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Science Week 2014

2014 CWA Award Winners

CWA logoThe winners in the various categories of the 2014 CWA (Crime Writers' Association) Dagger Awards have (nearly) all been revealed following the recent announcement of the winners in the final categories. Most of the category winners were announced in July, with the Gold, Steel and John Creasey Awards revealed in late October. The winner of the Dagger in the Library Award is. I understand, to be announced in November.
And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, the winners in two categories do share the same title!

I can now reveal (nearly) all of the category winners (each title links to the book's library catalogue entry): Read more »

Crime Fiction of a Truly International Flavour

Crime sceneMy crime fiction reads have taken me to many lands and long may that continue. In my previous blog post I visited Italy, Iceland, Sweden, South Africa and Botswana. In this latest compilation of crime reads I revisit Italy and South Africa, while also venturing to the USA, Sweden, Norway and France.

IreneStarting with France and moving in a clockwise-direction, we first encounter Pierre Lemaitre, whose book 'Alex' I have covered previously and thought very highly of. Now it is time to mention 'Irene' 4.5 stars, the prequel to 'Alex', yet which followed it in translation. But reading 'Alex' first, as I did, can prove a bit unfortunate for obvious reasons, so I do recommend you stick to the proper order if you haven't yet read either. And read you must, for I can't recommend this author highly enough. He writes so well, and he is excellent on plot, characterization, atmosphere and tension building. But there is a word of caution: his portrayal of violence is not for the meek, and may put off some. So while you would be forgiven for moving quickly on at some points, you should not let it detract from your pursuit of otherwise top quality crime writing, which both 'Alex' and 'Irene' are. It would be good to know though that an author of Lemaitre's obvious talent could produce just as capable a work without the need for such graphic depictions of violence. Read more »

Dublin - Where Elephants Roam

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Where Elephants RoamThis is the Month of the Elephant and during the ‘elephantastic’ month of October, Dublin City Libraries will be hosting puppet shows, storytelling and Zoo talks all about elephants. Drop into your local library to see the wonderful displays of books and to book a place at one of our children’s events. As Children’s Book Festival also takes place in October, we have lots of your favourite authors visiting as well – so check out the website for all the details. Read more »

Man Booker Winner is... The Narrow Road to the Deep North

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The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthAustralian Richard Flanagan was last night announced as the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for his sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (448pp.). His was selected from the six shortlisted titles, the other authors of which came from Britain (3), and the US (2). He becomes only the third-ever Australian to win this coveted prize in its 46-year history, previous Australian winners being Thomas Kenneally and Peter Carey, who won it twice.

The storyline follows an Australian surgeon in a Japanese POW camp in 1943. "In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever." (book description)

Whilst otherwise considering the longlist when announced as "uninspiring", Irish Times columnist Eileen Battersby described the book as "one of the finest novels published in English this year", and picked it as the title that "could and should emerge as winner". Read more »

Ireland beat Germany 5 – 2!

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Jakob, the German keeper, saves a shotYou might think we have lost the run of ourselves with a wild prediction for tomorrow night's Euro 2016 qualifier against the might of Germany, but then you might think why not given our two wins to date against Georgia (2-1 away) and Gibraltar (7-0 home) in the same competition. But the fact is that the scoreline above in Ireland's favour is not a thing of fantasy but rather the result to the second-ever football game between the two countries.

The date of this historic 5-2 Irish win over Germany was 17th October, 1936, a Saturday, the venue was Dalymount Park, and some 28,000 were in attendance.

Right: Jakob, the German goalkeeper, saves a shot from Moore of Ireland.(Photo: Sunday Independent, 18th October 1936) Click thumbnail to view larger image. Read more »

Contemplating our past

The Dublin Festival of History has just come to a close, after a very successful run. It covered a huge variety of topics, ranging from the Battle of Clontarf to the Spanish Civil War, and hopefully the festival will have whetted your appetite for more exploration of our past. Public libraries offer plenty to read on all of the subjects covered in the festival, and plenty of other historical topics besides. Read more »

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