I rarely update my reading list because it consumes time with little benefit for my research or organisation: I already compile a fuller bibliography for referencing my other research. I do not like to share the whole thing because it says too much about works in progress that require secrecy until publication that proves they are my ideas. Moreover, and more importantly, a simple reading list does not offer anything to readers except a series of seemingly unrelated titles.
1. The Problem
Intermittent, commentated updates would be more productive for me and more useful for you. Therefore I plan to write updates about what I read with short commentaries. The idea is to avoid the demands set by fuller book reviews. Instead the challenge will be to offer a few paragraphs about my impressions. The posts written to satisfy this new challenge will be tagged 'Reading List'. I plan to write the first one this week.
2. My Solution
I will continue to write longer, more scholarly reviews, which will be tagged 'Book Review'. If appropriate, I may begin a series of TV and film reviews because I often find the conceits in their narratives elucidate legal problems when posed as analogies or extended metaphors, which may help law students, too. I will write another maintenance post if this ever comes to fruition.
Below, I enclose for posterity the reading list as it stands today (4 Jan 2014), before I change its static page. I say 'change' and not 'delete' because I will reintroduce a static 'Reading List' page to show readers how my new posts on that subject relate to each other--a contents-esque page.
3. Where's the Old Page Now?
3.1 The Deleted Material
This page contains my reading list.
You may contend there are far too many books for me to concentrate on. You are right, but I am not restrained by a desire to finish books in one sitting. Instead, I arrange research areas and start to read. The books I begin with in a new area are usually considered seminal—according to preliminary research or recommendation. As I read I attend to footnotes (when paragraphs pique my interest) or specific references identified as good reading by authors. I gather what referenced books I can afford—my little luxuries, I suppose. Next I work my way slowly through them in no particular order. Unless near a deadline that requires me to read a whole book, I amble through.
After reading about half a book, I’ll probably just finish it. But books’ ends are not always important when researching. To reach those ends is to find authors’ conclusions, but a start-to-end-to-next-book-start-to-end-etc process will limit research findings. When theories and authors are read next to each other, once-shadowed links are illuminated: different authors of different topics and disciplines show a surprising consilience with each other. These links manifest as similarities in written metaphors or empirical patterns.
To find these links and jot them on paper is to let an essay’s content spring up. This is why my reading list is so long; I prefer ideas to whiz past and collide than to whiz always forward in an orderly line, never to meet. Have a look at my About Me page to see where some ideas from the list below might intersect.
Onto the list! Clicking a title will take you to its Amazon page, where you can purchase the book through their secure website, browse other editions, and usually read selected parts.
- Clifford A Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (OUP 2008)
- Stanley Fish, Doing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric, and the Practice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies (Duke UP 1989)
- Glyn V Morrill, Categorial Grammar: Logical Syntax, Semantics, and Processing (OUP 2011)
- Scott Shane, Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders: How Your Genes Affect Your Work Life (OUP 2010)
- John D Barrow, The Artful Universe: Expanded (ext edn, OUP 2005)
- Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, The History of the Rebellion: A New Selection (OUP 2009)
- Conor Gearty, Civil Liberties (OUP 2007)
- Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls (Vintage 2005)
- James M Dubinsky (ed), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom (Bedford/St Martin’s 2004)
- Katherine Gottschalk and Keith Hjortshoj, The Elements of Teaching Writing: A Resource for Instructors in All Disciplines (Bedford/St Martin’s 2004)
- Jerome Bruner, Beyond The Information Given: Studies in the Psychology of Knowing (Jeremy M Anglin ed, W W Norton & Company 1973)
- Steven Pinker, Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (Phoenix 1999)
- Karl N Llewellyn, The Bramble Bush: The Classic Lectures on the Law and Law School (Steve Sheppard notes, 1960 edn, OUP 2008)
This is where references live when I finish reading the books they belong to.
- Johnathan A Smith, Paul Flowers, and Michael Larkin, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research (reprint, Sage 2013). I discuss this in Experience Analysis! (book review).
- Stanley Fish, There’s No Such Thing As Free Speech: And it’s a Good Thing, Too (OUP 1994). I discuss this in Swimmingly Obvious: Stanley Fish and Free Speech.
- JBS Haldane, What I Require From Life: Writings on Science and Life from J.B.S. Haldane (Krishna Dronamraju ed, OUP 2009). I discuss this in How to Write for Others: JBS Haldane's Advice Applied to Law.
- Simon Blackburn, Practical Tortoise Raising and Other Philosophical Essays (OUP 2010)
- Tom Bingham, The Rule of Law (Penguin 2010)
- Jerome Bruner, The Culture of Education (HUP 1996)
- Duncan Kennedy, Sexy Dressing Etc.: Essays on the Power and Politics of Cultural Identity (HUP 1993)
- Jean-Paul Satre, What is Literature? (Bernard Frechtman tr, reprint, J W Arrowsmith Ltd 1983)
- Peter Brooks and Paul Gewirtz, Law’s Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law (YUP 1996)
- Peter Medawar, Memoir of a Thinking Radish: An Autobiography (OUP 1986)
- Peter Medawar, Pluto's Republic (OUP 1984)
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Black Swan 2007)
- Evelyn Waugh, The Sword of Honour Trilogy (Penguin 1984)
- PG Wodehouse, Uncle Fred in the Springtime (Arrow Books 2008)
- PG Wodehouse, Something Fresh (Arrow Books 2008)
- Daniel A Farber and Suzanna Sherry, Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law (OUP 1997)
- John Perry, The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing (Workman 2012)
- Lon Fuller, The Morality of Law (revised edn, YUP 1969)
- EM Forster, Aspects of the Novel and Related Writings (Oliver Stallybrass ed, Edward Arnold 1974)
- Bernard Cornwell, The Pagan Lord (Harper Collins 2013)
This list is of books I consider worth reading. Books I read before starting this blog--that may not be discussed without an explicit home like this--are listed here in a perhaps-easier-to-read format than is possible in a broader selection of blog posts.
- Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education (Vintage 1960)
- Jerome Bruner, Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life (HUP 2002)
- Helen Sword, Stylish Academic Writing (HUP 2012)
- Glanville Williams, Learning the Law (A.T.H. Smith (ed), 15th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2013)
- George Orwell, Burmese Days (reprint, Penguin 1988)
- George Orwell, Animal Farm (Malcolm Bradbury introduction, Reprint, Penguin Classics 2000)
Created: 20 July 2013. Version 1.3: 5 October 2013.
The following summarises my task in bullet points.
- My old 'Reading List' page will be shut down for a while.
- Rather than a static list of books finished and ready-to-read, I aim to include the same material but with additional commentary about the content and my impressions in individual blog posts. These will be tagged 'Reading List'.
- I will continue to write critical book reviews to expose books in more detail, in a more traditional fashion. These will be tagged 'Book Review'.
- This should provide tiers to arrange shorter and longer, and more fun and more serious pieces.
- When I have written enough posts, I will reintroduce a 'Reading List' static page in the link bar under the website header. This will function as a navigable contents page to help direct readers to my commentary on different subjects--for example fiction, psychology, or philosophy.
- The aim is to produce a useful, organised list to help readers choose or avoid new books, similar to the short reviews available below products on Amazon.co.uk.
Created: 4 January 2014. Version 1.0.
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