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Summer 2011

On My Bookshelf: Assistant Professor Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Ed.M.

Currently reading: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin. It’s a collection of interconnected short stories that move between New York and rural and urban Pakistan.

First impressions: Fantastic. It’s an unconventional view on domestic life in Pakistan in a landowning family.

Last great read: A book that I loved that comes to mind right now, as we’re snowed in, is Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. The book is about politics and religion in Turkey, and takes place in a snowcovered village. The writing is very evocative, and the images of trudging through snow stayed with me.

Favorite spot to curl up with a good book: Most commonly, in bed! Ideally, [I would be] on a warm beach under an umbrella, with a full day and no schedule ahead of me. But that hasn’t happened in a while.

Noneducation genre of choice: South Asian fiction. Also, my version of the trashy novel is what seems to be a new genre of “pop social science” — Freakonomics, Nurture Shock, and Malcolm Gladwell’s books. They simplify social science research into juicy tidbits of knowledge that are often counterintuitive. I like seeing how social science gets translated into information that nonacademics find interesting.

Reading ritual: Because I read a lot when traveling, I often end up using tickets as bookmarks. I like to keep the bookmark in the book after finishing. When I come back to a book, often the ticket reminds me of where I was at the time and how that shaped my reaction to the book.