Christendom Destroyed by Mark Greengrass


This is a substantial history of Europe from the sixteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth, i.e. from the start of the Lutheran revolt against the Roman Catholic church until the end of the thirty-years’ war.

It covers the major changes in society and the economy as a result of many factors such as the exploitation of the newly conquered territories in South and North America, the greater availability of printed materials, reformation of religious practices and developments in Science and Philosophy.

It’s a substantial book, about 750 pages but I found it quite readable, not academic and covers a very interesting period in Europe’s and the Worlds’ history from the unified pietistic society of Christendom to the emergence of the modern era and a more complex and diverse continent.


You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.


BONUS POST: 5 Poetry Books to Watch Out For

Here’s five new poetry collections to watch out for:
(The links below direct you to our catalogue where you can reserve copies online)

Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong (5 Apr 2016)
Ocean Vuong was born in Saigon and moved as a child refugee to Connecticut, before moving to New York City to become a writer. When he couldn’t afford a place to sleep, he spent nights writing poetry at Penn Station.

In his haunting and fearless debut, Vuong walks a tightrope of vulnerability and reflects upon his family in exile, a reverential queer love, and the personal adoption of a sometimes inexplicable nation. Vuong’s poems show, through breath, cadence, and unrepentant enthrallment, that a gentle palm on a chest can calm the most necessary of hungers.

Torso of Air

“Suppose you do change your life.
& the body is more than”

“a portion of nightsealed
with bruises. Suppose you woke”

“& found your shadow replaced
by a black wolf. The boy, beautiful ”

“& gone. So you take the knife to the wall
instead. You carve & carve”

“until a coin of light appears
& you get to look in, at last, ”

“on happiness. The eye
staring back from the other side”


Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong attended Brooklyn, College. He is the author of two chapbooks as well as a full-length collection, “Night Sky with Exit Wounds.” A 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellow and winner of the 2014 Pushcart Prize, Ocean Vuong lives in New York City, New York.”

waiting for the past
Waiting for the Past by Les Murray (5 Apr 2016)
In “Waiting for the Past,” Les Murray employs his molten sense of language to renew and transform our experience of the world. In quicksilver verse, he conjures his rural past, the life of the poor dairy boy in Australia, as he simultaneously feels the steady tug of aging, of time pulling him back to the present. Here, syntax, sense, and sound combine with such acrobatic grace that his poems render the familiar into the unknown, the unknown into the revelatory.

Whether it s a boy on a walkabout hiding from grief, a sounding whale spilling salt rain, or leaves that tread on the sky, the great Australian poet s sense of wonder, his ear for the everyday, his swiftness of thought are everywhere in these pages. As Derek Walcott said of Murray s work, There is no poetry in the English language now so rooted in its sacredness, so broad-leafed in its pleasures and yet so intimate and conversational. ”

emily dickinson's poems
Emily Dickinson’s Poems As She Preserved Them – Edited by Cristiane Miller (11 Apr 2016)
“Emily Dickinson s Poems: As She Preserved Them” is a major new edition of Dickinson s verse intended for the scholar, student, and general reader. It foregrounds the copies of poems that Dickinson retained for herself during her lifetime, in the form she retained them. This is the only edition of Dickinson s complete poems to distinguish in easy visual form the approximately 1,100 poems she took pains to copy carefully onto folded sheets in fair hand arguably to preserve them for posterity from the poems she kept in rougher form or apparently did not retain. It is the first edition to include the alternate words and phrases Dickinson wrote on copies of the poems she retained. Readers can see, and determine for themselves, the extent to which a poem is resolved or fluid.With its clear and uncluttered pages, the volume recommends itself as a valuable resource for the classroom and to general readers. A Dickinson scholar, Cristanne Miller supplies helpful notes that gloss the poet s quotations and allusions and the contexts of her writing. Miller s Introduction describes Dickinson s practices in copying and circulating poems and summarizes contentious debates within Dickinson scholarship.”Emily Dickinson s Poems: As She Preserved Them” brings us closer to the writing practice of a crucially important American poet and provides new ways of thinking about Dickinson, allowing us to see more fully her methods of composing, circulating, and copying than previous editions have allowed. It will be valued by all readers of Dickinson’s poetry.”

