Three Tang Dynasty Poets

Three Tang Dynasty Poets (Penguin Little Black Classics)

Just before I left to spend three weeks visiting friends and students in China, I decided to sit down and read the collection of Tang Dynasty poetry from Penguin Little Black Classics. I was really glad I did this before I went, not just because I learnt a lot about Chinese literature and history from the collection, but also because my Chinese friends were so excited to hear that I knew who these poets were. The fact that a series of books published in the UK would include a collection of poems from China brought many of my friends a lot of joy. Read more

As You Like It

As You Like It by William Shakespeare

As You Like It is one of those plays which has been recommended to me many times, but I had never got round to reading. Since this year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, it seemed as good a time as any to get stuck into some of his works I’ve never read before, and As You Like It was always at the top of that list. It stood out to me because whenever people recommended it to me, they always commented on how much they thought I would enjoy it rather than it just being a classic Shakespeare play to read. Having read it, I can definitely see why that was the case: this is a play with great female characters, strong themes of friendship, and the comedy does not come from embarrassing or awkward situations. Read more