When my parents discovered the Happy Pear in November 2019, I thought to myself, ‘this is going to be another one of their phases’. For instance, a few years ago my father took up jam making. It’s not that my parents can’t cook. On the contrary, they can cook, very well! It’s that, when they decide that they like something, they throw themselves wholeheartedly into it… and then two months later, they have moved on. The jam sugar with added pectin… well, it’s still in the press.So who could blame me for being a tad sceptical, when my mother asked me to borrow two Happy Pear cookbooks from BorrowBox? Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I did. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Happy Pear, they are Irish twins, David and Stephen Flynn. They have written several cookbooks on Vegetarian and Vegan cooking. Part of their philosophy is to get people to eat more fruit and veg and in order to accomplish this; they have made their dishes as tasty and appealing as possible.The Happy PearThe first book that I borrowed was “The Happy Pear’’. It’s the first cookbook by the duo, and I can see why it’s a bestseller! First, it’s packed full of colourful photos showcasing their dishes. It’s really important to me as a reader that I have a good idea of how the finished product should look. The book is divided into sections, breakfasts, soups, mains etc. It’s easy to navigate and the ingredients are simple and inexpensive to source.I have tried many, but not all of their recipes. One of the recipes that stood out to me is the ‘Falafels with Red Pepper Relish’. What I love about this dish is that it is tasty and easy to make. It’s light and perfect for summer. Another favourite of mine is their ‘Thai Coconut, Sweet Potato and Lemongrass Soup’. This recipe has minimal preparation time; it’s ideal for mid-week lunches. Also, check out their ‘Happy Pear House Salad With Pumpkin Seed And Parsley Pesto’. It took me fifteen minutes to prepare and it’s super tasty! What more could you ask for? The final chapter of the book includes a glossary of the pair’s favourite ingredients that they use in their recipes. It explains what each ingredient is and why you should incorporate them into your diet. All in all, for a debut cookbook, this one is a hit!The Happy Pear: Recipes for HappinessThe second book that I borrowed was “The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness’’. In my opinion, this cookbook contains more summer recipes than it’s previous counterpart. Which is perfect, because we are right in the middle of summer! One of my favourite recipes in the book is the ‘Ultimate Fifteen Minute Burger’. The burgers can be cooked in the oven or on the barbecue, so you can enjoy this delicious recipe all year round! I can’t get enough of their ‘‘Meatball’ Sub’. It is a versatile recipe that works well for both lunch and dinner. Also, I would recommend that you try the duo’s ‘Quick-Fire Burritos’. It is one of their tastiest recipes and has become quite the go-to recipe for me. It’s so quick to make and if you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong. I am also a huge fan of their ‘Gluten Free Bread’. It’s healthy, tasty and great with homemade jam. A major selling point for me is that their recipes are inexpensive- they work on any budget. The Happy Pear even includes a chapter in the book on budgeting and meal planning. They show the reader how to prepare a week of meals on a small budget. The meals are tasty, healthy and don’t break the bank! I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely a firm favourite of mine.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.Submitted by Eimear from Raheny Library.
'The Essex Serpent' brings the reader gently but inexorably into a fervent narrative. What is the Essex Serpent? Is it real? A scientific wonder from an earlier age, or is it a legend? A buried secret churning upwards? In this world, women and men do not meet in any clichéd way, but find shared purpose in the mystery surrounding the sightings. Sarah Perry gives us no easy answers and we learn a great deal about some of the medical advances of the time, and see what it might have meant to be subjected to them and survive. Meantime the serpent spins its self onto drawings, hides under pillows, represents the Leviathan from the Bible, and refuses to be pinned down. Twisty and atmospheric, with a couple of gruesome scenes, our colleague Lucy enjoyed this book and she hopes that you will too.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.
Recommended on BorrowBox - Wilding by Isabella Tree..
