UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


World Book Day 2024: SSEES Recommendations

7 March 2024

To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 7 March 2024, our SSEES community is pleased to share their reading recommendations.

Student in SSEES library

“Should we Stay or should we go” by Lionel Shriver is worth reading for everyone with ageing parents. The story is an exploration of options for the elderly that are imaginative, if not ridiculous, and exhilarating, if not too close to home.” Prof Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society

“My doctorate is in Victorian literature, and I largely write on poetry, so perhaps something unfashionable, like Idylls of the King. (The book I own the most copies of is The Picture of Dorian Gray, though….)” - Dr Dominique Gracia, School Manager at UCL SSEES

“If I were to recommend one book it would be 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe which is about the colonization of Africa.” - Martin Wogido, Security Officer at UCL SSEES

“I often re-read my favourite classics like Kafka’s Castle, Milan Kundera, Hannah Arendt, Stefan Zweig and discover something new. If I had to choose only one, then it would probably be Karl Jaspers’ The Question of Guilt. That book has had a great impact on me as a scholar and person, and I often use it as my moral compass. Its message is simple yet complex, it’s nuanced yet generalisable. It’s short but can be discussed endlessly. I always try to sneak it in my classes whenever I can. I think everyone should read it.” - Dr Jessie Barton Hronesova, Lecturer in Political Sociology

“A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara - extremely depressing but left me thinking about the characters for months after finishing it.” - Lisa Walters, Marketing, Communications and Student Recruitment Manager at UCL SSEES

“If like me you have little time to read fiction but love American novels, I commend to you Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Not necessarily a recommendation, but I read E.H Carr’s Twenty Years’ Crisis as a History undergraduate student and it had a major influence in me wanting to study international relations.” - Dr Christian Emery, Departmental Tutor & Associate Professor (Teaching) in International Relations at UCL SSEES

“Translanguaging for Equal Opportunities: Speaking Romani at School by János Imre Heltai and Eszter Tarsoly. This rich and multi-layered monograph about how a translanguaging curriculum can support the learning experiences of bilingual Roma students in monolingual Hungarian schools in Hungary and Slovakia is a pleasure to read and explore. One thing that clearly stands out for me and would be of interest to researchers concerned with the advancement of linguistic and social justice is authors’ ethical stance, their compelling and exemplary devotion to collaborative research that puts community’s self-definition and terms of participation front and centre in the research process.” – Dr Jelena Calic, Asssociate Professor (Teaching) in Serbian and Croatian Language 

“I am happy to recommend the following book to read, either in Russian or in English; its images are below. It is because of this book I always ask for my Lecturers/Seminars on Literary Theory/Translation Theory, part of Modern Literary Theory core module, to be delivered in Semester 2. The book provides evidence that love is not an abstract notion.” - Dr Anna Ponomareva, Lecturer (Teaching) in Russian Language

World Book Day recommendations

Along with the great suggestions from our SSEES community, don't forget to check out our SSEES Library. It has a comprehensive collection covering our areas of expertise, and is a nice, quiet place to really dive into some deep reading.

Happy World Book Day from all at UCL SSEES!