The Great Recoil: Politics after Populism and Pandemic
In this insightful, thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful book, Italian sociologist and political theorist Paulo Gerbaudo argues that the devastating recession which followed the 2008 financial crash and the more recent Coronavirus pandemic have led to The Great Recoil.
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.
Has Dublin Festival of History whet your appetite for history? Well look no further than your local library! We have lots of great history reads and resources for everyone, from the mildly curious to the practising historian.
Bog bodies suffered violent and grisly deaths. Of these bodies, the most famous, Cashel Man was discovered near Portlaoise in 2011, and at over 4000 years old, is said to be the oldest European bog body ever found with skin intact; then there is Old Croghan Man from Co. Offaly, and Clonycavan Man from Co. Meath. At 6’6", Old Croghan Man, who was killed between 362 BC and 175 BC, was a giant of a man. He bore the appearance of a nobleman from his well-manicured soft hands to his diet, rich in meat. Clonycavan Man was little more than 5 ft and used pine resin to keep his hair in place, probably sourced from Spain (a precursor to hair gel!) and demonstrates that he was a person of some wealth and standing in the community.Photo on the left shows the bog body found in Cashel Bog. Old Croghan man had holes cut through his upper arms through which ropes were inserted to restrain him, after which he was repeatedly stabbed, had his nipples sliced off, and was then cut in half. Clonycavan man was disemboweled and suffered three blows to the head with an axe, once across his body, and then had his nipples removed too. Ned Kelly, former keeper of antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland told the Irish Examiner that a clear pattern has emerged in each case. "We do not think of these bog bodies in the same way as we do axes or implements that are found," he said."You have to remember that these are individuals and it is absolutely essential to deal with their remains in a dignified manner. There would be no justification for taking these bodies unless we do so with respect and with the serious intent to tell their stories on their behalf.""Human sacrifice was apparently a normal part of the Celtic rituals, especially of kings in hard times. The killings tend to be excessive in that more is done to the bodies than would be required to bring about their deaths. Bog bodies may have their throats cut, been stabbed in the heart and have other cut marks. However, it is absolutely not torture, but a form of ritual sacrifice.""The king had great power but also great responsibility to ensure the prosperity of his people. Through his marriage on his inauguration to the goddess of the land, he was meant to guarantee her benevolence. He had to ensure the land was productive, so if the weather turned bad, or there was plague, cattle disease or losses in war, he was held personally responsible."Cutting the nipples was more than torture. The aim was to dethrone the king. "Sucking a king’s nipples was a gesture of submission in ancient Ireland," says Kelly. "Cutting them would have made him incapable of kingship in this world or the next.""By using a range of methods to kill the victim, the ancient Irish sacrificed to the goddess in all her forms. This manner of death is peculiar to the ritual killing of kings. It means that a king was being decommissioned."
Recommended reads if the world is making you anxious
Is the modern world doing our heads in? Here are some books that may throw some light on the subject and give us food for thought and some laughs along the way. How do we stay human in a technological world? and other questions are treated with wit, tenderness, and honesty. Marianne Power was stuck in a rut. Then one day she wondered: could self-help books help her find the elusive perfect life? She decided to test one book a month for a year, following their advice to the letter. What would happen if she followed the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Really felt The Power of Now? Could she unearth The Secret to making her dreams come true? What begins as a clever experiment becomes an achingly poignant story. Because self-help can change your life – but not necessarily for the better. Help Me! is an irresistibly funny and incredibly moving book about a wild and ultimately redemptive journey that will resonate with anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding happiness. Perfect for readers who enjoyed Everything I know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon and Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.Rules for Being a Man: Don't cry. Love sport. Play rough. Drink beer. Don't talk about feelings. But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone? Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life. Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not to Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters and the understanding that sometimes you aren't the Luke Skywalker of your life – you're actually Darth Vader.The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.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.
In this book Tim Costelloe examines the concept of faith on many levels, moving from his own personal experience to wider society and the various cultures and institutions that shape the world in which we live. Outlining the impact of historical religious events e.g. the Reformation as well as more recent tribal ones e.g. the war in Rwanda, he emphasises the significance of one’s values or lack of, on the life that’s lead.Citing different empirical research, other renowned authors and spiritual leaders he examines the popular secularism of to-day as well as the scientific arguments put forward in relation to this topic. His own vast life experience and career as CEO of the charity World Vision Australia leads him to state that faith “is deeper than happiness and speaks to identity and conviction”.Faith is an important message of hope and reconciliation – as well as an invitation to think about the many soul-searching events that challenge belief. In a world that is so often challenging, with events that cause us all to wonder what is going on, Tim Costello takes us on a journey through the notion of faith and how we all need to believe in something greater than ourselves, no matter what religious background we are from.Tim explores some of the world's most challenging issues, including refugees, corruption, war, intolerance, poverty, inequality and global warming. He meditates on what is going wrong and points out how we so often lose sight of our shared humanity. He points us to an inclusive faith, bringing people from across the spectrum of society together. Here, Costello gives us reason to pause and consider our world from the myriad perspectives of others as he meditates on the importance of true faith to humanity.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. Check out our how-to BorrowBox video.Submitted by Mairead from the Relief Staff Panel
I’ve picked a few books to help us understand the dogs that share our lives and living spaces, how we didn’t actually domesticate dogs, they chose to befriend us. How they prefer their owners' company to that of other dogs, and how they are naturally cooperative and instinctively drawn to generous people.
