non-fiction

Doc Watson Obituary

Trouble in MindDoc Watson was the best American Folk guitarist that lived. He died on the 29 May 2012 at the age of 89. He was born into a musical family and lost his sight before his first birthday. Although he never had a hit record or was in the American Billboard chart, he was a leader of the American folk music that became commercially popular particularly through the Coen Brothers film, "O Brother Where Art Thou?". His distinctive style was born out of playing fiddle parts in a country swing band. Before that the guitar was a background instrument to the ukulele and fiddle. His lightening quick finger and flat picking style is a pleasure to listen to as it accompanies his mellow voice filled with sincerity.

He has won seven Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Folk, Folk, Folk!

Martin CarthyA quick blog for Musical Books, just want to tell you that I went to an amazing gig in Belfast last week to see Martin Carthy. This folk singer sings ancient songs from Irish, English and Scottish descent. His unusual and rhythmic guitar playing coupled with a distinctive voice keep ancient sea chanty and tales of war, woe and love alive in their purest form. His music has influenced Bob Dylan and his arrangement of Scarborough Fair was used by Simon and Garfunkel. His no nonsense stage presence and self-deprecating humour was a refreshing cherry on the top of an amazing performance. Check out this amazing album by him in the Music Library, Signs of Life.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~Cicero

Outdoor Living

I'm staying optimistic that Summer will arrive and we can look forward to long sunny evenings. So while we all come down from the land of soggy books, dripping umbrellas and cloudy skies we can start to get in the mood and think about the outdoor living that lies ahead of us. You can prepare now by checking out the many titles in the library that will inspire you to tidy up and prepare the garden so you’ll be ready to sit back after a long day and relax when the sun does come out.

Here are some titles to get you in the mood! 

Females and Folk in Musical Books

Under the Ivy There's some lovely stuff in our new stock, I came across these gems.

I'll start with Under the Ivy: The story of Kate Bush. Kate Bush.... need I say more? No, but I will remind you that she was the first female artist ever to have a UK number one with a self penned song at the age of nineteen. This book is a series of interviews with people who worked closely with her throughout her career. To quote the Mojo Magazine (which is held in the Music Library) it's a "compelling examination of her music". Get your boxfresh copy now.

JSTOR at Dublin City Public Libraries

JSTORJSTOR is a comprehensive online resource that spans a variety of topics. Access to The Ireland Collection – JSTOR can be accessed at Dublin City Public Libraries free of charge. The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials. The Collection contains titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present.

Find out more about this and other research materials available at Dublin City Public Libraries

Whether you want to satisfy your curiosities, increase your content knowledge or for personal research the information is at your fingertips. For example you can find a copy of every Dublin Historical Record article ever written since 1834. Students can access further information to assist their studies. Researchers who may not have access to journal databases will find a wealth of information available.

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:

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