The strength of a biography of the artist lies in the reader’s desperate willingness to explore and re-examine the fruits of the artist’s labour. On completing William Shatner’s autobiography Up Till Now, I studied the author’s revolutionary interpretation of Henry V (or Henry Five as the author refers to it); his Maoist deconstruction of the role in Michael Langham’s 1953 production led to a reconceptualisation of the art of acting - a counterpoint to Christopher Plummer’s more classical interpretation.To be sure, there are three aspects to this autobiography: firstly, Mr. Shatner has an opinion on everything, his quicksilver mind often leads the reader on an intellectual tangent through a postmodern thicket; secondly, the author is a raconteur of the highest order - his scuttlebug on the film and television industry is only matched by David Niven’s The Moon’s a Balloon; thirdly, his analysis on his approach and practice of his craft.Mr. Shatner’s development of ‘Shatnerism’ - the iconic mellifluous, halting and staccato cadence; his use of the ‘loud whisper’; the iconoclastic urgency - engulfs all the roles he inhabits: observe the sinister Adam Cramer in The Intruder (1962); consider his avant-garde Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar (1955); reflect on his personification of LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ as Captain Kirk in Star Trek (1966-1969). These landmark performances only whetted the appetite of this reader for the work of this acting colossus that I have yet to see. I yearn to see ‘Shatnerism’ in action in the metaphysical horror written entirely in Esperanto, Incubus; or White Comanche (1968) whither Mr. Shatner plays the dual roles of the peyote addicted twin brothers Johnny Moon and Notah.Imagine, if you will, a man, an artist who boldly goes where no other Canadian actor has gone before - narrating an audiobook version of Ulysses: ‘Stately. Plump. Buck Mulligan. Came. From the stairhead. Bearing a bowl. Of. Lather. On which. A. Mirror. And a. Razor lay……………...Crossed.’ Set phasers to stunning.Up Till Now by William Shatner is available to download on Borrowbox. 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 Tom in Drumcondra Library.
Now that you have seen almost every movie and TV show ever made you have probably realised that it is no coincidence that great books, in the right hands, often make great movies and television.From Normal People, and Game of Thrones, to The Lord of the Rings and The Godfather, now is a great time to read the original book versions using either our ‘Call and Collect’ service. And, if you are having problems finding an item don’t forget to try the “Ask a Librarian” service.Normal People by Sally RooneyConnell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life.Longlisted Women's Prize for Fiction 2019. Longlisted Australian Book Industry Award 2019. Winner Costa Book Award 2018. Submitted by Manus in Pearse Street Library.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader if you prefer too! 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.
Is “Spark Joy, an Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying” really a life changer or just another fashion trend? Is the ‘queen of tidying’ deserving of her title? Marie Kondo’s chuck it if it doesn’t spark joy method of tidying is a great way to tackle the often tumultuous job of tidying providing a guide to the decision making necessary in choosing the things you really want to bring with you into the future.Kondo has made tidying her life’s work. She did a thesis on tidying in college and went on to become a successful author and business woman with her own American TV series. The KonMari method of tidying is based on a simple philosophy of love it or chuck it but she has never said it was easy. Taking a journey with Kondo involves commitment, visualisation and discarding along with master classes in folding, sorting and storing. Tidying by category and sticking with the work order and the criterion promises to bring about a new order not just in the home but across life. The book is beautifully illustrated with simple but effective childlike drawings.By following the KonMari method of tidying a value system is developed that simply cannot exist with accumulating clutter and therefore becomes a plan for life. Kondo helps people hone into their feelings to identify the items that ‘spark joy’ breeding confidence in deciding what they should keep and what to let go. She believes that for successful tidying a transfer of concentration from what you want to get rid of to what you want to keep is necessary. The result is a positive mindset and a perspective which when applied regularly in the home transfers across to all life allowing a new setting and a joyful future.As a self professed tidying freak Kondo found that restoring order in the home was a way to relieve anxiety. In these Covid times as we are spending more time then ever in the home and garden we have an opportunity to look around us and take care of our possessions. Many have taken to tidying with gusto but it can be overwhelming. Kondo explains tidying as the act of self confrontation achieved by facing the mess we have created head on allowing for the restoration of order. As mess and clutter are often indicators of unhappiness, practising the KonMari method of tidying can result in a change in outlook.Kondo, always respectful of the individual, insists that a person should never be forced to tidy if they don’t wish to.There is a deeply spiritual dimension to Kondo’s simple philosophy on tidying. She approaches her work with a grace and reverence rarely seen in the western world. Her driving force is her wish to share her message and bring joy into peoples lives, a laudable ambition. There is a history in Japanese culture of treating things with special care. Kondo often startles people when she goes on her knees to thank the house before embarking on a tidying spree. She recommends thanking each item individually for service rendered before discarding referring to the Japanese tradition of treating things with reverence acknowledging “the pathos of things.”She believes that by taking the time to sense an entity’s essence and it’s transience we can connect and be touched by nature, art and the lives of others. Reconnecting with the world is empowering and stimulates empathy enabling us to be kinder to ourselves and each other. In the western world we live in a consumer based society which often ceases to recognise our basic needs as social beings for a happy life resulting in high anxiety, a growing phenomena of our age. Perhaps if we put our houses in order we’ll arrive at a place where we can care for the things and the people who serve us well not only in this time of pandemic but in the everyday.Marie Kondo has earned her title of ‘the queen of tidying’ and her claim that adherence to the KonMari system of tidying as life changing is true. Submitted by Liz, Pearse Street Library.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.
