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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book News - Issue 313 ---------------------------------- This is the Country by William Wall (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 272 pages) A startling light is cast into Ireland's darker corners in this novel by the author of 'THE MAP OF TENDERNESS'. In an Ireland far removed from the familiar images of travel brochures, a bright teenager is heading for trouble: son of a single mother who has given up, rarely at school, taking drugs, and hovering on the fringes of the city’s criminal underworld. When he falls for Pat The Baker’s sister his life changes irrevocably, not least because when she gets pregnant, Pat breaks his legs. But as he tries to make a new start and adjust to being a lover and father, he realises he cannot evade vengeance forever. This is the Country is a hard-hitting, tense and deeply moving novel that sets power and corruption against the fragile defences of love, friendship and family. As gritty as it is tender, as funny as it is dark, it tells a riveting tale of survival against the odds. ---------------------------------- The Famine in Mayo: A Portrait from Contemporary Sources 1845-1850 compiled and edited by Ivor Hamrock (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 150 pages, with black-and-white illustrations throughout) The Great Famine in Ireland was one of the defining moments of Irish history. It marked a watershed in the history of the country causing a change so complete in the Irish social and economic fabric, that the people’s sensibilities would never be the same again. No longer could Irish people trust the land to provide constant sustenance. No longer could they rely on whatever security of tenure was allowed by the landlords, and more importantly they learned that their English political masters cared little for their plight. This book is a portrait of the lives and deaths of the people as recorded by witnesses in books, newspapers and official records of that horrific period. ------------------------------------ The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 267 pages) It has been described as the greatest epic voyage in modern Irish history. Tim Severin and his companions built a boat using only techniques and materials available in the sixth-century A.D., when St Brendan was supposed to have sailed to America. The vessel comprised forty-nine ox hides stitched together in a patchwork and stretched over a wooden frame. This leather skin was only a quarter of an inch thick. Yet Severin and his crew sailed Brendan from Brandon Creek in Dingle to Newfoundland, surviving storms and a puncture from pack ice. The Brendan Voyage is Tim Severin's dramatic account of their journey. This new edition of a book already translated into twenty-seven languages introduces a new generation of readers to an enduring classic. Tim Severin didn't prove St Brendan reached America, only that he could have - that it was possible. Brilliantly written, The Brendan Voyage conveys unforgettably the sensation of being in a small, open boat in the vastness of the North Atlantic, visited by inquisitive whales, reaching mist-shrouded landfalls, and receiving a welcome from seafaring folk wherever the crew touched land. ----------------------------------- Follow Your Dream by Daniel O’Donnell (Trade Paperback, 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 142 pages, with colour and black-and-white photographs) Daniel O'Donnell has achieved superstardom on the international music scene. His concert tours sell out six months in advance. He has achieved well over a million album sales to date, as well as over a quarter of a million videos. He is the only performer ever to have had 6 records in the British charts at the same time. Without doubt the star with the highest media profile in Ireland, Daniel O'Donnell appears regularly on the covers of magazines like the RTE Guide, as well as featuring on radio and TV. Daniel O'Donnell fans are the most loyal anywhere and have an insatiable appetite for information on their star. Although much has been written about him, FOLLOW YOUR DREAM is his story, the Untold Story, written by Daniel with his fans in mind. It unlocks the door to his private world, taking the reader back to Daniel's childhood years, through the difficult early days on the road and his life as a superstar. The book reveals the man you never knew before, as he talks about success, love and the driving ambition that almost wrecked his life. ---------------------------------- Yes, Taoiseach by Frank Dunlop (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 355 pages) Frank Dunlop became Fianna Fáil's first Press Officer in 1974 and Ireland's first Government Press Secretary in 1978. For nearly two decades he had a bird's eye view of the good that politicians do, and the bad. Sitting at the shoulder of the legendary Jack Lynch during his fall from power; working with the most intriguing, charismatic - and beleaguered -politician of