My Life in Books – Hugh Lomas (Class of 2013)

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Hugh Lomas

Class of 2013


Songs of Innocence and Experience – William Blake


I became more aware of this interest in text and image upon reading this collection by Blake. Honest, exuberant poetry is combined with bright and spirited images in the manuscript, all the product of Blake’s mysterious mind. Most impressive is the fact that these poems are simple enough to be enjoyed by children, but also have a far deeper reach than a great deal of poetry.

Beowulf – Seamus Heaney


My first year studying English at University included (amongst other firsts) my first interaction with Old English poetry. Luckily, we got to read Beowulf in translation, and the depiction of the Anglo-Saxon world was fascinating. The poem focuses upon the life of Beowulf, a hero who fights two monsters and a dragon. This translation is a pleasure to read, and the text itself is fascinating. I would also highly recommend it to any Lord of the Rings fans, as it is a key source for Tolkien’s novels.

The Edge Chronicles – Paul Stewart and Chris Riddle


This series follows Twig, an orphan living in a fantasy world of trolls, monsters and flying pirates, as he explores this universe and discovers his heritage. The fantastical cosmology of the writing is brought to life by the multitude of illustrations by Riddle. The combination of text and image really used to catch my imagination and sparked an interest in the relationship between the two mediums. But most of all I just loved the imagination of the whole thing!

A Portrait of the Artist – James Joyce

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This autobiographically based novel follows a boy growing up in Ireland and his experiences. Honestly, I don’t feel I can relate to the often overly serious character Joyce creates in the novel. But what does interest me is the technical skill involved in this novel. Joyce is a real innovator of the novel form and here, in his earliest full length novel, you can see him experimenting with style, which will lead to the colossal work Ulysses.

Roddy Doyle  – Rover Adventure Series:

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Brought up in a family where having a pet dog was a constant, these stories following the adventures of Rover the dog and his family filled me with excitement and fascination. Clearly, I also found the frequent references to dog poo absolutely hilarious. I can still remember my mum reading these books to me, it would be useful to have someone do that now I have to read so much more!