#WhatAreYouReadingRightNow Roundup

Submitted by Various on Fri, 05/06/2022 - 14:33

This week, we asked our friends and colleagues across Arden's study centres to share what they're currently reading. We received so many submissions - reflecting such a plurality of tastes and genres - that it only feels right to compile them into one blog post.

We very much hope you find something to enjoy in this list. 


James Nixon

Academic Skills Tutor – Birmingham Centre

The Reading Society students and I are currently reading Hanne Blank's object lesson Fat (on Perlego). It's part of a series of short creative nonfiction essays. Each essay is by a different academic who responds to an everyday object or theme, such as Hotel, Silence, Waste, Shipping Container etc. Blank's book re-evaluates the role of fat in our lives as a friend, a foe, and a fetish, and is a great example of "The Essay of Ideas", which blends research, personal anecdote, lyricism, humour, and polemic. In tonight's Reading Society meeting, the students are showcasing and workshopping their own object lessons


Hazel Bowley

Academic Skills Tutor – Birmingham Centre

Because of reading for work and university, I stopped reading for pleasure a couple years ago. I might reread something every so often but I used to have a book a day habit. I'm trying to get back into reading for pleasure, so I thought I'd try audiobooks, and I'm currently 4 hours into Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. It has a brilliant voice cast - some highlights being James McAvoy, Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings and Michael Sheen. The story features detailed world(s) full of rich characters and so many references to myths and religious iconography that it has already caused me to spend a couple hours researching different figures. It's based on a comic book series, but there's nothing comic about it - it's definitely worth a read though it does have some darker elements that people might not always be fans of.


Martin Marguerie

Academic Skills Tutor – Tower Hill Centre

I am reading Phenomenology: The Basics by Dan Zahavi for my research – I started reading it as it covers the fundamentals and is a good introduction to the topic. The first few chapters are challenging, but the last few chapters are very useful and give very clear examples of the subject in action. I would recommend it as a book of basics and a good introduction to the topic.


Liesl Rowe

Library Assistant

I've done a favourite book recommendation swap with a friend. She's waded through my previous favourite book of 2022, the 800 page The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, and we discussed it as she went. Now I'm doing the same with Last Exit by Max Gladstone. It's already painfully personal in the best ways: part Americana road trip, part exploration of grief, partly an account of what happens when you return from a portal fantasy and have to deal with what's been left behind.


Ayah Mustafa

Business Lecturer – Berlin Centre

I am currently reading Lost Connections by Johann Hari, where he shares his journey for finding the reasons behind depression. The author believes, based on research, that serotonin imbalance is not the only cause for depression. There are a lot of other causes, and he invites us to discover them in this book.

My favourite quote so far is:

"We need to move from 'focusing on chemical imbalances to focusing on power imbalances.'"


Alice Burrows

Academic Administrator – Berlin Centre

I have a great book recommendation that I just finished: 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak.

It has the perfect mix of humour, human rights, and heart-wrenching stories within the beautiful descriptions of Istanbul. Highly recommended!


Mujde Kliem

Foundation Year Lecturer – Berlin Centre

I have just started reading Three Strong Women by Marie Ndiaye. I am at the very beginning so I can only say that it has started with a beautiful and stylish prose almost delicate. I am quite excited about it. I have also just finished Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. This is a cult best-seller which I always wanted to read, and I am happy to have done so. It is an extremely easy and fun read with a surprising poetic edge and a feminist undertone. It got me through some hard times by taking my mind off the real world. 


Mariam Settas

Academic Skills Tutor - Ealing


As we are in the blessed month of Ramadan (which is sadly drawing to a close), it is only fitting for me and for many others observing this holy month to read and truly reflect on the words and miracles found in the Qur'an. It is indeed challenging to read the Qur'an in a language that is so pure and authentic, let alone to understand it. But this is the true beauty behind understanding the message of God to mankind. The more you read, the more you become aware of your purpose in life and what you seek. It's like a love letter directly from God to all 😍


Amanda Welfare

Senior lecturer for EAP – Berlin Centre

I’m currently reading Beyond Convention by Christine M Tardy. It’s helping me encourage my students to be innovative in their writing practices by blurring the lines between genres.


Dr Rania Papasozomenou

Business Lecturer – Berlin Centre

The Island of Missing Trees, by Elif Shafak: As a Cypriot, I could not resist this book - one of the most sentimental reading experiences I've had. 

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humankind, by David Graeber and David Wengrow: I want this book to never end. I need to take breaks to take it in and process the implications of what the two Davids are saying here. A truly Groundbreaking book. 

The Promise, by Damon Galgut: Chronicling the disintegration of a white South African company, before, during and after the Apartheid, jumping from one narrator to the other, this book's prose is refreshing and captivating. I finished it in two days. 

Finn Family Moonintrool, by Tove Jansson: I love Finland and I love the Moomins. 

Reading and Research