Book Your Summer Reading Lists
Not sure what to read for your Book your Summer journey? Why not take a look at some of our specially prepared reading lists for some suggestions on how to get your summer travels started?
Nothing on this list take your fancy? Or maybe you have read all of them? If that is the case, then request a personalised reading list, curated by one of our librarians.
What can you say that could possibly do justice to the magnificence of the African continent...?? Its vast savannahs, astonishing wildlife, it's people and culture, it all holds sway over the imagination for those of us from our own such-different region. If the sheer vastness of Africa has you unsure of where to start your reading safari, then...
- Discover what it's like to film wildlife for the BBC with James Aldred - he was also responsible for dangling David Attenborough 100ft in the air, and that's got to have you feeling nervous! The Man Who Climbs Trees
- Learn more about the struggles of the conservation efforts for the big lovely rhinoceros in Saving the Last Rhinos by Grant Fowlds
- Take your friends and family on a tasting trip to the wonders of North African cuisine Flavours of Morocco by Ghillie Basan
- Go classic and relive the tension and madness of deepest Africa in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Travel to Madagascar and go chasing the primate with personality to spare with Keriann McGoogan's Chasing lemurs : my journey into the heart of Madagascar
- Chill, BBQ, and/or dance the night away to the sounds of African Reggae with some music on CD Putumayo Presents African Reggae
- Experience the wonders of wild Africa as seen through the eyes of master photographer Frans Lanting and his beautiful pictorial book Into Africa
- Learn of the widespread political corruption and shady global dealings with Africa's natural resources The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis
- Bear witness as three African women from vastly differing circumstances come together for an emotional rollercoaster of love, loss, and life, with the novel If You Want to make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
- Save a species from extinction with Anthony Ham in The Last Lions of Africa
- Go on an intense detective thrill ride and solve the case in Capetown Memo From Turner by Tim Willocks
Our southernmost continent still evokes feelings of wonder and excitement, long after Roald Amundsen became the first human to reach the South Pole! It's pure, untamed wilderness, and the human presence is hardship enough to create ample opportunity for the development of culture and for that culture to influence society's creatives. Don't know how to crack the ice on this continent...??
- A thrilling, and sinister supernatural page-turner set deep in the Southern Ocean and written by one of Australia's greatest literary figures?? Yes please, I'm onboard for that expedition! The Rich Man’s House by Andrew McGahan
- Learn about the importance of one of the Earth’s smallest creatures in a very entertaining narrative with Stephen Nicol and The Curious Life of Krill
- Get shipwrecked with Shackleton and discover more of his experiences traversing the South Pole in Endurance : Shackleton's incredible voyage by Lansing, Alfred.
- Discover the world of the Earth’s southernmost sea birds Penguins : The Ultimate Guide
- Immerse yourself in the lyric prose and journey through the history of the whale, and its unfortunate relations with humanity. From one of the best nature writers of our times, here is The Whale : In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare
- I never thought Antarctica would ever have a Lonely Planet guide, but here it is, so get planning and be sure to pack a coat! Antarctica by Alexis Averbuck
- Find out what conditions were like for three separate expeditions on the first race to the South Pole in 1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica by Chris Turney
- Share a lifechanging moment with a grumpy old lady in the brand new Up-Lit novel Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior
- Learn about George Murray Levick, the physician on Robert Falcon Scott's tragic Antarctic expedition of 1910, in this captivating blend of true adventure and natural history A Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis
- A never-before-seen history of the Great Southern Ocean, superbly presented by Joy McCann in Wild Sea when natural science is presented like this, it is a wonderous thing!
Home to some of the most ancient of civilisations in human history, Asia is vast to say the least, in both landscape and history! With culture to spare it's little wonder the West is firmly embracing the arts and literature of our closest neighbours. You know the places, now discover more about the stories...
- Be shocked and entertained by the political satire of Chinese literature royalty. Here's Yan Lianke and his revolutionary literary novel The Four Books
- See what all the fuss is about and get into some super trendy Japanese literary goodness with Haruki Murakami and his most famous novel Norwegian Wood (PS. he really digs The Beatles!)
- Experience the best of modern Chinese Science Fiction with a compendium of epic proportions in Broken Stars edited and annotated by master Sci-Fi author Ken Liu, no less!