his generation, Charles Haughey; observing how Haughey's worthy opponent Garret FitzGerald, turned the screw on his embattled boss; dealing with men like Des O'Malley, Ray MacSharry, Albert Reynolds, Charlie McCreevy and an up and coming young fellow called Bertie Ahern - Dunlop saw it all. And Yes, Taoiseach is a sparkling, intimate and unsparing chronicle of his experiences. --------------------------------- Love and the Monroes by Suzanne Power (Paperback; 11.00 Euro / 14.50 USD / 8.00 UK; 465 pages) DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT AND AGAINST ALL ODDS? Marilyn Monroe is a thirty-something mathematical genius who applies a percentage calculation to yield the perfect man. But so far she hasn't even found the wrong one. Elizabeth, her mother, has replaced men with an addiction to all things New Age. Having her heart broken once proved enough. CHANCES ARE YOU'RE NOT A MONROE Brigid, head of 'the family shrub', has devoted her life to schooling her descendents against the kind of foolish marriage she made. But she's done her job to well. But all is about to change...When the tealeaves predict that the men are coming to No 51 Verbena Avenue, Brigid, having made a discovery of her own, sets out to ensure that the prophesy is fulfilled before it's too late. Love and the Monroes is an enchanting story of three women whose lives are upended when they open their door to chance, cupid and consequence. Not even the tea leaves can predict what's in store... ---------------------- Available Again: --------------- The Magnificent Irish Wolfhound by Mary McBryde (Large Hardback; 70.00 Euro / 90.00 USD / 50.00 UK; 335 pages, with colour and black-and-white photos throughout) The Irish Wolfhound, the biggest of all dog breeds, has an ancient history, dating back some 3,000 years. These giant-sized hounds were used for hunting wolf, deer and wild boar, and they were even used in battle to pull men off horseback. However, by the 19th Century numbers had dwindled, and following the Irish Famine of 1845, the breed almost died out. Fortunately, a revival took place, and today the Irish Wolfhound has a strong, enthusiastic following worldwide. This is the most comprehensive book to date on the Irish Wolfhound - indeed, it is one of the most impressive books ever published on a single breed. The Irish Wolfhound is traced through its chequered history to its emergence as an impressive show dog and a lovable, gentle companion. Extensive coverage is given to choosing and rearing a Wolfhound puppy, with particular emphasis on diet and exercise during the vital growing period. The Breed Standard is analysed in detail, and there is expert guidance on training the Wolfhound for the show ring. Using her extensive experience, the author gives invaluable advice on breeding Wolfhounds, and there is a complete section on health care and breed associated conditions. Illustrated with more than 200 top-quality colour photographs showing the breed in all aspects, this is essential reading for all Wolfhound enthusiasts. -------------------------------- Brabyns Handbook of Irish Wolfhounds by D.E.S. Hudson (Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 75 pages, with black-and-white photos) Written by the late Suzanne Hudson specifically for those new to the breed , this book distills the seventy or so years' experience the author had with wolfhounds, from her childhood with her father's dogs in the twenties till her recent death in Ireland. A recommended starting point for the new enthusiast. -------------------------- New in Paperback This Week: -------------------------- Nell by Nell McCafferty (10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 450 pages) Journalist Nell McCafferty has been an iconic figure in Ireland for over thirty years. Nell is the revealing story of the woman behind the image. Whether describing her challenging and tender relationship with her mother, Lily; her fears about being gay; war on the streets of her native Derry; the blossoming of feminism in Ireland; or the joy of finding a domestic haven with the love of her life, Nuala O'Faolain and the pain of losing it, McCafferty doesn't spare anyone, least of all herself, in telling the truth of her life. The result is Nell: a journey that is moving, funny, inspiring and often jaw-droppingly frank. --------------------------------- The Catalpa Tree by Denyse Devlin (10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 450 pages) When Jude is orphaned at fourteen, her father's best friend comes to the rescue. Oliver wants to remain her friend as well as her guardian, but spirited Jude isn't a girl you can shelter from the world - not after she's already suffered so much heartache. And with each passing year, both Jude and Oliver struggle in their own ways against the ties that bind them. What place has love inside and outside of their relationship? Who is really protecting whom - especially when Jude grows into a desirable young woman? And what future can a relationship with so many complications ever really