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Five Books to Relax With Over Summer

Take your mind off work and discover iconic Australia architecture, fresh vegetarian recipes and the secrets to keeping your house plants alive.

Life: Selected Writings | Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery is known as one of the world’s great environmental scientists, writers and thinkers. This collection of essays covers topics such as palaeontology, history, climate change and more – all from the mind of someone David Attenborough once described as one of the “all-time great explorers”. Life: Selected Writings unpacks complex topics in narrative form and offers an intelligent perspective into some of humanity’s more pressing problems.

More | Matt Preston

Cooking is a great way to unwind, and the recipes in Matt Preston’s More are built around vegetables, making them a lighter option for warmer summer days. Perfect for anyone looking to add more vegies to their diet, cater to vegan guests or explore new flavours, More has more than 100 recipes to experiment with over the holidays, and it comes with a separate cooking guide for those who want to add some meat to their meals.

Green: Plants for Small Spaces, Indoors and Out | Jason Chongue

Need a hand taking care of your house plants? Transform your home into an urban oasis with Jason Chongue’s Green, an approachable how-to gardening guide covering spaces such as porches, courtyards, entryways, offices, living rooms and more. Beautifully photographed and illustrated, this book will equip you with all you need to know to let your green friends thrive – which definitely aid your summer relaxation.

Iconic: Modern Australian Houses, 1950–2000 | Karen McCartney

An excellent coffee table book or backyard read, Karen McCartney’s Iconic is an illustrated encyclopaedia featuring the best Australian architecture from the second half of the 20th century. Find new inspiration for your own home, and take a squiz at architecture that’s been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Sydney. You don’t have to be an expert in building design to unwind with this one.

The Way Home | Mark Boyle

Summer is a great time to disconnect from office emails, technology and social media, and getting lost in a good book can be therapeutic. The Way Home explores a life without modern technology – activist Mark Boyle casts away his phone and lives in the wilds of Ireland, off the grid. He recounts building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, foraging and more, and outlines the benefits of reconnecting with the environment in an age where the lines between people and technology are blurred. We’re not saying you should take things that far, but it’s thought-provoking for anyone looking to cut down their phone usage.

Photography: Brook James

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