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staff picks

New for Children this Christmas!

PosterLest we should forget our younger borrowers this Christmas (Joking! However could we!!) , here are just some of the new books and DVDs we have in our branch libraries in readiness for Christmas. Or anytime in fact!

Browse the list of DVD and book titles below, each of which links to its respective catalogue record where you can get further details and check on availability. Read more »

Christmas Fiction Reads for Adults

Christmas can be such a hustle and bustle time of year as we all know, and one of the best ways to escape all that hustle and bustle is to engross yourself in a good book when you can and partake of the many pleasures that reading brings.

To help you on your way, we have compiled some Christmas-themed reading lists for you. Below are the titles included on our fiction list for adults, enjoy!

Calling Mrs Christmas, Carole MatthewsCalling Mrs Christmas, Carole Matthews.
Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She's soon in huge demand and Cassie's business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born. Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children, so he enlists Cassie's help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her loving partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients. When millionaire Carter asks Cassie to join his family on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn't go. Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life. Read more »

Lou Reed

Lou Reed passed away on the 27th of October 2013.

He was one of the most influential figures in rock music. His first band The Velvet Underground is probably solely responsible for any "Indie Music" we hear today. However he is most famous for two songs, "Walk on the Wild Side" and Perfect Day". The former was a hit in 1972. A most unusual chart song with sparse arrangment of an infectious backing vocal, two note bass line and spoken styled melody of  lyrics about transsexuals and prostitution inspired by characters of the pop artist Andy Warhol's hangout, The Factory. The song surfaced again in 1990 as it's memorable bass line was sampled by A Tribe Called Quest as the backbone of their song "Can I kick it?". The latter was "Perfect Day" (the b side to Walk on the Wild side) which had a resurgence in the film Trainspotting and was released by an all star cast as a charity single in 1997. Both songs were featured on the album Transformer. Read more »

A Scare at Halloween!

The BansheeToday is Hallowe'en, and for many that means a time to scare and be scared! So below we have some scary reads to suggest to you that hopefully will not mean sleepless nights!

Hallowe'en is sometimes thought of an American feast, with its trick-or-treating, pumpkins, fancy dress parties and scary movies, but long before this – indeed, as far back as Celtic times - our ancestors celebrated Samhain, the beginning of the dark time of the year. In that regard, our Ghost Town Image Gallery showcases the Irish, and specifically Dublin, traditions of past times, with more than a nod to the celebrated Gothic writers and the haunted places of the city. It introduces viewers to such supernatural characters as the evil Dolocher and the murderess Darkey Kelly and also to gentler spirits such as that of Archbishop Marsh. Read more »

Irish Crime Fiction in a Healthy State

Broken HarbourI've been meaning for so long to do a post or three on Irish crime fiction, and the weight of guilt for not so doing before now has finally proved enough of a catalyst to get me across that line, thankfully.

But where to start?  In light of the fact that the shortlist for the Irish Book Awards (IBA) "Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award" is to be announced on the 31st October, I thought I would start with a mention of what books published over the past year might find themselves in the running. I have to say in that regard that Declan Burke's 'Crime Always Pays' blog has been an invaluable jump-off point and is well worth a visit if you want to keep informed about the Irish crime fiction scene. Last year's IBA winner by the way ('Broken Harbour' by Tana French) was selected from a shortlist of six, and I will revisit last year's winner and shortlist on another occasion (and soon!).
(Update: 'Irregulars' by McCarthy added, 30 Oct.) Read more »

Jonathan Stroud - The Bartimaeus Triology. A Must Read for Every Fantasy Fan

Post by Fabienne Sauberlich.

The Amulet of Smarkand"The temperature of the room dropped fast. Ice formed on the curtains and crusted thickly around the lights in the ceiling. Then two yellow staring eyes materialized in the smoke. "Hey, it was his first time. I wanted to scare him"."

This is the beginning of Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Triology, a fantasy series that is all at once fantastic, thrilling and funny, with two main characters that will immediately capture your heart.

So what's it about? The story is set in a world where wizards are the most powerful people, and humans without magical powers are lower class people. Wizards conjure up demons to work for them, but they treat them like dangerous slaves knowing that a demon will take every chance he gets to kill his master. Read more »

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