- Find out why Korean Crime Noir is the next big thing in Crime Fiction with Yu-jŏng Chŏng and his twisty-turny Psychological Thriller The Good Son
- Go full Folk-Fantasy with an epic martial arts tale of destiny and magic with Yong Jin – great for fans of ‘Journey to the West’ and ‘Monkey Magic’, thie first book is called A Hero Born
- The Korean smash hit movie and Best Picture Winner at the 2020 Oscars, this story lays society’s inadequacies bare. A masterpiece of modern filmmaking, here for you on DVD - Parasite
- Achieve the unthinkable and run a marathon on Everest - yep, that's right someone has done that! Running Everest by Holly Zimmermann
- Be swept away by Magic Realism in India as one woman in Kolkata learns first hand the true price of special powers in Shakti by Rajorshi Chakraborti
- Explore the culture and beauty of Tibet with self-confessed Tibet-ophile Charlie Carroll and his amazing book Peaks on the Horizon
- Lose yourself in the mysticism and magic of folkloric Edo-era Japan in the fantastical fighting fantasy adventure Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn
Whether you are drawn to village life in rural Britain or the dark and sinister experiences of Scandinavian Crime Fiction, you'll find a way into reading Europe with these titles. There's award winning books in translation, classic literary fiction, the fantastical and the historical, and even some atmospheric Norwegian minimalist piano jazz to start you off on your journey through Europe.
- Discover the dark side of Scandinavia with Jussi Adler-Olsen and The Keeper of Lost Causes (aka Mercy)
- Watch some modern classic whodunit mysteries starring Ann Cleeves' most famous character Jimmy Perez in Shetland - or read the books the show is based on!)
- Read the reigning International Booker Prize Award winning novel from Marieke Lucas Rijneveld The Discomfort of Evening
- Immerse yourself in the minimalist contemporary Norwegian piano jazz of Tord Gustavsen and his album The Ground
- Be transported back in time and into a character driven historical saga with the Cavendon Hall series by Barbara Taylor Bradford
- Explore one brutal day in a remote Russian prison with the literary classic novella from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
- Be wowed by the hidden magic of underground London with Ben Aaronovitch and his fantastical series Rivers of London
- Enjoy some cosy village mysteries with M.C Beaton's Beating About the Bush
- Be immersed into the French minimalist existential prose of Albert Camus and his cult classic The Outsider
- Meet nonconformist Italian Inspector Montalbano as he solves crime in Sicily with The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
Stories from our own region - what's not to love! These titles will give you insight into what's-hot in the creative arts across Oceania. Read some local literature, learn some language, listen to some sounds, explore our natural environment...
- The best Australian literary fiction author going around?? He’s won the Booker, now he’s got another contender with his latest novel, The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan
- Winner of the NZ Book Prize for 2019 and the Ngaio Marsh Crime Novel for the same year. Plus she's literature royalty of Aotearoa – that’s a fine combo! This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman
- Get some language skills up for that big trip to the islands. This book will help! Say it in Rarotongan by Mana Strickland
- Be transported straight to the Pacific by the sublime sounds of Samoa with music on CD Gospel Music of Samoa
- What’s life like for a modern indigenous Australian girl?? Turns out it’s pretty dark and pretty funny… Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko is available as an Ebook
- A field guide to the birds of our region, for you next sojourn… Birds of New Zealand, Hawaii, and the Central and West Pacific by Ber van Perlo will help you tell your Kākāpō from your Kōkako!
- Words on our region from the living legend himself Journeys to the Other Side of the World by David Attenborough
- The work of NZ Crime Fiction that’s taking Aotearoa by storm Aue by Becky Manawatu - could this one be the winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for 2020?!
- Contemporary poetry from a treasure of Aotearoa and Samoa; Fale aitu = Spirit House by Tusiata Avia
- Travel to the Chatham Islands on a conservation mission-impossible The Black Robin by David Butler
What imagery comes to mind when you think of North America?? The wild forests and rugged coastlines of Canada perhaps? The gritty urban environments of big-city U.S of A? Or the sparse and gothic landscapes of the deserts of California and Mexico? Every environment in this amazingly varied land provides ample inspiration for dramatic stories and elegant prose, and if you don't know where to start your reading journey...
