By: Rebecca Teaupa from The Little Reading Room.
If you’re anything like us, you probably have good intentions to keep up with your reading all year – but then school, work, relationships and commitments get ion the way.
That’s where the summer holidays come in – even the busiest of us get a few days off at least, and while the kids are busy playing with their new Christmas toys, parents have a bit of peace and quiet to do their own thing – finally.
If you’ll have a bit of downtime this summer, here’s a list of eight must-reads.
Summer reading, sorted.
1. Brave Enough: A Mini Instruction Manual For the Soul by Cheryl Strayed.
Cheryl Strayed has been a lifelong collector of quotes, from a quote in a novel that she read at twelve and scribbled on her arm where it stayed for a week to words spoken to her husband during an argument that were documented and pinned to their fridge for a decade. Quotes, in her opinion, are mini-instruction manuals for the soul, to reset intentions, clarify thoughts and defy the voice of doubt in our heads. Brave Enough is a compilation of internal conversations that Cheryl realised we were all having with ourselves and is refreshingly authentic, honest and inspiring. In Cheryl’s famous words, “read it like a motherf**cker”.
2. The Great Australian Cookbook, illustrated by Reg Mombassa.
The Great Australian Cookbook is a collection of recipes from 100 of Australia’s finest chefs, cooks, bakers and food producers. From the likes of Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong, Maggie Bear and Margaret Fulton, alongside local food heroes, The Great Australian Cookbook ‘is an affectionate snapshot of Australia and the food we love to eat’ and the opening double page spread of vegemite toast and a cup of tea sets this tone. With a variety of foods, including classic sponge cake, tabouli, Asian chili mud crab, Colombian beef empanadas and many more, this is the ultimate go-to cookbook for summer.
3. The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham.
The Dressmaker, set in 1950s Australia, follows outcast Tilly Dunnage as she returns to her hometown to care for her ‘mad’ mother. With issues of adultery, murder, mental illness, cross-dressing, romance, wealth and of course, couture, this gothic novel has enough gossip-worthy shenanigans to keep the townsfolk talking, and that they do.
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Tilly’s work with crepe and diamantes is in stark contrast to her surroundings, where football is a religion and characters use phrases like “crikey”, “blimey” and “troppo”. Whilst her nosey neighbours look through her mail, peep through her windows and talk at lengths about her, it is Tilly who leaves the town in complete disarray, with dark humour present until the very end.