Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

What Are You Reading?

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

What Are You Reading?

Article excerpt

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

Susan C. Aldridge, past president of the University of Maryland University College, is reading Chris Payne's Encounters with a Fat Chemist: Teaching at a University in Northern Cyprus (AuthorHouse, 2012). "I laughed out loud when I read this book while sitting on a plane. The account is based on a year and a half Payne spent in Cyprus working as a professor, and he really catches the sense of disorganisation at a ramshackle university, instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever worked or lived in an emerging country."

Laurence Coupe, senior lecturer in English, Manchester Metropolitan University, is rereading Alan Watts' The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (Souvenir Press, 2009). "I always go back to Watts with a sense of relief, and I always come away with a sense of wonder. Way ahead of his time (this book was first published in 1966), he moves with ease between Eastern religion and Western science in order to convey what it might be like to see through the 'hallucination' that one is 'a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin'. Writing without jargon and wearing his learning very lightly, he is a joy to read."

Paul Greatrix, registrar, University of Nottingham, is reading Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot (Fourth Estate, 2012). "An extremely well- written and engaging campus novel: although most of the action is extracurricular, there is a strong academic thread with the lead characters all pursuing truth in one form or another. …

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