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The Most Complete List September 24, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Durham, Literature, University.

It’s that joyous time of year again – packing ahoy!  And here, because it’d be a shame to break with tradition, is the list of books I’m taking up to Durham.  It’s not as complete as last year, obviously: some law-related books and whatnot are up there already, and some have been borrowed by other people, but still, here it is anyway.  (In no particular order, and with occasional commentary because I have nothing better to do with my time.)

  • The Chambers Pocket Dictionary
  • The Good News Bible
  • Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • The Woman Who Walked Into Doors – Roddy Doyle
  • The Undercover Economist – Tim Harford (I hated Economics at A-level, but still, I can’t quite let it go…)
  • Smoke and Mirrors – Neil Gaiman (for when novels are just too damned long)
  • Public Law – Adam Tomkins
  • The Trial – Sadakat Kadri (it’s a history of the criminal trial over 4000 years and not in the least bit dry, therefore I can read it, enjoy it immensely, and pretend it’s work.)
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! – Richard P. Feynman (Everyone should read this.  Everyone.)
  • Tricks of the Mind – Derren Brown
  • How to Knit – Debbie Bliss (a really very good resource, with a small but exciting stitch dictionary.  These things are important to me.)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling (of course.  Not sure how I managed without this last year, except that I have it on audiobook as well.  So comforting; always reminds me of home.)
  • The Basic Eight – Daniel Handler
  • Every Boy’s Handbook (found in a jumble sale aged ten; it’s over thirty years out of date now but still a very good pub quiz resource)
  • How to be a Domestic Goddess – Nigella Lawson
  • Legal Skills – Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski (I Hate This Book.  I’m only bringing it with me so I can give it away to my college kid.)
  • Oystercatchers – Susan Fletcher
  • Sock Innovation – Cookie A (another knitting book. Or: Garotting Yourself With A Cable Needle In Four Easy Steps)
  • How To Be Topp; Down With Skool!; Whizz for Atomms; Back to the Slaughterhouse – all by Ronald Searle and Geoffrey Willans (because Molesworth is a pholosophical genius.)
  • The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood

I have yet to decide whether the River Cottage Family Cookbook would be overkill, even though it is my favourite recipe book in the history of ever.  Judgement as yet reserved.

Differences from last year that I’ve found, other than having left Shakespeare in Durham: less of an emphasis on what my books say about me (what on earth convinced me to bring A Memory of Solferino last year?!), less of an emphasis on bringing books that I’d actually like to read cover to cover, more of an emphasis on books I can use as resources.  Because I’m afraid I’ve got to face the fact that reading for pleasure does not actually exist when you’re doing a degree you want to do any work on.  Except for you literature students.  Part of me envies you just a little bit.

Sigh.  I think I need chocolate.



1. ruethewhirl - September 24, 2009

Back to the Slaughterhouse? isn’t it called Back in the Jugg Agane? or have i been the victim of some Bowdlerising editor? xx

2. stitchthisdarling - September 24, 2009

Never heard of Back in the Jugg Agane, but Back to the Slaughterhouse is actually St Trinians. But just as awesome. Is there another Molesworth book?! Why do I not own it and know it off by heart? I am so upset.

On the subject of caricatured public schools, I watched Trinity last night. All-the-way-through. It was atrocious. On the other hand, I fear Charles Dance may be under the impression he’s escaped from Primeval (I kid you not) so I’m going to keep watching. Because you have all gone away and I have nothing to do with my life at the moment. xxxx

ETA: IT EXISTS! Thank yoooou, Amazon.

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