have? -------------------------------- An End to Flight by Vincent Banville (10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 235 pages) Michael Painter, an Irishman teaching in a Catholic Mission School in Nigeria, is, by temperament and choosing, an observer. Boredom and the fear of emotional involvement seem always to prevent him from taking a decisive leap. And so, as the relief planes lift the European doctors, teachers and priests out of a country convulsed by a violent Civil War they cannot comprehend, Painter remains behind. Still in search of something to give meaning to his life, Painter is submerged in the conflict as rival armies shuttle back and forth across the enormous battlefield, wreaking identical cruelties, slaughtering and being slaughtered. For Painter, as for the starving Biafrans, there is no real end to flight. In a spare, muted style, Vincent Banville communicates the horror of Africa at war in a work of extraordinary power and depth. This is a timely reissue of a celebrated and award-winning novel that paints a picture of the beginnings of a struggle that endures to this day. ------------------------------------- Highlights from the Previous Issue: ---------------------------------- Throw in the Vowels: New and Selected Poems by Rita Ann Higgins (Trade Paperback; 16.00 Euro / 18.50 USD / 10.00 UK; 224 pages) Throw in the Vowels is a new retrospective from Rita Ann Higgins: provocative and heart-warming poems of high jinx, jittery grief and telling social comment by a gutsy, anarchic chronicler of the Irish dispossessed. ------------------------- The Eternal Paddy: Irish Identity and the British Press, 1798-1882 by Michael de Nie (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 25.00 USD / 15.00 UK; 320 pages) In The Eternal Paddy, Michael de Nie examines anti-Irish prejudice, Anglo-Irish relations, and the construction of Irish and British identities in nineteenth-century Britain. This book provides a new, more inclusive approach to the study of Irish identity as perceived by Britons and demonstrates that ideas of race were inextricably connected with class concerns and religious prejudice in popular views of both peoples. De Nie suggests that while traditional anti-Irish stereotypes were fundamental to British views of Ireland, equally important were a collection of sympathetic discourses and a self-awareness of British prejudice. In the pages of the British newspaper press, this dialogue created a deep ambivalence about the Irish people, an ambivalence that allowed most Britons to assume that the root of Ireland's difficulties lay in its Irishness. -------------------------------- Passing Through: The 82nd Airborne Division in Northern Ireland 1943-44 by John P. McCann (Trade Paperback; 14.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 128 pages, with full-colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) On 9 December 1943 the first men of the United States 82nd Airborne Division set foot on Northern Irish soil. By the end of that day 12,000 of them had been disembarked from their ships and were being transported to camps throughout the Province. By March the following year, however, they had all moved on again, to England and something bigger - the final preparations for the invasion of Europe. In these pages John looks not just at the 82nd’s short stay in Northern Ireland but also its service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy and later the missions in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany beginning with D-Day on 6 June 1944, all told using the reminiscences of the men who proudly served with the 82nd Airborne Division. ------------------------------- The Steam Age in Ireland: A Collection of Railway Art by The Lord O’Neill (Hardback; 45.00 Euro / 55.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 128 pages with full-colour and illustrations throughout) Few things are more evocative of a bygone era than a well-executed painting. The Steam Age in Ireland depicts the golden age of railway travel, bringing to life a period when most photographers used black and white film and when colour pictures were rare. Using art as a medium of communication allows us to play out our fantasies, creating scenes as we imagine them to have been. Between the covers of this book you will see many different styles and interpretations. Most of the artists are contemporary; most of the paintings are commissions - some for book covers, some for posters but the majority for private individuals who, for their own enjoyment, want a particular scene to be immortalised in a painting. These pictures allow us to recapture the trains of our youth, when, as well as passengers, the country railway conveyed cattle, coal, racing pigeons, letters and milk churns. ----------------------------- Citybus: Belfast’s Buses 1973-1988 by Will Hughes (Trade Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 180 pages, with full-colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) In this long-awaited addition to the Buses in Ulster series, Will Hughes