- Let's start off by reading some stories of the real America, and its harsh realities from the point of view of its struggling classes. Here is an offering from arguably the most important writer in America today The Free by Willy Vlautin
- How about getting behind the scenes with author Lee Child and discover what it takes to create and write the now iconic US-state-hopping character of Jack Reacher in With Child by Andy Martin
- Get right back to when Vampires got sexy-as in the South, with Charlaine Harris and her True Blood series Book one is Dead Until Dark
- Here is the classic work of Magic Realism that spawned a literary movement, maybe now’s the time to pick it up! One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Get spooked out by some Folk Horror madness as a group of tourists fall prey to an otherworldly menace in Cancun Mexico with The Ruins by Scott Smith
- Get to know the cultural influences on the great woman and her iconic artwork Frida Kahlo at Home by Suzanne Barbezat
- Go on an epic revenge quest/survival expedition following the fur trade routes of the 1820's. Expect some retribution – and a bear attack! The one that won Leo Dio the big prize; The Revenant by Michael Punke
- Experience a life lived through three great wars of the Americas, and find some hope and love amongst the chaos, brutality, and dread with the Booker Prize shortlisted Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
- And now we're out of politics season, see what ex-presidents get up to in retirement with The President is Missing by Bill Clinton
- Travel to Cuba and say "adios" to the revelation/revolution that was the Buena Vista Social Club, the music that took Cuban music and its social issues to the world. Here on DVD, we have Buena Vista Social Club : adios
Say "Ola!" to South America; continent of extremes! The world's longest river, the Amazon, that is rife with life, to the stunningly arid and exposed Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth. There's so much about South America to love - it's people, it's history, and not least it's influence and impact on literature and the arts! If you're stuck for a place to start, we've got you covered...
- Get poetic with one of the greatest poets of all time, Pablo Neruda with The Essential Neruda : Selected Poems
- Find some inner spirituality and more purpose, love, and adventure in life with Paolo Coelho and his cult classic The Alchemist
- Chill with some classic Brazilian vibes from the legendary bossa nova maestro Sergio Mendes The Very Best
- Get wrapped up in the historical realism drama of Isabel Allende and her newest novel A Long Petal of the Sea
- A true survival story on the world’s biggest river Ruthless River by Holly FitzGreald
- Get lost in the jungles of Bolivia with Daniel Radcliffe in Jungle (DVD)
- Get to know the best and worst of one of the world’s most amazing cities, Rio de Janeiro in Dancing With the Devil in the City of God by Juliana Barbassa
- Delve into the history, culture, and travelogue of a forgotten part of South America in the classic literary masterpiece from 1977 by Bruce Chatwin In Patagonia
- And just because we can't go there yet doesn't mean we can't get planning! get started on your next trip in our post-covid world, and do it on a budget! South America on a Shoestring by Regis St. Louis
Your portal to another world starts right here! There's alien worlds to explore, adventure and romance, galactic politics, and stories of survival in the most lethal of environments. Be transported and boldly go to be carried away into a wide world of wonderment, action, and magic with fantastical tales of adventure and destiny.
- See what happens when a legendary Historical Adventure author tries his hand at Epic Fantasy Darien by Conn Iggulden
- Get stuck into the biggest winning Fantasy series of all time! The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison
- Go to a world more imaginative than you could ever dream with Embassytown by China Mieville
- How about a movie...?? A Space-Western survival story with a young female lead character, you say?? Get into Prospect on Kanopy
- Travel to the end of earth and witness the final revelution of mankind in Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Go to the ends of humanity with one Sci-Fi’s greatest writers Relic by Alan Dean Foster
- Fancy a DVD? What would humanity’s first trip to Red Planet really be like?? Find out with this award winning series from National Geographic - Mars
- Travel to the moon and learn the science, philosophy, and all manner of aspects to do with the Apollo mission - great pictures in this book too! The Moon Landings : One Giant Leap by Colin Salter
- Fancy a tasting plate of off-world imagination?? Try this collection of the best Sci-Fi on offer today Infinite Stars edited by Bryan Schmidt
- And how about an Ebook?? This one features two women with vastly differing agendas on a caving mission on an off-world moon and with no support from outside… what could possibly go wrong?! The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling