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Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

What to read, watch and listen to over the summer break

We asked our VIPs, ALA Board members and staff for their recommendations for what to read, watch and listen to over the summer break.


Hon. Brendan O’Connor – Minister for Skills and Training

Reading

Just finished reading Ted Kennedy, A Life by John A. Farrell.

Planning to read The rise and fall of the great powers by Paul Kennedy and continue with the Bosch series.

Hon. Ged KearneyAssistant Minister for Health and Aged Care  

Reading

Bulldozed by Niki Savva  

Watching

Fisk and Derry Girls

Listening

Baker Boy, Bonnie Raitt and Judith Lucy’s podcast ‘Overwhelmed and Living’ 

Hon. Andrew Leigh – Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities & Treasury

When out running on the bush trails, I usually listen to a podcast or audiobook. I have ploughed through a few duds but have also enjoyed several gems. Here are some of my favourites of 2022. 

The Rabbit Hutch – Tess Gunty: A darkly beautiful novel about teens surviving a turbulent childhood in one of the American towns, hit hard by deindustrialisation.

QAnon and On – Van Badham: One of Australia’s most incisive writers takes a deep dive into the murky world of conspiracy theories. A fascinating and brave book (if you want to know just how brave, listen to our conversation about the book at ANU, available on my website).

More recommendations here.

Hon. Gayle Tierney – Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education & Minister for Agriculture

Reading and visiting

I am looking forward to taking a short break, and reading Bulldozed by Niki Savva, and taking time to see some of the great exhibitions on offer in Victoria. Recently I visited Geelong Gallery to see Mandy Martin – A Persistent Vision. I encourage you to see this great exhibition which runs until February 5.

Hon. Blair Boyer – Minister for Education Training and Skills, South Australia

Watching

The White Lotus Season 2

Listening

Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia

Reading

Exiles by Jane Harper

Prof. Annette Foley – ALA President

Listening

The Philosopher’s Zone and the Minefield on Radio National.

Reading

Hot picks in the reading department:

Bulldozed by Nikki Savva and The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee.

Kathleen Priestly – ALA Vice president

Reading

My Summer Hot Pick is a book series by Esther Campion: Leaving Ocean Road; A Week to Remember and The House of Second Chances. Esther is a wonderful Australian fiction author and a local author in my hometown.
So far there are
three books in the series. The fourth is on the way and I am hoping it will arrive in time for me to read and relax over the summer.
I eagerly await to find out what is happening to the characters that I have become familiar with in the series.
 

Esther has been likened to Maeve Binchy and is a light read of travel and romance. 

 
Ros Bauer – ALA Board member

Reading

My summer reading recommendation is A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.

 
Kirrily Loveday – ALA Board member

Reading

Limberlost - R. Arnott – an extraordinary chronicle of life and land: of carnage and kindness, blood ties and love.

Listening

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day – a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right.

Watching

Fisk – a high-end contract lawyer Helen Tudor-Fisk (Kitty Flanagan), is forced to take a job at a shabby, suburban law firm following a professional fall from grace. 

Chris McCall – ALA Board member

Listening 

Catching up on the ABC Conversations and This American Life podcasts.

Books

Warlight – M. Oodjante and A Place near Eden – N. Pearce.

Jenny Macaffer – Chief Executive Officer

Reading

Gum – A. Hay – looks at our iconic ancient native trees and tells their story through different times.  

These are the days (stories and songs) – M. Thomas – Australian singer-songwriter – Weddings Parties Anything and Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing.

Writing in the Sand – M. Garrick: the story of legendary Yothu Yindi and how their song Treaty gave voice to a movement.

Words are Eagles (selected writings and nature and language of place) – G. Day: book of essays on the wonders of the natural world.

Listening

Kutcha Edwards album – Hope.

Watching

Can’t wait for the new Utopia series on the ABC.

Catherine Devlin – Operations Manager

Listening

Happy to give most genres a listen but currently on the turntable (yes, not as convenient as streaming but you can’t beat the sound and experience)  My Boy – Marlon Williams and Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave

Reading

I usually have a few books on the go – currently Foal’s Bread (Gillian Mears) – an oldie but a goodie and Faith, Hope & Carnage (Nick Cave & Sean O’Hagan) – insightful and moving.

Henrik Steenberg – Projects Officer

Reading

The Silk Roads & The New Silk Roads – P. Frankopan

The History of Philosophy & The Frontiers of Knowledge – A. C. Grayling

 

Gina Perry – Communications Coordinator

Reading

Crime fiction is my way of unwinding and I’m looking forward to working my way through a pile of new books over the summer. I particularly love Aussie crime and a highlight for me this year was newcomer Sally Bothroyd’s Brunswick Street Blues. It’s witty, fun and full of quirky characters. A great read.

 

Georgia Firth – Membership and Professional Development Officer

Watching

Summer Love – this Aussie dramedy takes place in one modern holiday house and features a new cast of characters with different dynamics; some tense, some silly.

Listening

Stuff You Should Know – podcast – Every episode covers a topic that we ‘should know’ about. For example, why do we get goosebumps?

Low Altitude Living – Ocean Alley – Ocean Alley has been making music for just over a decade, but it wasn’t until 2019 that these boys from the Northern Beaches of NSW cracked the number 1 spot on Triple J’s Hottest 100 with their song ‘Confidence’. I’ve had this on repeat since its release in October.


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