books & reading

Dubliners by James Joyce

DublinersDubliners is Joyce at his most direct and his most accessible. Any reader may pick it up and enjoy these fifteen stories about the lives, loves, small triumphs and great failures of its ordinary citizens without the trepidation that might be felt on opening, say, Ulysses, famed for its impenetrability and stream-of-consciousness hyperbole. At the same time, although simply written, there is great depth and many levels to the stories, in which the characters – young, middle-aged and old – are revealed, to themselves, or sometimes only to the reader, in all their frail humanity.

Decisive battle at Waterloo

Waterloo headlineBrussels Monday 19 June 1815

News is just coming in of a major battle between the English and French which has taken place in the countryside south of Brussels. The battle site centred on Mont-Saint-Jean near the village of Waterloo.

Since his escape from Elba earlier in the year and his astonishing overland march through France to Paris, the Emperor Napoleon, has once again threatened the peace of Europe. He fielded an army of some 72,000 soldiers, among them his battle-hardened old Guards. The Emperor could be seen on his distinctive white mare, Desirée, inspecting his troops before the battle was commenced, and at intervals throughout the battle galloping across the field of slaughter.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

WB YeatsWilliam Butler Yeats, known to friends and family as Willie, was born in Sandymount Avenue, Dublin, on 13 June 1865. He was the eldest son of John Butler Yeats, portrait painter, and his wife Susan Pollexfen, whose family came from County Sligo. The family moved to London when Willie was a baby and remained there until 1880, but he spent his summers with his mother’s family in Sligo. When the family returned to Dublin he attended the High School in Harcourt Street. He originally studied art at the Metropolitan School of Art and the Royal Hibernian Academy School, but later decided to devote himself to literature, especially poetry and drama.

Recommended Reading: Coming of Age Adult Fiction

In Between DreamsThe journey into adulthood isn't the same for everyone. Each person has their own coming of age story, and literary characters are no different. Perhaps that's what makes coming of age fiction so appealing; it's so much easier to read about the struggles of a fictional character than focus on our own! In any case, the tragic, heart-warming, and sometimes even hilarious coming of age tales can be entertaining to any sort of audience. Read on for a few stories in this genre that are recommended by your Dublin City Public Library & Archive.

Book Review: Americanah

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieI picked up a copy of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie after I saw it on the shortlist for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2014. I had been lacking cultural diversity in my literary diet, and thought after reading the premise of the novel that it might provide the perfect dose for my deficiency. 

The novel takes place in Lagos, Nigeria, and as the author herself is also Nigerian, the book holds a certain familiarity that is unmistakable when a writer is crafting a tale about their own place of origin. Before opening its pages, I had an embarrassing, chasmic lack of knowledge about anything Nigerian. After 477 pages however, the novel has given me 100x the information that I knew before regarding Nigeria and its people, as well as a keen interest in learning more. 

And now, onto the story itself. A quick summary...

International Literature Festival Dublin 2015 (16-24 May)

IFD logoThe International Literature Festival Dublin returns for its 17th year with both a new name and new director. The festival was founded in 1998, in order to gather together writers from around the world to speak, debate and interact with each other and audiences. Attractions include readings, discussions, debates, screenings and workshops. The festival will feature a mix of screenwriters, poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, lyricists, and playwrights.

This year's festival will take place from 16-24 May in various locations.

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.

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