This book describes a study of the culture and influences which affect our individual sense of self and worth. With a focus on family, education, religious and work organisations the author provides an analysis of how the ethos within each system contributes to our wholly developing the various aspects of self -physical, social, emotional, creative, intellectual and spiritual.According to the author an imbalance in “contemporary society which worships at the altar of success and lauds “ ‘having’ rather than ‘being’ ” has lead us to lose “conscious sight of our true nature”. Drawing on his extensive career as a psychologist he outlines a path (via a greater examination of self) back to a re-discovery or re-birth of our authentic selves. This journey is a necessary one he believes in order to reach our greatest potential as individuals and as a society.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 Mairead from the relief staff panel.
Charles Dickens, one of the most popular and accessible novelists died 150 years ago in June 1870. His novels are still popular and they have been adapted for television and cinema. They have been turned into popular musicals on stage and screen. Many novelists have acknowledged his influence and expressed admiration for his novels.At the age of twelve he was sent to work in a blacking factory by his affectionate but feckless parents. From these unpromising beginnings, he rose to scale all the social and literary heights, entirely through his own efforts. When he died, the world mourned, and he was buried - against his wishes - in Westminster Abbey. Yet the brilliance concealed a divided character: a republican, he disliked America; sentimental about the family in his writings, he took up passionately with a young actress; usually generous, he cut off his impecunious children.Dickens created an array of memorable characters - Miss Havisham dressed in her wedding finery every day since she was jilted at the altar in Great Expectations. The contrasting characters Mr. Micawber and Uriah Heep in David Copperfield. In David Copperfield, the novel he described as his favorite child, Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. One of the most swiftly moving and unified of Charles Dickens’s great novels, Oliver Twist is also famous for its re-creation through the splendidly realized figures of Fagin, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and the evil Bill Sikes of the vast London underworld of pickpockets, thieves, prostitutes, and abandoned children. Victorian critics took Dickens to task for rendering this world in such a compelling, believable way, but readers over the last 150 years have delivered an alternative judgment by making this story of the orphaned Oliver Twist one of its author’s most loved works.His novels were originally published in instalments in weekly or monthly magazines. This is the reason there are some dramatic “cliffhanger” scenes which made the reader want to know what happened in the next instalment. This helps to make them “pageturners” for modern readers. (It also allowed Dickens to get feedback from his readers about what they thought of his stories and characters before he had finished his novel!)There are 24 ebook and eaudiobook copies of Dickens’ novels available on Borrowbox and you will also find there an excellent biography of the author by Claire Tomalin.Claire Tomalin is the award-winning author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including: The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft; Shelley and His World; Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life; The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens; Mrs Jordan's Profession; Jane Austen: A Life; Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self; Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man and, most recently, Charles Dickens: A Life. A former literary editor of the New Statesman and the Sunday Times, she is married to the playwright and novelist Michael Frayn.Submitted by Philip in Finglas Library.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.
