What Are You Reading?

The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE, February 4, 2016 | Go to article overview

What Are You Reading?


A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

Carina Buckley, instructional design manager, Southampton Solent University, is reading Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin (Virago, 2001). "In this astonishing masterpiece, Atwood weaves together the threads of four, perhaps five, stories into one gloriously realised tapestry depicting the lives of Iris Chase and her sister Laura, two sheltered girls who can depend only - but imperfectly - on each other. Many-layered and ripe with detail, this is a book that will break your heart and make you glad for it."

Peter Catterall, reader in history, University of Westminster, has been reading Evelyn Waugh's Black Mischief (Penguin, 2000). "This 1932 satire is replete with examples of well-meaning but culturally ill-informed attempts at modernisation of the kind still encountered in aid policy. Waugh satirises Westerners and non-Westerners alike with well-directed barbs, while implying that modernising political institutions without changing political culture simply gives unaccountable elites new means to power. Unfortunately the importance of political culture all too often remains overlooked."

Stephen Halliday, senior member, Pembroke College, Cambridge, is reading Scott Christianson's 100 Documents That Changed the World: From Magna Carta to WikiLeaks (Batsford, 2015). "A welcome Christmas present; rather Anglocentric (Magna Carta, Shakespeare, Newton, Darwin, etc). …

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