books & reading

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?

Book Club Choices 2014

In 2014 136 book clubs attached to Dublin City Libraries enjoyed and discussed 553 different books! If you are short of reading inspiration the list is packed full of wonderful reads from the classics, crime, thrillers, literary fiction, autobiography, recent favourites, to the latest award-winning must-read.

The most popular titles were the 2014 Dublin: One City One Book choice If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth; The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez - the winner of the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Dinner by Herman Koch, Canada by Richard Ford and The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker.

The most popular authors were Benjamin Black, Anita ShreveJane Austen, Charles Dickens and David Park.

Bookcover: Canada by Richard Ford Bookcover: The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker Bookcover: The Dinner by Herman Koch Bookcover: The Light of Amsterdam by David Park

Liveline Listener's Top Irish Book of 2014 is...

Tom GilmartinIf you had been listening to Joe Duffy's Liveline programme on RTÉ Radio One today you would have heard Dublin City librarians Alison Lyons and Damien O'Shaughnessy contribute to a wonderful discussion on the top books of 2014. Ex-staff member Hugh Comerford also got a mention by Joe, well done all! 

The programme today of course was given over to a discussion of the candidate books and the selection of the Liveline listener's top Irish Book of 2014. The winner was finally announced at just before 3pm after the listeners' votes were in and counted and, with no further ado, we can reveal that the winner was... 'Tom Gilmartin' by Frank Connolly! Congratulations to Frank on a wonderful win and on producing a very compelling read.

In order of the Listeners' Votes (with links to library catalogue records):

Stranger than Fiction: Our favourite non-fiction books of 2014

Bookcover: Hidden City by Karl WhitneyWe read a lot here in Dublin City Public Libraries and it's not just fiction that takes our fancy. There is so much to learn and discover when you open the covers of our favourite non-fiction reads. And when it comes to non-fiction, the varied interests of Dublin City Public Libraries' staff really become apparent! Here are our top non-fiction reads of 2014:

Two books about Dublin caught our eye this year:

Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin by Foot, Bike, Bus, Train and Tram: In the Sewers and Underground Rivers; Along the Edges and Behind the Hoardings by Karl Whitney.
Beautifully written book that takes you off the beaten track to journey through some of the secrets of our capital city. Just the right mix of scholarship and adventure
Gill

Dublin: the Making of a Capital City by David Dickson
Loved dipping into this great history of Dublin
Mary

Our Favourite Fiction of the Year

bookcover: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard FlanaganObviously one of the major perks of working in a library is you have access to thousands of fantastic books everyday. And in Dublin City Public Libraries we really do love our books! Here are just a few goodies from our shelves that we enjoyed reading this year and would like to recommend to you.

Watch this space in January for more book recommendations when it will be the turn of the book lovers who attend one of our many book clubs.

Winning the Man Booker Prize seems a sure fire way of catapulting a book into the most borrowed list. The winner of the Man Booker Prize this year The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan is no different and is highly sought after.

First Ever Young Adult Book Prize Shortlist Announced

YA Book Prize 2015It's so nice to see books written specifically for young adults getting due acknowledgement. Here, in the inaugural Bookseller YA Book Prize, ten such titles by ten different authors have been so acknowledged by their inclusion on the shortlist, with the winner to be announced on the 19th March 2015.

The ten shortlisted titles (with links to the library catalogue where we have them) are:

Goose – Dawn O'Porter (Hot Key Books)
Salvage – Keren David (Atom/Little,Brown)
Only Ever Yours – Louise O'Neill (Quercus)
Ghosts of Heaven – Marcus Sedgwick (Orion)
Trouble – Non Pratt (Walker)
Lobsters – Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen (Chicken House)
Finding a Voice – Kim Hood (O'Brien Press)
Say Her Name - James Dawson (Hot Key Books)
A Song for Ella Grey - David Almond (Hodder Children's Books)
Half Bad – Sally Green (Penguin)

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Winners

Bookcover: Dubliners 100The winners of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards were announced last night, 26 November.

Irish poet Paul Durcan was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 by Paula Meehan, Ireland Professor of Poetry, and bestselling author Jeffrey Archer was presented with the inaugural International Recognition Award by broadcaster George Hook.

All winning books are available to borrow in our libraries.

Five Irish authors on Longlist for 2015 International IMPAC Dublin

2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award LonglistThe Longlist for the 2015 International IMPAC Literary award has been announced at Dublin City Library and Archive today, Monday, 24th November. The 142 books on the longlist were nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide. 49 titles on the longlist are books in translation, spanning 16 languages and 29 are first novels. In this, the 20th year of the award we are delighted that five Irish books have made the longlist.

The five Irish titles nominated are:

Danger is everywhere in Dublin this spring!

Bookcover: Danger is Everywhere by David O'DohertyHave you ever wondered is your teacher a vampire or is your pet cat in fact a dangerous tiger? This spring we are inviting boys and girls in Dublin to become qualified ‘dangerologists’ by reading Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty as part of our Citywide Reading Campaign for Children. This fun book, which is similar in style to the Wimpy Kid books, points out the dangers of everyday objects from your schoolbag and pet cat to the dangers of having a party or brushing your teeth.

This book has great illustrations by Chris Judge and will appeal to both girls and boys of mixed reading abilities. There will be author and illustrator visits to public libraries as well as city-centre based events to promote this campaign. The final event of the campaign will take place as part of the St. Patrick’s Festival. More details will be available over the coming months.

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