Five Books Every Man Should Read – From Anne Summers

This September we’re launching Operation GMR, Get Men Reading. To celebrate, we’ve asked some of our favourite Australian authors to give us Five Books Every Man Should Read.

Today’s guest is the one of Australia’s most-respected columnists and writers, Anne Summers.

I compiled this list on the 100th anniversary of my father’s birth.

He liked to read when he was younger but, like many men, lost the habit as his family and other responsibilities grew.

The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

by Henry Handel Richardson

Richard Mahony is a familiar Australian, an impulsive and impetuous dreamer whose schemes and dreams never quite work out, and whose family pays a high price for his restlessness.

This great Australian novel is a rich and at times overwhelming sad story set in the formative years of our nation in the Victorian gold fields and the burgeoning metropolis of Melbourne.

Click here for more details

My Brother Jack

by George Johnston

Another Australian classic novel, this one dealing with two brothers, George and Jack Meredith, growing up in Melbourne in the early part of the 20th century who are archetypes for what has come to be seen as the stereotypical Aussie bloke.

A wonderful and very moving book that reflects the country before the surge of post-War immigration and the rise of women’s equality both of which have transformed us into a nation the Meredith brothers would not recognize.

Click here for more details

The Hare with Amber Eye

by Edmund de Waal

Even men who think they are not interested in art are likely be gripped by this compelling book about a family, an art collection, survival through wars and the Holocaust and the ways of men across the centuries.

A totally unique book which is one reason for its enormous international following.

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The Amateur Science of Love

by Craig Sherborne

If George Johnston tells us about blokes in Melbourne in the early part of the 20th century, Craig Sherborne bring to life men – one in particular, Colin Butcher – at the other end of the century.

Men had become different by then, better at expressing emotion, not so worries about exposing their weaknesses. In fact, they were all about redefining what it was to be an Aussie bloke. A sad and witty story, this one.

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 The Misogyny Factor

by Anne Summers

I have included this just so those blokes who don’t already know, get some idea of what we are complaining about.

Click here for more details

3 Responses

  1. I would add to this list ‘A Fortunate Life’ by AB Facey. A wonderful classic.


  2. Shouldn’t a man decide which books men should read? I’d hate for a man to tell me which ones I should read …


  3. I’ve read The Fortunes of Richard Mahony; it took me years, and The Hare with Amber Eye, both first-class books. I have not read Ann’s book, but I imagine it contains equally interesting material.


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