NEWLY-MINTED Labor politician Yvette Berry is just as likely to sit down with a Michael Crichton crime thriller this summer as an analytical tome about political power relationships.
''I really like thrillers and horror novels,'' said Ms Berry, 44, opening up her summer reading list for the Sunday Canberra Times.
Recently elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly, perhaps her most surprising choices are from Chicago-born Crichton, forensic fiction's James Patterson and courtroom choreographer John Grisham.
''They're not going to change your life but they are a lot of fun,'' she said.
At the moment, however, Ms Berry is working her way through two interesting titles not even within whiffing distance of the sterilised laboratories of modern American crime drama.
Power in Coalition by Amanda Tattersall - coalition director of the Sydney Alliance, a diverse coalition of unions, community organisations and religious organisations working for a common good - is based on her research and wide experience as a union and community organiser.
''I'm really inspired by the work of people who take up causes in their communities and build grassroots movements that are inclusive and build real power,'' Ms Berry said.
''As a former union organiser I can relate to many of the cases that are dealt with in this book and they are a real insight into how we can build long-lasting relationships.''
She cannot remember giving up on an author but confesses to struggling through The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the classic she is supposed to be reading for her book club.