The Irish Times today (Mon, 17th Nov) published a story - "Survey reveals the most borrowed library books in Ireland" - listing,as the title states, the most borrowed books in Irish public libraries in the year to date. Dublin City Public Libraries contributed to the survey of course, and for your delectation we reproduce below some of the data we furnished. Topping the fiction list in Dublin City is the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 'The Sound of Things Falling' by Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez. Interesting to note also that the list is dominated by titles on the Award shortlist. The most popular non-fiction title has been the book selected for last April's Dublin: One City, One Book reading initiative, 'If Ever You Go: a Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song'.The top children's title, 'The Powers: the Not-So-Super Superheroes' by Kevin Stevens, in fact topped the overall list here in Dublin City, while the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series has proven to be the best read series by some distance. As if to demonstrate the 'power' of library reading initiatives, 'The Powers' was the 2014 Citywide Read for Children choice. (titles links below are to the library catalogue)Most Popular Adult FictionThe Sound of Things Falling (Juan Gabriel Vásquez) The Spinning Heart (Donal Ryan)The Light of Amsterdam (David Park)Questions of Travel (Michelle De Kretser)A Death in the Family (Karl Ove Knausgaard)Strumpet City (James Plunkett)Detour (Bakker Gerbrand)City of Bohane (Kevin Barry) Most Popular Children's BooksThe Powers: the Not-So-Super Superheroes (Kevin Stevens) Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Third Wheel (Jeff Kinney) Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Cabin Fever (Jeff Kinney) Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Hard Luck (Jeff Kinney) Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Ugly Truth (Jeff Kinney)Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (J.K. Rowling) Most Popular Adult Non-fictionIf Ever You Go: a Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Various) Official Driver Theory Test (Road Safety Authority) The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (multiple authors) Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation (Jon Kabat-Zinn) Staring at Lakes: a Memoir of Love, Melancholy and Magical Thinking (Michael Harding)
Christmas Holidays - time to curl up with a book...
I love the long, warm, bright summer evenings - but the long, chilly, dark winter evenings have their charms too, as long as I have something good to read. The girls in my house have stored up some special reads for those lazy days between Christmas and New Year. We've had to banish the chosen books from sight so we're not tempted to start reading immediately - there lies grave danger of no present buying, pudding making, tree trimming or other essential ingredients of Christmas. Daughter Number One is hoarding Caitlin Moran's 'Moranthology' - she enjoyed 'How To Be A Woman' and no doubt we'll all dip into this anthology if we get a chance. Her second choice is another anthology, 'We Have a Good Time, Don't We?' by Maeve Higgins. Having loved Maeve's quirky comedy routines and television appearances (especially 'Fancy Vittles' with her sister Lily Higgins) she is looking forward with mounting pleasure to meeting Maeve again in print. If Maeve's recent columns in the Irish Times as stand-in for Róisín Ingle are any indication, the book should be a great read (I'll be waiting in line to grab it as soon as she puts it down).Daughter Number Two is a history addict and has ordered the O'Brien Press graphic novel 'At War With The Empire' by Gerry Hunt - it will be an historic moment in itself if I can keep it out of her hands until after Christmas. She will also probably re-read 'The Fault In Our Stars' a sad and funny coming of age novel by John Green. In fact, given enough time curled up in her new dinosaur 'onsie' she will probably read her way through John Green's entire back catalogue.Both of them will spend many competitive minutes scanning 'Where's Larry' - Ireland's answer to 'Where's Wally' - to find Larry the Leprechaun at the Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange, the St. Patrick's Day Parade and, my favourite, Puck Fair (who says you have to grow up?)And me? I've squirreled away 'Standing in Another Man's Grave', the new Rebus novel by Ian Rankin - fans don't need an explanation. I might also try 'Brother Grimm' by Craig Russell, as recommended by a fellow blogger on this site - who could resist the joint lure of crime and fairytales? Neither daughter is a crime fiction fan (yet) so I won't have to fight to keep the books to myself - though I reserve the right to steal glances at their choices. Roll on the holidays!All seven of our holiday reading choices are available in Dublin City Public Libraries - though you might have to join a waiting list for the more popular titles (or ask Santa). Ten seems to be the magic number for lists, so I'd love to hear your three suggestions to finish the holiday reading list - go on...tell us - who will you be curling up with this Christmas?
A Winning Night at Bord Gais Energy 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;Neil Jordan, for his novel Mistaken (Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year)Belinda McKeown, for her novel Solace (Sunday Independent Best Irish Newcomer of the Year)Sheila O'Flanagan, for her novel All for You (Easons Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year)Alan Glynn, for his novel Bloodland (Ireland AM Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year)Tim Robinson, for Connemara (International Education Services Best Irish Published Book of the Year)Caitlyn Moran, for How to be a Woman (RTE John Murray Show Listener's Choice)Rachel Allen, for Easy Meals (Argosy Irish Non-fiction Book of the Year)Nicholas Roche, for Inside the Peloton (Irish Sports Book of the Year)Chris Judge, for his picturebook The Lonely Beast (Specsavers Irish Children's Book of the Year: Junior)Anna Carey, for her novel The Real Rebecca (Specsavers Irish Children's Book of the Year: Senior)A full list of all the short listed titles is still available on the Irish Book Awards website.