Today is World Book Day; the biggest international celebration of books and reading. This is the thirteenth year that World Book Day has been celebrated in Ireland and in conjunction with Bookcrossing.com the Irish branch of World Book Day will leave books in public places throughout Ireland to encourage people to pick up a book and read. The aim is to encourage people to recyle their books and be more eco-friendly and yes- this means giving books away but you can get one in return!
Looking for a book to read? To mark World Book Day today we thought that we would remind you of some of the answers that were given when we asked a range of historians ‘What book do you wish you had written?’
Nicholas Canny (RIA): J. H. Elliot’s The Old World and the New (Cambridge a long time ago)- initially given as the Wiles Lectures in QUB.
Myles Dungan (RTE): Joseph Heller’s Catch 22.
Cathy Hayes (National Manuscripts Commission) : ‘Gabriel García Márquez’s One hundred years of solitude. – I am a fan of magical realism as real life can be quite dull.’
James Kelly (St. Patrick’s College): ‘I do not wish I had written books that I have read by other authors, admirable though many are. However, there are a number of books I have imagined that if time and circumstances had permitted I would like to write – and might yet do so.’
Ivar McGrath (UCD): Tolstoy, War and Peace
Kate O’Malley (Irish Foreign Policy Project): Any Harry Potter book. (Not that I’ve read them, so you know what I’m getting at.)
Kevin Whelan (Smurfit director of the Keough Notre Dame Centre): Marilynne Robinson, Home.
And here is the list of books that we wish we had written:
Juliana: ‘Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. She may be the best nonfiction writer I have ever read.’
Lisa: Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman.
Christina: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
Kevin: Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children.