From the ed­i­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Deb­o­rah Hope

ONE of life’s great plea­sures is choos­ing books to en­joy dur­ing the sum­mer hol­i­days. Run­ning my fin­ger along the many-coloured spines jammed into my book­cases at home, I hunt out vol­umes that have been nag­ging at me, an eclec­tic mix of new fic­tion, clas­sics and his­tory, leav­ened with a smat­ter­ing of thrillers, and make a tower on the floor by my open suit­case. The process is an­i­mated by an­tic­i­pa­tion of lazy af­ter­noons spent with my feet up on a shady deck with a sea view, gen­tly bathed in salty sea breezes.

Whit­tling my read­ing choices to a man­age­able stack is an agony as I ne­go­ti­ate a bal­ance be­tween nour­ish­ment for the mind and the read­ing equiv­a­lent of junk food (a typ­i­cal choice would be pack­ing Dos­to­evsky’s The Brothers Kara­ma­zov next to He­len Field­ing’s Brid­get Jones’s Di­ary). At the top of my pile for this sum­mer are Gil­lian Mears’s Foal’s Bread, Sal­man Rushdie’s The Sa­tanic Verses (why haven’t I ever read it?), Alice Munro’s lat­est col­lec­tion, Dear Life, Tim Mack­in­tosh-Smith’s Trav­els with a Tan­ger­ine: A Jour­ney in the Foot­notes of Ibn Bat­tutah and Ian Rankin’s In­spec­tor Re­bus novel Stand­ing in An­other Man’s Grave. Each one is a pa­per­back I can curl up with, drop, tread on, crush, spill tea on and fall asleep over with­out pro­vok­ing an e-reader emer­gency. In this week­end’s Re­view, lit­er­ary ed­i­tor Stephen Romei takes the pain out of the process with his hand­picked book lovers’ se­lec­tion of dozens of the best reads for the hol­i­day sea­son (or to top up Christ­mas stock­ings), whether your pas­sion is bi­og­ra­phy or crime, sci­ence or sport, po­etry or pol­i­tics, nov­els or hu­mour. When the daz­zle of light or the roar of the surf over­whelms, re­tire to tent, ham­mock or couch with a book.

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