Brilliant Book Titles #135

how to talk about books
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
In this disarmingly mischievous and provocative book, already a runaway bestseller in France, Pierre Bayard contends that in this age of infinite publication, the truly cultivated person is not the one who has read a book, but the one who understands the book’s place in our culture. Drawing on examples from works by Graham Greene, Umberto Eco, Oscar Wilde, Montaigne (who couldn’t remember books he himself had written), and many others, he examines the many kinds of ‘non-reading’ (forgotten books, unknown books, books discussed by others, books we’ve skimmed briefly) and the many potentially nightmarish situations in which we are called upon to discuss our reading with others (with our loved ones, with the book’s author, etc.).At heart, this is a book that will challenge everyone who’s ever felt guilty about missing some of the Great Books to consider what reading means, how we absorb books as part of ourselves, and how and why we spend so much time talking about what we have, or haven’t, read.

Brilliant Book Titles #134

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

Blurb:
I looked around and people’s faces were distorted…lights were flashing everywhere…the screen at the end of the room had three or four different films on it at once, and the strobe light was flashing faster than it had been…the band was playing but I couldn’t hear the music…people were dancing…someone came up to me and I shut my eyes and with a machine he projected images on the back of my eye-lids…I sought out a person I trusted and he laughed and told me that the Kool-Aid had been spiked and that I was beginning my first LSD experience…

The Trivia Lover’s Guide to Football: Stories, Facts & Feats

the trivia lover's guide to football

If you love your football then this is the book for you.

It is virtually a who’s who and Did you know on everything you wanted to know…     (And some things you didn’t!) about the beautiful game.

It is packed with curious facts and snippets from the history of football.

This book provides enlightenment on such topics as:

The French writer and philosopher who appeared in goal for an Algerian national x1.

The quickest goal scored

The Welsh international who arrived for his only game for his country –only to find he had forgotten his boots!

Football Transfer milestones

And many, many more….

So if “Football is not a matter of life and death…it’s much more important than that……”

Then this is the book for you.

5 Horror Books to Watch Out For

Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s by Grady Hendrix (19 Sep 2017)
paperbacks
SEE the amazing vintage book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, knife-wielding killer crabs! READ the shocking plots involving devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! LEARN the stories of long-forgotten creators as well as familiar names like V.C. Andrews and Anne Rice. Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary s Baby. It s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinching tour through the horror fiction boom of the seventies and eighties, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King (26 Sep 2017)
sleeping
In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent…

In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women’s prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep – and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain?

The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling’s Sheriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake.

And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether…

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson (3 Oct 2017)
the murders.jpg
Every time she bleeds a murderer is born. Experience the horror of Tade Thompson’s The Murders of Molly Southbourne.

The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

Daughters of Arkham by David A Rodriguez Justin Robinson (17 Oct 2017)
daughters
In Arkham, Massachusetts, the line between the haves and the have-nots is steeped in colonial tradition that stretches back over four hundred years. The Daughters of Arkham, a secret society of wealthy women, stand at the center of it all. On the surface, their power is assured by blood and money. Beneath it, they hold pacts with strange entities beyond the understanding of mortals. Fourteen-year-old Abigail Thorndike is the scion of the most important family in Arkham. When she becomes mysteriously pregnant, she is outcast, left alone to unravel the secrets of her haunted town. Abby must risk her status, her humanity, and the fate of her unborn child to stand against her family and the rising darkness to defend the very town that shunned her.

It Devours! A Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (19 Oct 2017)
it devours
From the authors of the New York Times bestselling novel Welcome to Night Vale and the #1 podcast of the same name, comes a mystery exploring the intersections of faith and science, the growing relationship between two young people who want desperately to trust each other, and the terrifying, toothy power of the Smiling God.

Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider to the town of Night Vale. Working for Carlos, the town’s top scientist, she relies on fact and logic as her guiding principles. But all of that is put into question when Carlos gives her a special assignment investigating a mysterious rumbling in the desert wasteland outside of town. This investigation leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and to Darryl, one of its most committed members. Caught between her beliefs in the ultimate power of science and her growing attraction to Darryl, she begins to suspect the Congregation is planning a ritual that could threaten the lives of everyone in town. Nilanjana and Darryl must search for common ground between their very different world views as they are faced with the Congregation’s darkest and most terrible secret.

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

illegal contact
So, frequent readers of this blog know that I read a lot of romance, and I’ve read and reviewed a lot of Santino Hassell but this:

Like, Gavin is a jerk but he’s so goddamn hot. Characters don’t normally do that for me, especially not grumpy, assholish characters but Gavin, goddamn, he’s just. I can totally see why Noah fell for him. Gavin and Raymond (from Hassell’s Five Boroughs series) are, whilst polar opposites in personality, so goddamn sexy it’s unreal.

Gavin is a football player and is currently under house arrest for beating the crap out of some guy. What the world doesn’t know is that said guy was blackmailing his gay teammate, Marcus, and Gavin, as a cranky bisexual, and best friend of Marcus wasn’t going to let the blackmailer get away with that. Which is how he ended up under house arrest for six months.

