ANU English Department Summer 2020 Reading List

10 December 2020

Whether you are looking for a great Christmas gift or planning on sunning your days away this holiday break, a good book is a must have. We asked some of the University's English program staff for their expert picks for our Summer 2020 Reading List.

Their answers may surprise you! From classic short stories to new favourites and chronicles of real-life, there is something here for everyone. So settle in on that comfy spot beside the beach or the pool and dig in.

Summer reading list:

  • The Subjects by Sarah Hopkins - a gripping read, which follows a gifted teenage delinquent down an uncertain path.
  • The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser - a wickely funny novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations.
  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui - a graphic narrative about a second-generation Vietnamese American girl tracing her family's history between Vietnam and the USA
  • Writers and Lovers by Lily King - a perfect blend of romance, easy story-telling and elegant prose with a contemporary relevance.
  • The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld - set in the chilly Netherlands, it intensely portrays a family falling apart through grief.
  • The Best of Me by David Sedaris - a series of short stories which are hilarious, poignant and perfectly crafted.
  • Only Happiness Here by Gabrielle Carey - a literary sensation of the early twentieth century weaves a wonderful tale of love, pleasure, gratitude and survival that is written beautifully, perfect for the history buffs and women's literature lovers among us.
  • Collected Stories, Elizabeth Bowen -seventy-nine short and magnificent stories written over the course of four decades, including love, ghosts and childhood memories.
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - the classic 1898 horror novella, now the basis of the recent "The Haunting of Bly Manor" adaptation.

Summer reading list recommendations provided by colleagues from the English program at the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences:

  • Dr Sarah-Jane Burton, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Rebecca Clode, Lecturer
  • Dr Kate Flaherty, Senior Lecturer
  • Associate Professor Rosanne Kennedy, Lecturer
  • Dr Julianne Lamond, Senior Lecturer
  • Associate Professor Kate Mitchell, Lecturer
  • Professor Rosalind Smith, Head of the English Program
  • Dr Russell Smith