Tadhg Hickey, author of A Portrait of the Piss Artist as a Young Man recommends a fantastic flurry of books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Tadhg's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
Awareness by Anthony DeMello.
It's not the most esoteric book I've read, it doesn't contain particularly complex ideas (rather the contrary) but Anthony De Mello's Awareness is certainly the smartest book I know. It's a guide to experiencing the world as it is, not as our distorted thinking tells us it is. The solutions are so simple you'd nearly miss them.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World by Kehinde Andrews.
The New Age of Empire - How Racism & Colonialism Still Rule The World by Kehinde Andrews. The most important word in Andrews' title is 'still'. How often are conversations about colonialism shut down by conservatives who say, 'That's the past, move on'. Andrews expertly details that racism & colonialism are still the pillars of global economic and political hegemony for the West. It is filled with jaw-dropping facts eg. Up until 2015, Britons, through taxation, were still paying off the loan used to compensate slave traders in 1807 at the time of abolition. Naturally, the slaves themselves didn't get a penny. It's an astonishingly good read.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
I read Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger at the start of secondary school, and although I found it mesmerising, it was probably a bad time to get the idea into your head that most people are 'phonies'. Suddenly all my teachers and parents seemed dodgy. As a teenager it was revolutionary to read about a young man with all the same fears and desires and self-obsessions I had. It was vicarious and exhilarating.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
Paper all the way. My head hurts if I'm on a screen too long. I don't generally enjoy audiobooks because I want to experience the writing myself unencumbered, without being led by an actor. Having said all that, my audiobook is brilliant and you should all buy it.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
Waterstones on Patrick st. in Cork is obviously the greatest bookstore ever. I don't understand how this was even a question.
Image Copyrights: Bonnier Books Ltd (A Portrait of the Piss Artist as a Young Man), HarperCollins Publishers (Awareness), Penguin Books Ltd (The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World), Penguin Books Ltd (The Catcher in the Rye).