books & reading

The Country Girls Trilogy, Dublin One City One Book 2019

The Country Girls trilogyDublin City Council’s Public Library Service is pleased to announce that The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O’Brien, is the Dublin One City One Book choice for 2019. Dublin One City One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year. The annual initiative includes a full programme of events based around the book. 

Published by Faber & Faber,  this volume is introduced by Eimear McBride and includes The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in Their Married Bliss, which changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s and inspired generations of readers and writers. The passion, artistry and courage of Edna O’Brien’s vision in these novels continue to resonate into the 21st century.

Dublin Festival of History 2018

Dublin Festival of History logoDublin Festival of History returns for it's sixth year and takes place from the 24th September to 7th October. This year will see over 140 events across the city, with talks, walks, tours and exhibitions on a wide range of topics, including the historical impact of gaming, former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ time spent in Ireland, a queer history of Kilmainham Gaol, an evening of conversation and music with Christy Dignam, as well as numerous events marking 100 years of Irish women’s suffrage. All events are free.

The Festival will culminate with a ‘Big Weekend’ series of talks at City Hall and the Printworks, Dublin Castle, taking place from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October featuring many best-selling historians. Michael Palin will bring to life the history of the ship HMS Erebus, Anne Applebaum will discuss Stalin’s war on the Ukraine in the 1930s, while Helen Rappaport will shed new light on the murder of the Russian Imperial Family after the Bolshevik Revolution, 100 years after their death.

Three Irish Authors on 2018 Man Booker Longlist!

Man Booker logoThirteen may be considered unlucky for some, but not to the thirteen on the Man Booker Prize longlist which includes three Irish authors this year. Donal Ryan’s "From a Low and Quiet Sea" is his second nomination for the prize after "Spinning Heart" in 2013. Anna Burns and Sally Rooney both receive their first nominations for "Milkman" and "Normal People" respectively.

Be a Summer Star!

Dublin City Public Libraries have just launched our Summer Stars Reading Adventure! Summer Stars is an exciting reading-based programme which is available free of charge to all children across the country.

The Summer Stars Reading Adventure will run during the summer in all of our libraries. Children are invited to register for the adventure and to try to read eight books over the summer months.

World Refugee Day 2018

UNHCRWednesday 20 June marks World Refugee Day. It is an opportunity to salute the strength and courage of refugees; the solidarity of those countries, including Ireland, who assist refugees; and the contribution refugees make to countries around the world.  To mark World Refugee Day, the UNHCR are asking us to stand together #WithRefugees and read a refugee book. Reading fiction and autobiography is an excellent way to explore human experiences and foster empathy and understanding in both children and adults.

There are many powerful first hand accounts by refugees as well as books written about refugees - including award-winning fiction. Why not borrow one of these for you your local library? Do you have a book club? Maybe you would consider adding one of these titles to the reading list.

Irish author Kit de Waal on Women's Prize Longlist

The Trick to TimeThe 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced on International Women's Day, 8 March. We were delighted to see Kit de Waal's second novel The Trick to Time featured on the 16 strong longlist. Her debut novel, the excellent My Name is Leon proved popular amongst readers and The Trick to Time is definitely one on our must read shelf! Set in Birmingham in the 1970s, a young Irish couple, Mona and William meet, fall in love and marry but tragedy soon forces them apart. Years later Mona pieces together her memories of this time in an effort to come to terms with her grief.

The longlist also features one of last year's most talked about novels, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and the highly (and long) anticipated second novel from Arundhati Roy, author of much-loved God of Small Things.  Six debut novelists sit alongside established names such as Pulitzer Prize winning author Jennfier Egan, who won many fans for her 2010 novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. Nicola Barker's H(a)ppy has already been award the Goldsmith's Prize 2017 and will surely be in the running.

Witnesses to War

Suite FrancaiseAs 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, Rathmines Library will host a book display called Witnesses to War throughout the month of March. This will include both fiction and non fiction works. These titles include personal accounts that document the callousness, cruelty and tragedy of war while others demonstrate how the experience of war continues to inform a writer’s work long after a war has ended.

Two of our chosen authors, Irene Nemirovsky and Anne Frank did not survive the wars they witnessed. Their accounts demand our attention and demonstrate the enduring power of the human imagination and spirit over the bleak realities, and sense of hopelessness that accompanies war.

Dublin: One City One Book 2018

The Long Gaze BackArdmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath Mícheál Mac Donncha, launches the 2018 Dublin: One City One Book programme of events today on the eve of International Women’s Day.

The Long Gaze BackAn Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson, joins a long list of illustrious titles as this year’s featured book in the Dublin: One City One Book Festival. As suggested by the title, this book is rooted in the present with emerging writers, while looking back to the flag bearers of Irish women’s writing.

The month-long festival will feature dramatised readings, music, song and poetry, discussions with the featured authors, walking tours, talks on topics such as the tradition of women’s short fiction in Ireland, gender balance and anthologies, writing workshops, exhibitions and much more.  Many of the events are free. Check out Dublin: One City, One Book events on in our libraries.

A history book club

book club loveI love books; reading books; buying or borrowing books; thinking about what I’ll read next, and of course, talking about books . I think I’ve been part of at least one book club (if not two or three) for the last ten years. Whether its friends, colleagues, my local library or part of an independent bookshop (shout out to Bob in the Gutter Bookshop for the excellent book clubs he runs!), being in a book club has always seemed like a great way to share an experience that can be so personal and make it communal.

As a Historian-in-Residence working with Dublin City Council and through Dublin City Libraries it made perfect sense to me to bring the two together… History + Libraries = a new History book club! But would the book club format work for history books? With fiction, the standard genre for any book club, it’s all about your opinion. Did you like the book, the characters, the plot, the style of writing…etc. You don’t have to be an expert on the subject of the book to discuss it. Whereas with a history book club would people feel that had to already be familiar with the historical content of the book before giving their opinion on it? There is such a huge interest in history in Dublin; in local, Irish and international history, I thought I’d take a chance. So began two new History book clubs in Terenure and Pembroke Libraries. So far they’ve been going great!

Who Next…? A guide to children's authors

Children's booksWho Next...? is specially designed to help parents, teachers and librarians in encouraging children and young people to explore the world of reading. When children ask: “Who can I read next?” or “Who writes like my favourite author?”, the answers are in Who Next…? 

This is a great tool to help children explore the world of reading. As the award winning author, Alan Gibbons, says “A reading child is a successful child”. Writers of children’s fiction are listed with suggestions of other authors who write in a similar way, together with key book and series titles.

Feedback