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In My Own Time

Raymond Soltysek, Partnership, pedagogy and placement learning module leader (secondary) at the University of Strathclyde

Raymond Soltysek, Partnership, pedagogy and placement learning module leader (secondary) at the University of Strathclyde

Books

- It's terrible for an English teacher and a writer to admit, but I can't seem to settle into a book at the moment; however, when I'm in the mood, I devour dozens at a time. I love Kazuo Ishiguro's work; his The Unconsoled (pictured) is a masterpiece. I'm also partial to John Irving and Paul Auster, crime fiction from Denise Mina and historical non-fiction, especially Antony Beevor. The best book I've read in the past year, though, was James B. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom.

Music

- I'm always searching for new music, and attend gigs as often as I can. I discovered the Womad (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival this year, which will now be a regular date on my summer calendar. I love world music: Uzbek trip-hop, Scandinavian wonky-pop, Brazilian jazz-funk, sub- Saharan desert blues, Americana and so much more. My favourite is Portuguese fado. I've fallen in love with a band called Deolinda, who create the happiest music on the planet. My hero is Paul Simon, the greatest songwriter of the past 50 years. I still buy LPs, too, and my record deck is my pride and joy.

Film and TV

- I have a penchant for sci-fi, but avoid CGI blockbusters. I much prefer quirky films such as Moon, Never Let Me Go (pictured) and Another Earth. I also adore Asian cinema; martial arts epics such as Hero are among the most visually beautiful films I've ever seen, and Takeshi Kitano's gangster movies, such as Sonatine, are brilliant. I don't watch TV regularly, but occasionally overdose on box sets. I've lost many weekends to The West Wing, The Sopranos and the best cop series of all time, The Shield.

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