Sum­mer siz­zlers

Who’s read­ing what, where and why over the hol­i­days

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Holiday Reading Special -

Two ti­tles you could class as travel are How to Build a Time Ma­chine by Paul Davies (sort of a his­tor­i­cal ac­count about the pos­si­bil­ity of in­ter­stel­lar travel in our life­time) and The Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Dou­glas Adams. Don Hany will ap­pear in the tele­movie of the Peter Tem­ple novel The Bro­ken Shore on ABC TV next year.

I am most look­ing for­ward to fin­ish­ing Clive James’s su­perb trans­la­tion of Dante’s Di­vine Com­edy.

On the deck of my house at Kill­care (on the NSW cen­tral coast) in the shade of a gum tree. My favourite ( re­cent) travel book is Si­mon Se­bag Mon­te­fiore’s won­der­ful Jerusalem: The Bi­og­ra­phy.

Ataturk: The Re­birth of a Na­tion by Lord Pa­trick Kin­ross. It’s a bi­og­ra­phy that chron­i­cles the be­gin­ning of Ataturk’s ca­reer as a Turk­ish sol­dier through to his death in 1976.

I might get most of it read up the mid north coast of NSW vis­it­ing fam­ily over the sum­mer break and do­ing a bit of fish­ing. The rest I’ll fin­ish at home in bed, most likely. John Bell, AO, is the co-artis­tic di­rec­tor of Bell Shakespeare.

Bar­racuda by Chris­tos Tsi­olkas — it’s his lat­est and would seem to be ap­pro­pri­ate sum­mer read­ing.

Hol­i­day apart­ment at Sun­shine Beach on Queens­land’s Sun­shine Coast. Chef Luke Nguyen’s lat­est book, The Food of Viet­nam, com­bines travel and eat­ing, two of my favourite things. A more main­stream choice would be Tim Cope’s On the Trail of Genghis Khan. Stephen Ma­honey is se­nior man­ager, cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Aus­tralia and Asia Pa­cific, for Eti­had Air­ways.

The Black Doc­tor is an un­pub­lished novel by Jacky Ab­bott who at­tended my late hus­band Bryce Courte­nay’s The Last Class writ­ing workshop in Septem­ber last year.

Ship­man House, a fam­i­lyrun inn on the edge of Vol­ca­noes Na­tional Park on Hawaii’s Big Is­land and home to the Cap­tain Cook Me­mo­rial. Ara­bian Sands by Sir Wil­fred Th­e­siger, whom I had the good for­tune to spend a few hours with at his home in Lon­don in 1999 — he was the ul­ti­mate no­mad. Chris­tine Courte­nay, AM, is the mar­ket­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Guest Apart­ment Ser­vices, Paris, and di­rec­tor of the Aus­tralian Hi­malayan Foun­da­tion.

I am look­ing for­ward to read­ing a book about food. I of­ten find my­self trav­el­ling vi­car­i­ously through chefs such as An­thony Bour­dain, Rick Stein, An­to­nio Car­luc­cio and Jamie Oliver. I re­cently got a copy of Ital­ian Food by El­iz­a­beth David. Bri­tish chefs and food­ies of­ten re­fer to her books and her trav­els as sem­i­nal in the ‘‘dis­cov­ery’’ of Euro­pean cui­sine. This book was writ­ten in 1954 — can you imag­ine?

In a rented hol­i­day apart- ment on the Gold Coast in be­tween chas­ing my four kids (all un­der 10) from pool to beach to fam­ily-friendly restau­rants. (Another round of chicken nuggets and chips any­one?) For­tu­nately there will be a kitchen. I hope to use the adults in our group as guinea pigs for some of the ideas I find in the [El­iz­a­beth David] book.

It prob­a­bly isn’t re­garded as a travel book but I loved the cul­tural j our­ney of Shan­taram by Gre­gory David Roberts and his elab­o­rate and vivid de­scrip­tions of al­most ev­ery as­pect of life in Mum­bai. I’m crav­ing to have a spicy curry at Leopold’s Cafe. Vince Sor­renti is a mul­ti­ple win­ner of the Mo Award for Aus­tralia’s best stand-up comic.

The Nar­row Road to the Deep North by Richard Flana­gan.

I’ll be read­ing it on hol­i­day in Tas­ma­nia . . . so pre­sum­ably will start on The Spirit of Tas­ma­nia ferry. Wish me luck for a smooth cross­ing.

I al­ways read a book from the area in which I’m trav­el­ling. So on my re­cent trip to Prague I read some Franz Kafka, in­clud­ing Meta­mor­pho­sis and a se­lec­tion of his short sto­ries. In Bu­dapest, I read Mar­cus Aure­lius’s Med­i­ta­tions ( he sup­pos­edly wrote some of it while vis­it­ing Aquin­cum, the cap­i­tal of Pan­nonia, a for­mer Ro­man prov­ince). Last year, Rob Carl­ton won the Sil­ver Lo­gie for most out­stand­ing per­for­mance by an ac­tor in a lead­ing role for his por­trayal of Kerry Packer in Pa­per Gi­ants: Birth of Cleo.

Bar­bara King­solver’s Flight Be­hav­ior — I’ve had it so many months on standby and she is one of my favourites.

My home, by the beach

in Manly.

I re­cently read Pa­trick Leigh Fer­mor’s The Bro­ken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. In the 1930s he walked from Hol­land, across a Naz­i­fy­ing Ger­many, through the Balkans and all the way to Is­tan­bul. Tom Ke­neally’s most re­cent nov­els are The Daugh­ters of Mars and Shame and the Cap­tives.

My bed­side ta­ble is al­ways full of books, mostly new and weighty cook­books. For leisure read­ing, I look to good juicy fic­tion and I have Ts­aplin’s Tes­ti­mony by Igor Gel­bach, a thriller set in Soviet Rus­sia, on top of the pile.

(My ho­tel and restau­rant) Lake House is open 365 days a year and my read­ing is mostly in the wee hours. But when I do have time to spare, sit­ting on my bal­cony over­look­ing the val­ley and vil­lage of Dayles­ford. Al­most any­thing by AA Gill, such as his The An­gry Is­land about Bri­tain. Alla Wolf Tasker, AM, is the culi­nary di­rec­tor and pro­pri­etor of Lake House in Dayles­ford, Vic­to­ria.

The Aus­tralian beach is al­ways a pop­u­lar spot for fes­tive read­ing

Favourite travel or desti­na­tion reads:

Ke­neally

Hany

Carl­ton

Wolf-Tasker

Ma­honey

Bell

Sor­renti

Courte­nay

Man­fredi

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