Brilliant Book Titles #129

dont tell mum i work
You can reserve a copy at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

A take-no-prisoners approach to life has seen Paul Carter heading to some of the world’s most remote, wild and dangerous places as a contractor in the oil business. Amazingly, he’s survived (so far) to tell these stories from the edge of civilization. He has been shot at, hijacked and held hostage; almost died of dysentery in Asia and toothache in Russia; watched a Texan lose his mind in the jungles of Asia; lost a lot of money backing a scorpion against a mouse in a fight to the death, and been served cocktails by an orangutan on an ocean freighter. And that’s just his day job.

Taking postings in some of the world’s wildest and most remote regions, not to mention some of the roughest rigs on the planet, Paul has worked, got into trouble, and been given serious talkings to, in locations as far-flung as the North Sea, Middle East, Borneo and Tunisia, as exotic as Sumatra, Vietnam and Thailand, and as flat-out dangerous as Columbia, Nigeria and Russia, with some of the maddest, baddest and strangest people you could ever hope not to meet.


Brilliant Book Titles #128

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

Join Scroobius Pip as he gets to the bottom of what matters most in life: whether getting Russell Brand to expound on capitalism, Jon Ronson on the perils of social media, Simon Pegg on the power of satire, Killer Mike on race relations in the United States or Howard Marks on drugs and cancer, Pip elicits thought-provoking material by rummaging through the minds of some of the most interesting creatives of our time.

Distraction Pieces features both curated highlights from the iTunes-chart-topping podcast – from Akala to Howard Marks via the likes of Adam Buxton, Romesh Ranganathan and Amanda Palmer – and exclusive new content, with chapters on politics, social media, music, comedy and more. Featuring illustrations by tattoo artist mr heggie, this is a must-have for fans of the Distraction Pieces podcast, and a must-read for anyone interested in the creative mind.

Pickup Men by L. C. Chase


First LC Chase book for me, and I really liked it.

Martin Fairgrave is a rodeo pickup man and in a relationship, and in love with, World Champion bull rider, the closeted Tripp Colby. What follows is a relatively straightforward but detailed and likeable romance.

Marty is fed-up of being Tripp’s little secret and after Marty is in an accident in the Rodeo, and Tripp doesn’t even check on him, Marty’s had enough, and dumps him. This sets the pair of them on a voyage of discovery about themselves and each other.

Liked Marty and Tripp’s story, and the very plausible romance between a main and a secondary character – it even had me wondering if perhaps, they’d go off together instead of the main characters. The secondary characters are well drawn and the book well-written, giving a real flavour of Rodeo life. Looking forward to reading the next two books in the series (Let it Ride and Pulling Leather) which look very intriguing from their synopses!


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

5 New Playscripts to Watch Out For

Ink by James Graham (19 Jun 2017)
I want to tell you a story. And it’s true. That’s what makes it a good fucking story, right, `cause all the best stories are true. Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises. James Graham’s ruthless, red-topped play leads with the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper – when a young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asked the impossible and launched its first editor’s quest, against all odds, to give the people what they want. Ink was first published to coincide with the world premiere of the play at the Almeida Theatre, London, on 17 June 2017, in a production directed by Rupert Goold.

Twilight Song by Kevin Elyot (13 Jul 2017)
A new play from the writer of the classic comedy My Night with Reg. In their sitting room in leafy north London, Isabella and Basil are getting ready to take Uncle Charles out to dinner. It’s summer 1967 and their secrets are starting to crack as the world around them undergoes a revolution.

Tracing one family’s hidden liaisons over half a century to the present day, Kevin Elyot’s evocative final play conjures a heartbreakingly funny tale of fathers and sons, desire and regret, and lives half lived.

Twilight Song received its world premiere at London’s Park Theatre in 2017.

Plays: One by Alexi Kaye Campbell (27 Jul 2017)
plays 1.jpg
The premiere of The Pride at the Royal Court Theatre in 2008 marked the emergence of Alexi Kaye Campbell as a distinctive new talent. With its bold and ingenious structure and its daring take on sexual politics in the 1950s and today, the play combined thrilling dramaturgy with profound insight into the affairs of the human heart. It went on to win an Olivier Award, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, and the John Whiting Award for Best New Play, and was revived in the West End in 2013.

Published here alongside that remarkable debut are Alexi’s four subsequent plays, which together demonstrate his rare ability to harness theatricality in pursuit of emotional truth.

