Tembusu Reading Pods AY2016/17 Sem 2

January 12, 2017

Care to read and discuss a book outside your curriculum this semester? You need only pay S$10 for the book of your choice. Simply choose one of the eleven titles offered by students and fellows of Tembusu college and register for your reading pod at Eventbrite (click on the link) by 20th January, Friday. Each reading pod accommodates only 5 participants excluding the facilitator(s). Hurry while stocks last

Click on the images for more information.

1. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. Conducted by Shamraz Anver

2. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley. Conducted by Dr. John van Wyhe
This book is shockingly unconventional and questions some of the most fundamental beliefs of our age. It is described as: “A counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better….The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10,000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years…Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous.”

3. The Story of Sex: From Apes to Robots by Philippe Brenot. Conducted by Dr. Catelijne Coopmans and Jenny Zhang

4. Hiroshima Mon Amour by Marguerite Duras. Conducted by Dr. Jeremy Fernando (Sessions will be on conducted Mondays 6pm, Date TBC)

5. Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga by Hunter S. Thompson. Conducted by Dr. Adam Staley Groves

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Conducted by Deesha Menon
The God of Small Things is premised, in a careful balance of both poignance and simplicity, on Love Laws: of who should be loved and how. Roy fashions a complex web of relationships that are at first alien and un-homely -- broken, forbidden, biased, and incestuous -- but soon become comfortably familiar, and no less tragic. 

7. In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria. Conducted by Pranay Arvind Suryavanshi

8. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. Conducted by Tshin Qi Zhou 

9. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Conducted by Lua Jiong How
What do you get when you assemble a mess of writings that is based on a blind man’s review of a documentary about a house with internal dimensions exceeding its exterior measurements that perhaps never existed, subsequently edited and annotated by a schizophrenic tattoo artist with degenerating sanity? Enter House of Leaves, a piece of ergodic literature that has attained a cult following. Some consider it horror, others call it a love story. The author says it is a conversation between three people. Whether you consider it pretentious or sophisticated, this is not a book for the faint of heart. It will not hold your hand and guide you, but will consume you. Everything means something, and everything is deliberately obscured. Nothing about this book is passive as it requires effort to decode, and it trusts you to do so. Spend some time to chew on it, otherwise “this is not for you.”(Danielewski, 2000) 

10. All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks. Conducted by Erica Lim

11. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Conducted by Amanda Soon Wan Shin

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.