non-fiction

101 things you thought you knew about the Titanic.

titanicThe book "101 things you thought you knew about the Titanic.... but didn't" is a fascinating study of some of the myths and half-truths that have arisen since that fateful morning of April 15th 1912. (Growing up in Cobh, I reckon I've heard 99 of them!) Author Tim Matlin dispels many of these popular legends using primary sources such as the US Inquiry and the British Inquiry, both of 1912. He also shows that many of these stories are indeed true. The myths are neatly separated into categories such as: The Ship, Omens, Passengers, Collision, S.O.S etc.

Below are a few examples to whet your appetite:

How to be everything?

You can find out how to do and be lots of things in the library.

Actors, gardeners, jugglers, farmers, knitters, bakers, candlestick makers, secretaries or being idle. Staying single or looking for partners?

Britannica Titanica!

Story of the TitanicFor our younger library visitors, coming soon to our shelves is 'Story of the Titanic' (illustrations by Steve Noon, published by Dorling Kindersley, 2012). This is the tragic story of the Titanic, with double-page illustrations, cross-sections and cutaway details explaining the construction and mechanical details of the ship and revealing life on board for passengers and crew.

You can also locate other books in our libraries on the Titanic.

Encyclopaedia Britannica this month brings the topic of the Titanic to life with its latest spotlight. To mark the 100th anniversary, primary school children can explore both the triumph and the tragedy of this great vessel.

Before and After Science: Books on Irish Science

Dublin's tenure as European City of Science in 2012 is an ideal reason to get acquainted with the scientific heritage of this island. These are the very best books on the history of science in Ireland. Poets, novelists, and musicians may entertain us but only scientists will really change our world. Enjoy!

Science, Colonialism and Ireland Science, Colonialism, and Ireland by Nicholas Whyte (1999)

Irish historiography stalled in the 1990s thanks to the tedious 'revisionism' debate which was no more sophisticated than one group of historians claiming that their research was more 'objective' than their opponents. It was a tiresome, politically-driven distraction that was brilliantly unmasked by the likes of Seamus Deane.  The fledgling discipline of the History of Science suffered more than most from the taint of 'revisionism' with specious claims being made that the scientific heritage of Ireland was marginalised because it was largely the domain of Protestants and/or Unionists. Belfast-based Nicholas Whyte did Irish scholars a huge service by subjecting these claims to a rigorous analysis in his Science, Colonialism, and Ireland and unsurprisingly found 'more heat than light' at the heart of the matter. Whyte considers the role of the central scientific agencies in Ireland - the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Dublin Society - as well as how science was organised in the country from the Act of Union to the foundation of the Free State. It is a brilliant, generous, and inclusive piece of scholarship that should be foundational for anyone interested in the subject.

Daffodil Day

Knitted DaffodilToday is Daffodil Day, an opportunity to support those excellent people who support those who have had cancer.

And I'm one of them.  About 9 years ago I developed cancer and had to have chemotherapy.  It was hard, it was not something I'd like to have to do again and I'm glad it's over.

I do plan to do a more comprehensive blog post about books about cancer but a few that I recommend (on top of the Irish Cancer Society website which is a great resource in itself), as useful books are:

International Women's Day - Four to Acknowledge

Mary McAleese, building bridgesToday, Thursday 8 March being International Women's Day, I thought I might make mention of just four great Irish women who have made, and continue to make, their mark on Irish society and internationally. The four are: Mary McAleese, Mary Robinson, Christina Noble, and Adi Roche. I will point you to books we have in stock that are either based on their lives or/and which they have authored themselves.

Of the four, the first that comes to my mind, for the reason that I got to meet her in Áras an Uachtaráin in June 2011, is Mary McAleese, who served as the eight President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. 

The eldest of nine children, President McAleese was born in 1951 in Belfast and became a barrister and a Professor of Law. In 1994, she became the first female Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Queen's University of Belfast. Her lifelong interests have been in justice, equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism and reconciliation. 

Commit to be fit in 2012

Walk away the Winter blues!

Walking in IrelandHave you overindulged over the festive season. Do you feel lethargic and tired? Are you afraid to step up on the scales. Has Operation Transformation (TV Programme) frightened you into keeping fit? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, fear not! Dublin Public Libraries can help!

Dublin City Public Libraries have a very comprehensive collection of maps and guides with interesting walks, hikes, and trails contained within: encouraged yet to venture out in the fresh air, and explore and enjoy the countryside?

Suss out any of our 21 library service points spread across the city and checkout these walks. Included are: 

  • Best Walks in Ireland by David Marshall (2006)
  • Glasnevin Cemetery: A historic Walk (1997)
  • Leisure Walks Near Dublin by Joss Lynam (2004)
  • Literary Walking Tours of Gothic Dublin by Brian J Showers (2006)
  • Lonely Planet Hill Walking in Ireland (2010)
  • Secret Dublin. 25 original walks exploring the hidden city by Pat Liddy (2001)
  • Walks Around Medieval Dublin by Dublin City Council (2004)
  • A Walk Across Ireland from Coast to Coast including the Royal Canal Way by John Mulligan (2006)

My non-fiction favourites of 2011

Contemporary Irish KnitsI read a lot of books over the last year, approximately 290 of which I noted from the library.  Over the next few weeks I'm going to pick out a few that stood out from the herd.  This week is Non-Fiction.

Baby Boom!

babyAs we are experiencing a baby boom in Ireland at the moment, more and more of you are becoming parents for the first time. Why not look to your local library for some advice? We have a huge range of books that could help you. Whether you are thinking about starting a family, have just found out that you are expecting a baby or are trying to cope with a demanding toddler, we have something to suit all your needs.

A Winning Night at Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards

     Irish Book Awards  Ireland's 'glitterati' came out in force last night at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards Ceremony in the Concert Hall of the RDS. In a night when Seamus Heaney received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by fellow poet Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, it would be easier to say who wasn't there, than who was - even former US President Bill Clinton appeared in a pre-recorded tribute to 'one of the world's favourite poets'.

The Irish Book Award winners are voted on by the public and the various categories were hotly contested. All winning and shortlisted books are available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries. Winners on the night were;

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