Three Irish Authors on 2018 Man Booker Longlist!

Man Booker logoThirteen may be considered unlucky for some, but not to the thirteen on the Man Booker Prize longlist which includes three Irish authors this year. Donal Ryan’s "From a Low and Quiet Sea" is his second nomination for the prize after "Spinning Heart" in 2013. Anna Burns and Sally Rooney both receive their first nominations for "Milkman" and "Normal People" respectively.

Fallen is One City One Book Choice for 2016!

FallenWe are delighted to announce that Lia Mills’ novel Fallen, published by Penguin Ireland, is the Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2016.

We are also delighted to announce that, for the first time, Dublin will team up with Belfast for a 'Two Cities One Book' Festival.  2016 will see a partnership with Libraries NI (the library authority for Northern Ireland) so that next April readers in Dublin and Belfast will engage with the same book at the same time. The initiative was launched at noon today (14th) by an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD.

Interview with Ruth Long

Cover of Treachery of Beautiful ThingsThe 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.

Vampires - From Dracula to Twilight and everything in between

Dracula (Christopher Lee)Post by Fabienne Sauberlich.

Are the Acheronian Dracula and the sparkling chick magnet Edward Cullen one and the same? Definitely not. But they are both vampires. Maybe there is not "That Vampire" anymore but a few very different types of vampires? And that is exactly how it is; they kind of spread over the whole media market placing themselves in different genres with different attributes. So if you think you know vampires, vampires fiction and vampires movies you might have missed some. What vampires do you like? The creature of human nightmares, the pitiless hunter of the night longing for your blood? You can find them with famous horror authors like Stephen King in Salem’s Lot, hunted by brave people like Van Helsing, Buffy and so on, or in classics like Dracula and Nosferatu.

Enright on Orange Prize Shortlist

The Forgotten WaltzYesterday saw the shortlist announcement for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK's annual book award for fiction written by a woman. In its 17th year, the Prize 'celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing throughout the world' (quote).

Included on the shortlist is 'The Forgotten Waltz', the story of an adulterous affair and the fifth novel by Irish writer Anne Enright. Enright, who has been nominated three times for the Orange award, won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for her novel 'The Gathering'.

Other books on the shortlist include 'Half Blood Blues' by Canadian writer Esi Edugyan, 'Painter of Silence' by Britain's Georgina Harding, and three works by American authors - 'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline Miller, 'Foreign Bodies' by Cynthia Ozick and 'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett.


Everything I know about love I learned from romance novelsIt's Valentines Day and I'm reading Everything I know about Love I learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books (an actual excellent blog I'd recommend to anyone interested in the genre, the D and F reviews are howlingly funny).  Her other book Beyond Heaving Bosoms is also in the libraries.  They don't take themselves seriously, but they do take the topic of romance seriously, particularly when it comes to Genre Snobbery.

Romance is often the bottom of the pile when it comes to respect, dismissed as women's and often trivialised I sometimes almost feel like apologising when I admit to reading Mills & Boons and people sometimes ask me if I read "real" books.  For me Mills and Boons are often great fun, good reads and often a palette refresher. Yes the outcome is known, but that could be argued of a lot of genre books, at the end of a murder mystery you expect to resolve the murder, spy novels expect to save the world, it's the journey that matters, the way in which the characters resolve their relationship that matters with a romance.  Most fiction involve a romance of some sort in the story, it's the believability that counts.  How does James Bond manage to have so many women fall into his arms?

Happy Valentine's and Romantic Reading!

The Next Always

Being the day that's in it, I thought I might throw a glance as to what titles classified as 'romantic fiction' featured amongst the most borrowed fiction titles (from our branch libraries, that is) during the month of January. And in doing so I was somewhat amazed that so few romance titles seemed to feature amongst the most borrowed, crime novels appearing to dominate the list in fact. But maybe that is not such a surprise, crime novels have always been hugely popular, while romance novels might be said to have a niche audience. And why so, or am I wrong?? Are we all not romantics at heart?!

Time and Tide

Anyways, while I wondered whether or not we might have seen the demise of romantic fiction to some degree, I came across this article in the Telegraph newspaper, 'Romance is a closed book: now we’re all losers in love', whose author also seems to think that crime has very much knocked romantic fiction down the pecking order. But as the author states, "feasting on felony and felony alone is not the healthiest diet", so with those words of wisdom, let me champion some romantic fiction titles that might rekindle your interest (and mine!) in the world of romance!