10 Summer Reads for the Holidays
Unwind with a good book this summer
As the days get warmer and the holidays approach, there’s no better time to unwind with a good book. Whether you're lounging on the beach or simply enjoying the sunshine in your backyard, a great summer read is the perfect companion.
In this summer reads blog, the Writing WA team has curated a diverse list of 10 books that will transport you to different worlds, evoke laughter, and tug at your heartstrings. From fun children’s books to gripping poetry collections, there's something for every reader to enjoy under the sun.
1. The Shallows by Holly Craig
Jess Checkland: The Shallows is a compelling and unsettling read that allows Holly Craig’s storytelling prowess to shine through. Alternating timelines reveal new layers of intrigue, ensuring that the plot maintains a relentless pace and a series of unexpected twists that demand the reader’s attention.’
Holly Craig is appearing on Sunday 25 February at the Writers Weekend.
2. The Things We Live With by Gemma Nisbet
Will Yeoman: ‘These beautiful essays are braided. But they are also fragmentary – the essay giveth and the essay taketh away. They attempt to corral chaos, to define the ineffable. But they also open up space for important conversations around grief, illness, identity, memory and the objects that tell our stories.’
Gemma Nisbet is appearing on Sunday 25 February at the Writers Weekend.
3. Storylines by Carrie Cox
Melinda Tognini: ‘Writing with her characteristic blend of humour and pathos, Carrie Cox explores the ways in which we view ourselves and interpret the lives of others. With its well-crafted narrative and fully-realised characters, Storylines will have readers reflecting on their own way of being in the world.’
Carrie Cox is appearing on Sunday 25 February at the Writers Weekend.
4. An Unexpected Party edited by Seth Malacari
Laurie Steed: ‘The book’s strengths anchor why a collection like An Unexpected Party is needed and welcome in Australian literary culture, whether or not we are talking about Young Adult fiction or the industry as a whole.’
Seth Malacari is appearing on Sunday 25 February at the Writers Weekend.
5. The Villain Edit by Alisha Aitken-Radburn
Shannon Britza: ‘This memoir takes us behind the curtain of the juggernaut that is reality television from the unique point of view of a former ‘villain’. The author, Alisha Aitken-Radburn, who also worked in politics which of course has its own relationship with public image, has penned a truly honest and humorous account of her wild, winding road to eventually find love.’
Alisha Aitken-Radburn is appearing on Sunday 25 February at the Writers Weekend.
6. Crocs Stole My Socks by Kylie Howarth
Jess Checkland: ‘Howarth’s clever storytelling coupled with the vibrant, textured, and eye-catching illustrations, makes it an engaging and educational read. It’s a must-have addition to any children’s bookshelf, where it can spark meaningful conversations while entertaining young readers.’
Kylie Howarth is appearing on Saturday 24 February at the Writers Weekend.
7. Clean by Scott-Patrick Mitchell
Will Yeoman: ‘The full range of SPM’s expressive and technical mastery is on show here, from a lithe fondness for wordplay whether in verse or prose poetry to a coruscating, sometimes excoriating (scrub away!), wit that spares nobody, least of all themselves. Let Clean sit with you, savour it.’
Scott-Patrick Mitchell is appearing on Tuesday 20 February at City Poets hosted by City of Perth
8. Snapshots from Home by Sasha Wasley
Melinda Tognini: ‘With the increasing popularity of books written against a backdrop of war, it is refreshing to read one set locally, in a town brought to life through both extensive research and creative reimagining. Perhaps you’ll even be enticed to take a road trip to discover York—and the traces of its past—for yourself.’
Sasha Wasley is appearing on Saturday 24 February at the Writers Weekend.
9. Three Can Keep a Secret edited by Night Parrot Press
Laurie Steed: ‘There is little more exciting to me than seeing the next generation of WA writers master their craft. Reading this is how you discover just how many wonderful writers exist in our increasingly unique, wondrously innovative creative state.’
Night Parrot Press is hosting a workshop on Friday 23 February at the Writers Weekend.
10. The Last Daughter by Brenda Matthews
Shannon Britza: ‘Brenda Matthews’ story blew me away. With grace and bravery, she reveals the impact on two families who were deceived, and the First Nations stolen child in the middle who loved and lost two sets of families in very different ways. Aunty Brenda is an inspiration who brings hope and healing to Australia by telling this story – it is a unique, must-read memoir.’
Brenda Matthews is appearing on Saturday 24 February and Sunday 25 February at the Writers Weekend.
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Check out our Writers Weekend program and start planning!