S: Winnie Dunn edited this collection and she is a force. Dunn is one of the youngest and most dynamic editors on the scene and is part of a growing movement that puts Indigenous writers and writers of colour in the spotlight.
Winnie Dunn is appearing on Sat 25 Feb at Writers Weekend
Bodies of Light, Jennifer Down
Harrowing in places, but filled with characters you will fall in love with.
S: Jennifer Down is only twenty-eight, but her pen packs serious punch. She took home Australia’s most prestigious award this year, the Miles Franklin Award. Bodies of Light is the tale of Maggie, who makes it through the foster care system and lives a life that is courageous and deeply troubled. Harrowing in places, but filled with characters you will fall in love with — not least of all its damaged but tender protagonist.
Jennifer Down is appearing on Sun 26 Feb at Writers Weekend
After Story, Larissa Behrendt (AO)
A feel-good novel about a young Indigenous lawyer who takes her mum on a literary tour of England.
S: Larissa Behrendt is one of the country’s most well-known academics, with a remarkable career in broadcasting to boot. She’s written a feel-good novel about Jasmine - a young Indigenous lawyer who takes her mum on a literary tour of England. Hilarity, bonding and hard truths ensue. The love between them – and the tension and history – is beautifully rendered.
Larissa Behrendt is appearing on Sun 26 Feb at Writers Weekend
The Promise, Damon Galgut
A searing portrait written with depth and a breathtaking eye for detail.
S: The Man Booker Prize winner for 2021 is set in South Africa, and tells the story of a white family navigating the end of apartheid. Damon Galgut has written a searing portrait written with depth and a breathtaking eye for detail.
Damon Galgut is appearing on Sat 25 Feb at Writers Weekend
Dirt Town, Hayley Scrivenor
A bingeworthy read.
S: Hayley Scrivenor writes like someone with an ear for the regional Australian towns where her books are set, and constructs her novels like the literary academic she is. Dirt Town traces the story of Esther Bianchi, a girl who goes missing on her way home from school. As the residents of the small town search for her, it becomes clear that their sense of safety has been an illusion, and deep- and long-standing - rifts in the community are exposed.
Hayley Scrivenor is appearing on Sat 25 Feb at Writers Weekend
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