How he ended up with a sexy assistant that rubs him up the wrong way – well, he’s a glutton for punishment.

Noah and Gavin aren’t enemies to lovers, but it takes quite a while for them to get on, never mind get to know each other, but it’s glorious when it happens. And when they get together – perfection.

Pretty much my favourite romance series is Hassell’s Five Boroughs, and I think this, which is the first book of his new The Barons series, could well be right up there with them.

Roll on book two and Marcus’ story!
(And can we take a moment to just pause at the cover of this book. I’m not one for muscles, but damn)

 

Brilliant Book Titles #133

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

Blurb:
In 1995, high-flying British journalist Toby Young left London for New York to become a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Other Brits had taken Manhattan – Alistair Cooke, Tina Brown, Anna Wintour – so why couldn’t he? Surely, it would only be a matter of time before the Big Apple was in the palm of his hand.
But things did not go according to plan. Within the space of two years he was fired from Vanity Fair, banned from the most fashionable bar in the city and couldn’t get a date for love or money. Even the local AA group wanted nothing to do with him.
How To Lose Friends & Alienate People is Toby Young’s hilarious account of the five years he spent steadily working his way down the New York food chain, from glossy magazine editor to crash-test dummy for interactive sex toys. But it’s not just a collection of self-deprecating anecdotes. It’s also a seditious attack on the culture of celebrity from inside the belly of the beast. Not since Bonfire of the Vanities has the New York A-list been so mercilessly lampooned – and it all really happened!

Brilliant Book Titles #132

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

Blurb:
The second Dirk Gently book by Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is a witty detective story perfect for fans of his phenomenally successful The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

When a passenger check-in desk at Terminal Two, Heathrow Airport, shot up through the roof engulfed in a ball of orange flame, the usual people tried to claim responsibility. First the IRA, then the PLO and the Gas Board. Even British Nuclear Fuels rushed out a statement to the effect that the situation was completely under control, that it was a one in a million chance, that there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all and that the site of the explosion would make a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn’t actually anything to do with them at all.

No rational cause could be found for the explosion – it was simply designated an act of God. But, thinks Dirk Gently, which God? And why? What God would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 to Oslo?

Journeyman by Ewan McColl

journeyman

This is the autobiography of the English folk song historian, singer, broadcaster, political activist and polymath. He was a songwriter of note too and some of his songs such as “Dirty Old Town”, “Go, move, Shift” and “First Time ever I saw your Face” are internationally famous. Born James Miller in Salford, a suburb of Manchester, the son of Scottish migrants he grew up in poverty. His father was a foundry worker and militant Trades Unionist but his activism together with the economic decline of the nineteen thirties left him largely unemployed from his forties. After leaving school in his teens, McColl worked in many different factories but was often jobless. He wasn’t idle though, and spent his time at self-education in Manchester Public Library and was also active in the Young Communist League and Socialist Drama groups. After a long career as an actor, dramatist and propagandist, during which he was monitored by British security, and a marriage to Joan Littlewood, he developed an interest in the Folk music of Britain and Ireland. He began collecting and recording folk songs and also developed as a composer and singer. Through this interest he met and late married Peggy Seeger. He never lost his political activism and gave his support to the striking miners during the long dispute in eighties Thatcher’s Britain.

It’s an interesting read, though perhaps a bit self-serving as any autobiography is likely to be.  It works as a  memoir of working-class Britain in the twentieth century.

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

5 Architecture Book to Watch Out For

Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens by Ioanna Theocharopoulou (27 Jul 2017)
builders.jpg
Sprawling beneath the Acropolis, modern Athens is commonly viewed in negative terms: congested, ugly and monotonous. A Mediterranean version of “informal” urbanism prevalent throughout the so-called developing world, Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens reassesses the explosive growth of post-war Athens through its most distinctive building type, the polykatoikia, a small-scale multi-storey apartment block (from poly meaning “multiple” and oikos meaning “house”).

Theocharopoulou re-evaluates the polykatoikia as a low-tech, easily constructible innovation that stimulated the post-war urban economy, triggering the city’s social mid-twentieth century transformation, enabling the migrants who poured into Athens to become urban citizens, aspiring to a modern life. The interiors of the polykatoikia apartments reflect a desire for modernity as marketed to housewives through film and magazines. Regular builders became unlikely allies in designing these polykatoikia interiors, enabling inhabitants to exert agency over their daily lives and the shape of the post-war city.

Theocharopoulou’s reading draws on popular media as well as urban and regional planning theory, cultural studies and anthropology to examine the evolution of this phenomenon and, in light of Greece’s recent financial crisis, considers the role polykatoikia might play in building an equitable and sustainable twenty-first-century city.

