Welcome to the third entry in our blog series 'Lost in the Stacks' - recommendations by Dublin City Libraries staff exploring overlooked gems and helping you find your next read!Our entry today comes from one of our wonderful librarians, Jessica, and looks at some of the best essay collections in our libraries!Essay CollectionsIs there a greater joy than settling comfortably with a beverage of your choice and reading a well-crafted essay?There is a particular form of literary alchemy that takes place in the best essays - the fusion of the personal with social commentary combined with a stylistic elegance. Often offering a unique perspective on a cultural moment or a brief window into another world, a good essay has a habit of staying with you long after the pages have turned and the book is closed.Here is a selection of the very best essay collections for you to enjoy. If you'd like to borrow any of the books discussed below, simply click on the book cover or title to be taken to the reserves page, where you'll need your library card and PIN to request the book.1. Pulphead: dispatches from the other side of America by John Jeremiah SullivanPulphead is a fascinating collection of essays exploring pop culture and subcultures of American life fused with memoir and aspects from the writer’s own life. Written with a gentle wit and probing intelligence, it is hard to resist reading the entire collection in one go.2. Changing my mind: occasional essays by Zadie SmithThis is a fabulous collection of Zadie Smith’s book reviews, film reviews and non-fiction prose. Witty, honest and refreshing, it is a pleasure to dip in and out of.3. Naked by David SedarisDavid Sedaris has cornered the market in humorous memoir based essays. The stories here are sardonic, wry and darkly hilarious with a touch of pathos and just the right amount of hindsight and self-knowledge to balance the comic absurdity.4. Men explain things to me by Rebecca SolnitThe title essay of this book has gained iconic status since it was published but each of the essays in this book are powerful reminders of why we need feminism. Essential reading.5. This is the story of a happy marriage by Ann PatchettAnn Patchett is best known as a novelist but this book collects her earlier non-fiction articles. This is a fabulous collection of personal essays and memoir pieces that explore key moments in her life. Her writing is warm, engaging, and shining through with humour and kindness.
Dublin Festival of History returns for it's sixth year and takes place from the 24th September to 7th October. This year will see over 140 events across the city, with talks, walks, tours and exhibitions on a wide range of topics, including the historical impact of gaming, former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ time spent in Ireland, a queer history of Kilmainham Gaol, an evening of conversation and music with Christy Dignam, as well as numerous events marking 100 years of Irish women’s suffrage. All events are free.The Festival will culminate with a ‘Big Weekend’ series of talks at City Hall and the Printworks, Dublin Castle, taking place from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October featuring many best-selling historians. Michael Palin will bring to life the history of the ship HMS Erebus, Anne Applebaum will discuss Stalin’s war on the Ukraine in the 1930s, while Helen Rappaport will shed new light on the murder of the Russian Imperial Family after the Bolshevik Revolution, 100 years after their death.Commenting on the launch of the full programme of events, Brendan Teeling, Dublin City Librarian, said: “The Dublin Festival of History has been growing year-on-year since we started in 2013 and we’re delighted to launch an expanded and diverse programme of events for this year’s Festival, all completely free of charge. We’re immensely proud of the diversity of topics, and we’re also really pleased that once again the Festival has achieved gender balance, in fact we have a majority of female speakers on our line-up this year. “History isn’t just for academics – whether you have an interest in fashion, gaming, GAA, maps or want to know more about the first wave of Irish feminism – we’ll have an event for you. We’d encourage everyone to check out our programme, come along to an event and learn something new.”If you have an interest in history you can’t miss this Festival and remember, all events are free!The Dublin Festival of History is brought to you by Dublin City Council and is organised by Dublin City Public Libraries.View the full programme at dublinfestivalofhistory.ie | Library-based Events | Dublin Festival of History programme (PDF, 6.32MB)