Wednesday, 30 July 2014

30 books, 30 days?

I'm entering the final year of my PhD. I'm on a tight schedule to finish in three years flat. I've decided to use this August, as far as possible, to catch up on some reading that fell by the wayside during my fieldwork year.

I have a lot of reading to get done this August however. Among other things, I want to use this month to cover some old ground. I did my undergraduate degree in religious studies, and I'm currently a PhD student in the religious studies department of Cardiff University - but over the past two years I feel I've lost my moorings somewhat. As my PhD employed a particularly social scientific approach, I've spent a lot of time trying to play catch up in sociology (or anthropology... still trying to work out what the difference is to be honest). So this month, I'll be picking up some intro texts to religious studies to make sure I know my basics.

Also, I really want to make sure I make the most of the next year - my final PhD year and, provided I do things right, my final year as a student. So also on my reading list are books on writing and completing my PhD.

The crux of this blog post however? I'm going to try and read 30 books in 30 days. I'm not a bad speed reader, and I think I've developed an ability to pick up and read the most important parts of a book while skipping the non-essential (to me) parts.So each day for the next 30 days, I'll publish a blog post summarising the book I read that day.

I'm hoping that by committing myself (publicly) to reading and publishing - I'll manage to keep up the pace needed. On top of that - I'm a believer in the importance of writing as much as I read, and it's always nice to have someone read what you've written.

My reading list as it stands is below, I welcome any additions however.

1. Guide to the Study of Religion - Ed Willi Braun and Russel T McCutcheon
2. Authoring a PhD -Patrick Dunleavy
3. Critical Terms for Religious Studies - Ed Mark C Taylor
4. The Arts Good Study Guide - Chambers and Northedge
5. Approaches to the Study of Religon - Ed Peter Connolly
6. Stylish Academic Writing - Sword
7. Introduction to the Sociology of Religion - Furseth and Repstad
8. Key Thinkers on Space and Place Ed Hubbard, Kitchin and Valentine
9. Rhythmanalysis by H Lefevrbe

I welcome any suggestions on further reading. My PhD is rooted in religious studies and the social sciences, with a focus on British Muslim studies - but I'm open to reading outside of that particular field if it will be useful.

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