We're here to save your summer giving you the best list in town from Writers Week Curator William Yeoman. He's pulled together a diverse range of books to savour over summer. There’s everything from five-star Nordic crime to Australian history.
If classics are your thing and you’re looking to revisit the roaring 20s and are planning to see Elevator Repair Services’ Gatz at Perth Festival, then treat yourself F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Perth Festival Writers Week runs from 18 to 24 February 2019.
YOUR SUMMER READING LIST
Mads Peder Nordbo The Girl Without Skin
When a mummified Viking corpse is discovered on an ice sheet in Nuuk, Greenland, journalist Matthew Cave is sent out to report on the extraordinary finding. He returns to the site the next day, only to find the mummy gone and the body of the policeman keeping watch naked and flayed on the ice. Matthew soon realises the crime resembles a series of unsolved murders from many years earlier. As he tries to connect the past with the present, a young Greenlandic woman with a surprising link to the murders becomes the only person he can trust.
Set against the foreboding beauty of Greenland, The Girl Without Skin combines Inuit folklore, Arctic politics and a haunting mystery. Not only a gripping page-turner, it is also a thought-provoking story about life in Greenland.
Amy Sackville Painter to the King
This is a portrait of Diego Velázquez, from his arrival at the court of King Philip IV of Spain, to his death 38 years and scores of paintings later. It is a portrait of a relationship that is not quite a friendship: between a king and his subject, between an artist and his subject.
It is a portrait of a ruler, always on duty, and increasingly burdened by a life of public expectation and repeated private grief. And it is a portrait of a court collapsing under the weight of its own excess. A novel about what is shown and what is seen, about art and death and life.
Trent Dalton Boy Swallows Universe
Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.
But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.
A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year.
Peter FitzSimons Mutiny On The Bounty
The dramatic story of Captain William Bligh, Fletcher Christian and history's most famous mutiny, brought to life by Peter FitzSimons, Australia's storyteller.
The mutiny on HMS Bounty, in the South Pacific on 28 April 1789, is one of history's truly great stories - a tale of human drama, intrigue and adventure of the highest order - and in the hands of Peter FitzSimons it comes to life as never before.
This astonishing story is historical adventure at its very best, encompassing the mutiny, Bligh's monumental achievement in navigating to safety, and Fletcher Christian and the mutineers' own epic journey from the sensual paradise of Tahiti to the outpost of Pitcairn Island. The mutineers' descendants live on Pitcairn to this day, amid swirling stories and rumours of past sexual transgressions and present-day repercussions. Mutiny on the Bounty is a sprawling, dramatic tale of intrigue, bravery and sheer boldness, told with the accuracy of historical detail and total command of story that are Peter FitzSimons' trademarks.
Joelle Gergis Sunburnt Country
What does climate change in Australia really look like?
What was Australia's climate like before official weather records began? How do scientists use tree-rings, ice cores and tropical corals to retrace the past? What do Indigenous seasonal calendars reveal? And what do settler diary entries about rainfall, droughts, bushfires and snowfalls tell us about natural climate cycles? Sunburnt Country pieces together Australia's climate history for the first time. It uncovers a continent long vulnerable to climate extremes and variability. It gives an unparalleled perspective on how human activities have altered patterns that have been with us for millions of years, and what climate change looks like in our own backyard. Sunburnt Country highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems and the power we all have to shape future life on Earth.
Moreno Giovannoni The Fireflies of Autumn
San Ginese is a village where God lingers in people’s minds and many dream of California, Argentina or Australia. Some leave only to return feeling disheartened, wishing they had never come back, some never leave and forever wish they had.
The Fireflies of Autumn takes us to the olive groves and piazzas of this little-known Tuscan village. There we meet Bucchione, who was haunted by the Angel of Sadness; Lo Zena, his neighbour, with whom he feuded for forty years; Tommaso the Killer; the Adulteress; the Dead Boy and many others. These are linked tales of a people and their place over the course of the twentieth century.
The Fireflies of Autumn recalls Italo Calvino’s fables, the intimacy and candour of Elena Ferrante, and Colm Toibin’s nuanced sense of migration’s losses and gains. But ultimately Moreno Giovannoni is an original. In writing that appears simple, but which has great wisdom and power, he offers complete immersion in a fully imagined Italian world. This is Tuscany as you have never seen it before.
