Harriet Dunbar-Morris, Terry Hale, Tim Hall, Karen McAulay and Sharon Wheeler...

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

March 28, 2013

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’élégance du hérisson 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.”

Pataphysics by Andrew Hugill

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.”

This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own by Jonathan Rendall

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. This is ostensibly a tour around the seedy fringes of British boxing, but is in fact a book of deeper truths and one that transcends its setting. It speaks poetically of loss, age and the hopeless beauty of failed and faded dreams. That he succumbed to the demons that pursued him his whole life adds a further resonance to the words of one of Britain’s most talented and vivid writers.”

The Language of Folk by Kathryn Davidson

Karen McAulay, music and academic services librarian, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is reading Books 1 and 2 of Kathryn Davidson and Nathan Armstrong’s The Language of Folk (Faber Music in association with The Sage Gateshead, 2013). “My own traditional song interest drew me to these graded anthologies of British folk songs. Each book (with CD) contains unaccompanied and accompanied songs, the former with guitar chords and the latter with both chords and modern piano accompaniments. With background notes and practice tips, it is a good overview of our older and more recent heritage.”

Seven Deadly Sins by David Walsh

Sharon Wheeler, senior lecturer in journalism, University of Portsmouth, is reading David Walsh’s Seven Deadly Sins (Simon & Schuster, 2012). “Walsh, The Sunday Times’ chief sports writer, should be a role model for young - and not so young - journalists everywhere. His relentless efforts since 1999 to prove that cyclist Lance Armstrong was guilty of doping offences proves that sports journalism can and should be more than groin strains or banal interviews with Harry Redknapp conducted through his car window.”

to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments