Buying a new book at the airport on your way to a beach holiday? Maybe not this year. The library is your next best port of call if you can’t make it to the beach. Organise a trip to the park for a lazy afternoon on a picnic blanket.
Reading James Joyce’s Ulysses with Dublin City Libraries
2022 marks the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Considered to be one of the most important and influential novels ever written, this masterpiece of fiction follows Leopold Bloom as he makes his way around Dublin on 16th June 1904.
Although I am way past reading young adult fiction (agewise, that is), I do love it. I devoured ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins and ‘The Divergent Trilogy’ by Veronica Roth. So when a borrower recommended the ‘Tearling Trilogy’ by Erika Johansen, I gave it a try and I was hooked.The ‘Tearling Trilogy’ is a dystopian novel with elements of fairy tales and dark magic. The first book, The Queen of the Tearling, is set in an area called the Tearling somewhere in the middle of a mystical ocean around three hundred years after the 9/11 events in the United States. Time is counted as before and after ‘the Crossing’ when a small group of citizens fled a dictatorial United States to set up their own utopian territory. The main character, Kelsea Glynn, is a feisty young woman who had been hidden away and brought up in secret after her queen mother had mysteriously disappeared and thought to have been murdered.Kelsea has been prepared for her future role from childhood onwards and yet she has been kept in the dark about the kingdom’s dark past and present. When she turns nineteen, she inherits a deeply divided country full of corruption and dark powers that is subjugated by the Red Queen of rivalling kingdom, Mortesme. Kelsea sets out to win the support of her people and to defend the Tearling with the help of the Royal Guard who are sworn to defend the Queen to the death.In the subsequent books, The Invasion of the Tearling and The Fate of the Tearling, as Kelsea fights the Red Queen and her army, she develops a mysterious connection to the pre-Crossing United States and to a woman called Lily Mayhew. Through Lily she learns about the time before the Crossing which might hold the key to her own and the Tearling’s survival. This trilogy is a crossover between adult and older young adult fiction. Judging by the reviews on Goodreads, it seems that this is one of those novels that you either love or hate. I loved it.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link.Submitted by Charlotte from Donaghmede Library.
It's almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn't just for teens anymore. Young adult fiction is a category of fiction written for readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults. Summer, like youth, is fleeting. But the books we read when we're young can stay with us for a lifetime. Both these titles come highly recommended for our teen readers by our colleague Eimear from the relief staff panel.Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly. It’s the moment she’s waited for – Isabelle is about to win the handsome prince. There is only one problem, Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and stole the prince’s heart. No, Isabelle’s the ugly stepsister, who decided to cut off her toes in order to fit into Cinderella’s glass slipper…. which by the way is now filling with blood.When the Prince discovers the truth, Isabelle is banished, cast out in shame. But after all it’s no more that Isabelle deserves: Isabelle’s a plain girl in a world that values beauty, a feisty gir, in a kingdom that expects women to be seen but not heard. Isabelle has tried to fit in, to be just like Cinderella, but she’s not.Instead, Isabelle cuts off her toes in order to fit into a world that doesn’t accept a girl like her. A world that has made her jealous, empty and mean spirited. The is what she has been told and that is what Isabelle believes, until she gets a chance to change her destiny and prove to the world that it will take much more than heartache to break a girl. Evoking a darker, earlier version of the Cinderella story, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly brings us a tale of empowerment, that challenges gender roles and reminds us that we all have a say in our destiny.The Red Scrolls of Magic (a Shadowhunter’s novel) New York Times bestselling author Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu team up to bring you the first installment in this new series. It follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world together after the Mortal War.Magnus Bane wants a holiday — more like a lavish trip around Europe, with his boyfriend Alec Lightwood of course! No sooner have the two settled in Paris when news arrives that a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand has begun causing chaos all over the world. Now Magnus and Alec must race against time to track down the Crimson hand and its new leader, before it’s too late!Watch our how-to video on Borrowbox.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN.Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link.
Fantasy Fiction - magic, mythical and the supernatural
The difference between the fantasy and science fiction genres hasn’t always been an issue. However, there are a few key differences in the genres that can help us to separate one type of book from the other in the ‘science fiction vs fantasy’ debate.Fantasy involves things that do not exist in real life. On the other hand, science fiction is almost related to real things, and based on technology and science. Science fiction deals with scenarios and technology that are possible or may be possible based on science. Some science fiction such as far-future space opera or time travel stories may seem implausible, but they are still not beyond the realm of scientific theory. On the other hand, fantasy general deals with supernatural and magical occurrences that have no basis in science.Isaac Asimov, once asked to explain the difference between science fiction and fantasy, replied that science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not.Fantasy is an older genre of literature than science fiction; in fact, fantasy is arguably the oldest genre. If we look back at the earliest surviving stories from human civilisation such as the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh or ancient myths, we find stories of gods, monsters and magic. Science fiction is a relatively recent genre of the last century.Both science fiction and fantasy require rules. Just because fantasy is not based on scientific facts or speculation doesn’t mean that anything can go in fantasy. Certain laws must govern a fantasy world as well; the difference is that in fantasy, the author makes up the rules.Surprisingly, science fiction and fantasy cannot always be distinguished by settings or other elements. Many would argue that Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series is science fiction despite the existence of dragons while others say the Star Wars films are clearly fantasy despite the space setting. A quick reference list to help you easily find all of McCaffrey’s books: the Dragonriders of Pern series, Acorna series, Catteni series, Brainships, The Talents series, The Tower and Hive sequence, Petabee Universe series.There’s no shortage of excellent fantasy books these days. That’s a good problem to have as far as these things go, but sifting through mountains of books can be daunting. That's where Dublin City Libraries come in.In Nevernight, Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.Return to a world of magic and adventure from best selling author Raymond E. Feist. This bundle includes the complete Serpentwar Saga. The bundle includes: Shadow of a Dark Queen (1), Rise of a Merchant Prince (2), Rage of a Demon King (3), and Shards of a Broken Crown (4).Return to the world of Midkemia. Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation, and a dark queen has raised a standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might.The Hobbit is the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure. Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services – as a burglar – on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo’s life is never to be the same again. Since its publication in 1937, J. R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale has remained in print delighting each new generation of readers all over the world.Helene Wecker's debut novel is an eerie tale of two magical creatures set loose in 19th century New York. A golem – a mythical creature of Jewish lore – awakens during a sea voyage, and is taught to pass as human among the diverse groups of people living in the city. At the same time, a tinsmith in New York accidentally frees a genie from a flask after centuries of imprisonment, but he's trapped in human form seeking a way to return to his full power. The pair meet and become friends, and must team up to counter an evil sorcerer who wants to enslave them both.Philip Pullman has returned with a follow-up to the His Dark Materials trilogy. The Book of Dust is a second trilogy set in the world of Lyra Belacqua and her inner self in animal form, Pantalaimon. At the point of writing two of the trilogy have been released: La Belle Sauvage (2018) and The Secret Commonwealth (2019). The first of these is set before the tumultuous events of His Dark Materials. But the second fast forwards to a decade after their conclusion. There's espionage, spies and frantic attempts to stop the world from vanishing into darkness.Marlon James, who won the Booker prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, is not traditionally a fantasy writer. Black Leopard, Red Wolf focuses on the political tensions between warring states, in a world populated by a host of magical creatures: cannibals, vampires, witches, ghosts and sorcerers. "...A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well realized as anything Tolkien made..." - Neil Gaiman.Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set in 19th-century England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The book’s premise is that magic has returned: two men, Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange, wield it. Written in a comedy of manners, Jane Austen style, it took its author British writer Susanna Clarke ten years to write.Ursula Le Guin is one of the titans of fantasy and sci-fi – her books explore political and feminist themes in fantastical settings. The Left Hand of Darkness focuses on an androgynous civilisation, and The Dispossessed is set in anarchist Utopia. The Earthsea series is more traditional but still brilliant – we follow Ged, a teenager at magic school, who causes a disaster dabbling in the dark arts. Readers have pointed to the similarities between Ged’s school and Hogwarts.Harry Dresden is a professional wizard in a version of modern-day Chicago where fantastical creatures lurk just underneath the surface. He makes his living as a private detective, solving cases that bridge the worlds of the real and the uncanny. In Butcher's Storm Front, the first book in long-running series The Dresden Files, he finds himself duelling with vampires, werewolves, and the mob.The Rivers of London, set in a lovingly described version of present-day London charts the adventures of Detective Constable Peter Grant, one of two wizards in the Metropolitan Police. It grounds its fantastical elements in the scientific method, and the mixture of flying spells and police jargon gives the ongoing series a unique and enjoyable tone. The first book, Rivers of London, describes an encounter with a malevolent spirit that draws Grant into the capital's magical underworld.
