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|My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay
Published by Canongate in 2019
Lemn Sissay is a much lauded poet who was named the official poet
of the 2012 London Olympics.
|Wilding – the return of nature to
a British farm by Isabella Tree
Published by Picador in 2018
Wilding is part memoir, part diary of a fascinating experiment of
the rewilding of a West Sussex farm which in turn saw the return of
an amazing variety of wildlife to this part of Britain. Author Isabella
Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell realised in 2000 that they could
no longer farm their land as they were moving closer to bankruptcy.
So they handed their farm back to nature. The result has been a fascinating
journey of reintroducing free roaming animals which in turn stimulated
new habitats and resulted in a return of rare species including turtle
doves, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies.
Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member.
Then it Fell Apart by Moby
What do you do when you realise you have everything you think you've ever wanted but still feel completely empty? What do you do when it all starts to fall apart?
In summer 1999, Moby released the album that defined the millennium, Play. Like generation-defining albums before it, Play was ubiquitous, and catapulted Moby to superstardom. Suddenly he was hanging out with David Bowie and Lou Reed, Christina Ricci and Madonna, taking ecstasy for breakfast (most days), drinking litres of vodka (every day), and sleeping with super models (infrequently). It was a diet that couldn't last. And then it fell apart.
The second volume of Moby's extraordinary life story
is a journey into the dark heart of fame and the demons that lurk
just beneath the bling
and bluster of the celebrity lifestyle. At times shocking but always
entertaining, Then it Fell Apart is an honest account of the true
cost of fame.
|Elsewhere – one woman, one rucksack,
one lifetime of travel by Rosita Boland
Published by Transworld in 2019
Documenting nine journeys from nine different moments in her life, Elsewhere reveals how exploring the world – and those we meet along the way – can dramatically shape the course of a person’s life. Boland says that you might know from guidebooks what you can expect to see but you can never know who you will meet.
From death-defying bus journeys through Pakistan to witnessing the majestic icescapes of Antarctica to putting herself back together in Bali, Rosita experiences moments of profound joy and endures deep personal loss.
Her tales of near-death experiences may not lure you from your package holiday but they do show how rewarding it can be to occasionally venture off the beaten track.
Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member.
|Names for the Sea: strangers in
Iceland by Sarah Moss
Published by Granta in 2012
Author and academic Sarah Moss had just published her first novel, Cold Earth, when she, her husband and two sons relocated to Reykjavik as she was to take up a teaching post there. Sarah had always been fascinated by Iceland and had previously spent time travelling there when she was a teenager. This book recounts their journey, experiences, trials and tribulations of relocating country with small children. She explores local cuisine, her difficulties in sourcing fresh fruit and vegetables and finding alternatives for her children. They relocated just after the financial crisis, and the effects are still very fresh there. She looks at the consequences of that time on the local economy.
She is ultimately keeping a diary of her feelings, the changing seasons, migratory birds and the magic of the Northern lights. I love how her children easily learn to speak Icelandic from their school experiences in contrast to the difficulties the parents experience in being foreign and navigating new systems.
Sarah has since gone onto write five other novels, with Ghost Wall her most recent. The Guardian recently said she will be the next big author of note and compares her with Hilary Mantel, Kamila Shamsie & Tessa Hadley. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member.
|Listening to the Animals – becoming
the supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick
Published by Orion Books in 2019
I really enjoyed reading this book and I am not usually a fan of biographies. The first part of the book brought alive rural Ireland, reminding me of my parents and grand-parents and the sheer hard work and toil that went into small farming. The book then moves to the UK, where I was surprised to learn of the author’s foray into acting before settling down to veterinary work. The latter section on Mr Fitzpatrick’s current veterinary career covering the advances in surgical techniques and the possibilities this raises for human medicine was fascinating. I do recommend this book.
Recommended by Jacqueline , a member of Kilmihil Library
|Becoming by Michele Obama
Published by Viking in 2018
Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. An inspirational book.
Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member.
by Andy Lee with Niall Kelly
This is Andy Lee’s story from growing up in a trailer in England, listening to singsong taunts in the schoolyard to become the middleweight boxing champion of the world. This biography of the man described as the nicest man in boxing is a great read, even for those with no interest in the sport.
Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member
In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent
Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum
Marie Colvin travelled to and stayed in the most dangerous places in the world, fulfilling her professional journalist role and shining a light on the suffering of ordinary people in war in countries such as Israel and Palestine, Chechnya, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan. She almost lost her life on many different occasions before she was fatally injured and died in Syria 2012. In Extremis, written by her friend and colleague from The Sunday Times, Lindsey Hilsum, is as much a page-turning account of Marie’s personal life as an enthralling story of her encounters with dictators and presidents including Colonel Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat, whom she knew well.
Hilsum’s story of the most daring war correspondent of our times was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and a Sunday Times Book of the Year.
All-American Murder by
James Patterson & Alex Abramovich with Mike Harvkey.
This is a true crime story about NFL New England Patriots’ star Aaron Hernandez - a gifted athlete adored by fans, with a multi-million dollars contract and sponsorship deals - who led a disturbing secret life and ended up in a maximum security jail accused of murder.
