Multi-Faith and Belief Chaplaincy, For All Faiths and None

PhD Book Club

The best reads about PhD life. Meets twice each semester.

Photograph of book shelves in a library filled with lots of different coloured books

Read more about PhD Book Club in this blog post by Harriet and Kitty for Teaching Matters.

For our next book, we return to fiction, with the spinetingling archival mystery THE HISTORIAN, by Elizabeth Kostova. We'll meet on Friday 10th March, 4-5pm, in the Chaplaincy, to discuss legend, the weight of history, and the unexpected perils of ancient libraries...

Email to register for PhD Book Club. Copies of our books (current and previous) are available for members to borrow from the PhD Book Club Library. 



(synopsis: Goodreads)

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of, a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history. The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself--to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.

Email to register for PhD Book Club.

Photograph of an open book sitting on top of a wooden tray. On top of the book is a pair of brown reading glasses.