Apologia (Bush Theatre, London, 2009; revived in the West End in 2017), a perceptive look at what has happened to 1960s idealists and their children. ‘Sharp, funny, wise and humane, Alexi Kaye Campbell is a writer to cherish’ Telegraph

The Faith Machine (Royal Court, 2011), an exploration of the relationship between faith and capitalism that asks fundamental questions about the true meaning of love. ‘An urgent play of expansive ambition and largeness of spirit’ Guardian

Bracken Moor (Tricycle Theatre and Shared Experience, 2013), a haunting tale of grief and denial, set against the economic crisis of the 1930s. ‘A superior kind of ghost story… intellectually as well as emotionally haunting’ The Stage

Sunset at the Villa Thalia (National Theatre, 2016), a passionate and deeply personal play about the impact of foreign influence, planned and unintentional, on a nation and its people. ‘This play is a winner, a thought-provoking slow-burn story that works on many levels’ The Times

Follies by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman (24 Aug 2017)
New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Including such classic songs as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind, Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre.

Jitney by August Wilson (24 Aug 2017)
Set in the 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs (‘jitneys’). When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss s son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone.

Jitney is currently on Broadway; it was first produced in New York in the spring of 2000, with a London run following in 2001, winning rave reviews and the accolade of the as the best play of the year. Jitney is the seventh in Wilson s American Century cycle of plays on the black experience in twentieth-century America. He writes not about historical events or the pathologies of the black community, but the unique particulars of black culture. In addition to the essential and insightful preface by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, this edition includes production stills from the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway production, directed by Santiago-Hudson and featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden, André Holland (Moonlight), Carra Patterson(Straight Outta Compton), Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon), Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson.

What Was Promised by Tobias Hill

what was promised

A remarkable story set in a very bleak post war London. Unlike most books which romanticise this  period in British History, this book takes a different approach.  People were still practically starving and the capitol was in ruins – there’s nothing remotely glamorous about children playing in dangerous bomb sites orphans living rough.

Hill tells the story of native Londoners , Jewish immigrants,  immigrants from former British colonies, against a background of the London Markets.  colourful Petticoat lane and the bleak existence of the costermongers.  Very poignant with a strange not-altogether satisfying ending.


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

Brilliant Book Titles #127

up with the times
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Conor Brady edited “The Irish Times” for sixteen years between 1986 and 2002. It was a period of extraordinary change both in Ireland and in the wider world. This book reveals with intriguing detail how the paper both managed and made the news during two turbulent decades. It tells of encounters, not all friendly, with politicians, such as Charles Haughey, Dick Spring, Albert Reynolds (who sued the paper serially), John Hume, Mary Robinson, Bertie Ahern and many others. It describes the meticulous investigations – and sometimes the crises of decision making – that preceded pivotal stories, including Bishop Casey, the X Case, the Lenihan tapes, the fall of Albert Reynolds and others. It addresses the personal and corporate tensions at the heart of Ireland’s longest-established national newspaper, while providing close insights into the working of modern media with an honest recognition of the good and bad that is contemporary journalism. “The Irish Times” has been at the centre of public life in Ireland for almost 150 years. It has been lauded as the mouthpiece of the establishment and decried as subversive of public order and morality. It has always been controversial. Conor Brady likens the job of editor of a national newspaper to being the driver of an express train: ‘There is no time to dwell on the wonders of the landscape or the novelty of the events that have just passed by.’ His account of editing “The Irish Times” is a frank and engaging journey to the heart of a great Irish institution.

Brilliant Book Titles #126

It’s the exclamation mark in this title that I like.

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

A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Daily Telegraph, Huffington Post & Business Insider Top Business Book to Read

‘Every year, 2 million people apply for a job at Google – so what’s the secret?’ Guardian

A compelling manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live, Work Rules! offers both a philosophy of the new world of work and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent and ensuring the brightest and best prosper. The way we work is changing – are you?

The Ladybird Book of The Hangover


This is a must for all readers who remember learning to read using Ladybird series(which I do myself). From bestselling authors Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris – a nugget (or not!) of wisdom in the phenomenal Ladybirds for Grown Ups series.

This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them. The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. The subject of the book will greatly appeal to grown-ups.

You will literally laugh your socks off and immediately want to pick up the next one. Best enjoyed on your own…in case people nearby think you’re nuts!


