politicians’ summer reading lists
Arts Minister Paul Fletcher to watch thriller series The tourist, coming to Stan who shares a parent company with this masthead. His list of books includes a biography of Chinese revolutionary leader Deng Xiaoping and the book by Quentin Sprague. The foreign artist about her time working to establish the Aboriginal painting collective Jirrawun Arts. The latter has just won the Prime Minister’s literary prize for non-fiction.
His Labor counterpart Tony Burke plans to choose the winner of the fiction section in the same awards (as well as the other major Australian literary prizes this year), Amanda Lohrey’s The labyrinth. He wants to watch the tv series Problem and Rosehaven.
Freelance Helen Haines has a large stack of books, which includes Hannah Kent’s new book Devotion and that of Kazuo Ishiguro Klara and the sun. These two elements are also in the reading plans of Labor MP Amanda Rishworth.
crossroads by Jonathan Franzen is another popular choice, with Haines, Liberal MP Katie Allen and Greens leader Adam Bandt eagerly awaiting it.
Financial Services Minister Jane Hume has a “precarious tower” of books, which she says is the result of being “the most notoriously unreliable member of the most fabulous group of books.” She wants to end the novels Still life by Sarah Winman and Once upon a time there were wolves by Charlotte McConaghy with Caroline Criado Perez’s book on the gender data divide, Invisible Women.
Tasmanian liberal Bridget Archer hopes to get through Trent Dalton’s Love stories and Mitch Albon’s novel about the power of love and hope in the face of danger, The stranger in the lifeboat.
“But of course, with five kids, I suspect there will also be a lot of Pig the Pug, Andy Griffiths and Bluey in the works,” she says.
Bandt has an ambitious plan to finish five books during his fortnight hiatus, including two on pandemics: The animals of this country by Laura Jean McKay and the fall by Sarah Moss. On top of that there is cricket and the second season of Great.
Labor’s Tanya Plibersek also wants to polish up the comedic drama about Catherine the Great, with irgin river and the new vampire series from Warwick Thornton Fire bite. On her reading list is Pat Barker’s tale of classical Greek myths, The women of Troy.
Frontbench colleague Linda Burney said she had heard of Damon Galgut’s Booker Prize. The promise on Radio National’s book show and has since been delighted to have time to read the South African family saga.
There’s been too much screen-watching this year for Sydney-based Liberal backbench MP Fiona Martin, so her plans revolve around bush walking, the beach and a bit of Ashes. she will pick up Women and leadership by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Opposition industry spokesman Ed Husic can’t wait to see his beloved Chicago Bulls break their long drought of NBA success – he hopes so. Closer to home, he plans to read Eric Willmot’s 1987 novel Pemulwuy: the rainbow warrior, based on the life of Eora chief Nardi Simpson Song of the Crocodile and David Goodhart’s review of how society values skilled work, Head Hand Heart.