Sebastian Barry is an Irish novelist, playwright, and poet, he was named laureate for Irish Fiction 2019-2021. He is noted for his literary writing style and is one of Ireland’s finest writers. His book Secret Scripture won the 2008 Costa Book of the year. He also won the Costa Book of the year in 2017 for his book, Days without End, becoming the first novelist to win the prestigious prize twice. Each of his novels imagines and expands the history of one of the author's ancestors and he mines his colourful family history for stories.Secret Scripture by Sebastian BarryThis is the story of Roseanne McNulty who is nearing her hundredth birthday in the mental hospital where she was committed as a young woman. The hospital is about to close and her psychiatrist finds himself intrigued by the story of his elderly patient. This book charts her life. The author writes about loss, broken promises, and failed hopes. This is a beautiful and disturbing book to read. It’s an astonishing story told with sadness and grace and illuminates the history of the skeleton in the cupboard, it is an incredibly moving and emotional story of love, grief, religion, and life in Ireland. This is a novel about the damage done by men to women and also to themselves. The act of telling her story is redemptive.The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian BarryThis is a story of a man with good intentions that have some disastrous consequences. He is exiled from a country that rejects him but which he loves nonetheless. Eneas McNulty lives his life in the shadow of the sentence haunted by his memories and by strong ties to a place that he is barred from forever. He is forced to flee Sligo, his friends and family. This is a heartbreaking story about the gentle Eneas McNulty caught up in the deadly politics that came with Irish Independence. Barry does a great job of creating the atmosphere of the time following the end of World War One. The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty recounts the history of a lost man. The author vividly creates Eneas’s warm humanity and his tenderness is powerfully portrayed and casts a gentle light on the hardship around him.Days Without End by Sebastian BarryWinner of the Costa Book Award this story is about two young Irish men leaving the great Irish famine behind them to travel to America. Thomas McNulty takes us through American history with his best friend, and partner, John Cole - joining the army to make a living. They experience hardship together where hunger and no shelter is hard to bear but they survive and grow deeper in love. It’s a violent lyrical vision of America in the making. Sebastian Barry has created complex individuals who find themselves caught up in the horrors of war. It’s a masterpiece of atmosphere and language It’s a novel you will not forget. There are two main threads in this novel: the love story between Thomas and John, and America.Submitted by Geraldine in Drumcondra Library.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.
Every year there are approximately 9500 people reported missing in Ireland. Most of these cases are solved. Some aren’t. Unfortunately, at the end of every calendar year, some people become part of the long-term missing persons statistic.Since 1950, there have been more than 870 long-term missing persons cases in the Republic of Ireland. Many of these cases are not suspicious, but sadly, some are. RTÉ journalist Barry Cummins has spent much of his career following some of the most high profile missing persons cases in Ireland. In this new and updated edition of his book, Barry Cummins examines some of the most high profile missing persons cases in the state, including cases of women who were abducted and murdered during the 1990’s under strangely similar circumstances. He examines the possibility that a serial killer may have committed some of these crimes, has managed to evade justice and might still me at large. Could they strike again?Missing by Barry Cummins is an authoritative and well-researched account into some of the most high profile abductions and murders in the state.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
As the pandemic mandated lock-down largely continues, albeit with some welcome easing on the horizon, there are still some wonderful opportunities for a little gentle escapism with a huge array of eBooks and eAudiobooks available with Dublin City Libraries using Borrowbox. Please note that you will need your Dublin City library card number and PIN and also to download the BorrowBox app.'Sidney Chambers and the persistence of love' is the sixth installment in the popular 'Grantchester' mystery series by James Runcie which began in 2012 with the publication of 'Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death'. It hews fairly closely to the formula of the traditional British 'cosy' genre (a sub-genre of crime writing in which the reader is largely spared direct exposure to the murder or gore; boasts an amateur sleuth and an attractive bucolic setting). It opens in 1971 when Archdeacon Sidney Chambers, his seven year old daughter, Anna and elderly labrador, Byron, literally stumble on the corpse of a bohemian folk singer who, mysteriously, is carrying a basket laden with an array of highly poisonous flowers and herbs. Struggling to juggle the impact this discovery might have on young Anna, Sidney investigates and encounters a world filled with obsession, home made drugs, free love and yet more death.One of the most attractive features of Runcie's writing is the multiple overlapping plots and developments that never feel forced or artificially truncated which he dips in and out of throughout his work and it is not just murder which our protagonist must face but an array of more mundane challenges, also. From a frighteningly efficient and disruptive, new parish secretary, to an auction art attribution mystery, or the mishandling of the church collection or even simply the little travails of finding