For most of us, our world has temporarily shrunk to the four walls around us, and the streets and roads of our locality. As someone who loves to walk - on the beach, up a mountain, through the woods – I feel the loss of this freedom. I spoke to a good friend yesterday who lives in a cottage in rural Sligo. She can no longer visit the sea to swim and has taken to submerging herself in a container of icy water instead. It’s a poor substitute but it’s keeping her sane.I find my 2km walk around my neighbourhood is doing the same job for me. Every day, I take my two boys, and we walk the same route. We look at the daffodils and tulips that are popping up on the green. We notice the Dublin mountains in the distance and whether the clouds are covering their peaks. We admire the colourful paintings that children have stuck up in their windows. They bounce a football, rev their scooters and run on empty roads. I marvel at the signs of nature everywhere, even on these suburban streets. We pass their empty school which is eerily silent, and we fall silent too. There is something about walking. Something healing about putting one foot in front of the other and noticing our world around us. Here are some recommended memoirs and travel books on the (sometimes life-changing) power of walking.The Salt Path by Raynor WinnIn 2013, Raynor Winn and her husband became homeless. Their home was repossessed by bailiffs after a bad financial investment. At the same time, Raynor’s husband, Moth, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Armed with a handful of cash, a tent, and 2 cheap sleeping bags, the couple in their fifties, decided to walk the South West coast path in England. They walked 630 miles from Somerset to Dorset; wild camping and surviving on pot noodles, cups of tea and the odd bag of chips. This inspirational memoir is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of love. Nominated for the Costa book awards in 2019.Wild by Cheryl StrayedIn 1995, following the death of her mother and the breakdown of her marriage, 26-year-old Cheryl Strayed decided to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast of America. Strayed, starting in the Mojave Desert, hiked 1100 miles through California and Oregon to Washington State. A novice hiker and woefully unprepared, she struggled to make it through the difficult terrain. Along the way, she was forced to face up to her inner ghosts and demons. This bestselling memoir was also adapted into a film of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon in 2014.A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonIf you feel like reading something funny in these dark days, Bill Bryson is your man. A Walk in the woods recounts the attempts of Bryson and his friend, Stephen Katz, to discover their wild side on the Appalachian Trail; a 2100 mile trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. Katz dreams of a nice meal and a warm bed, while Bryson focuses on staying alive. Their story was also made into a 2015 film of the same name, starring Robert Redford.Walking one step at a time by Erling KaggeFrom the author of “Silence: In the age of noise”; comes this beautiful meditation on walking and what it can do for our bodies and minds. Kagge, a Norwegian explorer and adventurer, was the first person to achieve the Three Poles Challenge – the North Pole, the South Pole and the summit of Everest.Submitted by Lara in Phibsboro 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.Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox.
Some more recommended reads on BorrowBox, this time from our colleague Brian.Common literary examples of nonfiction include expository, argumentative, functional, and opinion pieces; essays on art or literature; biographies; memoirs; journalism; and historical, scientific, technical, or economic writings (including electronic ones).The titles listed below are available on BorrowBox; see more on how to access BorrowBox at the bottom of this post.Limmy: Surprisingly Down To Earth and Very Funny. This autobiography from Scottish comedian Brian Limond (aka Limmy) is an extremely candid, hilarious look at his life, dealing with his adolescence in working class Glasgow, along with issues such as mental health, drug use, initial success and the peaks and troughs of life as a comedian. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. Part memoir, part training log, celebrated writer Haruki Murukami documents his training for the 2005 New York City Marathon, while reminiscing on his memories of writing and athletics.What I loved about this book is how Murukami successfully interconnects both the worlds of writing and athletics and vividly evokes the feelings and experiences that both these world can bring to us. David Bowie: The Last Interview and Other Conversations by Melville House/David Bowie. This collection of interviews with David Bowie (including his last) discusses everything from the creative process, and musical influences, to his spirituality, drug use and sexuality. The book gives frank and personal insights into how Bowie changed creatively and personally over a five-decade period. If you’re a huge Bowie fan, like me, or just have a passing interest, this is an essential read.Accessing BorrowBoxWatch our how-to video 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.Members of other library authorities will need to access BorrowBox using a different link.