Ireland Book Reviews
By: Carly Blatt (justin) 2012.01.06
Let's Go Ireland 2000
Written by Harvard students, Let's Go is often known as the definitive
backpacker guidebook. Providing information on accommodations and activities
geared toward the young and independent traveler, it's sometimes treated
as a "Bible", and is found in almost every hostel. The publication provides
color maps for major cities and pages describing Ireland's history,
music, legends, and tradition. Extensive listings of hostels with candid
descriptions and directions are included. The writing style is informal
and talkative. One drawback is that entire descriptions of the smaller
towns are occasionally shoved into one difficult-to-read paragraph.
There's a section on suggested itineraries, as well as a detailed description
of various Irish beers. Let's Go is revised every year.
Michelin Tourist Green Guide Ireland
For color photos and drawings complementing historical information on Ireland in
a simple format, check out Michelin's guide. The top sights and excursions
for each city are listed, with a helpful section with admission fees
for popular attractions. If you are mainly interested in being a typical
tourist and focusing on "the sights", this is a good option. The guide
provides helpful road directions for people traveling by car, but little
help for those riding the rails or buses. For listings on hotels and
restaurants, pick up the Red Guide as well.
Lonely Planet Ireland
If you're looking for extensive reading on Ireland's history, art, culture,
and people, Lonely Planet is for you. The book also includes a detailed
activity chapter, describing the various experiences Ireland has to
offer in one easily digestible section. The maps in Lonely Planet are
generally good, complete with markers pinpointing locations of hostels,
attractions, and other points of interest. Tidbits of interesting facts
and information are scattered throughout the main text. If you don't
have the stamina to read the detailed history of Ireland, these snippets
are a great way to get a little culture. In addition, LP's two-column
format makes the text particularly easy to scan for pertinent facts.
Culture Shock! Ireland: A guide to customs and etiquette
Not a guidebook per se, but rather a guide to understanding the Irish
people from a non-tourist standpoint. This is particularly helpful to
read if you're considering an extended visit, or plan to study or work
in Ireland. It is not geared toward a typical visitor whose main goal
is to kiss the Blarney stone, but rather to a traveler who wants to
meet and understand the locals. The book provides an understanding of
the country's history, translating Irish slang, and avoiding stereotyping.
Other topics covered include pub culture, the Irish work ethic, and
attitudes on money and sex. A must read for people who want to understand
the culture and meet the people, not just speed through a quick visit.