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In the mood for a film? Then try... In the Mood for Love!

In the Mood for LoveThe World Cinema DVD Club Film for the month of May is 'In the Mood for Love' (Year: 2000; Length: 94mins; Language: Cantonese, English subtitles), a Hong Kong-based film directed by Wong Kar-Wai.

A man and a woman move in to neighbouring Hong Kong apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of having affairs.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it received a nomination for the Palme d'Or. It has also been a multiple award winner and was nominated for a (British) BAFTA in 2001. Read more about the film in the IMDb.

Rocks in the Belly by Jon Bauer

Rocks in the Belly'Rocks in the Belly' by Jon Bauer came to my attention when it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012.  As I read this book, I found its subject matter dark, deep and somewhat disturbing. But the plot is free flowing and gripping and the characters are interesting, intense and realistic. Though the character of "Auntie Deadly" does not feature prominently in the story, the author cleverly uses imagery to help create a lasting impression of this person in the readers mind. 

The author also has the ability to draw the reader into commonplace situations which helped me get to know the characters very well. Jon Bauer cleverly creates a sense of foreboding throughout the book. The plot in Rocks in the Belly moves from the life of the narrator as an eight year old boy and his life as an adult. I can sometimes find it hard to read books that move from the past to the present and I can sometimes lose my way in the plot. But the author does this superbly and clearly and it gives an added dimension to the plot and contributes greatly to the storyline. 

Tom Crean

In a small village in County Kerry called Annascaul, there is a pub called "The South Pole Inn". It is an unusual name for a pub found in a small village in Ireland, thousands of miles away from the Antarctic. But the pub has direct links to Tom Crean, the man who originally owned it.

Tom Crean

An unsung hero, Tom Crean - Antarctic survivor by Michael Smith

Tom Crean was born on 20th July 1877, near Annascaul. He was one of ten children. Times would have been hard on the farm and Tom Crean officially enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1893. He had not yet celebrated his sixteenth birthday.

The Testament of Jessie Lamb Wins Science Fiction Award

The Testament of Jessie LambBritish novelist Jane Rogers has won the UK's top science fiction prize, the Arthur C Clarke Award, for her novel 'The Testament of Jessie Lamb'. Rogers has been a prize winner before, but this is her first venture into science fiction. The book was also on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize last year.

'The Testament of Jessie Lamb' is the story of a 16-year old girl who wants to save humanity after an act of biological terrorism releases a deadly virus which only affects pregnant women. It would seem that the book is  somewhat of a surprise but popular winner.

Females and Folk in Musical Books

Under the Ivy There's some lovely stuff in our new stock, I came across these gems.

I'll start with Under the Ivy: The story of Kate Bush. Kate Bush.... need I say more? No, but I will remind you that she was the first female artist ever to have a UK number one with a self penned song at the age of nineteen. This book is a series of interviews with people who worked closely with her throughout her career. To quote the Mojo Magazine (which is held in the Music Library) it's a "compelling examination of her music". Get your boxfresh copy now.

Of James and John

Mural in Cannery Row - the only remains of the fish canneries today

As Dublin: One City, One Book 2012 draws to a close and we come to the end of 'Dubliners', I am thinking back to last month when I was in California and stopped in Monterey at Cannery Row. This is the background of one of my favourite authors, John Steinbeck, and set me thinking about these writers and where they come from.

James Joyce and John Steinbeck - both world renowned writers, both part of the very fabric of their home place, and both the authors of seriously weighty, literary novels.

Steinbeck had his first success with a lighter work, 'Tortilla Flat', a series of humorous stories about the paisanos who lived around the fish canneries of Monterey just after WW1.

Right: Mural in Cannery Row - the only remains of the fish canneries today.

The International John McGahern Seminar

John McGahernLast year the Digital Projects Section of Dublin City Public Libraries engaged in a fruitful collaboration with the International John McGahern Seminar and The John McGahern Yearbook, Vol. 4 received widespread acclaim in the  National Media. We are only too happy to draw attention to this year's event which takes place in Carrick-on-Shannon on 24-26th May. John McGahern is recognised as one of the finest Irish writers and his work is indelibly linked to his home county. The John McGahern Seminar is one of the literary highlights of the summer and hopefully Pop Zeus will see some of ye there.

Shopping for books in Dublin: 1782

Rocque's Map of Dublin 1756

Of all the wonderful shops in the city I love the bookshops best. In the past they congregated in Skinner Row, but now, since the mid 1770s, they have more visible presences on Dame Street and in the little courts off it. I love the way they display their new publications outside the front door or pinned to the door post. You can smell the fresh ink and feel the lovely texture of the new paper. I love the leisurely atmosphere as readers slowly work their way around the shop examining all the exciting new books and pamphlets.

Fiction and Fact (?????) for Musical Books.

Hello again,

this Month in Musical Books I have picked a great piece of fiction by Irish writer Claire Kilroy titled 'Tenderwire'.

tenderwireThe narrator, Eve Tyne is an Irish solo violinist who's life is turned upside down when she acquires a rare del Guso violin and is possessed by its sound and beauty.

The acquisition transforms her career and is almost symbolic of her private life which is spiralling out of control. This is a really well written fast paced read with some clever unexpected twists. Check it out.

LifeThe other one I've chosen is 'Life' by Keith Richards.

I was ill over Christmas and confined to bed so the size of this volume didn't put me off. Also I could not drink and the hardest thing I was consuming was lemsip so at least I could celebrate the festive season by proxy of Keith Richard's hell raising. 

Walking Talking Books

The Help'Let me tell you a story'...who can resist that invitation? With longer evenings and warmer weather I have no more excuses for postponing my 'fitness programme'. So out come my walking books and I am out the door with my favourite walking companion - an audiobook.

No more boredom, no more pedometer watching, no more short cuts. I can even go the extra mile and still look forward to the next walk. And the high moral ground is luxurious - exercise of body and soul!

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