author spotlight

Dublin Literary Award Winner 2020: Milkman by Anna Burns

Literary Award logoIrish author Anna Burns has won the 2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council, for her novel Milkman. With prize money of €100,000, the Award is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Anna Burns is the first writer from Northern Ireland and the fourth woman to claim the prestigious award in its 25-year history.

Dublin One City One Book and the novel Tatty

book titleHave you noticed the Tatty street banners flying high around St. Stephens Green and the one on Liberty Hall recently? Tatty is a novel by Christine Dwyer Hickey, which was first published in 2004, and this year was chosen as the Dublin One City One Book choice.

Irish writer Maggie O’Farrell's novel wins major €33k prize

book titleMaggie O’Farrell has won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction for Hamnet, her novel inspired by the life and death of Shakespeare’s only son. It was chosen from a shortlist that included the Booker Prize winning Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel , the concluding part of her double Booker winning Wolf Hall trilogy.

Happy Pear Review

readingWhen my parents discovered the Happy Pear in November 2019, I thought to myself, ‘this is going to be another one of their phases’. For instance, a few years ago my father took up jam making. It’s not that my parents can’t cook. On the contrary, they can cook, very well! It’s that, when they decide that they like something, they throw themselves wholeheartedly into it… and then two months later, they have moved on. The jam sugar with added pectin… well, it’s still in the press.

Trafas min, Skoti!

ShatnerThe strength of a biography of the artist lies in the reader’s desperate willingness to explore and re-examine the fruits of the artist’s labour. On completing William Shatner’s autobiography Up Till Now, I studied the author’s revolutionary interpretation of Henry V (or Henry Five as the author refers to it); his Maoist deconstruction of the role in Michael Langham’s 1953 production led to a reconceptualisation of the art of acting - a counterpoint to Christopher Plummer’s more classical interpretation.

Jaws. Book versus Film

Jaws‘The book is better’ is a well rehearsed librarian’s film review. Well usually the book is better, but in this case, ‘Jaws’ is the original summer block busting film and a watershed (pardon the pun) in cinema history. You can’t turn on the television these days without ‘Jaws’ or the sequels being screened on one station or another. Everybody can quote the lines, wear the t-shirt, and play the theme tune on the piano. But what of the book from which it originated?

Normal People by Sally Rooney

readingNow that you have seen almost every movie and TV show ever made you have probably realised that it is no coincidence that great books, in the right hands, often make great movies and television.

For the love of libraries: The Library Book by Susan Orlean

readingOn the morning of 29 April 1986 a fire broke out in Los Angeles Public Library. It became the biggest library fire in American history: it raged for more than seven hours, destroying more than 400,000 books and badly damaging the building. The people of Los Angeles were distraught because they loved their library.

Spark Joy by Marie Kondo book review

authorIs “Spark Joy, an Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying” really a life changer or just another fashion trend? Is the ‘queen of tidying’ deserving of her title? Marie Kondo’s chuck it if it doesn’t spark joy method of tidying is a great way to tackle the often tumultuous job of tidying providing a guide to the decision making necessary in choosing the things you really want to bring with you into the future.

Author Spotlight: Robin Stevens

authorRobin Stevens is an American-born English woman author of children's fiction, best known for her Murder Most Unladylike series. She has spoken of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction as an influence on her work.