Here are some of the most popular titles borrowed by you in 2022, our book-loving Dublin City library members. It’s great to see the One Dublin One Book choice, the Dublin Literary Award winner and some short-listed titles making the list. And always great to see Irish writers featuring so strongly as well.
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.
“ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me”
So begins this dark, suspenseful novel. From the beginning we are drawn through the iron gates of Manderley and down the drive towards this great house. We accompany the young heroine who is never given a name other than the second Mrs De Winter. Through her eyes we see the world of the first Mrs De Winter, the beautiful and accomplished Rebecca.
In the strictest academic terms, a romance is a narrative genre in literature that involves a mysterious, adventurous, or spiritual story line where the focus is on a quest that involves bravery and strong values, not always a love interest. Here’s the thing: sometimes, you just want to read a good love story. Or at least, something with a few dramatic swoons. But a romance novel, per se? Nothing so gaudy or slapdash for you! You need real literature. Well, here’s the answer: a selection of romantic books that will rev your motor (emotional or otherwise) but don’t fall into that taboo category of cheap paper and cheaper storylines.An Unsuitable MatchWhy on earth, after all you’ve been through, all you’ve survived, all you’ve achieved, why do you want to get married?’ Rose Woodrowe has just got engaged to Tyler Masson – a wonderful, sensitive man who is head-over-heels in love with her. The only problem? This isn’t the first time for either of them, and their five grown-up children have strong opinions on the matter. Like Rose’s daughter, Laura, who remembers her parents’ painful divorce and doesn’t want to see her mother hurt again. Or the twins, Emmy and Nat, who simply don’t trust the man their mother has fallen for. Then there’s Tyler’s children: Seth, too busy with his San Francisco sourdough bakery to get to know his father’s new partner; and Mallory, the aspiring actress, who is still wrestling with the issues of her own childhood. Who to listen to? Who to please? Rose and Tyler are determined to get it right this time, but in trying to make everyone happy, can they ever be happy themselves?Heartbreak HotelWhen retired actor Buffy decides to up sticks from London and move to rural Wales, he has no idea what he is letting himself in for. In possession of a run-down B&B that leans more towards the shabby than the chic and is miles from nowhere, he realises he needs to fill the beds – and fast. Enter a motley collection of guests: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) weedy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle. But under Buffy’s watchful eye, this disparate group of strangers find they have more in common than perhaps they first thought.The Beekeeper of AleppoNarrated by Art Malik, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a moving, powerful, compassionate and beautifully written testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Told with deceptive simplicity, it is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.In the midst of war, he found loveIn the midst of darkness, he found courageIn the midst of tragedy, he found hopeNuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. Afra has lost her sight, and so they embark on a periluos journey towards an uncertain future in Britain. As they travel, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is his beekeeper cousin Mustafa, who is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees. Nuri and Afra set off through a broken world, on a dangerous journey in which they will confront the pain of their unfathomable loss, and in doing so find a way back to each other again.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. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.
Book recommendations from Eimear from the relief staff panel, one historical true crime and a mix of fiction genres. With the brighter days and good weather making an appearance these book ideas might take your mind off things for a short time and give you a much needed break. Fiction writing can teach us a lot about society and humanity. Reading fiction contributes to a person's moral psychological development and their ability to have empathy or understanding. It enhances out ability to connect with each other. It makes us a little bit more aware and informed.Tell Me Everything If you ‘re looking for a compulsive page-turner full of psychological suspense, why not check out this impressive debut by Cambria Brockman? New to Hawthorne College, Malin quickly finds her feet amongst a tight-knit circle of friends. There is Gemma, the artsy but insecure theatre major; John, the handsome and wealthy New Englander; John’s cousin Max, the shy, quiet pre-med student; Khaled, the group jester and prince from Abu Dhabi; and of course Ruby, a beautiful art history student. However, Malin has a troubled past, one that she’s good at hiding. She has developed a knack for projecting a carefree appearance, but behind the scenes she’s calculating, cunning and has mastered the art of detecting the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of others. Fast-forward to Senior Day, just before graduation, Malin’s secrets and those of her friends are revealed. As Malin races to preserve her perfectly cultivated image, her missteps set in motion a chain of events that end in a murder. Whilst fragile relationships hang in the balance and close alliances shift, Malin tests the limits of what she is capable and how far she will go, to stop the truth from coming out. Tell Me Everything is a dark and twisty tale, the perfect thriller for summer!The Doctor’s Wife is Dead. Nenagh, Co.Tipperary. 