“I didn’t know anything about this case, hadn’t followed it in news but have since found out that it was a case that gripped the American nation. A very interesting read, a tragic story - will be ordering more of these true crime stories to read in future.”
Recommended by a Kilrush Library staff member
Why Be Happy When You Could Be
Normal by Jeanette Winterson
This is a memoir of Winterson’s early life growing up in Northern England with her adoptive family of Pentecostal fanatics. Zealous and passionate Jeanette seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, she decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender at times this book can be so funny and then at times can be brutally sad. It's an interesting look at one woman's path to being herself while fighting those around her.
“I listened to this audio book on Borrowbox. Narrated
by Jeanette Winterson herself it is a short, clever witty book and I loved
This is Going to Hurt: secret
diaries of a junior doctor by Adam Kay
This is a non-fiction book, written in diary form by a junior doctor who works 97 hour weeks, makes life and death decisions and says that even the hospital parking meter earns more than him. Even though it's a serious subject matter the reviewer described it as 'hilariously funny and well worth reading'.
Recommended by a Corofin library member
|Fat Chance My Life in Ups, Downs
and Crisp Sandwiches by Louise McSharry
Published by Penguin Ireland in 2016
2FM DJ and cancer survivor Louise McSharry writes about everything from surviving a messed up childhood, to crashing out of education and still making it, to figuring out sex, weight, feminism, make-up, friendship, workplace politics and a whole lot more. This book is an honest read that provides the reader with a multitude of emotions throughout the chapters.
"McSharry is funny and open and even though it is in the adult section,
it could be a recommended read for TY students. I will certainly be recommending
it to readers here in Kilmihil library". - a Kilmihil Library
|Educated by Tara Westover
Published by Hutchinson in 2018
Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen she decided to educate herself.
A riveting account of growing up in a world where violence is part of everyday life and the emotional toll it takes on a child. A testament to the incredible, potent power of education to haul oneself out of even the most difficult of circumstances.
"A brilliant memoir". - a Sixmilebridge Library member
Mary Berry Fast Cakes
Mary Berry’s latest publication is a collection of recipes for cakes, sweet breads and biscuits that can be made quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss and trouble. She says that there is no need to bother with fancy tins or piping bags to produce an informal yet professional finish to all kinds of teatime specials.
With lots of pictures - a feast for the eyes as well
as the palate. - a Clare County Library staff member
100 Poems by Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney had planned to compile a personal selection of his poems but unfortunately died before accomplishing this. Now his family have selected 100 of their favourite poems for this book. Readers will find his most loved and celebrated poems alongside newer works including a poem which is dedicated to his granddaughter, written only 12 days before his death.
Including favourite poems such as Digging and Mid-term Break the book will serve as an introduction for people who haven’t read much of Heaney’s poetry before, or who are unsure about where to start. For long-time readers, the book plots a course through Heaney’s life, times and work: from the early portrayals of the people and places of his native rural Derry, through the turbulent years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and blossoming into the mature voice and mastery of his later work. - a Clare County Library staff member
The Doctor’s Wife is Dead
by Andrew Tierney
This non fiction read is based on the murder of Ellen Langley, the wife of a prosperous doctor, in 1849, who was buried in a pauper’s grave. She had been confined to the attic space of her own home and then expelled to a rented house in an impoverished part of the town. There was a public outcry during the time of the trial.
"A great read, based on a true story of a murder case in Nenagh. Local and interesting, it gives a great insight into life in the local area around Nenagh during the time of the famine. There is a twist in the tale!" - a Clare County Library staff member
I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice
Simon Fitzmaurice, a filmmaker, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2008 and was given 4 years to live. His wife Ruth was 32 years old at the time. In I Found My Tribe Ruth chronicles their life together following the diagnosis and she touchingly recounts the impact of Simon's condition on the family.
Set in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ruth’s ‘tribe’ is her husband, 5 children, family and friends. These close friends are a huge support to her and she shares their therapeutic experience of swimming daily in the sea together. In an honest and moving account we learn that Simon eventually lost the use of all movement other than his eyes, yet managed to communicate by using an eye gaze computer. He continued to write and direct, though paralysed. Simon Fitzmaurice died in 2017.
"This book is at times raw, at times inspiring. Though the topic is painful and heart-breaking the story is surprisingly uplifting". - a Clare County Library staff member
Ruth Fiztmaurice will be in conversation with Mick Heaney in glór at 4pm on Friday 2nd March as part of the 2018 Ennis Bookclub Festival.
|The Warrior’s Code by
Jackie Tyrrell with Christy O’Connor
Published by Trinity Mirror Sport Media in 2017
This autobiography by one of the most successful hurlers in Irish sporting history, lifts the lid on what motivates a winner of nine All-Ireland titles and four All-Star awards. And for anyone who has ever wondered what makes the Kilkenny club such a success machine, Jackie Tyrrell provides some answers.