2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children Book Selected!
We are delighted to announce that 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark' by Dave Rudden, published by Puffin Books, is the chosen book for the 2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.This reading initiative is organised by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service as part of its UNESCO City of Literature programme with the aim of encouraging children to read for pleasure.There will be author visits to Dublin City Public libraries as well as city-centre based events to promote the campaign from January to March 2017. Full details about the campaign and events will be available in early January. Copies of KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK will be available in all Dublin City branch libraries."I am honoured and delighted that 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark' is Dublin UNESCO City of Literature’s Citywide Read. This is the city that taught me how to write, and I owe so much to its vibrant, friendly and supportive literary community. There's a wild, swashbuckling charm to Dublin that very much inspired the strange and magical world of the Knights (though thankfully with less clockwork women and waistcoated misery-drinkers) and I can't wait to share it with Dublin's young readers and help them find stories of their own." says Dave Rudden.This is the sixth year of the reading initiative. In previous years books chosen for the Citywide Reading Campaign included Alan Early’s Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent, The Nightmare Club series featuring Annie Graves , The Powers by Kevin Stevens, Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty, and last year’s book was The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray.Reviews:Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden review – a magical debut (Guardian, 7 May 2016)Book Review – Knights Of The Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (Rick O'Shea, RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ Radio 1 Broadcaster)Reader Reviews on Goodreads.See also Puffin Books website.
Question: When might a Harry Potter not be a Harry Potter? Stumped? Answer: When it is not written by J.K. Rowling!So what then is this we hear of a new Harry Potter book to be launched on the 31st July? Indeed it's true, the eight book in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II, is to be officially launched in Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore) in Porto in Portugal. Now it might be a tad unfair to say it is not a J.K. Rowling book as, though not penned by her, it is based on an original story by her together with a number of others. And it is officially the eight book on the Harry Potter series. So there, record clarified.The significance of the date 31st July? Jt is J.K. Rowling's and Harry's joint birthday!The launch on the 31st July in Porto is that of the official script book of the play of the same name, which premieres in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on the 30th July. The play was written by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne himself.Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II follows the life of the now more mature and overworked Potter and his youngest son Albus Severus 19 years after what was the final book in the original series, 'Deathly Hallows'.Did you know? 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the UK publication of the very first book in the series, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.About the Book:It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. (from publisher Little, Brown)This Special Rehearsal Edition will be available until early 2017, after which a Definitive Edition of the script will be available (publisher's note)Why Livraria Lello?This bookshop (see right, click to view larger image) is rumoured to be the inspiration for Rowling's own Flourish and Blotts bookstore in the Harry Potter series and indeed for much of her writings in the series. And it is easy to see why, it is truly a thing of beauty this, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal. The bookshop opened to the public in 1906 and has a neo-gothic facade, a beautifully curvaceous art nouveau staircase and stained-glass skylight. The travel guide Lonely Planet named Livraria Lello the "Third Best Bookstore in the World!". J.K. Rowling frequented the bookshop and the cafe on the upper floor while she lived in Porto in the early 1990s, teaching English as a foreign language during her stay there.See this 360 degree view of the bookshop.Below: Flourish and Blotts Bookshop (click to view larger image)Check the library catalogue for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II.See also the previous blog post POTTER MANIA!!!!! listing the previous seven books in the series.
