Ventura Recommends: August

Ventura staff live and breathe words, so we’ve always got our noses buried in a book, or our ears plugged into a podcast, or our eyes glued to the next zeitgeist film or series. Here’s a list of our favourites this winter season.


Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

‘The global buzz was huge so I bought the book the day of release and read over a weekend. It is a bleak morality tale told through intimate portrait of three white middle class American women as they seek sexual and emotional fulfilment.  We see woman as complicit, woman as abused, woman as used. It is harrowing and dispiriting that so little has changed.’ - Jane Curry

No More Boats by Felicity Castagna

‘Superbly crafted and thoughtfully rendered story of Western Sydney and the tensions surrounding otherness. It won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2017 for a good reason, and even though it’s a couple of years old now, I’m finding the themes remain starkly relevant.’  - Zoe Hale

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

‘I devoured Rooney’s Normal People in the span of a wintery day, so of course I was enthused to pick up her debut novel, which proved equally as intriguing. The diverse, intimate and somewhat controversial portrayal of people and relationships left me thinking and wanting more. Rooney’s writing is so effortless, yet so intelligent – the best kind.’ - Sophie Hodge



The Garret Podcast

‘I am a new convert to The Garret and now can’t walk my dog without an episode ready to play.  I enjoy hearing authors talk about the craft of writing and their inspirations. It restores my faith in the creativity and passion in the industry. ‘ - JC

How to Fail with Elizabeth Day

‘For anyone who has ever struggled creatively or in a business – this is a wonderfully cooling balm for soothing those burns of failure. I love Elizabeth, she is such a gifted interviewer and journalist, allowing her guest to share their vulnerable experiences with ease.’ - ZH  

Offline by Alison Rice

‘Offline’s premise is honest conversations with people you may know and love through social media. I’ve always been interested in people and what makes them tick, so these raw, emotional and interesting conversations are perfect. Plus, Alison’s voice sounds like smooth butter (a win when you’re listening to an hour-long talk).’ - SH



Chernobyl Season 1

‘Wow. This is the new world of streaming at is finest. The acting, the production design, the cinematography is astoundingly good.   And as it is a true story , the events gnaw away at your sense of security as we know a nuclear disaster could happen again. Compelling viewing.’ - JC

The Handmaid’s Tale season 3

‘I’m loving this season – it’s more about the resistance, the fight against oppression. And all the female characters have such depth and are so compelling. It makes for an intense watch though, I can’t watch more than two episodes at a time.’ - ZH

Our Planet

‘I am a self-confessed lover of nature documentaries, particularly those narrated by David Attenborough. Our Planet’s breathtaking cinematography forces us to take a long, hard look at the planet we are living on and begs us to make implement change for the future. If you take anything from the show, go and buy a keep cup or try cutting out plastic. It’s life changing.’ - SH