books & reading

Tragedy off the south coast – Sir Hugh Lane one of the casualties

Freeman JournalDublin, Monday, 10 May 1915. Following the tragic loss of RMS Lusitania, on Friday afternoon 7 May, off the south coast of Ireland near the Old Head of Kinsale, in which 1,198 passengers and crew were drowned, it is reported that Sir Hugh Lane, benefactor to this city, is among the casualties. The ship, en route from New York to Liverpool, with civilian passengers, seems to have been torpedoed by a German U-Boat.

2015 UNESCO World Book Day

UNESCO LogoToday (23 April, 2015) is a very special day for libraries everywhere: UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. According to UNESCO's website, World Book and Copyright Day is "an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them. This is the 18th year of the celebration.

UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Their mission "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information." They aim to achieve this mission by promoting knowledge of science, fostering cultures of diversity and peace, and increasing the rates of literacy across the globe.

New Adult Fiction Talking Books Recommended Reads

Born in IceThere's a great resource offered by libraries that often falls under the radar. Talking books, whether on cassette, CD, or audio book, aren't often used, but should be! They can supply hands-free entertainment in the car, on a run, or while making dinner. There are many great titles in every genre offered by the Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive, and ready for use.

Below are a few titles just added to the library's collection. See if any spark your interest! 

Dublin: One City, One Book 2015 is Launched!

Roddy DoyleDublin will become Barrytown in April as the city celebrates Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy, this year’s Dublin: One City One Book choice.

Right: Author Roddy Doyle at the launch of Dublin: One City, One Book at Dublin City's Central Library this morning.

Dublin City Council’s Public Libraries have organised a packed programme featuring over 60 events which will animate the Barrytown Trilogy throughout April.

International Women's Day 2015

Dublin City Public Library and Archives International Women's Day LogoThis Sunday, 8 March is International Women's Day 2015. This is annual celebration of women all around the globe, and is a time to reflect on progress made in society for women, a call for continuation of change and improvement in regards to the treatment of women, and it acknowledges the girls and women from across the world that have played a part in the history of their communities. 

The theme for this year's international event is Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It! It focuses on the vision of a world where girls and women can exercise their power of choice, whether regarding participation in politics, the workforce or education, as well as the power to earn a fair income, and live in societies that are free from discrimination and violence in all forms. 

The theme of International Women’s Day in Dublin City Public Libraries is "Women’s Stories." Stories in folklore and legend, cinema and documentaries, poetry, art and history. Check out the link above to find events going on in your local Dublin City Public Library during the month of March such as exhibitions, talks, and more. 

Fun and Quirky Fiction

Boys and Girls by Joseph ConnollyMiserable weather got you down? This time of year requires the occasional pick-me-up, and a funny or quirky fiction title could give you just that. Who needs a comedy show to make you laugh when you have a humourous piece of fiction at your fingertips? Find some examples of such titles below.

In Boys and Girls by Joseph Connolly, you can find a unique tale of romance and friendship, all while having a few laughs as well. The story tells the tale of a woman named Susan, who, oddly enough, wants two husbands. She doesn't want an affair mind you, she just wants two husbands. The ensuing relationship between Susan, Alan, and the new husband, Blackie, create a whole new question of married life and the humourous, mundane, challenging and tender moments that take place in the every day. Susan and Alan's 15-year-old daughter Amanda is also thrown into the mix. The story is written in view of the character's inner monologues rather than regular prose, which adds to the overall quirkiness and uniqueness of the story. The surprising bond and friendship that arises between the two husbands also gives this book a different edge than most, as the camaraderie between two males is not one often much discussed in literature.

Haruki Murakami's "1Q84": Book Review

1Q84 by Haruki MurakamiI downloaded Haruki Murakami's 1Q84: The Complete Trilogy on my Kindle just before leaving my home in Iowa, U.S.A. to come here to Dublin for my study abroad semester. I began reading almost as soon as the plane took off, and I immediately fell in love with Murakami's style of writing. I had never before read anything that could be compared to Murakami's prose.

Murakami draws you in with his extraordinary descriptions and images of completely ordinary things. The words he uses are almost clinical, but the way in which he pulls them together paints a picture more vivid than a photograph, and certainly more lyrical. The physical descriptions of his characters, such as Aomame and Tengo, jump off the page so well that they almost seem three-dimensional. I couldn't help but see Murakami's cast before me as I worked my way through the lengthy novel.

Dermot Healy a new found Treasure.

 Dermot HealyThe first I heard of Dermot Healy was in June 2014. A friend of mine was asked to read through poems to be considered for selection in the Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition. The next day, it was reported on the national news that he had passed away. It had been remarked by another one of my of friends that his work never got the recognition and success it deserved, that he was a much more “interesting” writer than his peers. Interesting can sometimes mean, “you’re not going to understand this…. You thickie!”. I began reading Long Time, No See. Immediately, I got a jolt: the words on the page were formatted like poetry and none of the dialogue was in inverted commas.  I was reluctant to continue as my eyes and brain were in for a different exercise regime. However, my desire to be a know-it-all won through and I’m so glad I persevered.  This is one of the best books I have ever read. Set in an Irish coastal rural community,it starts slowly with a young man visiting his grand uncle.

Meet Anne Enright: First Laureate for Irish Fiction

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne EnrightOn Thursday, 29 January, author Anne Enright was named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. The honour was presented at a ceremony at the Arts Council by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. 

As the Laureate, Enright will have a three-year term, during which she will teach creative writing  for one semester at University College Dublin and one at New York University, as well as participating in numerous public talks and appearances. In addition, as Laureate she will deliver an annual lecture which will be broadcasted, published, or both. These duties will be bestowed on the future Laureates as well.

The objective of the Laureate will be to encourage a stronger interaction with Irish literature, and the intention of these obligations and appearance is to bring the Laureate more into the public sphere. Each Laureate will also receive €150,000 for their three-year term.

More Crime Reads to Savour

Gone GirlIn recent months I have continued apace with my crime fiction reading, and here I share with you just some of those reads, they being books by Gillian Flynn, Donna Leon, Thomas Enger and Fred Vargas. So read on!

Who at this stage is not familiar to some degree with the story that is 'Gone Girl' 4.5 stars seeing how the film version was such a hit? Gillian Flynn's book, upon which the film is based, has proved a huge success, being the 25th bestselling adult fiction title of all time and spending 8 weeks at the top of the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list. 'Gone Girl' is the classic tale of a wife going missing and the finger of suspicion regarding her disappearance pointing at her husband. Where is Amy Dunne, and has loving husband Nick got something to do with her disappearance?

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