trouble the water
Trouble the Water by Derrick Austin (12 Apr 2016)
Rich in religious and artistic imagery, Trouble the Water is an intriguing exploration of race, sexuality, and identity, particularly where self-hood is in constant flux. These intimate, sensual poems interweave pop culture and history-moving from the Bible through several artistic eras-to interrogate what it means to be, as Austin says, fully human as a “queer, black body” in 21st century America.

collected poems clive james
Collected Poems: 1958-2015 by Clive James (21 Apr 2016)
Clive James’s reputation as a poet has become impossible to ignore. His recent poems looking back over his extraordinarily rich life with a clear-eyed and unflinching honesty, such as ‘Japanese Maple’ (first published in the New Yorker in 2014), became global news events upon their publication. His most recent collection, Sentenced to Life, was a phenomenal bestseller in the UK and in Australia, and his translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller in 2013.

In this book, James makes his own rich selection from over fifty years’ work in verse: from his early satires to these heart-stopping valedictory poems, he proves himself to be as well suited to the intense demands of the tight lyric as he is to the longer mock-epic. Collected Poems displays James’s fluency and apparently effortless style, his technical skill and thematic scope, his lightly worn erudition and his emotional power; it will undoubtedly cement his reputation as one of the most versatile and accomplished of contemporary writers.


Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan


I loved this book!!

I’m a huge Harper Sloan fan. Her Corps Security series is one of my favourites. I’m normally a little sceptical when it comes to spinoffs. They are tricky things. But it was Harper’s so I HAD to read it. Let me tell you guys, I was not disappointed. I fell in Love with a little boy named Cohen in the second book of CS, and that little boy grew up into an incredible man. He has so much of his father in him. You will fall in love with him, all over again and for totally different reasons.

“It was unexpected, baby, but it was fate. It’s our unexpected fate.”

I loved “seeing” all the kids grown up, and I loved “seeing” everyone from CS. Okay, let’s get back to this story. Dani is all grown up. She has been in love with Cohen Cage her entire life. Cohen has been attracted to Dani most of his life as well, but being older, he feels it’s inappropriate to feel that way about her. It takes him a few years to come to terms with his feelings. When these two finally get together it’s HOT!! Fireworks and all that jazz!!

“This isn’t goodbye,” he vows. 
“Never goodbye,” I stutter.
“It’s ‘see you soon’,” he whispers.
“Every time I close my eyes,” I promise.

I can’t say much about the story without spoiling it for you. All I can say is, do yourself a favour and get this gem!! I can’t wait for the rest of this series and whatever is to come from the super awesome Harper Sloan.

Second Empire by Richie Hofmann

second empire

I read a lot of poetry (yes, we exist) and I was drawn to this book by its striking cover. I had not heard of Mr Hofmann before but was intrigued. He is a very good poet, but I do have some issues with his poetry….

I accidentally ended up reading this book almost three times – by that I mean, I read about two-thirds of it, and got distracted by life, and when I went back to read it, I wanted to read it through, as I felt it befitted that.

Hofmann has a very clean, very precise air to his poetry, which is something that more poets could do with observing – there is not a word wasted. He is a very pastoral poet, enchanted with myth and history.

I feel he is best when he is emotionally involved with the poem, and if there is a problem with this collection, it is the lack of emotional connection I feel with it. On the back cover, Rosanna Warren talks about “the delicate arc of these poems intimates – rather than tells – a love story” and I feel that’s part of the problem, because when he owns up to the emotions shrouding the images, eschewing the feeling that he mentions in ‘Description’ – “Once description was all I thought I needed / to bridge things” – there are beautiful moments of clarity that the poems crystallize around, such as, from ‘Amor Vincit Omnia’ – “There was nothing to do but memorize / each other”.

Despite the restraint, which at times grows to be its own character in this book (and at times turning it into something more interesting – the game of what’s not being said), but at other times merely feels like a lack, this largely free verse collection is excellent, and better than a lot of first collections out there. A poet to watch, certainly.



You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

BONUS POST: Five Graphic Novels to Watch Out For

Here’s five new and forthcoming graphic novels/comics to watch out for (most of the links below bring you to our catalogue so you can reserve a copy online):

Patience by Daniel Clowes Hardcover – 24 Mar 2016
Patience is an indescribable psychedelic science-fiction love story, veering with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially ‘Clowesian’, and utterly unique in the author’s body of work. This 180-page, full-colour story affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet.