Please read on for a listening recommendation from our colleague Eileen. One of the many perks of working in a library is that it’s like being in a constant book club, all kinds of books are at hand, books that you would never dream of buying or looking at. I have discovered so many books by just holding and looking through what our borrowers have returned. As George Martin wrote in one of the Game of Thrones titles, a man who reads lives a thousand lives. I saw this book when it was returned to the library and I liked the cover (yes, we all judge a book by its cover, it’s been proven that it makes it easier to choose what you like). So I flicked through it and I liked the pictures (yes I’m very shallow) of deer and flowers and wildlife. I thought I’d bring it home as I was working on a drawing of flowers, and when I started reading it, I was immediately sucked into a family’s life of trying to sustain a working farm.As I progressed my way through the pages, I noticed how beautifully it was written, and so I looked up the author and discovered that she has some highly recommended travel books. So I continued with this book which blends scientific facts and figures with graceful insights into nature, animals and the very soil, which creates and feeds us. This is a must read for any hobbyist gardener, bird watcher, animal lover, any professional botanist, farmer or geologist. Or if you just want a change from fiction, try this non-fiction book. I really can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an exquisite odyssey through the very ground we walk on and our part in preserving and respecting it.It’s available on BorrowBox and is ideal to listen to while gardening!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.
We decided to kick off our new series of regular blog posts on individual authors by putting the spotlight on that most prolific and popular of children's authors, Michael Morpurgo. A decision heavily influenced I might add by Michael's presence in Ireland right now to attend a big family event in the Concert Hall in Cork this evening. Michael could be heard on RTE radio's 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' show yesterday morning when he was interviewed by Claire Byrne. If you missed it, you can listen to the interview online (c.16 minutes in length).Right: Michael Morpurgo (Source) Michael is also in the news for another reason right now, his book 'Listen to the Moon' (Category: Older Fiction) having just been shortlisted The Children’s Book Award (UK) 2016. You can read here our post on the shortlist announcement. Michael has already won this award three times, the Award's uniqueness being that the winner (and shortlist) is selected by younger readers. This surely is testament, if it were needed, to the popularity of Michael Morpurgo amongst younger readers.Michael's latest book 'An Eagle in the Snow', (Category: Older Fiction) just published, is based on a supposedly true account of a young soldier's chance encounter with Adolf Hitler during World War One. Story has it that during a battle towards the end of the war, Henry Tandey, who went on to become the most decorated British soldier of WW1, told this young German soldier who wandered into his line of fire to go home, he having seen enough killing at that point. The young German soldier supposedly being none other than Adolf Hitler! Hitler apparently recounted in 1935 an episode where a British soldier during WW1 did not take the opportunity to shoot him but instead let him. Thus the story grew, as it did so the line between fact and fiction became rather blurred, to the point today where a degree of uncertainty exists as to its accuracy. In this novel Michael joins together some of the dots to deliver a great fictionalised account of the supposed event. As Michael says, his book is suitable for those aged '8 to 98'. Michael has authored over 100 books, many of which tackle social issues, one such being 'Out of the Ashes' (2001) (Category: Older Fiction), which is about the foot and mouth crisis. This book was adapted for television, as was 'My Friend Walter' (1988) (Category: Older Fiction), a book with a rather different, ghostly, theme. Some have also been turned into film, including 'Why the Whales Came' (1985) (Category: Older Fiction), which stars Helen Mirren; and 'King of the Cloud Forests' (1987) (Category: Older Fiction), a short (30 minute) film which won France's Cercle D'Or Prix Sorciere. And who of course hasn't heard of 'War Horse'?'War Horse' (1982) (Category: Older Fiction), like many of Michael's books has a war theme, and had huge success as both a book and a play before ever appearing as the 2011 box-office success directed by Steven Spielberg. Another with a war theme is 'King of the Cloud Forests', mentioned earlier, where Ashley and Uncle Sung embark on a perilous journey across the Himalayas as they flee the Japanese invasion of China in WW2.Award winning titles, there are many. To name but a few: 'The Wreck of the Zanzibar' (1995) (Category: Older Fiction), telling the story of 14-year-old Laura on one of the Scilly Isles, won the 1995 Whitbread Children's Book Award; 'The Butterfly Lion' (1996) (Category: Younger Fiction), telling the story of a young boy who rescues an orphaned lion club from the African bush, won the 1996 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award); and 'Private Peaceful' (Category: Older Fiction), the story of a soldier who is looking back on his life from the trenches of World War I, winning the 2005 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award amongst others. 'Listen to the Moon', mentioned earlier, was also shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Children's Book Award.Michael Morpurgo was born in Hertfordshire (UK) in 1943. He spent a brief period in the army, after which he took up teaching and writing. He gave up teaching after ten years in order to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife. He and his wife were awarded an MBE for services to youth in 1999 for this work with inner city children. In 2003 he became the third Children’s Laureate, and he was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to literature.Visit Michael Morpurgo's website.Spotlight by: Eddie Byrne