From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Brooks enjoys her holiday Down Under. Ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, who is facing charges in the UK, is holidaying in Australia. The Mail Online snapped her cruising Sydney Harbour with Lachlan Murdoch and wife Sarah, and Crikey readers have added more details: one told us that last Saturday night, Brooks “dined with Gai and Robbie Waterhouse and other Sydney turf and legal identities at In Cucina Restaurant on Military Road, Mosman. I was at the restaurant next door and saw them emerge.” (Yesterday we told you Brooks was spotted at Royal Randwick on Saturday, when Black Caviar strutted her stuff.)

And another reader told us Brooks had dinner with Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch at Sydney’s Apollo restaurant.

Sailing, sipping beers and dining at fine Sydney restaurants — it’s a nice break for Brooks before she returns to the UK to face trial in September. Brooks is fighting charges relating to the phone-hacking issue at NOTW. She’s on bail, but apparently her bail conditions don’t prevent her travelling.

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Tips is wondering if Brooks caught up with her mentor Rupert Murdoch, who has been in Australia for a few weeks? Any sightings? Keep Crikey in the loop.

Renaming The SMH. Could The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sunday rag, The Sun Herald, be in for a new name? An insider told us this:

“Fairfax is considering renaming The Sun Herald masthead. Confidential production tests were performed earlier this month, with various titles, some of them being, The Sunday Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald (On Sunday) … all tested masthead fonts were in the typical Sydney Morning Herald font.”

Seems our tipster could be on to something there — a Fairfax spokesman told us this:

“Fairfax regularly conducts reader research on potential changes to its print and digital publications including tests on branding, design and formats. We have conducted tests like the ones you have described often in the past 10 years on The Sun Herald and we don’t comment on our research for obvious commercial reasons.”

We have a few suggestions for renaming The SMH. Now that Gina Rinehart has bought into Fairfax, how about The Sydney Mining Herald? An oldie but a goodie.

Bowen pens his tome. Is this a very long job application? Labor MP Chris Bowen, a former frontbencher who went off to the backbench for supporting Kevin Rudd in the recent leadership coup that wasn’t, is writing a book for Melbourne University Press. Some think Bowen has the talent to one day lead the party or hold down some other senior role. Perhaps he’ll rise from the ashes of what’s looking like a nasty defeat for Labor come September — opposition leader Chris Bowen in October 2013?

MUP says the book, to come out in the middle of this year, will look at “how modern Labor must govern”. “‘Labor can and should reclaim the mantle of liberalism,” Bowen said in the press release. We hear he’s been working on it for some months, so it’s not a revenge job for the failed leadership coup.

Bowen’s not the first to bed down his political and economic vision ahead of rising to the top of the pile. Tony Abbott’s Battlelines was published in late 2009, around the time he became opposition leader. Bob Katter’s An Incredible Race of People came out last year — and who knows where Katter’s headed. Lindsay Tanner has written quite a few books, including two after quitting politics in 2010. Mark Latham kept his literary powder dry until he left politics, releasing The Latham Diaries in 2005.

We’d love to hear if any other politicians are quietly penning books at the moment — if you know of any, drop us a line. And which politician would you most like to read a book by? Tips would enjoy a good read by Simon Crean, but our top author’s pick would be Malcolm Turnbull. Tell us what you think, and we’ll contact Crikey readers’ top pick to suggest they get writing.

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