ILANA ATLAS, INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ANZ
My husband bought me a subscription to The New Yorker in October for my birthday - the timing was perfect, in light of what is happening in the US - and I will spend the holidays reading all the stories that I haven't go to yet.
I enjoy listening to Rachael Kohn's The Spirit of Things on the ABC - a good break from banking issues - so will catch up on episodes I have missed via podcasts over the holidays.
I’ve also downloaded a number of books to read: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel - an apocalyptic book with a Shakespearean theme; The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes - one of my favourite authors; and The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver - she always has something to say.
NIGEL WILLIAMS, GROUP CHIEF RISK OFFICER, ANZ
To make Christmas day more enjoyable for both myself and family I provide a list of books that could make ideal gifts (I do not need any more socks). My strategy is to choose a few serious books to start, aware they get harder and harder to read as I relax (when I switch to fiction)…
I am interested in better understanding why dis-enfranchised men are more politically active, supporting the rise of far-right parties in a number of countries and Trump as the leader of the free world. Two books explore this: Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance about the struggles of the white working class in the USA rust belt; All that Man is by David Szalay a book of short stories, which The New York Times noted showed "masculinity under duress....the way men compare themselves to other men and come up short...men long for respect they have forfeited or never earned...they have failed tests they did not realise that were taking".
We are living longer in a world where technology is threatening our idea of work. Bill Gates recommended The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee; it deals with new gene therapy and the ethical questions raised, including who gets access.
I thought the title was a bit too obvious but Only humans need apply - Winners and Losers in the age of smart machines by Julia Kirby & Thomas Davenport has had great reviews and paints a potentially positive path despite the authors’ expectations of "nearly half of all working Americans risk losing their jobs to technology."
I am also looking forward to Kenneth Rogoff's The Curse of Cash - an idea I support. The book is timely with Indian Prime Minister Modi's bold move to withdraw the 500 and 1000 rupee notes in India by the end of December.
To round out I love Ian McEwan's novels and have asked for his new book The Nutshell which sounds like it has nice parallels with Hamlet. I am also a sucker for the Booker prize short list and have asked for The Sellout by Paul Beatty about a Black slave owning watermelon farmer in California who wants to reintroduce segregation in Los Angeles.
JANE HALTON, ANZ BOARD MEMBER
I’ll be reading Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba which documents the story of how women lived, loved and died in the Paris of the 40s. It was recommended to me by a friend in the Canberra Press Gallery and sounds fascinating.
I’ll also catch up on the third series of Peaky Blinders which aired in the UK this year and which the Guardian described variously as "sickeningly good" and "brilliant". This is a binge watch opportunity and I can’t wait.