"Brilliant book - very open and honest account of Kilkenny hurling and their manager." - a Sixmilebridge Library member.
|A Time to Risk All: the incredible
untold story of Mary Elmes, the Irish woman who saved children from Nazi
concentration camps by Clodagh Finn
Published by Gill Books in 2017
Clodagh Finn has travelled throughout Europe to piece together the story of this remarkable, unknown Irish woman, meeting many of the children Mary Elmes saved from the Nazis during the Second World War. Here, in a book packed with courage, heroism, adventure and tragedy, her story is finally remembered.
"An amazing story of courage and bravery" - a Sixmilebridge Library member.
|Mythos: the Greek Myths Retold
by Stephen Fry
Published by Michael Joseph / Penguin in 2017
Stephen Fry’s book on the Greek gods of antiquity is an enthralling read, at once informative and highly entertaining. Fry introduces us to the Titans and the Olympians, the Immortals and minor branches of deity such as dryads and nymphs and the Cyclops. We meet the myriad gods and goddesses of antiquity, the polytheistic pantheon ranging from Apollo to Zeus and all in between, including Hades, Poseidon, Artemis and Kronos. All are introduced and brought centre stage in turn, and their defining characteristics and legends are recounted as well as rendering their Roman equivalent. In the course of the book the myths and legends of the ancient world which have informed our culture for centuries are told with verve and éclat.
"As Pasteur commented, it is the Greeks who have bequeathed to us the most beautiful word in our vocabulary, enthusiasm - en Theo, and Stephen Fry’s wonderful book will enthuse and delight all curious readers." - a Clare County Library staff member
|Prisoners of Geography: ten maps
that tell you everything you need to know about global politics
by Tim Marshall
Published by Elliott and Thompson Limited in 2015
Fascinating read about how the geographical realities of countries and how their physical borders still impact on political decisions. In ten chapters covering Russia, China, USA, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Africa, India and Pakistan, Japan and Korea, Europe and the Arctic, we learn how a country’s geography has dictated their economic development through history. Some colonial countries have borders casually drawn on maps by colonialists, others are invented entities which struggle to succeed as nation states. Marshall is an experienced Foreign Affairs journalist who previously worked with Sky News and the BBC.
"This book is an accessible account of the
ongoing issues in the political world, eg Russia and the Crimea, China’s
investments in Africa and other geopolitical issues. Highly recommended."
- a Clare County Library staff member
Neven Maguire’s Perfect
Irish Christmas by Neven Maguire
Packed with all the classics you need for the big day, like Neven's famous buttermilk turkey, perfect roast potatoes and traditional Christmas desserts, you'll also find lots of inspiration for the whole festive season: from a Snowman Cake to make with the kids and St Stephen's Day leftovers, right through to a festive New Year's Eve dinner.
"In addition, you'll find lots of fun ideas for edible gifts, party food and all the little extras that help make Christmas as special as it can be". – a Clare County Library staff member
Home for Christmas by
In this book Alice Taylor looks back over her past Christmases and prepares for this year’s celebrations. She tells how the Christmas foods were made when she was a child, using the bastable and the range, and how she prepares them now.
"Covering everything from picking the perfect tree to the very crucial puddings and pies, Alice takes us through the preparations for Christmas in her own intimate way". – a Clare County Library staff member
|I am, I am, I am: seventeen brushes
with death by Maggie O'Farrell.
Published by Tinder Press in 2017
This memoir recounts the 17 times when award winning novelist O’Farrell has narrowly escaped death. There are episodes of near drowning, of life-threatening miscarriages, of encephalitis. There are close shaves with a murderer, with turbulent planes and a knife-point robbery in Chile.
‘Written as a series of self-contained
essays, although essentially a book about death, this book is moving and
life-affirming and reminds us all of how precious life is.’ –
a Clare County Library staff member
Nothing to envy : real lives in
North Korea by Barbara Demick
The title of this book comes from a song North Korean children are taught, “We have nothing to envy in the world” – in a country where there is no internet access and all radio and television broadcasts are government sponsored.
In Nothing to Envy, journalist Demick interviews six defectors from North Korea - a couple of teenaged lovers, an idealistic woman doctor, a homeless boy, a model factory worker who loved Kim Il Sung more than her own family and her rebellious daughter.
‘At a time when North Korea is back in the international spotlight, this book provides an eye-opening account of the lives of ordinary people under its repressive regime.’ – a Clare County Library staff member
| Letters of My Life
by Mary O’Rourke
Published by Gill in 2016
On the eve of her 80th birthday, Mary O'Rourke has sat down to write a letter to twenty people past and present, close and distant, living and deceased. Every letter is heartfelt; every letter offers gratitude for the difference the recipient made to Mary's life.
‘I found this a very entertaining read. It was a great book to dip into and read a few letters at a time. Mary has a unique way of telling a story with great humour and as most of the people she writes to are in or were in the public domain, the book appeals to the reader all the more.’ - a Clare County Library staff member
The age of anger: a history of
the present by Pankaj Mishra
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world?from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present.
‘I listened to this book on Radio 4 Book of the Week. It was terrific and compelling listening. Current affairs straddling politics and the new world order of social media, informed by historical developments since the French and American revolutions.’ - a Clare County Library staff member
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