Literary Award PosterCONGRATULATIONS to….

The “Feeling Lucky” book draw winners are;

L. Hill    D. Breen    K. O’Keefe    C. Dolan    J. Phillips    D. MacCormac    A. Bennett    O. O’Sullivan    C. Mc Gowan    S. Murphy

The 10 International IMPAC DUBLIN Award shortlisted books are yours.


'A Monster Calls' - double award winning book that everyone should read.

It's being billed as 'an historic moment in children's literature', as Patrick Ness wins the CILIP Carnegie Medal for his novel 'A Monster Calls' (Walker Books). Patrick also won last year for 'Monsters of Men' the third book in his 'Chaos Walking' trilogy (a feat only achieved once before by Peter Dickinson in 1979/80). Uniquely, 'A Monster Calls' has also been awarded the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration - the prize going to Jim Kay for his haunting illustrations that perfectly match the mood and subject of the novel.

Book Cover and Author Photograph L.- R. Patrick Ness & Jim Kay  book cover and illustrator photograph

As a huge fan of this book myself, I set my Book Club to reading it some months ago. They are an open-minded group and accepted my recommendation of this 'children's book' with good grace. Any expectations they had harboured of an 'easy read' were soon abandoned as they became engrossed in this challenging and emotionally mature exploration of grief, bereavement, fear and the consolations of family relationships that are 'good enough'. The overall verdict from our Book Club? - 'Everyone should read this book.' Seems like the CILIP judging panel agreed.

World Wide Knit in Public

This week sees an international event that you might blink and miss, it's World Wide Knit in Public Day/week, with events happening all around the world to show that there are knitters and crocheters too, it used to be a day but now it's from a Saturday to a Saturday (this year the 9th to 17th June) to accommodate as many people as possible.  The site lists man of the events happening, with several of them happening in Dublin.  The biggest will be (hopefully, weather permitting) in Stephen's Green Saturday 16th

Reasons to be Cheerful?

Smiley face, neutral face and sad faceA talk entitled "Why are some of us optimists and others pessimists and what can we do about it?" will take place in the Central Library on Thursday June 21st at 1pm. Renowned psychologist and professor of cognitive neuroscience, Elaine Fox of the University of Essex will answer the above question from a totally scientific point of view (The talk is part of Dublin City of Science 2012). Author of "Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain", Elaine will explain how we already have tendencies towards optimism or pessimism when we are born. However, all is not lost as she can reveal some techniques to help us change our mindsets.

111 Writers, 28 Hours, One Venue!!!

Irish Writers’ Centre: Read For The World: Breaking a Guinness World Record

This weekend Ireland will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for ‘Most Authors Reading Consecutively From Their Own Books’. The title record of 75 is currently held by the Berlin International Literature Festival. This weekend 111 Writers will read for 28 Hours in one venue.

Kick off is at 10am in the Writers' Centre on Parnell Square this Friday the 15th of June and slots of 15 minutes each will run for 28 hours, all through the night, finishing at 2pm on Bloomsday.


The Puzzle of Left-handedness by Rik SmitsI grew up in a household where half of us were left-handed, one was ambidextrous (my dad) and the last two were right-handed, even given this my left-handed little brother came home from school frustrated and nearly in tears, he couldn't do his letters, it was so hard.  When my mum (left-handed) saw that his teacher hadn't considered getting him to use his left hand she saw red.  He was shown how to use his pencil in his left hand and everything went fine for him after that (there was a phone call to the teacher as well). This was in the 80s by the way.

Recently I read a book called The Puzzle of Left-handedness by Rik Smits which talks about the anomaly that is left-handedness, something that about 10% of the world's population is, something that has been (and is still in some cultures) suppressed and discouraged, in fact some countries deny the existence of left-handedness in their population, and social mores link left-handedness with uncleanliness.  Rik is left-handed himself and offers little solutions but he writes this noting the differences.  It's an interesting book with interesting insights into how this minor marker can set people apart.

Feeling lucky? WIN HERE....


Win all TEN shortlisted books of the 2012 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award!!!

To celebrate the 2012 winner announcement on June 13 we are giving away 10 full sets of the shortlisted titles.



This week the Dublin Writer's Festival is taking place from June 4th - 10th.

There's a taste of everything from philosophy and fiction to poetry, music, film,discussions and workshops. Writers from home and abroad take part in the events. There are some interesting readings and creative writing workshops for children also. It is well worth having a look!  

Doc Watson Obituary

Trouble in MindDoc Watson was the best American Folk guitarist that lived. He died on the 29 May 2012 at the age of 89. He was born into a musical family and lost his sight before his first birthday. Although he never had a hit record or was in the American Billboard chart, he was a leader of the American folk music that became commercially popular particularly through the Coen Brothers film, "O Brother Where Art Thou?". His distinctive style was born out of playing fiddle parts in a country swing band. Before that the guitar was a background instrument to the ukulele and fiddle. His lightening quick finger and flat picking style is a pleasure to listen to as it accompanies his mellow voice filled with sincerity.

He has won seven Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kingdom of Heaven

The Cold Eye of Heaven by Christine Dwyer HickeyChristine Dwyer Hickey has won the Kerry Group Novel of the Year for Cold Eye of Heaven. Hickey's novel triumphed over a strong shortlist featuring Belinda McKeon, Anne Enright, Carlo Gebler and Kevin Barry. 

Cold Eye of Heaven is the warm and poignant tale of Farley, an old man living in Dublin, looking back over his life. It is an intimate story of one man and his hometown as they grow up through the 20th century. "This is Dwyer Hickey's most achieved, taut and nuanced novel to date." Irish Independent review.