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

5 New Relationship Books to Watch Out For

Dating Again with Courage and Confidence: The Five-Step Plan to Revitalize Your Love Life after Heartbreak, Breakup, or Divorce by Fran Greene (6 Jul 2017)dating again.jpg
We all know that dating can be scary, frustrating, and at times overwhelming. It’s no wonder women need to take a break sometimes, but what do you do when you’re ready to begin dating again? Here, renowned relationship expert and author of the Flirting Bible, Fran Greene, gives you the advice and encouragement you need to embrace dating with enthusiasm, playfulness, and self-confidence.

Fran Greene’s five-step program will guide you from single life, recent breakup, or divorce to your happily ever after. You will be empowered with the essential tools to tackle dating head-on. You’ll learn to:
– DECLUTTER by removing obstacles, including the distractions of old flames and failed relationships on your path to finding love
– FIND JOY again in a fresh approach to dating that will inspire and motivate you for the adventure ahead
– FLAUNT your best traits and learn to become a fabulous flirt with proven tips and strategies
– MASTER the tools at your disposal, from dating sites and apps to social media, and learn the “dos and don’ts” of texting
– EMBRACE YOUR FUTURE and adjust your attitude with a 60-day dating action-plan

With this book in hand, you’ll have the expert advice and proven strategies you need to date smarter and live a happy and fulfilling future.

Life, Love & Internet Dating by Douglas Alan Weiss (15 Jul 2017)
life love and internet dating
How do we find that one person we are destined to love and be loved by for the rest of our lives? Can the Internet really help? Answers to these and many other questions you may have asked yourself at one time or another are the subject of Douglas Alan Weiss’, Life, Love & Internet Dating. Loosely modeled on Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Life, Love & Internet Dating explores truths about human relationships, those we have with ourselves, with others and with that higher being we sometimes refer to as God, through the lens of Internet dating. It is at once a personal journey and a deeply nuanced investigation of life and the conditions of happiness and fulfillment men and women seek as they move though their lives.

52 Questions for a Better Family by Travis Hellstrom (27 Jul 2017)
52 questions for a better family.jpg

The Trans Partner Handbook: A Guide for When Your Partner Transitions by Jo Green (21 Aug 2017)
the trans partner handbook
Individuals who transition from one gender to another are often in some degree of a relationship, and over 55% of these relationships endure through the transition process.

While more resources are emerging for trans people themselves, there is very little information available for their partners. Through first-hand accounts and vignettes of successful partnerships, this book presents detailed descriptions of everything involved in the transition process, with specific guidance for those supporting a partner in transition. Topics include disclosure, mental health, coming out, loss and grief, sex and sexuality and the legal, medical and social practicalities of transitioning. In this essential guide, people whose partners are across the transgender spectrum speak out on their own experiences with personal advice and support for others.

The BFF Girl Friends Guide by Carmen Renee Berry and Tamara Traeder (1 Sep 2017)
the bff girl friends
Based on a New York Times bestseller that sold more than one million copies, as well its companion volumes, this book examines the unique bonds of female friendships.
The Girlfriends Guide is a compilation from real-life girlfriends Carmen Renee Berry and Tamara Traeder that explores the depths and complexities of women’s relationships and the joy, sustenance, and power they bring. Almost any woman will tell you that her friendships with other women are among the most rewarding relationships she has. In this remarkable book, readers will find that their relationships with fellow women are like no other. The ideal gift for special friends, this book celebrates the steadfast, wonderful women in our lives.




The Now Habit by Neil Fiores

the now habit

As one who is prone to procrastination, just ask the co-ordinator of these book reviews by library staff, I felt the need to tackle this annoying habit of mine. Of course, I had the book at home for a fortnight before I settled down to read it. So, for all of you fellow sufferers out there , who always put off until tomorrow what you can do today, don’t worry, help is at hand.

The book promises to be a “strategic programme for overcoming procrastination and enjoying guilt-free play. I have to admit the idea of “guilt- free play” was the most attractive bit of that statement. As any procrastinator knows, the amount of time spent feeling guilty about not doing something, far exceeds the time it would take to complete the dreaded task. Fiore takes a very cognitive approach to the subject, looking at the origins of the problem, moving on to what are the benefits we enjoy from this seemingly unproductive behaviour. He then brings you through the steps necessary to change your outlook, behaviour, thinking and outcomes. All this is presented in a very engaging, supportive manner and the chapters are short and focused enough not to be off-putting to those with short attention spans. This is a book to be worked through over time, rather than digested in one sitting. I would recommend it highly. I am now a recovering procrastinator, hey, I’ve even managed to produce this book review in time for my latest deadline. So, stop thinking about it, get the book- now!


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