Our essential summer reading lists

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This Christmas, give yourself the greatest gift: time to read. Here are the books that a few of us will be devouring over the holidays.

Hardie Grant Media

Working in an office crammed with beautiful books, where you’ll often catch a glimpse – or even get to meet – some of Australia’s leading authors is pretty great.

So it goes without saying that the Hardie Grant Media crew is fairly into books. Four Hardie Grant Media staff share their best summer reads: 

Nola James, Editor (Melbourne)

This summer I plan to read competitively – I’ve finally been lured into the world of Goodreads, which means that all my literary pals can see how many books I’m reading (tune in here if you’re curious). That said, the first book on my summer reading list, Bianca Bosker’s Cork Dork, is a re-read: I whipped through it mid-year for study materials (it’s the memoir of a tech journalist who quits her 9-5 job to study wine; I’m a wine writer) and I’d like to take a second pass at a more leisurely speed. 

Also on the list is Anna Burns’ Milkman. I don’t know much about it other than it’s set in Ireland and it won the Man Booker prize this year (that’s more than enough for me). Leigh Sale’s Any Ordinary Day is also on my bedside table – I do enjoy her dry wit – along with the rather ominous sounding The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, which is a 554-page alcoholic history of some of the world’s greatest literary geniuses, the author included. I best tackle that one with a glass of wine in hand.

Georgia Lejeune, Managing Editor (Sydney)

I recently signed up for a year’s subscription to indie magazine Smith Journal and the December issue will be my first instalment. I’ve read this mag for years and love the minimalist design, the obscure articles and really interesting photography styles. I also love how the articles age really well, so I can take my time with reading (hopefully on a beach somewhere).

I’ve followed poet Rupi Kaur on Instagram for a while and finally bit the bullet and bought her first collection of poetry Milk & Honey. I’m not usually a big poetry reader, but this collection of contemporary pieces is incredibly accessible and beautifully melodic. 

Australia’s Best Nature Escapes by Lee Atkinson is my New Year’s inspirational reading. I’ll be bookmarking many a hiking and camping trip to put down on the travel list for 2019.

Finally, Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is a book club selection, which I’ll try to finish by the end of the year in time for our meeting! I’ve heard lots of praise for author Dolly Alderton and so I’m looking forward to diving in. 

Hannah Louey, Account Executive (Melbourne)

The first book that I’m keen to get my hands-on over summer is Stephen Fry’s Heroes, the follow up to his retelling of the ancient Greek myths in Mythos, which I only recently finished. I’m a big fan of how Fry blends dry wit with fact: perfect for someone like me who wants to read up on history but doesn’t have the attention span for a textbook.

Next on the list is Clementine Ford’s eagerly anticipated Boys Will Be Boys, and I look forward to seeing how Ford dissects toxic masculinity with her trademark acerbic wit.

And, to switch things up, I plan on reading The Pisces by Melissa Broder, a frankly bonkers sounding book I picked up at the recent Hardie Grant annual book sale. Nominated for multiple awards and featuring a merman as a love interest, it reminds me of this year’s The Shape of Water, which can only lead to good things.

Emily Tatti, Assistant Editor (Melbourne)

This summer I want to tackle the pile of fiction books I’ve accumulated over the last few months, including two I picked up at Hardie Grant’s end-of-year book sale – The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner and Normal People by Sally Rooney. They both sound dark and compelling, which is exactly my kind of read: one is set in a women’s prison in California and the other has been described as a brutally honest love story. 

I’m also excited to start A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer because I’ve followed her essays and book reviews for years. Her novel sounds like a really interesting blend of sci-fi, ghost story and literary fiction.

The other book on my to-read list is My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, which was just adapted into a HBO series that is getting rave reviews. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any of Ferrante’s famous Neapolitan Novels (this is the first of four), but I want to remedy that before I watch the miniseries.   


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