a suitable wedding anniversary gift for his wife. Runcie slips back and forth, effortlessly, between them with a genuine lightness of touch and excellent pacing Somewhat unusually for a cosy mystery, there is a sexual assault sub-plot but this is handled sensitively and while it does not shy away from the emotional suffering and horror of the event, the reader is, thankfully, spared some of the more harrowing details of the attack.Runcie also has a truly sublime turn of phrase. At several stages throughout, I actually had to pause and go back simply to re-read a line or paragraph that was particularly striking or attractive (something of a rarity when i am reading crime fiction) and his deceptively simple use of language lends a fluidity and ease to his writing so that immersion is readily facilitated making this a genuine pleasure to read. I was most pleasantly surprised to pause reading at one point and discover that far more time had passed than I imagined.One of the joys of this series of works is that Chambers comes across as a genuinely human character. This is not a flashy, cold Poirot or Holmes that astounds us with superhuman cognition or pyrotechnic intellectual gymnastics but a normal, flawed man with all of the limitations and foibles that this entails. From forgetting his wedding anniversary, to worrying about the upbringing of his child, to dealing with awkward work colleagues or regretting flashes of jealousy he is believable both as a religious and father and husband but yet maintains an innate decency, compassion and humanity as he tackles matters both criminal and theological, alike.It should be noted that there are recurring characters from previous installments and this is the sixth installment in the series; while I do not feel there is an impediment to jumping in in, some readers may prefer to go through the works in order to derive maximum enjoyment of them. Happily, all five of the previous volumes are also available via Borrowbox.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.
Today we are recommending two titles on BorrowBox by legendary Irish writer Edna O’Brien. O'Brien, (born December 15, 1930, Twamgraney, County Clare, Ireland), Irish novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter whose work has been noted for its portrayal of women, evocative description, and sexual candour.In The Forest is based on a horrendous true story of crime and terror that took place in Ireland in 1994. It’s an exceptional example of how real life can be stranger than fiction. Set in the countryside of western Ireland, In the Forest centres on unwitting victims for sacrifice: a radiant young woman, her young son and a trusting priest, all despatched to the wilderness of a young man's unbridled, deranged fantasies. Beautiful descriptions and a great array of voices tell the story of a murderer and his crime, the place where it happened, and the people it happened to. The author does a great job at creating an intense atmosphere, and it will keep you at the edge of your seat with each chapter. O'Brien's riveting, frightening and brilliantly told novel reminds us that anything can happen when protection isn't afforded to either perpetrator or victim. The writing is excellent and the author manages to effortlessly hold the reader’s attention.Girl. Captured, abducted and married into Boko Haram, the narrator of this story witnesses and suffers the horrors of a community of men governed by a brutal code of violence. Barely more than a girl herself, she must soon learn how to survive as a woman with a child of her own. Just as the world around her seems entirely consumed by madness, bound for hell, she is offered an escape of sorts - but only into another landscape of trials and terrors amidst the unforgiving wilds of northeastern Nigeria, through the forest and beyond; a place where her traumas are met with the blinkered judgement of a society in denial.This novel is short and spare. It’s the story of one girl’s struggle to survive against all odds. The author fictionalizes the true story of the girls who were kidnapped by the Boko Haram in 2014. The news horrified the world at the time and yet the international community did little to help them. It’s painful and challenging to listen to. It forces us to enter the dense jungle of pain, fear and trauma that the young girl Maryam experienced. A difficult read but I highly recommend it.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.Submitted by Geraldine H.
Mulcahy has always been interested in the relationship between population and the planet and is deeply concerned about the future of mankind as it ignores the well-being of our planet home. As in previous publications, he warns us about the limitations of Planet Earth as the home of man and other living creatures.Whilst he takes a gloomy view of our future on this earth, he puts forward solutions that might prevent the final cataclysm. In this book, the author’s main argument describes the detrimental impact of over-population on the sustainability of planet Earth.On the Survival of Humanity by Risteárd MulcahyIn this book, the author’s main argument focuses on the detrimental impact of over-population on the sustainability of planet Earth. Referencing studies both old and new, ranging for example from ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’ by Thomas Robert Malthus’ from1798 to the UN Population Division, his prognosis foretells a future of increasing world population size and decreasing natural resources. Appealing to world leaders to engage seriously with this topic, he points out potential solutions in order to regain an improved equilibrium between humanity and the natural world. Starting out with a fable set in 2050 in which new strict regulations are in place for society to survive, the book finishes leaving us to ponder on our own behaviour and that of governments.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.Recommended by Mairead from the Relief Staff Panel.