Gail Jones The Death of Noah Glass
The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block.
His adult children, Martin and Evie, must come to terms with the shock of their father’s death. But a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. The police are investigating. Gail Jones’s mesmerising new novel tells a story about parents and children, and explores the overlapping patterns that life makes. The Death of Noah Glass is about love and art, about grief and happiness, about memory and the mystery of time.
Mikey Robins Seven Deadly Sins and One Very Naughty Fruit
In this irreverent romp through the history of food via the Seven Deadly Sins, Mikey Robins uncovers the most bizarre food-related stories of all time. From the Ancient Egyptians to the Romans, from the medieval monarchs to the first celebrity chefs, our ancestors have left their mark on our habits and social mores, our plates and palates, telling us one truth above all: wherever there is food there is folly.
On the topic of GLUTTONY, Mikey exposes our obsession with outlandish overconsumption. PRIDE reveals some of the most arrogant dinner hosts in history, and how the once humble chef has now achieved rock-god status. LUST sheds light on our aphrodisiac fixations and the most desired foods in history. SLOTH charts the shocking rise of fast food and the accidental invention of the microwave. WRATH tells of sausage duels and poisonous spite, while GREED will make you blush at the indulgences of the rich and famous. And who hasn’t experienced ENVY when your dining companion’s plate sings while yours sputters?
Mikey Robins is your personal guide down history’s gullet and into the underbelly of our wildest desires, darkest fears and guilty pleasures.
David Stratton 101 Marvellous Movies You May Have Missed
Are you tired of trawling through movies you don't recognise on Netflix? Sick of reading short film descriptions that sound boring? Don't know what to watch next?
Let leading film critic David Stratton introduce you to 101 movies that you probably haven't heard of, and tell you why they are worth seeing.
David Stratton's selection of overlooked gems includes movies from such well-known directors as David Lynch, Ang Lee and Sidney Lumet. They star popular actors such as Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Newman, Emma Thompson and Jake Gyllenhaal. They include comedies, thrillers, westerns, musicals and romances, and were produced from the 1980s through to the past few years.
Markus Zusak Bridge of Clay
The Dunbar boys bring each other up in a house run by their own rules. A family of ramshackle tragedy – their mother is dead, their father has fled – they love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world.
It is Clay who will build a bridge – for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins. He’s building a bridge to transcend humanness. To survive.
A miracle and nothing less. Markus Zusak makes his long-awaited return with a profoundly heartfelt and inventive novel about a family held together by stories, and a young life caught in the current: a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for a painful past
Bill Lawrie and Claire Moodie Freo Groove
Freo Groove is a window into the world of Fremantle musicians and the vibrant musical culture that has built up over generations.
From blues musician Dave Brewer, The Jam Tarts’ Sophie and Anna Gare, and The John Butler Trio; to Dom Mariani, Stella Donnelly and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Freo’s top musicians reflect on their lives, their art, and the city they call, or once called, home.
Twenty-nine portraits tell the story of Fremantle’s rich music scene and its long history, going right back to the Norm Wrightson Orchestra in the late 1940s, through Wayne Green’s chilling accounts of brawling, west-end dives in the early seventies, to the free and easy musical boom during the Americas Cup days, and finally to the fierce competition for gigs in the present day
Ambelin Kwaymullina Meet Me at the Intersection
Meet Me at the Intersection is an anthology of short fiction, memoir and poetry by authors who are First Nations, People of Colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability. The focus of the anthology is on Australian life as seen through each author’s unique, and seldom heard, perspective.
With works by Ellen van Neerven, Graham Akhurst, Kyle Lynch, Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Olivia Muscat, Mimi Lee, Jessica Walton, Kelly Gardiner, Rafeif Ismail, Yvette Walker, Amra Pajalic, Melanie Rodriga, Omar Sakr, Wendy Chen, Jordi Kerr, Rebecca Lim, Michelle Aung Thin and Alice Pung, this anthology is designed to challenge the dominant, homogenous story of privilege and power that rarely admits ‘outsider’ voices.