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By  Anna Tyrrell CSIRO publishing 21 December 2023 3 min read

Key points

  • Need summer reading ideas? Discover CSIRO Publishing's top picks to enrich and inspire your adventures!
  • From space exploration to the natural world outside your door, there's something for everyone.
  • Our handy range of field guides can chart the path to your citizen science dreams.

Are you ready to have a page-turning summer? Look no further than this great list of summer reads.

The team at CSIRO Publishing have put together their top picks to delight and inspire your inner bookworm. 

From prehistoric lands and futuristic space to nature exploration right outside your door, there's a book for everyone.

Become an eclipse chaser

Did you get to experience the solar eclipse this year? Aussies will be lucky enough to experience five total eclipses between 2023 and 2035. There is something magical about the beauty of a solar eclipse. So, don’t pass up the chance to spend this summer learning about them. We can help you prepare for the next four eclipses! Who knows, you may just find yourself becoming one of the Eclipse Chasers.

Bee a nature fact champion

This summer, discover the answers to questions you didn’t know were haunting you! The expert team at the Natural History Museum, London know the natural world can be stranger than fiction. They've packed Do Penguins’ Feet Freeze? full of cool and quirky facts to amaze nature lovers of all ages (but especially those aged 9 and over).

Step into Australia's far past

Who knew time travel was an option this summer? Take a journey millions of years into Australasia’s past.

Discover the homegrown prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth with Prehistoric Australasia, winner of the 2023 Whitley medal. From flesh-eating kangaroos to tree-climbing crocodiles, this book captures your imagination. You’ll never look at our present-day native animals the same way again.

Or help the young scientist in your life journey through time to discover how the continent of Australia was created. Budding geologists aged 9 to 14 can go on a 4.6-billion-year time travel adventure and explore the story of Rocks, Fossils and Formations.

Prepare for an out-of-this-world adventure

Earthlings, take a trip to our neighbouring Red Planet! Discover what it would take to survive the harsh Martian environment. Join scientists, engineers, archaeologists, ethicists and science-fiction writers for a galactic space adventure with How to Survive on Mars. Perfect for aspiring astronauts aged 8 to 12.

Excited by outer space? Then don’t miss the upcoming issue of Double Helix, CSIRO's science magazine for kids aged 8 – 14. Blast off from this planet and delve into life in space!

Get to know an enigmatic Australian animal

You might be off to the zoo this summer. The leopards, lions and tigers are always a smash hit – but have you ever wondered what happened to Australia’s own ‘tiger’? Explore the history and loss of the Tasmanian Tiger with Thylacine. Once the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, the animal is a symbol of extinction, but also hope.

Increase your litter-acy

While you’re enjoying your holiday, why not up your sustainability game? Adults can read stories, advice and information from experts in Ending Plastic Waste. Meanwhile, Oceans of Plastic is perfect for introducing young minds to great ideas and simple changes to help our oceans.

Get hooked on some fascinating fish

Fishing for a good read to help tide you over this holiday period? Whether you’re an avid fisher or simply interested in the largest and most iconic Aussie freshwater fish, you can’t go wrong with The Life and Times of the Murray Cod.

Supercharge your science impact

Have you ever wondered how scientists turn their inventions into successful companies? Then look no further than Invention to Innovation. This thought-provoking work shows how Australia's world-class science can navigate the ‘Valley of Death’ to produce successful innovations and grow our economy.

Get egg-cited about birds

Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Grab a copy of The Compact Australian Bird Guide, the perfect companion for your bird nerd needs, to find out. The small (but mighty!) size means that this guide can easily fit in your bag, glovebox or bookshelf to help bird watchers of all levels during their flights of exploration.

Become a citizen scientist this summer

Whether you’re traveling to a new environment or staying home, our field guides can help discover the natural delights in the world around you. Encourage your inner bird nerd, botany buff or insect enthusiast with our range of handy field guides.

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