The story opens in 2012, when Jack Barlow returns home to find Patience, his pregnant girlfriend, murdered. We meet him next in 2029, still haunted by the murder. He hears of a guy who thinks he’s invented a device that enables time travel. On the next page Jack is in 2006, watching Patience on her dates with boys. Is one of them the killer?

Reserve a copy on South Dublin Libraries catalogue here.

adulthood is a myth
Adulthood Is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection by Sarah Andersen Paperback – 7 Apr 2016
These casually drawn, perfectly on-point comics by the hugely popular young Brooklyn-based artist Sarah Andersen are for the rest of us. They document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, and dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life. Oh and they are totally not autobiographical. At all.
Adulthood Is a Myth presents many fan favorites plus dozens of all-new comics exclusive to this book. Like the work of fellow Millennial authors Allie Brosh, Grace Helbig, and Gemma Correll, Sarah’s frankness on personal issues like body image, self-consciousness, introversion, relationships, and the frequency of bra-washing makes her comics highly relatable and deeply hilarious.

fight club 2
Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart Hardcover – 31 May 2016

Chuck Palahniuk’s follow-up to Fight Club will be available only as a graphic novel with story co-written by Cameron Stewart and cover artwork by the legendary David Mack.

Ten years after starting Project Mayhem, our unnamed hero lives a mundane life. A kid, a wife. Pills to keep his destiny at bay. But it won’t last long, the wife has seen to that. He’s back where he started, but this go-round he’s got more at stake than his own life. The time has arrived: ‘Rize or Die’…

New York Times bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk and acclaimed artist Cameron Stewart have collaborated for one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events of 2015 – the return of Tyler Durden. The first rule of Fight Club might be not to talk about it, but FIGHT CLUB 2 is generating international headlines and will introduce a new generation of readers to Project Mayhem.

mary wept over the feet
Mary Wept Over The Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown Hardcover – 12 Apr 2016
The iconoclastic and bestselling cartoonist of Paying for It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John returns with a polemical interpretation of the Bible that will be one of the most controversial and talked-about graphic novels of 2016. Mary Wepte over the feet of Jesus is the retelling in comics from of nine biblical stories that present Chester Brown’s fascinating and starling thesis about biblical representations of prostitution. Brown weaves a connecting line between Bathsheba, Ruth, Rahab, Tamar, Mary of Bethany, and he Birgin Mother and the reassesses the Christian moral code by examining the cultural implications of the Bible’s representations of sex work. Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus is a fitting follow-up to Brown’s sui generis graphic memoir Paying for It, which was reviewed twice in the New York Times and hailed by sex workers for Brown’s advocacy for the decriminalization and normalization of prostitution. Brown approaches the Bible as he did the life of Louis Riel, making these stories compellingly readable and utterly pertinent to a modern audience. In classic Chester Brown fashion, he provides extensive handwritten endnotes that delve into the biblical lore that informs Mary Wept over the feet of Jesus. ‘There aren’t many cartoonists as brave – or frankly, as strange – as this Canadian artist.’ – Rolling Stone.

facts in the case of the departure
The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli Hardcover 12 May 2016
BEAUTIFULLY REDESIGNED NEW EDITION OF A CLASSIC GRAPHIC NOVEL See London as never before, in an extraordinary subterranean vision of Neil Gaiman’s short story. Come and hear of the terrible tale of Miss Finch, an exacting woman befallen by mystery and abduction deep under the streets of London! Join a group of friends, with the stern Miss Finch in tow, as they enter musty caverns for a subterranean circus spectacle called ‘The Theatre of Night’s Dreaming.’ Step inside, get out of the pounding rain and witness this strange world of vampires, ringmasters, illusions and the Cabinet of Wishes Fulfill’d… New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman and his longtime collaborator Michael Zulli deliver this ‘mostly true story’, combining Gaiman’s trademark magic realism with Zulli’s sumptuous paintings, newly redesigned for this beautiful new edition!

Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin


Lean on Pete tells the story of fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson who is struggling to make his way to a long lost aunt – who might just give him a home.

Along the way he encounters some great characters, particularly the hugely unsympathetic horse trainer and a dangerous and mentally disturbed tramp who becomes the embodiment of violent threat.

There is a beautiful simplicity at work here, a lot of the story comes down to straightforward accounts of daily survival but the level of detail and inventiveness shines through, enlivening what could be seen as mundane subject matter.

Prepare for a powerful, heartbreaking & harrowing experience – as Vlautin exposes a world where the American underclass still resides.

An absolutely brilliant book!


You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.