Add these 15 books to your reading list this summer

Whether you’re on the beach or at home this summer, a good book is the perfect companion.

We asked Charles Sturt academics to come up with their top five reads for you to enjoy wherever you are this summer.

Dr Travis Holland, Course Director for the Bachelor of Communication and Master of Communication degrees

  • Barack Obama, A Promised Land – Obama’s memoirs might just shine some light on what happened in American and world politics to bring us to where we are now.  
  • Rick Morton, On Money – Morton has a way of opening up complex, difficult subjects and showing us why they matter.
  • Gemma Carey, No Matter Our Wreckage – Carey carefully and beautifully presents a story of trauma for those who know it to find solace and for others to learn.
  • Robert MacFarlane, Underland – MacFarlane is the world’s best contemporary writer of place. In Underland, he looks at what’s under our feet and what that might tell us about what’s in the future.
  • Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Box Set – this is cheating a little because I’m recommending five books in one. If you’ve never read Hitchhiker’s, Adams’ wonderfully absurd journey through space, now is the time, and then you’ll have four sequels to follow.

Dr Leonora Ritter, Adjunct Associate Professor history and politics

  • Julia Baird, Phosphorescence – it is healing and full of good energy.
  • Gail Kelly, Live, Lead, Learn – it is wise and inspirational.
  • Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Women and Leadership – it reveals so much and is the sort of book that embraces the reader.
  • Kate Grenville, Room Made of Leaves – it offers an interesting take on colonial history.
  • David Ritter, The Coal Truth – it throws light on the climate debate.

Jock Cheetham, senior lecturer in journalism

  • John Pilger, A Secret Country – A book that set me on the road to journalism, it tells the history of Australia that in the 20th century was so hidden. Or anything else by Pilger.
  • Noam Chomsky, Year 501: The Conquest Continues – A book that deepened my understanding of how the world works. On imperialism in the Americas, then and now. The past is still with us, the future depends on understanding the past. Or anything by Chomsky.
  • Saul Bellow, Mr Sammler’s Planet – A book that moved me from reading popular fiction to literature, the difference being the richness, learning and insight you get from a great read rather than a ripping yarn. Or anything by Bellow.
  • Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man – Excuse the sexism in the title, but this book traces the develop of humanity with a scientific perspective. I came to see my innate monkey nature through reading this book.
  • Barry Hampe, Making Documentary Films and Reality Video – Because you have to understand what you’re trying to capture on video before you shoot it in order to make a good doco or factual film.