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You can choose your friends...

The Addams FamilyThe family is a rich source of material for novelists – the dramas, feuds, bonding, support, recriminations, and downright insanity of families have kept writers in ideas for centuries. Happy families don’t tend to make for good reading: all happy families are alike, and who’d want to be a Walton anyway? Here are a couple of suggested reads which revolve around the ups and downs of family life.

 

Everything ChangesEverything Changes by Jonathan Tropper is the story of Zack, a thirtysomething who finds life becoming increasingly complicated: unhappily engaged to the ideal woman, secretly in love with the widow of his best friend who died in a car crash, and, along with his brothers and mother, still suffering the fallout from being abandoned twenty years earlier by philandering Norm. Norm’s reappearance on the scene, derelict and Viagra-fuelled, and his (pretty funny!) attempts to patch things up with his family, form the catalyst for Zack to take back control of his life. Lots of great characters,  particularly Norm and housemate Jed. Tropper looks at the complications of family loyalties and the sheer inertia that can take over people when going through tough times in a way that’s both humourous and realistic.

Ghost Town!

Fiona leaps the bonfire by Patricia LynchView the Ghost Town Image Gallery.

Hallowe'en is sometimes thought of an American feast, with its trick-or-treating, pumpkins, fancy dress parties and scary movies, but long before this – indeed, as far back as Celtic times - our ancestors celebrated Samhain, the beginning of the dark time of the year. The Ghost Town Image Gallery showcases the Irish, and specifically Dublin, traditions of past times, with more than a nod to the celebrated Gothic writers and the haunted places of the city. It introduces viewers to such supernatural characters as the evil Dolocher and the murderess Darkey Kelly and also to gentler spirits such as that of Archbishop Marsh.

The gallery also features a Worksheet for Primary School students.

Life On Mars?

Science Fiction is 'Literary Marmite' for most readers. Either you love it or you hate it - although, curiously, any scepticism about the genre disappears once it is dressed up as 'literary fiction', e.g.   1984, A Clockwork Orange, Never Let Me Go, Cloud Atlas, The Road, anything by the great J.G. Ballard.

Election / Referendum Day

e-RegRaheny Library will be closed on Thursday, 27th October, to facilitate the library premises being used as a polling station. The children's library will be closed from 1.00pm on Wednesday the 26th, until 1.00pm (or as soon as possible afterwards) on Friday the 28th.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.

eReg: Register of Electors Online Enquiries.

Curious Ear and curious ear...

book cover taking sidesNo, this post hasn't anything to do with Alice in Wonderland - I just couldn't resist the lame pun (I'm a tabloid sub-editor in an alternative life). The 'curious ear' I refer to is the RTE radio programme The Curious Ear, part of RTE radio's Documentary on One. The Curious Ear team were at the Central Library on Monday 10th October to record a visit by Irish children's author Brian Gallagher and his young readers and listeners. Brian has just published his second historical novel for young readers, 'Taking Sides' set in Dublin during the Civil War. The book is an exciting read, following the fortunes of a group of young friends, as they get caught up in a Civil War that tears families and a country apart.

Rathmines and Beyond: A Literary Heritage

Rathmines Library, front facadeDublin’s status as a literary city was recognised in 2010 by its designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. Rathmines and its surrounding areas could make a convincing argument for being the most literary quarter of our literary city. Birthplace of James Joyce, born at a time when Rathmines’ image was solid, bourgeois and red-brick, the township changed over time, so that by the early 20th century it had become a positive hotbed of political activists and creative types. As the century progressed, its large houses were divided into separate units - "flatland" came into being, and Rathmines became the first stop for many young people moving from the countryside into Dublin. This trend was discontinued in the early 21st century, but throughout all these changes, the area remained home to a wide range of journalists and novelists, poets and playwrights, writers’ groups and reading clubs, with its fine library very much at the heart of this literary activity.

Right: The facade of Rathmines Public Library, opened on the 24th October, 1913.
(Architectural and other information about the building).  

Every book it's reader

Banned Books Week was on recently, a week in the US to highlight some of the books that are "challenged" and reasons for these challenges.  I thought about talking about reasons to ban a book.  After some thought, I actually couldn't think of any real reason to ban a book. Some books might irritate me or try my patience (don't get me started on Twilight!) but as an adult I have the choice.  I can choose to abandon a book mid-way through, and I have.  There aren't many and they really aren't books I'd recommend to anyone, but I know there are fans of those books and I'd hate to tell them they're wrong.

Rachel Allen's New Book 'Easy Meals'

Rachel Allen Easy MealsRachel Allen’s new cook book 'Easy Meals. Over 180 Delicious Recipes to get you Through your Life' is now available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries. Included in her new book are lots of quick and trouble-free recipes and plenty of great ideas such as her one pot recipes and recipes that have just five ingredients.

As always her book is full of colourful pictures and has lots of interesting and original combinations of ingredients for example Pork, Chorizo, Haricot Beans with Red Wine and Chickpea and Aubergine Salad.

Miss Otis Regrets

The very best of Cole Porter songbookTake the Otis elevator to the first floor of the Ilac Centre and enter the Central Library. Turn right at the library entrance and walk down to the Music Library where the music library staff will, on request, lure the oft regretful Miss Otis off the shelf, urging her to accept your invitation to repeat her melancholy tale of betrayal.

"Miss Otis Regrets" is a song by Cole Porter from the 1930s. Cole Porter is reputed to have said that he could write a song about anything even an elevator. The song is written in the blues style and tells the story of a woman who is jailed and hanged having shot her seducer after being jilted and abandoned.

Everyone remembers their last summer of Primary School

The Unforgotten Coat

A tear wells in my right eye, spills over and rolls slowly down my cheek. I can't help it. As it drips off my chin I sigh with satisfaction and close over the last page of 'The Unforgotten Coat' by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I read this book in one sitting, and I challenge anyone to put it down once begun. 'The Unforgotten Coat' was commissioned for the Reader's Organisation 'Our Read' programme in the United Kingdom and was inspired by a true story of refugees, immigration and deportation. 

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