Many of you will know I am running the London Marathon on the 28th April to help raise money for the mental health charity Mind. As part of those fundraising efforts I am holding a raffle for legal academics. Routledge/Taylor and Francis, Hart Publishing and Red Globe Press have very generously donated some books.
- 1st Prize is the Edited Collection Perspective on Legal Education and 2 books from the Routledge Emerging Legal Education series as seen above.
- 2nd Prize is my favourite legal education book combination Fiona Cownie’s Legal Academics and Tony Bradney’s Conversations, Choices and Chances (the books pictured here are my copies – the ones you’ll get are brand new copies I have been given by the publishers).
- 3rd Prize is another Fiona Cownie book – ‘A great and noble occupation’ which is well worth a read.
- And finally there’s two copies of The Legal Academic’s Handbook to be won – and what’s more, both Chris Ashford and I will sign them – now who wouldn’t want a signed copy of that book!
So to enter the raffle you just need to let me know how may entries you’d like to buy. It’s £2 an entry or £5 for three. Give me your name and a way of contacting you – twitter, email, whatever and then sort out payment. You can pay by donating directly to our fundraising page – just remember you can’t Gift Aid a donation when you’re buying a raffle ticket with it, by asking me for bank or paypal details or by giving me cash when we see each other – I will be at the SLSA conference and the ALT conference in early April if that helps.
I will do the draw at the ALT conference on the 9th April and will get in touch with all the winners as soon as possible after that. You don’t need to be there obviously, I can post the books!
If you want to keep up to date with the running/training general madness of it all, keep an eye on my other blog Really (not) A Runner.
Ages ago my colleague and friend Sanna challenged me on facebook to post a book I love a day for ten days without explanations. I didn’t like the no explanations thing but eventually decided to play anyway and use the blog to add explanations – short ones, not full book reviews. I posted the books in random order, not ranked in any way. The first one I posted was Footnotes by Vybarr Cregan-Reid. Now I don’t really need to explain this one – I reviewed it here. I loved the writing and it all instinctively made sense to me. What is interesting is that I keep coming back to passages and it often pops into my head. It’s one of the few books that I have read relatively recently that is actually staying with me.
Book two was House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende. It probably wasn’t but it feels like it was the first ‘grown up’ book I read, certainly in English. I read it not long after the film came out (which I saw after) so I was 15 ish. I remember laughing and crying and being captivated by the story telling. I remember the affinity I felt with the strong but complicated women and the slightly unsettled feeling much of the story left me with. I also remember seeing the film and not really liking it that much. The characters weren’t what I had in my head. Clara in particular just wasn’t quite right in the film and Blanca wasn’t as complex as I wanted her to be. This book might well have been my first ‘stick to the book’ moment. I also realise now that I probably didn’t know anywhere near enough about Latin American and in particular Chilean history so some of the context will have been lost on me. I might re-read it. Although part of me wants to just remember how I felt reading it the first time round. This was also one of the first books that left me with that empty and not ready to re-join the world or start another book feeling that often leaves me aimlessly wandering the house trying to work out what to do with myself when I have finished a novel.
Book three: Affinity by Sarah Waters. I can’t remember whether I saw or read Water’s Tipping the Velvet first. I was vaguely fascinated by a lesbian story line and impressed with the way Sarah Waters builds characters but I wasn’t gripped. Then I read Affinity and I couldn’t shake that novel off for weeks. I read it in one on a grey, cold, gloomy afternoon which probably helped it along nicely. I remember being transported into the novel, like I was there, watching. I remember holding my breath, biting my lower lip wanting desperately to know how the story unfolds but not wanting it to end. The sense of fear, desperation, darkness and other-worldliness was real. As I write this, I realise that I couldn’t tell you the story line in any detail, what I remember from reading Affinity is foreboding, a feeling of powerlessness and a sense of darkness that took a while to lift.
So book 4 – and now for something to completely different. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I’ve really only just finished this. I like it because it’s readable science. I’ve never really had problems sleeping and I have always known sleeping is good for me. I often sleep myself better and I really enjoyed reading more about what happens, scientifically, when we sleep. Intuitively the science described makes sense to me although I really don’t know enough to evaluate whether the studies cited to support the arguments are robust. Occasionally I had questions about methodology and how the things that were supposedly controlled for could have been but overall I thought the case for sleep was compelling – I knew that really but I enjoyed reading some of the evidence.
And finally for this post, book 5. Ah this book. The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law by Albie Sachs. It is as close to perfect as a book can get. I read this book in a lovely little hotel in Capetown in January 2012 and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a special piece of judicial writing that is so very different from any other legal writing or judicial memoir. It is open and honest and doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of making the big (legal) decisions. It’s a stunning insight into how one of the best and most emotionally intelligent legal minds of our times thinks and worries about law and its application. It made me laugh and cry and it made me think. I love re-reading bits and I find new things to think about every time and I love using it in teaching because it’s accessible and readable and yet so intelligent and full of meaning. I think maybe I love this because it encapsulates everything I love about thinking about law.
More books in round two!