biographies

Game, Set, Match

Tennis racket and ballsIf like me you have been following Wimbledon over the past few weeks and will soon begin to have withdrawal symptoms why not pop by to your local library and learn some more about your favourite players. We have a range of books and also some DVDs which document the lives of some of the greatest players of all time, as well as some of the current tennis pros.

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.

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.

Folk, Folk, Folk!

Martin CarthyA quick blog for Musical Books, just want to tell you that I went to an amazing gig in Belfast last week to see Martin Carthy. This folk singer sings ancient songs from Irish, English and Scottish descent. His unusual and rhythmic guitar playing coupled with a distinctive voice keep ancient sea chanty and tales of war, woe and love alive in their purest form. His music has influenced Bob Dylan and his arrangement of Scarborough Fair was used by Simon and Garfunkel. His no nonsense stage presence and self-deprecating humour was a refreshing cherry on the top of an amazing performance. Check out this amazing album by him in the Music Library, Signs of Life.

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.

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.

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. 

International Women's Day - Four to Acknowledge

Mary McAleese, building bridgesToday, Thursday 8 March being International Women's Day, I thought I might make mention of just four great Irish women who have made, and continue to make, their mark on Irish society and internationally. The four are: Mary McAleese, Mary Robinson, Christina Noble, and Adi Roche. I will point you to books we have in stock that are either based on their lives or/and which they have authored themselves.

Of the four, the first that comes to my mind, for the reason that I got to meet her in Áras an Uachtaráin in June 2011, is Mary McAleese, who served as the eight President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. 

The eldest of nine children, President McAleese was born in 1951 in Belfast and became a barrister and a Professor of Law. In 1994, she became the first female Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Queen's University of Belfast. Her lifelong interests have been in justice, equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism and reconciliation. 

Life stories

George Harrison biographyBiographies can make fascinating reading: one of the better ones around at the moment is George Harrison:  living in the material world, available both as a book by Olivia Harrison and as a film by Martin Scorsese. The film in particular is well worth a look, with plenty of archive footage, and contributions from the likes of Eric Clapton, Phil Spector and Eric Idle, and is an in-depth look at probably  the most well-rounded, insightful, and interesting of The Beatles.

 

Just Kids by Patti SmithJust kids Patti Smith’s account of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, a relationship that  started off as teenage boyfriend/girlfriend, but developed over the years into something much deeper and more interesting. Very evocative of the art scene in 70s New York, and a deservedly popular read.

Feedback