- 04 Sep 18
A selection of leading Irish authors pick the best books for students to read, so that you'll know your Dostoyevsky from your Tolstoy during those 3am dorm-room discussions.
One Shakespeare play, such as Hamlet
I’m resisting the temptation to include a Collected Works as one of three book recommendations, partly because I don’t want to be that person, but also because the biggest barrier to accessing Shakespeare is the intimidation factor. I came to love Shakespeare by reading one play over and over again, because the writing is a magical substance that endlessly replenishes. Shakespeare is what prevents you from emptying the trash on your Mac because ‘an item is in use’. Its resonance is unwipeoutable, unshutdownable, unforcequittable, un-time-stamped. I tend not to re-read things. I’m far too slow a reader and there are so many books! But Shakespeare is the exception. (And all good poetry books. But then, Shakespeare writes only poetry.) Pick one play whose synopsis is most appealing to you. (For me, the right play was Hamlet.) Get a paper copy of that play as a single volume. Let it take hold.
Burning Your Boats by Angela Carter