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Rathmines Library Features!

Rathmines LibraryThe suburb of Rathmines made the shortlist in the recent Irish Times sponsored competition for 'The Best Place to Live in Ireland'. The overall winner, announced on the 25 June last, was Westport, Co. Mayo. But congrats to Rathmines for winning the 'suburb' category.

The video profiling the suburb of Rathmines is hosted on the Irish Times YouTube page and can be viewed below. AND we want to unashamedly point out that our wonderful Rathmines Public Library branch features prominently in the short (1:17) video!

Recent Crime Reads

At Night All Wolves are GreyIt's time to update you on some of the crime novels I have read in recent times. Hard not to notice that Nordic writers are ever present, no apologies, I am still working my way through the expansive library of Nordic crime fiction. But nice too that some of those Nordic authors mentioned here were new to me, as was the South African Deon Meyer. Always interesting to find someone new. But mentioned here too is one of my perennial favourites, Colin Cotterill. 

First up is 'At Night All Wolves are Grey' (1986) 4 stars by Gunnar Staalesen.

Aung San Suu Kyi in Dublin

The lady and the peacock, the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Peter PophamBurma pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi is in Dublin today as part of her European tour. On Saturday last, she  finally accepted her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. As part of her short visit here, she is meeting with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin, and later being presented with the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award at a concert in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (at Grand Canal Square just up the road from library headquarters here in Pearse Street).

As part of the event in the Grand Canal Square, Lord Mayor, Andrew Montague, will receive Aung San Suu Kyi, who will sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin. The Freedom of the City was awarded to Ms Suu Kyi on 18th March 2000, the award was accepted on her behalf by her son Kim at the time.

do1thing Read a Book

The Unfirgotten CoatThe do1thing campaign encourages us to read a book about the refugee experience. One of the best children's (or adult's) books on the subject is 'The Unforgotten Coat' by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I wrote a story here on the blog on a previous occasion highlighting the UNHCR do1thing campaign, which again this year is taking place in libraries across the country, starting June 18th. 

'The Unforgotten Coat' is available in every branch library in Dublin City - check the link for availability - or call in to your local library - it's a brilliant read! As promised in my previous story, Frank Cottrell Boyce did indeed visit Dublin last October as part of the Children's Book Festival 2011.

A Band of Authors, musical writers and literary musicians

Atomised There is a band you have probably never heard of called The Rock Bottom Remainders. However you will probably know a few of the members pretty well. Stephen King, Amy Tan and Mitch Albom to name a few. They got their name from a publishing term "remainders" which is left over stock of titles which are sold off at discount prices. All proceeds from their gigs and recordings go to charity. Another novelist who has turned the pen to music is Michel Houellebecq. His novel 'Atomised' won the International IMPAC Dublin literary Award in 2002. He released a single called Le Film Du Dimanche (The Sunday Film). It has been likened to Gainsbourg and Jack Brel, a huge compliment!


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.