The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Seeking inspiration?

Who's reading what? I asked the AQR Committee recently. The results form part of our occasional reading list.

Between Therapist & Client: The New Relationship, Michael Kahn, St Martin's Press
I am re-reading this inspiring book to remind myself that, contrary to the impression you might get from research conferences and social media, there is more to qual than just counting BE biases and distributing mobile apps. It is (still) the power (and mystery) of the research/respondent relationship that offers the deepest insight into the mind of the consumer. Peter Totman

Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero, Jessica Thom, Souvenir Press
Jessica suffers from Tourettes and one of her tics is to say the word "biscuit" aloud about 16 times a minute, 6 million in a year! The book is a month-by-month account of a year in her life and it is full of courage, humour, compassion as well as illustrations of crass ignorance and cruelty. Jessica has a website and blog "Touretteshero" and you will be delighted by your visit. Geoff Bayley

www.thisamericanlife.org
It's worth subscribing to this weekly, hour-long public broadcasting show for the stories. The (mostly) true stories they pick, the way they research them, the interviewing that gives people a voice, and the quality of production guarantees an hour well spent. Often poignant, sometimes funny, always insightful: I rarely miss an episode. Paul Hutchings

Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett, Pan
I got absolutely hooked on this novel, knew nothing about it when I picked it up at the airport and have not found anything to better it yet! Vanessa Rogers

Consider the Lobster, David Foster Wallace, Abacus
I appreciate this one isn't exactly new on the market — originally published in 2005 — but it is a fantastic and thought-provoking collection of essays from the brilliant, surreal, unique mind of David Foster Wallace. The essays look at everything from ghost written sports biographies through to the ethics of consumer gratification, and from Kafka to the American porn industry "Oscars". Foster Wallace has a real knack for looking at issues in a truly original way and then articulating them in an enormously enviable style of prose. If you find yourself hooked on his work I can also recommend, among others, Oblivion: Stories. It contains a wonderful tale about a focus group that is guaranteed to make you simultaneously smile and question yourself. Kirsty Yeomans

www.99percentinvisible.org
Presented by Roman Mars and described as a "tiny podcast about design". Worth a listen because they're lovely and short, brilliantly diverse, not at all pretentious or worthy and endlessly curiosity-inducing. Chloe Fowler

www.freakonomics.com/radio
Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner present a regularly updated series of engaging, pithy, living and breathing series of lessons on behavioural economics and all things wonderfully clever. Chloe Fowler

 

Louella Miles
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2013