1849. Ellen Langley, the wife of prosperous local doctor and surgeon Charles Langley, has just died after a short illness. Ellen had been sick for a number of years with consumption, but in the days before her death, her physical condition deteriorated rapidly. Several doctors attended Ellen in her final days and noted her symptoms. It appeared as though Ellen had died of English Cholera. At least, this was the conclusion of the five doctors who carried out the post-mortem. But in a remarkable turn of events, the coroner’s jury refused to accept the verdict. The circumstances surrounding Ellen’s death raised questions. Why had Charles Langley written a letter requesting an inquest into his wife’s death whilst she was still alive? Why was she buried in a pauper’s coffin? Why wasn’t the jury allowed to interview Mrs. Langley’s servants? Why was Charles Langley adamant that one witness in particular,shouldn’t be called to give evidence? Dr. Langley’s contempt for his wife was widely known and it isn’t long before new evidence surfaces and Charles Langley finds himself on trial for his wife’s murder. Following every twist and turn in the case, The Doctor’s Wife Is Dead tells the story of an abusive marriage, the double standards in Victorian Law, and the brave efforts of ordinary people to hold the person responsible to account. I really enjoyed this account of a nineteenth century true crime. It was very well researched and it gives the reader an honest account of Victorian life in Ireland. I couldn’t put it down!The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh.When Sarah and Eddie meet, sparks fly. It seems that Sarah has finally met Mr. Right. After spending seven blissful days together, Eddie departs for a pre-booked holiday to sunny Spain. Sarah has no doubt in her mind that Eddie will call, but he doesn’t. Sarah’s friends try to persuade her to forget him, but Sarah is certain that something has happened and that there has to be reason for his silence. There has to be! What if the reason for Eddie’s silence is a secret, the one thing you two didn’t share with each other?The Women of Primrose Square.This is another great read from popular Irish writer Claudia Carroll. Frank Woods at number 79 Primrose Square is about to turn fifty. Naturally, he wants to celebrate and so he tries to organise a party to mark the occasion. The problem is no one wants to go. Not even his wife and children, who all have other plans! Frank arrives home on his birthday, to find that his family have thrown him a surprise party. Standing in the doorway is Francesca, not Frank. As Francesca transitions, her relationship with her family becomes difficult and she decides to rent a room from her cantankerous neighbor, Violet Hardcastle. There, she makes friends with Emily Dunne, who has just gotten out of rehab and is desperate to make amends. Gossip quickly spreads through Primrose Square and it’s not long before relationships are tested. One thing is for sure, nothing in Primrose Square will ever be the same again.Leaving Time.Jodi Picoult is a prolific and popular writer, and this title is one of my favourites. Jenna Metcalf’s mother Alice went missing in the wake of an accident when Jenna was just three years old. It’s been more than a decade since her disappearance and Jenna refuses to believe that her mother would have abandoned her. Undeterred, Jenna frequently searches the Internet for clues into her mother’s whereabouts. Determined to find her mother, Jenna enlists the help of discredited psychic Serenity Jones and Virgil Stanhope, the detective who originally investigated Alice’s case. As the truth unfolds, Jenna’s memories start to fit with the events described in her mother’s journal, and the trio realise that when you ask difficult questions, you often get difficult answers. Leaving Time is a bittersweet tale of love, loss and the refusal to give up.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.
Thirteen 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. Belfast born Anna Burns was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, now the Women's Prize for Fiction, in 2001 for her debut; "No Bones". Sally Rooney, at 27, is the joint youngest author to be nominated this year. She can add that to an already impressive resume that includes being the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. Upon ditching the requirement of the author to be either from the U.K. or the Commonwealth two years ago, the two most recent winners of the prestigious accolade have both been from the U.S. Ireland can hold its head high to have the same number of nominations as the U.S. this year. There is only one previous winner nominated this year, Michael Ondaatje, whose book "The English Patient" was crowned the best Man Booker Prize winner of the last 50 years. This year he is nominated for his captivating novel "Warlight", set in post Blitz London in 1945. In a departure for the prize, this year sees a graphic novel, "Sabrina" by Nick Drnaso, nominated for the first time. Judges are quoted as being blown away by Drnaso's "oblique, subtle and minimal" style in a work that explores the chilling effect of 24-hour news after a girl has disappeared.Farouk's country has been torn apart by war. Lampy's heart has been laid waste by Chloe. John's past torments him as he nears his end. From a Low and Quiet Sea centres around the refugee, the dreamer and the penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with the Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. "Milkman" is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years. Sally Rooney's second novel is a deeply political novel, just as it's also a novel about love. It's about how difficult it is to speak to what you feel and how difficult it is to change. It's wry and seductive; perceptive and bold. Normal People will make you cry and you will know yourself through it.As a nation that has the most Nobel Laureates per capita in the world, Ireland has always punched far above her weight in the literary world. Donal Ryan, Anna Burns and Sally Rooney continue the hallowed Irish tradition of captivating their readers with their touching and unflinchingly human stories. We wish them the very best of luck and hopefully one of them will be the fifth Irish Man Booker Prize winner.The Man Booker Prize Longlist:Snap, Belinda BauerMilkman, Anna BurnsSabrina, Nick DrnasoWashington Black, Esi EdugyanIn Our Mad and Furious City, Guy GunaratneEverything Under, Daisy JohnsonThe Mars Room, Rachel KushnerThe Water Cure, Sophie MackintoshWarlight, Michael OndaatjeThe Overstory, Richard PowersThe Long Take, Robin RobertsonNormal People, Sally RooneyFrom a Low and Quiet Sea, Donal RyanPress on the Man Booker:Three Irish Authors nominated for Man Booker Prize 2018 (Irish Times)First Graphic Novel nominated for Man Booker Prize 2018 (The Guardian)About the Man Booker:The Man Booker Prize is one of the world's most famous literary prizes for contemporary fiction. From 2014 eligibility for The Man Booker Prize was extended to include novels originally written in English and published in the UK, regardless of the nationality of their author. Previously it was only awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.