What Are You Reading?: Books

Article excerpt

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers.

Harriet Dunbar-Morris, executive assistant (learning and teaching) at the University of Bath, is reading Muriel Barbery's Une Gourmandise (Editions Gallimard, 2000). "Having read Barbery's L'elegance du herisson for my book club, I sought out her first novel: a journey through food, as the main character searches on his deathbed for an elusive taste. From home-grown strawberries to an impromptu lunch with strangers, via childhood holidays, Barbery paints a delicious picture of the French love affair with food and wine, but cuts the sweetness with glimpses of a difficult man (father, food critic, employer). A book for gastronomes, whether in French or in English."

Terry Hale, lecturer in French, University of Hull, is reading Andrew Hugill's Pataphysics: A Useless Guide (MIT Press, 2012). "From the Theatre of the Absurd through to modern art, literature, music, even postmodern philosophy, pataphysics has been one of the driving forces of the avant- garde for more than a century. Hugill's self-deprecating study provides us with not only an intellectual history of this fascinating but elusive community but also, and no less importantly, proffers valuable clues as to the nature of the creativity of the attitudes and tenets of its members."

Tim Hall, lecturer in geography and social sciences, University of Gloucestershire, is reading Jonathan Rendall's This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own (Faber, 1998). "Rendall died, aged only 48, in poverty and obscurity. …