books & reading

Italian Crime Novels Aplenty

August HeatItalian, or Italian-based, crime novels I have always enjoyed, and there are plenty of authors to choose from. My favourite has to be Andrea Camilleri, the Sicilian writer and creator of Inspector Salvo Montalbano. The Montalbano series are full of humour, the Sicilian landscape, Sicilian society and food! Montalbano loves his food! There is not a concentration on the mafia, just in case you might think there might be, which for me is good, but it is never far away. The crimes can be of ones of passion or greed or revenge, and the author does not go into morbid details, which may be a relief to some also. I always wait impatiently for the next instalment of Camilleri's genius. The first in the series is The Shape of Water (English translation 2002, original Italian 1994), while I await the arrival this June of the twelfth in the series, The Track of Sand. Each book has been such a huge pleasure to read, I always hate getting to the end.

Learning to drive

Driver Theory TestWhether you are about to sit your driver theory test or preparing to do the practical driving test, your local library is a one stop shop for all your needs! From application forms to books and CD-ROMS, the library has everything you need to help you on your way to becoming a competent and confident driver.

Sitting your driver theory test will be your first step, and the Official Driver Theory Test book and Driver Theory Test CD-ROM are available for you to borrow in any Dublin City Public Library. Once you pass the theory test and get your Learners Permit, preparing for and passing your practical driving test will be your next challenge!

Get It! – The Irish Driving Test is an excellent book, available from Dublin City Public Libraries, which covers many aspects of the practical driving test – from knowing what the various road signs mean, to parking and roundabouts.

Phoenix Con in 2011

I'm an unashamed Fantasy and Science Fiction Reader.  I firstly blame my uncle who gave me a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia when I made my Communion and later a neighbour who answered my mother's plea to save her from having to buy a lot of books for the summer when I was 11 or 12 by introducing me to Andre Norton's Witch World and Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels (

2011 Shortlist International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Logo of International IMPAC Dublin Literary AwardOn the 12 April the Shortlist of the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award will be announced. This will be chosen from the longlist of 162 titles which is uniquely based on nominations from libraries around the world. Most of these novels are available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries and can be found on our catalogue.

Norwegian Crime on the Rise!

Jo NesboI just recently finished reading 'The Leopard', the latest novel from Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian crime writer often compared to Steig Larsson. He was recently in Dublin and in conversation with Irish writer John Connolly in Easons, and I was thrilled to be able to attend and hear him speak. Also got a signed copy of 'The Snowman', so am a happy camper!

In Other Words - Irish Literature in Translation in Your Library

John Boyne, Hugo Hamilton, Tadhg Mac DhonnagáinDublin City Public Libraries and Ireland Literature presented a series of talks and readings, 'In Other Words . . .Irish Literature in Translation in Your Library' in the Central Library in November 2010.

Right: John Boyne, Hugo Hamilton, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin

Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian says:

This initiative, organised by Ireland Literature Exchange and Dublin’s Central Library, offers an opportunity to showcase the impressive range of Ireland’s literature in translation. It is particularly apt in the year that Dublin achieved recognition as a UNESCO City of Literature that members of the public can meet with some of the writers who made this designation possible.

Becoming John Gray

Bookcover: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeListen to a talk by Jerusha McCormack on John Gray and celebrity culture. The lecture was held at Dublin City Library & Archive on 26 April 2010 as part of Dublin: One City, One Book 2010.

John Gray was an ordinary working-class man who, as the alleged model for the “Dorian” of Oscar Wilde’s novel, became a household name. How did this happen? Did Wilde in fact invent John Gray? What forces colluded to help manufacture this new kind of fame –known to us now as “celebrity culture” – and what was its price? By retelling the story of the man who became Dorian Gray, Jerusha McCormack seeks to throw new light on the power of Wilde’s novel: to create as well as to destroy those around him – and finally to conscript the very life of the author himself.

Listen to the talk [play time: 58:38 minutes]:

Bulgarian Favourite Reads

Best loved classics donated to Central Library World Books Collection

The Bulgarian Ambassador Mr. Emil Yalnazov donated a selection of Bulgarian masterpieces of literature to the Lord Mayor of Dublin at a ceremony at the Central Library in February 2010.

These works were voted as Bulgaria’s favourite books in the Big Read Bulgaria nationwide poll participated in by over one third of the population that was organized by Bulgarian National Television in association with the BBC. Voting took place online, by text, telephone and traditional post.

The books are part of the World Books collection of the Central Library for the use of all the friends of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian community in Ireland.

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