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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.
ISBN 0-312-24471-1

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.
ISBN 2-06-153503-8

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.
ISBN 0-86442-530-9

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.
ISBN 1-55868-247-3

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