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By Gabrielle Murphy for the University of Melbourne.
The University of Melbourne’s 10 Great Books introduces readers to classics they’ve always wanted to read, know they should have, but never got around to.
It’s a truism that constant readers read constantly. But, even so, they probably haven’t got close to reading everything they think they should. And, like all readers, they’re attracted to authors or titles they know they like or are familiar with.
So when a group of distinguished scholars are asked to name their top 10 books, everyone is encouraged to go beyond their reading comfort zone.
“The 10 Great Books series gives readers the impetus to read classics they’ve always thought they should, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy,” says Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Mark Considine.
This year the University of Melbourne hosted its second 10 Great Books series, chosen by leading academics and intellectuals who have a close relationship with the University of Melbourne.
After another relaxing pastime as well as reading? Here, the Paper Tiger demonstrates an easy meditation. (Post continues after video.)
10 great books in 2016
1. Capital Karl Marx
Recommended by: Professor Peter McPhee, historian and international authority on the French Revolution.
Says Professor McPhee: Volume 1 of Das Kapital was published in 1867 during a peak of unrest in western Europe. It’s a great and brilliant book by one of the most influential thinkers of all time but reading it gives us particular challenges.
2. Dubliners James Joyce
Recommended by: Professor Gillian Russell, Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies at the University of Melbourne, who publishes widely on Irish and British literature and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with a focus on theatre, war, sociability, and gender.
Says Professor Russell: Published just over a hundred years ago in 1914, Dubliners is the astonishing work of a passionate young man. One of the reasons it has endured is that it’s not only Irish people who see themselves in the mirror Joyce presents us.