The series of interviews I have been doing with authors was actually inspired by a conversation between Ruth and I about a year ago. Unfortunately her previous books proved impossible to source with our suppliers, and Treachery of Beautiful Things was difficult, but we persevered and it is in stock.Ruth and I know each other online and through several conventions, we're both librarians, fantasy lovers and lovers of old books, only she gets to work with them in her job.1. So what kind of fiction do you write?All kinds of fantasy, for people of all ages. 2. Why?I love magic in my stories. I love a sense of the fantastic, the numinous, the wonder whether it’s in a new world or something to be found in everyday life. 3. How long have you been writing for?As long as I can remember. 4. What is your library history like?I'm from a family of readers, and we always belonged to our local library. I still do and now have the great pleasure of letting the library keep my children in reading materials because trying to do so myself would bankrupt me! Working in libraries, and having worked in public libraries in the past, gives a very real sense of how important a place a library is. 5. Does it give you a special thrill to see your books in your local library?Definitely. 6. Do you visit your local library often?Every week, more or less. I may have mentioned my kids are voracious readers. They’d go every day if they could. 7. Do you use the interlibrary loan system in your library service (well I might as well get a minor plug in!)Yes. I have books on reserve right now! ;) It’s a fantastic facility, especially when it comes to some of the more tricky to get research books. 8. Have you ever reserved your own book just to prove it's in stock?No, but you're giving me ideas now... ;) 9. Did you have a favourite author as a kid?Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Enid Blyton, J. R. R. Tolkien (well I started reading him as a kid) 10. Have you read those books again as an adult?Yes. 11. What was it like? Did it stand up to adult reading?The Dark is Rising sequence was as brilliant as I remember. I still don't understand Red Shift but love Garner's language. I recently read his adult sequel to the Alderley Edge trilogy, Boneland, which was phenomenal and I will have to reread several times. Such an incredible book. Tolkien is a lifelong read, and I read Blyton with my kids. 12. List five favourite authors (who aren't you!)Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Sarah Rees Brennan, Susan Cooper, Stephen King 13. Have you read any books about Ireland that made you laugh/cry/breathe smoke?Many. It's one of the reasons I'm quite nervous about writing stories based in other cultures. I've seen how wrong it can go. Quite often it’s something as little as the way a character speaks. I have a horror of that “Oirish” accent. Hopefully as I am now writing about Ireland I’m getting it right. A Crack in Everything is a YA urban fantasy set in Dublin, which will be released next year from O’Brien Press. I drew in a lot of my own local knowledge writing it but then discovered there were many things I needed to follow up on and double check. I’m writing book 2 at the moment and rooting out more Dublin folklore, settings and stories to use. 14. Do you read any genres outside what you write? Deliberately?The story is the most important thing to me so yes. I'm a big fan of thrillers and historicals. It's not so much deliberate as that I read what I enjoy so that doesn't have to limit me to one genre. It's refreshing and often gives me ideas. One story I'm working on at the moment was inspired by a book on England's medieval queens. 15. Do you go to any Irish Conventions?Yes, Octocon and Pcon annually. I've also been to Wexworlds and TitanCon. I'll go wherever I'm invited basically! 16. Do you go to any non-Irish Conventions? Any favourites or recommendations?I go to the Romantic Novelists Association annual conference. Not a convention as such but one of the most valuable weekends away for me as a writer. I’m heading off to London for Worldcon next year, with a quick turnaround to be back here for Eurocon in Dublin (called Shamrockon) the following weekend. Very excited about that, and the possibility of a Worldcon in Dublin in 2019. But basically the same thing goes - if someone invites me I'll go. 17. Do you have any hobbies outside of writing?I knit a little (badly), make jewellery occasionally, draw (not in a while). It's all quite intermittent. I love to cook, which I have to do on a daily basis. The problem is I never know when a story is going to hook me and pull me away from a hobby. And there have been a few charred dinners in our house. I also like walking and exploring forests and hills. I’m a member of the Native Woodland Trust but never seem to make the gatherings. I’m wonderful at planning research trips which drag my family up hills, into forests and in search of prehistoric tombs and the like. We took a trip to England while I was editing The Treachery of Beautiful Things so I could trace the path of one character from Dragon Hill to the Uffington White Horse and on to Wayland’s Smithy along the Ridgeway, mainly so I could find out if there was a gate across the path to Wayland’s Smithy. (There was!) 18. Have you visited Libraries in any other country?Oh yes, I've been very lucky with my current job in that there is an international association and we meet every 18 months. There is usually a visit to a few libraries involved. So far I've been lucky enough to see the Carmelite library at Krakow, the National Libraries in Malta and Madrid, El Escorial, the Vatican library and most recently the Theological and Philosophical Halls at the library in Strahov Monastery in Prague. Beautiful places. 19. Which one impressed you the most?Probably the Theological hall in Strahov for looks alone. Malta and El Escorial were wonderful too.