Now that down time is kicking in I am going back to the books to consolidate the year and prepare for next year. Here’s what I’m reading at the moment.
Adam Hochschild, Bury The Chains
I’m teaching a brief history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to my year 12s in preparation for their NEA, and this has been recommended to me so many times it was my top pick to prepare for it. It is a cracking read and pacy enough to be good for the bus. I’m supplementing with a little from Hugh Thomas’s epic The Slave Trade, which I need to sit down with for a good hour to get my head around. I’ve got Roll, Jordan, Roll by Eugene Genovese waiting in the wings, as recommended by a local activist. Finally, I’ve got hold of a second hand copy of Black Ivory by James Walvin, for some accessible background for the students, and I’m excited to see he has a new book coming out in July focusing just on sugar, which I think will be helpful several units I already teach.
Daisy Christodoulou, Making Good Progress?
It’s time to review this year’s scheme of assessment and tweak for next year. It’s been about 18 months since I finished my course on assessment with the CIEA so it is good to get back to some of the theory with this book.
Tracy Borman, The Private Lives of the Tudors
After a year of reading about the Tudors I now feel a lot of knowledgeable than I did at the start, so I’ve moved to something a bit lighter and chattier to finish off the school year. This one is good for dipping into at bed time.
Kim MacQuarrie, The Last Days of the Incas
I’m off to Peru next month, so I thought I should read something in preparation for that. My brother recommended this one.
Please feel free to share what you’re reading: I’m always looking for new recommendations.
Just finished reading Australian, Richard Fidler’s ‘Ghost Empire’ which Simon Winchester described (very accurately) as “a brilliant reconstruction of the saga of Power, glory, invasion and decay that is the one-thousand year story of Constantinople”. Winchester concluded by describing it as “A truly marvellous book”. What makes this such a worthwhile experience to read, is both Fidler’s obvious passion about discovering this culture which has been ignored by many history curriculums in Australia. While he acknowledges he is not an historian, his attention to the primary and scholarly sources and to corroboration by archaeological remains belie this claim. This funny, entertaining story of a trip to Istanbul taken in 2014 by Fidler and his 14 yr old son, Joe, provides a detailed, clear eyed and intelligent discussion of the various accounts- all meticulously acknowledged in his Reference list. It also has a wonderful index to significant events and figures.
Richard Fidler was once a member of the Australian Comedy team DAAS, and now presents Conversations with Richard Fidler for the Australian Broadcasting Company. Many of these podcasts can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/
I have a real soft spot for travel writing, especially when it’s history-loaded, so I will definitely be looking this up. Thanks!