books & reading

Supporting literacy in the local authority

Tanaiste Eamon GilmoreTánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore today launched the national 'Right to Read Campaign' in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, at Charleville Mall Library. The campaign aims to have an integrated approach to supporting literacy.

Also present were: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD; Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Jan O'Sullivan TD;  Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD; and Minister for European Affairs Pascal Donohoe TD.

Enjoying their visit to the library also were the staff and children from St. Louise's Crèche, North William Street (below).

On the road

thumbing a liftThis is my first blog in a long time, mainly because I’m out on relief, which means I’m not based in any one branch but go to whichever branch is short staffed on the day. There are pros and cons to being on the road: the downsides are I’m living out of a rucksack, carrying everything that I might need every day, because I can’t keep food onsite – (sings) don’t know when I’ll be back again! The upsides are variety, catching up with other staff members I haven’t seen in years, getting to know how different branches do things, different demographics, meeting lots of new people, and, as one staff member here puts it, going feral! So what else could I kick off with but a review of books about life on the move.

Never Too Late to Travel!

South AmericaIt might be late-June, but it's never too late to plan a holiday abroad. Though given the weather we've been having here, why leave these sunny shores, you might wonder?! True, but many of you do and will, so as we always aim to please and anticipate your requirements here in Dublin City Public Libraries, we have compiled many travel guides that might interest you should you be so inclined.

So be it Brazil (get to the World Cup, there is still time!), Crete, Cuba, Africa, the European continent, South America, anywhere in fact, there may well be a travel guide amongst our travel guides to start you on your journey.

World Refugee Day, 20th June

UNHCRLibraries and Bookshops across Dublin City have joined forces to support the UN Refugee Agency's book-reading campaign. The initiative to mark World Refugee Day allows children and adults to explore the devastating impact of war on families by reading books that highlight refugee issues.

Celebrating 75 years of Finnegans Wake

Shannon Colleens May 2014 marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of Finnegans Wake.  To celebrate Dublin City Public Libraries hosted the wonderful Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher performing Here's Comes Everybody! a musical journey through Finnegans Wake.  

This performance explores the musical pulse at the heart of Finnegans Wake. The irreverence and subversion of Joyce's comic masterpiece is evoked through parlour song, music hall, nursery rhyme, folk song, street ballads, sea shanties, hymns, carols and the American songbook. James Joyce filled his work with music and in Finnegans Wake there are almost 1,000 song references and allusions. These songs create the dreamlike transformations of the Porter- Earwicker family and express the ambience and cadences peculiar to the city of Dublin.

D-Day, 70th Anniversary

D-Day. Into the Jaws of Death70 years ago today the Allied forces landed on the Normandy beaches, thus beginning the Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe (Operation Overlord). The Normandy landings on D-Day, codenamed Operation Neptune, involved the largest seaborne invasion in history. A myriad of books have been written about the war, the events of June and afterwards, and a myriad of documentaries and films have appeared on our TV screens ever since.

Utah, Gold, Omaha, Juno, Sword - the names of the Normandy beaches where thousands of landing craft poured ashore. Over 160,000 soldiers crossed the English Channel on D-Day, and many soldiers lost their lives before they even left their landing point. Then too there was the airborne assault, with thousands of planes involved, soldiers landing behind enemy lines in order to secure bridges and other strategic points.

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award: Have you picked your winner?

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner will be announced next Thursday, 12 June. Have you had the chance to read many of the books on the shortlist? And if so, have you picked your winner yet? Kay Sheehy has been reviewing the shortlist on RTÉ Radio 1's Arena and you can listen back on Arena's Books podcasts.

Books shortlisted for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Rathmines' Literary Heritage: A Sense of Place

Rathmines can boast a rich literary heritage having played host to many leading literary figures including James Joyce, William Carleton, George Russell and Paul Durcan. "A Sense of Place", a literary evening held at Rathmines Library, honoured the rich literary life of the area. Local writers Evelyn Conlon, Adrian Kenny, Siobhán Parkinson and Fintan Vallely read selected pieces of their work and discussed the locality and how it may have influenced their writing. The evening was chaired by Niall MacMonagle and also featured Fintan Vallely playing a jig called "The Barley Grain" on the flute.

Rathmines literary wall

Literary wall at Rathmines Library celebrating the literary heritage of Rathmines and beyond

This event took place on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 at 6.30pm, at Rathmines Library and was part of the programme celebrating Rathmines Library 1913 - 2013 100 Years at the Heart of the Community.

What's in a Title?

p>Mercy aka The Keeper of Lost CausesThe Keeper of Lost Causes aka MercyWhat's in a title, you may ask? Well, clarity you hope, but might I suggest instead, confusion and sometimes too time wasted. Whatever am I talking about, you might wonder. Let me ask - how often have you went looking for a book, only to discover that the title you seek is not the title that resides on the library bookshelf or the bookseller's for that matter? How often have you started to read a book only to soon get a feeling you've read it before? What I am getting at is the confusion that can abound because of the habit of publishers of releasing the same book under different titles. Sometimes it's a case that titles differ depending on the market (e.g. UK v US) but also too the title can change in the same market with the release of a new or paperback edition. And if that isn't confusing enough, book covers change too!

A case in point is a favourite author of mine, Denmark's Jussi Adler-Olsen, writer of the Department Q crime series, which to date consists of five titles in Danish, four of which have so far been translated into English and all of which have different UK and US titles:

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson - a review

Review by Pembroke Library Reading Group

Bookcover: Crow Lake by Mary Lawson is set in Canada – the narrator has grown up in remote rural East Ontario, and has studied in Toronto, where she is now a lecturer.

The story looks at how four children cope in the year after the sudden death of their parents. The oldest, Luke, 19, has given up teacher training to bring up his sisters, aged 7 and 1½.  At the end of the year Matt, 18, has secured a scholarship, but has to take responsibility for the pregnancy of Marie Pye, the orphaned girl next door, and exchanges an academic career for fatherhood and running a farm.

The narrator, Kate, is 7 at the time of their parents’ death and very attached to Matt. Members of their community step in to help and the boys work for Mr. Pye next door after school. The Pyes have a multi-generational dysfunctional history of fathers bullying their children. Tragic circumstances bring Matt and Marie Pye together.

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