To celebrate the end of Michaelmas Term, we asked some of the academics on LSE’s Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programme to tell us what they’ll be reading over the break.
Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies will be accompanying me during Winter break. I picked it up when it was first released back in 2008, and lost patience with its bewildering dialects and arcane seafaring jargon after less than 50 pages. Six years older and wiser, or so I’d like to think, I now find myself captivated by its intersecting voyages and interwoven histories. I may not be traveling far this December, but I expect the book to continue transporting me to distant landscapes and seascapes where the intoxicated, violent marriage between colonial rule and the opium trade revolved around the power of one delicate, red flower. Austin Zeiderman, Geography and Environment
I’ll be reading John Lanchester’s How to Speak Money. I really enjoyed his novel Capital, and am looking forward to his new guide to financial terms. I also reserve the holidays for fun reading, and will be catching up on the new novels from the Austen Project, including Emma by Alexander McCall Smith. Sohini Kar, International Development
A few weeks ago I went to the superb ‘Terror and Wonder’ exhibition at the British Library. The exposition takes visitors on a journey through the history of British Gothic literature, from its beginnings in the 1700s up to today with its new shapes and formats (films, music, and fashion). It was a very informative and interesting display and it inspired me to investigate a little more the stories which have always been present in our lives but which I, personally, have not looked at in great detail. And so I left the library with a bag full of books which I am looking forward to reading in the coming weeks: Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The last, I hope, will not be a source of inspiration for my 2015 research. Jose M Carabias, Accounting
I hope to use the time over Christmas break to learn a bit more about multiculturalism, poverty and inequality in Britain. For an academic angle on the subject, I plan on reading Sir John Hills’ newest book, Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us. For a more fictional take on the subject, I’m also looking forward to reading Zadie Smith’s book, White Teeth. Amanda Sheely, Social Policy
I’m slowly working my way through the 26 episodes of The Great War, an extraordinary 1964 documentary on World War I that the BBC is currently repeating. Unlike any programme they could make now, it’s full of interviews with WWI veterans, which makes it compelling, appalling viewing. Book-wise, I’m currently trying to get to the presumably bitter end of The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, the WW2 POW-themed and grimly scatalogical winner of this year’s Booker Prize. When I finish that I’ll read Stoner by John Williams, the much-hyped ‘forgotten classic’ I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Since it’s about the loneliness and misery of being an academic, I’m hoping it won’t mirror my own life too accurately. So which predicament is the bleakest: fighting in WWI, being a POW in WW2, or being a lecturer in a university? Ask me after Christmas. Jonathan Birch, Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
This is our last post of the term, so we’d like to wish all our readers a very happy and restful break. We look forward to your company again in January.