The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, Fourth Edition: A Complete Catalog by William Allin Storrer (1 Aug 2017)
frank lloyd.jpg
From sprawling houses to compact bungalows and from world-famous museums to a still-working gas station, Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs can be found in nearly every corner of the country. While the renowned architect passed away more than fifty years ago, researchers and enthusiasts are still uncovering structures that should be attributed to him. William Allin Storrer is one of the experts leading this charge, and his definitive guide, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, has long been the resource of choice for anyone interested in Wright. Thanks to the work of Storrer and his colleagues at the Rediscovering Wright Project, thirty-seven new sites have recently been identified as the work of Wright. Together with more photos, updated and expanded entries, and a new essay on the evolution of Wright’s unparalleled architectural style, this new edition is the most comprehensive and authoritative catalog available. Organized chronologically, the catalog includes full-color photos, location information, and historical and architectural background for all of Wright’s extant structures in the United States and abroad, as well as entries for works that have been demolished over the years. A geographic listing makes it easy for traveling Wright fans to find nearby structures and a new key indicates whether a site is open to the public. Publishing for Wright’s sesquicentennial, this new edition will be a trusted companion for anyone embarking on their own journeys through the wonder and genius of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The History of England’s Cathedrals by Nicholas Orme (1 Sep 2017)
history of
England’s sixty or so Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals are among its most iconic buildings and attract thousands of worshippers and visitors every year. Yet though much has been written about their architecture, there is no complete guide to their history and activities. This book provides the first rounded account of the whole of their 1700 years from Roman times to the present day. It explains the layout of their buildings, the people who ran them, their worship and music, their links with learning and education, and their outreach to society. It relates their history to the history of England and shows how they adapted to change and weathered disasters to survive as great repositories of our national history.

London Theatres by Michael Coveney and Peter Dazeley (7 Sep 2017)
london theatres
London is the theatre capital of the world. From world-famous musicals to West End shows, from cutting-edge plays to Shakespeare in its original staging, from outdoor performance to intimate fringe theatre, the range and quality is unsurpassed.

Leading theatre critic Michael Coveney invites you on a tour of the forty-five theatres which make the London stage what it is, with stories of the architecture, the people and the productions which have defined each one. Sumptuous photographs by Peter Dazeley of the public areas, auditorium and backstage complete the picture.

Contents include:
1. Grandes Dames: The Grade I listed Haymarket, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden Opera House
2. Palaces of Pleasure: The London Palladium, the Coliseum, Lyceum, and Prince of Wales
3. Popular landmarks: The National Theatre, Old Vic, Shakespeare’s Globe, Roundhouse, and Royal Court
4. Informal delights: The Young Vic, Almeida, Donmar, and The Other Palace, opening 2017
5. Legends Alive: Richmond Theatre, The Playhouse, Adelphi, and the New Ambassadors
6. Hidden Gems: Alexandra Palace, The BBC Radio Theatre, Normansfield and Charing Cross theatres
7. Eastward Ho!: Barbican, Hackney Empire, Stratford East, and Wilton’s Music Hall
8. West End jewels: The Savoy, Novello, Duke of York’s, St Martin’s, and Criterion

Perfect English Farmhouse by Ros Byam Shaw and Jan Baldwin (10 Oct 2017)
perfect english.jpgPerfect English Farmhouse celebrates the characteristic style and fascinating history of the classic farmhouse and shows how to turn your own home into a similarly welcoming retreat.

Farmhouse is a word that conjures an array of appealing associations: fresh eggs and baby lambs, chunky wooden beams and flagged floors, cream teas and harvest suppers; a place of welcome and plenty. With their generous kitchens and meandering layout, the architectural informality of the farmhouse suits modern lifestyles. In Perfect English Farmhouse, via a series of case studies, Ros Byam Shaw explores both traditional and contemporary farmhouse style. The book is divided into chapters according to style: Organic, Traditional, Fresh, No Frills and Funky, and at the end of each chapter a spread highlights the key elements of that particular decorative look. At the back of the book, there is also a comprehensive listing of UK and US suppliers to help readers create their very own take on perfect farmhouse style.

The Green Road by Anne Enright

green-road-enright

Anne Enright proves, yet again, that she is a writer of immense talent. This novel is set in rural Ireland, in the 1980s and 2000s. We are brought into the lives of the Madigan children It is a work of savage honesty and emotional intensity.

I was hooked from the first page, by the story of the dysfunctional Madigan siblings. Constance, Hannah, Dan and Emmet. The power of the story lies in the recognition we feel in certain aspects of the characters, there were lots of moments when the writing took my breath away, as I could connect what was happening in the narrative with aspects of people I knew.

Enright charts the lives of the children as they emerge to adulthood, forever overshadowed by the forceful, unpredictable personality of their mother. I thought the New York section of the story was very affecting and tenderly portrayed the Gay community in that city. For Enright, the past is not “a foreign country”, as L P Hartley put it, but rather it is alive and well and recognisable in the present, in the learned patterns of relating absorbed in the childhood home. The patterns of childhood are replicated in adult life.

I did not want this book to end and I was left thirsting to find out more about the Madigans, yet knowing that this novel is a work complete in itself. Anne Enright is an Irish writer to be treasured for her talent, her searing honesty and her ability to draw us into a story with the power of her writing. I highly recommend this novel.

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