Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?

Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?

Article excerpt

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

R. C. Richardson, emeritus professor of history, University of Winchester, is reading The Journals of Gilbert White (Futura, 1982), edited by Walter Johnson. "Much less well known than The Natural History of Selborne, the journals White kept from 1768 to 1793 provide a parallel series of observations on family solidarity and kinship networks, village life, servant-keeping, vernacular architecture, ailments in humans and animals, the changing seasons and freakish weather, crops, local and regional distinctiveness, wildlife, breeding habits and oddities of nature. Although he was a churchman, ecclesiastical matters curiously do not loom large here. To modern eyes, moreover, its lack of sentimentality is often striking. White was more likely to dissect or eat even a rare creature than to admire it. Occasional visits to London and Oxford extend the social and geographical range and break out of the quintessential provincialism displayed here. There is even a single cursory mention of the (safely distant) French Revolution."

Cathy O'Sullivan, course director for the MSc in global healthcare management, Coventry University, is reading Steve Peters' The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme for Confidence, Success and Happiness (Ebury, 2012). "Peters is brilliant at explaining how the brain works in simple and common-sense language, underpinned by his clinical and academic training. …

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