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2014 Summer Book Club – The Pick of Summer

With summer a great time to enjoy the balmy weather with a great read, Sophie Blackshaw uncovers a collection of books across many genres including history, adventure,how-to and design. All are available in most leading bookstores.

Discover the Power of Living Raw – Nicky Arthur


Health and vitality expert Nicky Arthur’s latest book Discover the Power of Living Raw is all about one of the biggest, most appetising food trends we’ve seen over the last couple of years: raw, unprocessed food.

Arthur, also a yoga teacher, workshop presenter and motivational speaker, covers everything from the surprising raw versions of pasta, pizza and sourdough breads to the fats that you should include in your diet to promote brain function, elevate mood, and prevent depression. Her recipes take a strong holistic approach and place the emphasis not on losing weight (as many recipe books do), but on being healthy.

With a host of delicious recipes to try for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and all that comes between – think grains, dips, smoothies, spiced teas, and importantly, desserts – Discover the Power of Living Raw is not short of ideas or options, even for the most reluctant diner.

New Holland, rrp $29.95

Inside Tracks – Robyn Davidson’s Solo Journey Across the Outback – Rick Smolan

INSIDE-TRACKS3DInside Tracks is the recalibrated, full-colour photographic version of the spectacular, but incredibly challenging 2700km journey taken by ‘Camel Lady’ Robyn Davidson in the late 1970s. For portions of her great trek, Rick Smolan, the book’s author and a National Geographic photographer at the time, accompanied Robyn. The images, which follow Robyn, her dog, and her pack of camels through the expansive orange heat of the Northern Territory and West Australia’s deserts, are more than just documents of an historical event – each tells a story of the hardships encountered, the mistakes made and the unique landscape and lifestyles of the people Robyn met. These photographs, paired with commentary and a post-script by both Robyn and Rick, constitute the book’s former half, with its latter half made up of stills taken from the film Tracks, starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver, released earlier this year. Excerpts of screenplay complement the stills, showing just how close the film comes to mirroring Robyn’s astonishing trek.

Hardie Grant Books, rrp $59.95

Sell Up, Pack Up & Take Off – Stephen Wyatt and Colleen Ryan

SELL-UP-3d-BOOK-COVERStephen Wyatt and Colleen Ryan’s Sell Up, Pack Up & Take Off is exactly what it sounds like – a guide to change when you’re retired or simply burnt out. The book, which looks primarily at relocating to either Southeast Asia or Europe, separates those looking for a change into three groups:

  • Sell up, pack and take off: the plan would be to live somewhere else, perhaps forever.
  • Pack up and take off: keep the family home in Australia, rent it out … live for an extended period in a country you have always wanted to live in.
  • Take off for the lifestyle change – this may mean living for six months in Australia and six months in another country, or three months here and nine months elsewhere – and so on.

The book doesn’t insist that you grab your bag and head for the airport, but it certainly doesn’t hesitate when it comes to listing the many benefits – especially the economic ones – of replanting yourself outside of Australia in, perhaps, Malaysia, Thailand, or Barcelona. Riddled with ‘Cost of Living’ graphs, brief anecdotes, the personal experiences of retirees who sought change, and advice about buying or renting homes, getting visas, and managing your health and funds, Wyatt and Ryan’s book’s motto is simple: you can do it.

Allen and Unwin, rrp $29.95

Flying Bass Strait  – James R. Boag

FLYING-BASS-STRAIGHTJames R. Boag’s first book Flying Bass Strait is a tribute to all the pilots and pioneers who paved the way for air travel between Tasmania and the Australian mainland at a time when ships were the primary method of transport. Definitely one for the aviation enthusiast, Boag’s book is told from the perspective of a fictitious nine-and-a-half-year-old boy living in Hobart who witnesses the first flight made in Tasmania; that of Andrew Delfosse Badgery’s, in 1914.

Part fictitious scrapbook, part story, and all about the wonders of flight, Flying Bass Strait is structured in memoir style, with a chronological list of significant events that detail the development of aviation in Tasmania, for the betterment of all living, traveling or working there.

As the quotes throughout the book sum up, flight is one of human kind’s greatest achievements, a venture many hundreds of years in the making, and not without great loss of both crew and passengers. Boag, in his obvious for love for flying, remembers those who lost their lives paving the way over the Bass Strait in writing this book.

Minuteman Press, rrp $35.00

Retro Melbourne – Fred Mitchell

RETRO-MELBOURNE-bookFred Mitchell’s Retro Melbourne is more than the photographic walk down memory lane it calls itself. Covering all aspects of 20th century, post-WWII Melbourne life, from the homes, workplaces and universities of its inhabitants to the innovative Melbourne Cup fashion, cricket teams and even aircrafts, Retro Melbourne boasts an enviable collection of nostalgic photographs.

A photographer by profession, Mitchell has managed to capture what seems to be the best of Melbourne, at all times of the day and across all four seasons. The city’s outskirts have not been forgotten, either, with some especially striking images of the road to Bulla, a scooter parked on a back forest road at Dangdongadale, and a truck approaching at sunset on the Western Highway near Ballarat, woven in.

Retro Melbourne’s release will celebrate Melbourne’s livability, with the city ranking third in Monocle Magazine’s most liveable cities list. It beat Sydney, New York and London.

New Holland Press, rrp $45.00

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Alana Lowes

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