The Big Issue : Edition 552
THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 26 DEC–11 JAN 2018 35 BEST SUMMER READS TRUE STORIES: THE COLLECTED SHORT NON-FICTION HELEN GARNER Spanning 50 years of work, this anthology gathers up some of the very best Helen Garner pieces. Its range is wide: the author visits the morgue, witnesses a birth and attends a school dance. She writes about the murder of a two-year-old with as much clarity and compassion as she does about facing her own 50th birthday. Most have been published elsewhere, but for fans and newcomers alike this is a solid representation of her creative non-fiction. THE CODE OF THE WOOSTERS PG WODEHOUSE One of my all-time favourite comic writers is English author PG Wodehouse, and this book is one of his best. Once again there’s the charming but idiotic Bertie Wooster and his foil Jeeves, forever getting his gormless master out of scrapes. The convoluted plotting, ridiculous character names and Wodehouse’s inimitable prose are a delight always worth re-visiting (“if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled”). DEADLIER EDITED BY SOPHIE HANNAH Love your crime fiction? Well here are 100 stories to satisfy your bloodthirsty appetite, written by a stellar cast of women. The rollcall of names alone will make you want to pick up this anthology: Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, Margaret Atwood, Minette Walters, Val McDermid... There are some surprises too – Enid Blyton!? The styles of murderous tales range from cosy fireplace to hardboiled noir. BUDDHISM FOR THE UNBELIEVABLY BUSY MESHEL LAURIE You know you just can’t laze around on the beach forever; sooner or later you’ll have to return to real life. Meshel Laurie’s book offers some tips to mellow that agitating spirit. Work, children, parents: the eternal juggle can be made a little bit easier through Laurie’s hard-won wisdom. She uses her own experiences to navigate through competing demands and shares how she copes with zen- like equanimity. ESSAYS IN LOVE ALAIN DE BOTTON Not many people know this, but the renowned pop philosopher also writes novels, and this blend of fiction and non-fiction is perfect for those who have either recently fallen in love, or out of it. It charters the romantic trajectory of two young people who meet on an airplane between London and Paris. With De Botton’s trademark digressions, it’s a witty and sophisticated analysis of the beginning and end of a love affair (there are charts, pictures and diagrams throughout as well). STORYTELLER: THE LIFE OF ROALD DAHL DAVID STURROCK My all-time favourite children’s author gets the biographical treatment in this book by a writer who, though awe-struck, is still clear-eyed about his subject. Sturrock writes expansively about Dahl’s many contradictions. He was undeniably a great storyteller, but his personal life was mired in tragedy and his morals rather loose. It’s a fascinating tribute to a man who invented Boggis Bunce and Bean, snozzberries and Augustus Gloop.