What we’re reading: Robert Lukins, Peter Wadhams & Tim Winton

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films and TV shows we’re watching, and the music we’re listening to.


Ellen Cregan is reading The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins

Beyond my work at Readings, I am also the First Book Club coordinator at Kill Your Darlings, and this month’s pick is Robert Lukins’s debut novel, The Everlasting Sunday.

Set in a boarding school for wayward boys in 1960s Britain, this novel hones in on the sometimes tumultuous nature of adolescence and the relationships we form at this time in our lives. The book is set in the freezing winter of 1962, one of the coldest on record, and I am tempted to describe the winter as a character in the book itself. It is ever-present, and shapes the plot of the novel. Lukins’s prose is subtle – secrets are gradually dusted off rather than revealed, and everything feels a little hazy, somewhat like recalling a memory from a long time ago. This is a great pick for any book club, and if your own book club enjoys an outing, I’ll be chatting with Lutkins about the novel at a free event later this month.


Marie Matteson is reading A Farewell to Ice by Peter Wadhams

A Farewell to Ice is a eulogy to a vanishing climate. In his introduction, Peter Wadhams describes how the view of the Earth from Space has changed. When Apollo 8 took that first photograph of our planet from the skies, it revealed a beautiful blue globe with caps of white end on either end. Over the years, the top white cap have gone. What I love best about this book is the way it explains scientific concepts in easily digestible facts that you can bore your friends with over lunch. For example: ‘Did you know that only 10% of an iceberg appears out of the water due to an unusual density of salter water to ice?’

While this sounds like a depressing read (especially within the context of the Beast from the East and melting polar icecaps), Wadhams also gives you a sense of the beauty of ice and the ingenuity of the environment. He imbues his report with hope that humans can work to get a handle on climate change, as long as we act now. With the right actions and plenty of time, he suggests we can help restore our environment.


Chris Gordon is reading Tim Winton and Elizabeth Strout

This weekend I’m heading to where the beach meets the bush. I will take with me, in order of importance: my bloke, my dogs, books and wine (an equal paring), delicious food, and my walking shoes and bathers. And because I’m sensible, I will also bring insect repellent, sunscreen and my floppy hat. I have given much thought to the books I’m taking – I want to carefully curate my precious time away.

I will begin with Tim Winton’s new novel, The Shepherd’s Hut. I have read all of Winton’s books and admire his breathtaking ability to describe Australia in an authentic, honest and brutal fashion. I enjoy how he creates a sense of forbearing that lies in his affable tone. I also plan to read Elizabeth Strout’s Abide with Me, her second novel and one that has been on my pile ever since I read My Name is Lucy Barton and my obsession with this amazing author began. And I will have the latest issue of The Monthly on hand.

It’s possible that I will also take a DVD series… Something that goes with cheese and wine and the knowledge of a sleep in.

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The Shepherd's Hut

The Shepherd’s Hut

Tim Winton

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