Former presidents Obama and Clinton regularly publish their reading lists for all to consume. Because I'm clearly in the same company as them, I'll highlight some books on my reading shelf for the trip to Nepal. I've only read two of these so far, so my "notes" are currently a bit sparse.
Mark Liechty, Out Here in Kathmandu: Modernity on the Global Periphery (2011)
Framed as a series of essays (most of them previously published), Liechty's book explores how globalization is affecting Nepali life and culture -- not through some monolithic force, but through a complex negotiation between traditional and "outsourced" culture. The book is rich with empirical and theoretical information, as well as grounded narratives of modern life in Kathmandu.
Jennifer Rothchild, Gender Trouble Makers: Education and Empowerment in Nepal (2006)
An excellent ethnographic analysis of changing gender norms in Juri Village, a rural village in eastern Nepal. Rothchild found that while many gender norms remained powerfully intact, gender "trouble makers" successfully "challenged gender processes," which "illustrated individuals' capacity to negotiate the social construction and maintenance of gender."
Next books/reports up include:
Khaniya, Tirth Raj, New horizons in education in Nepal
Pramod Bhatta, Education in Nepal : problems, reforms, and social change
Malcolm Langford, University of Oslo, Andy Sumner, King's College London, Alicia Ely Yamin, Harvard University, The millennium development goals and human rights : past, present and future
McCormick, Patricia, Sold (2006)
David Seddon, Nepal : maintaining secularism - an up-hill struggle
If anyone has further suggestions, please let me know!