looks at Belfast's red buses from the takeover in 1973 to the retirement of Managing Director Werner Heubeck in 1988. This was a difficult period for the new company, with many vehicles maliciously destroyed and passenger numbers in decline. It was, however, a time of much interest to the enthusiast with numerous vehicles acquired second-hand from operators throughout England - Daimler Fleetlines from Potteries Motor Traction and Northern General, AEC Merlins and Swifts from London and Eastern Coach Works-bodied Bristol REs from various National Bus Company subsidiaries. All of the types of vehicles operated are illustrated, as are some of the people who worked on them. Interesting asides are the sections on preserved former Citybus vehicles and those buses which operated in the city during the period covered and then moved 'Beyond Belfast'. ------------------------------- Car Ferries of the Irish Sea 1954-2004 by Justin Merrigan (Trade Paperback; 20.50 Euro / 25.00 UK / 16.00 UK; 168 pages, with full-colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) At the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the Princess Victoria on 31 January 1953 it was declared that as the ship was, to some degree, experimental her owners should have kept a closer eye on the design and construction. Ship design has changed dramatically over the last fifty years and on the Irish Sea in 2004 we have the giant 208 metre long Ulysses, with capacity for 1875 passengers and 1342 cars and the Stena HSS ships, which are capable of more than 40 knots. In the pages of this book Justin Merrigan looks at the story of the Irish Sea car ferry since 1954. His research has uncovered much information and every ship is illustrated. Ro/Ro freight ships are outside the boundaries of this title, but as RoPax vessels are the modern day development of the freight vessel and passenger car ferry he has included a considerable number of these important ships, with passenger certificates in excess of 200 persons, which have appeared in these waters. ---------------------------- Mystical Landscapes: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) This ancient land of misty hollows and humid light has been shaped by the forces of nature and the hand of man from the highest of the windswept highlands to the rain-blasted cliffs and strands of the coastline. (28 color images.) -------------------------- Misty Places and Tranquil Light: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, a paradise of green, a place of rich and robust color. It is also a land of line, form, and constantly changing light. This makes it an ideal place to explore, slowly and intentionally, in black and white.(28 B&W images.) ---------------------------- The Burren: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) The Burren is an amazing expanse of limestone cliffs and plateaus in northwest County Clare. Lacking the lush greens which so distinguish Ireland, the grey limestone pavements often shock the first-time visitor with their severity and starkness. But the Burren is far from just the stony place its ancient name implies, and a closer look reveals a landscape full of life and vitality. (28 color images.) -------------------------------- Embracing the Magic: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) From the eerie starkness of the Burren highlands to the rain-lashed cliffs and strands of the coastline, Ireland speaks of strength, of resonance, of life. Every square inch of Irish turf has been pressed flat by the tread of a human foot. Every mountain and lough has been host to a hero, every new scene draws the soul to another, and in Ireland especially, every place name is linked to some special character or event in the past. (28 B&W images.) ------------------------------------------- Thank you for your continued support, which is vital for the continuation of this service! I respectfully request that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland. I very much appreciate your patronage. To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review - simply return the Newsletter by clicking your reply button. Please delete the books you do not want and leaving the books you want to order. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your mailing address and credit card details. You can of course also post your order to: Read Ireland, 392 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3,Ireland. Telephone and Facsimile number is: +353-1-853-2063. Read Ireland Web Site Home Page: or We have added a new feature to the Read Ireland website. It is a page listing ONLY the newest books added to or updated on the website. This new feature page will itself be superseded at least 3 times per month. It is the perfect way to keep abreast of what is happening in the world of Irish Interest publishing. Please visit often! If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you very much for your continued support and custom. Sincerely, Gregory Carr @ Read Ireland
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