I was delighted when the Times Higher invited me to contribute to their feature on ‘Books of 2015’. I then faced the problem of what to select, from the many books I’d enjoyed reading during the year.
I started by excluding books that I’d already written about elsewhere, such as Georgina Brewis’ wonderful study of student volunteering in Britain. I also decided to rule out works of fiction, and in a fit of academic earnestness I also struck off Ian Macmillan’s search for the meanings of Yorkshireness.
There may have been excellent books about higher education and adult learning over the year, but I couldn’t remember reading anything that struck me as exceptional. I ended up with two very different books, both of which made me think, and one of which made me smile.