From the drummer who played for the man who fell to earth, changing it irrevocably, to the lasting legacy of the voice of Australian summer, we take a look at ten of the best books that men in the know should be reading over the coming months.
Here's our top ten spring reads.
Hack in a Flak Jacket
The Weekend Today anchor dives headlong into his nine-year career as a foreign correspondent for Channel Nine, covering everything from the horrific gun massacre in Oslo conducted by right-wing nationalist Anders Breivik, to the ISIS-inspired attacks in Paris via the earth-shattering earthquake that devastated Haiti. Told with candour, intelligence and charm, it's a real insight into what drives a man to place himself in the face of great danger in search of the heart of a story.
Available now, $29.99 from hachette.com.au
Taking a unique perspective on the plot of Shakespeare's Hamlet as viewed through the prism of Alfred Hitchcock's masterful thriller Rear Window, Atonement author and Man Booker Prize-winner Ian McEwan's new novel sees a not-quite-born-yet baby bear witness to the plotting of his father's murder by his mother and her lover, the father's brother, while still in the womb. Which leaves said son-to-be in a rather awkward spot – what on earth can be done to intervene and, if that's not possible, how long must he wait for revenge?
Available August 29, $32.99 from randomhouse.com.au
The Rules of Backyard Cricket
Lawyer turned journalist turned crime writer Jock Serong scored the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel for his debut novel Quota. His follow up combines two of Australia's greatest loves, cricket and larrikinism. Bad boy sporting star Darren Keefe starts the book bundled in a boot with a bullet in his knee and things go from bad to worse from there in this gripping suspense novel tackling the macho world of sport, toxic masculinity and out-of-control celebrity
Available August 29, $29.99 from textpublishing.com.au
The Kingdom of Speech
When The Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe stumbled across a report by experts including Noam Chomsky despairing of ever figuring out how language got kick-started, it sparked something of an obsessive quest to find the answers for them. The result is an enthralling investigation of the evolution of mankind, just what it is that sets us above our animal brethren and the vital role of sophisticated communication in our march of progress. Wordy but very witty, it's an enriching comic adventure through time and place.
Available August 29, $32.99 from randomhouse.com.au
The Best of Adam Sharp
Originally conceived as a movie, Graeme Simsion's awkward bloke's perspective rom com The Rosie Project found its way into book form and went gangbusters after Bill Gates spruiked it. So much so Sony have their sights set on adapting it back to the big screen. In the meantime, check out his latest which sees Adam Sharp, a music enthusiast IT contractor from England, fall back in love with an old flame from Melbourne who contacts him out of the blue. Ably proves that the romance genre isn't strictly the domain of women.
Available September 19, $29.99 from textpublishing.com.au
A former legal affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Slater was gripped by a report of two teenage Texans, Gabriel Cardona and Rosalio Reta, who were arrested after a reign of terror as ruthless assassins for the Zetas drug cartel. Dubbed 'Les Lobos' or the Wolf Boys, he gained their trust and interviewed them extensively from prison as well as picking the brains of their pursuer, Mexican born, US-based detective Robert Garcia. A thrilling, real-life page-turner, it delves into the darkest corners of the 'War on Drugs' that seems to be all but lost.
Available September 28, $29.99 from allenandunwin.com
The Boy Behind The Curtain
Pulling back the curtain on the rarely glimpsed private life of one of Australia's most treasured writers, this collection of essays from four-time Miles Franklin Award-winner and Cloudstreet author Tim Winton is a fascinating insight into the making of the man. From an unfortunate first viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey to a terrible road accident to, he tackles class, family, guns, asylum seekers and nature head on.
Available October 3, $45 from penguin.com.au
Subtitled Heartbreak and Chaos on the Campaign Trail, Vice scribe Zachariah hit the road on the trail of Turnbull and Shorten during this year's extended election campaign while nursing a broken heart after the collapse of his marriage. Having tied the knot three years earlier as the Coalition swept to power, this gonzo road trip, featuring go-karting with Sarah Hanson-Young and yiros-scoffing with stuntman Nick Xenophon, is political commentary of the most entertaining and emotionally engaging kind.
Available October, $29.99 from echopublishing.com.au
The Sound of Summer
Calling over 250 Test matches and 50 Ashes for the ABC since 1973, for many sports-mad Australians Maxwell truly is the sound of their long, hot summer tuning in while nursing occasionally broken hopes and dreams. Turns out his authoritative voice is just as soothing in print as he relays the inside story from more than four decades of behind-the-scenes action, recounting his undying obsession with the game from childhood to one of the most cherished figures of public broadcasting.
Available October 12, $39.99 from allenandunwin.com
Spider from Mars
When David Bowie died on January 10 this year, the world erupted into tidal wave of heartfelt dedications to the man who fell to earth and changed it indelibly. But he didn't do it single-handedly, revelling in constant creative collaboration with other who inspired his genius. One such man was Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey, the sometime drummer of Bowie's band The Spiders from Mars. Accompanying the great man through his glam-rock Ziggy Stardust incarnation, this memoir loving captures the crazy cool cats of that glittering era.
Available November 25, $32.99 from panmacmillan.com.au