This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Read Ireland

Advert: ------- SLURPING THROUGH EUROPE by Regis Robinson Exotic, unusual soups and the old favourites from 40 countries, all aimed at tickling the taste buds, are included in this, user-friendly cookbook by retired chef and restaurateur Regis Robinson. Beautifully illustrated with original colour line drawings and photographs, it is published by Ashfield Press and available at Read Ireland and bookshops nationwide, price E22.50. ------------------------------------- Read Ireland Book Reviews – Issue 335 ------------------------------------- The Bloody Sunday Inquiry: The Families Speak Out edited by Eamonn McCann (Paperback; 16.00 Euro / 20.00 USD / 11.00 UK; 183 pages) The Bloody Sunday Inquiry has been epic in its scale and implications. This is the story of how it came about and of the hopes and suspicions which surround it, told from a uniquely personal point of view. Twenty-one wounded survivors and relatives of the dead describe the campaign which led to the establishment of the Inquiry under Lord Saville. They reveal their bitterness at the 'whitewash' of the first inquiry under Lord Chief Justice Widgery, and describe the frustrations and elations of their long struggle to force the British Government to launch a new search for the truth. The relatives comment sharply on Saville’s performance, and on the attitudes of British and Irish politicians, the media and an array of celebrity lawyers. They reflect on whether soldiers and leading politicians should now be prosecuted for murder, and discuss whether the outcome of the Inquiry is likely to hinder or enhance the peace process. Will the truth about Bloody Sunday raise more ghosts than it sets to rest? This is the story of the longest legal proceedings in British or Irish history in the raw words of those most intimately involved. What they have to say puts a new focus on the significance of State atrocities in shaping perceptions of the past and aspirations for the future in Ireland. ---------------------------------------- Chaos at the Crossroads by Frank McDonald and James Nix (Large Paperback with Endflaps; 25.00 Euro / 33.00 USD / 19.00 UK; 410 pages) This book is a catalogue of the sloppy thinking, political chicanery, bureaucratic incompetence and pandering to vested interests that characterise so much of what is happening in Ireland today! It charts how the country is being wrecked by half-baked policies that fail, and are known to fail. Whether it’s the urban-generated housing in rural areas, the relentless sprawl of our cities, the madness of the motorway programme, the scatter-gun approach to decentralisation, the contempt for our heritage, or the failure to observe our international obligations to combat climate change, the Government has made a mess of it. Evidence that would underpin sensible decisions is either blithely ignored or never gathered in the first place. There is an alternative, but the lack of political leadership has thwarted its adoption to date. It’s the idea of closely knit cities, with Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford working together to counterbalance Dublin. This book also puts forward proposals on how to make urban life work better, how to get around cities and travel between them. It gives a warning of what is likely to happen if the current blasé to-hell-with-the-next-generation approach is allowed to prevail: chaos! (Also available in Hardback price at 40 Euro) ----------------------------------- Torn Water by John Lynch (Hardback; 17.00 Euro / 21.00 USD / 13.00 UK; 265 pages) Set in his native Northern Ireland, John Lynch's debut novel is a lyrically told and exquisitely tender story of innocence and loss. 'He remembers when he was very young standing by water! How he had got there or where the pond was he couldn't remember, but he can vaguely recall a larger hand on his and being led through the high rooms of a large building, to a large garden, where bees wove dozy patterns in the air. At the bottom of this garden lay the large pond, and he remembers a face bending to meet his and whispering that he would be back in a little while. So he stood where he had been left, his small feet pointing at the stonework of the pond's rim. He remembers a wind brewing in the tops of the trees and tearing at the water of the pond for a moment, before subsiding, his face blurring into focus like a TV channel being tuned.' When James Lavery's father is blown to bits by a bomb he intended to maim and kill others with, the boy keeps him alive in his imagination as a superhero, escaping the daily grind of school, his mother's drinking and his own acute loneliness by inventing extraordinary adventures for them both. ------------------------------------ Easy Entertaining by Darina Allen (Hardback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 306 pages, with full colour illustrations throughout) Almost everybody would like to entertain more often - but it's just too daunting. Planning an exciting, well-balanced menu which won't require a week of preparation and three nervous breakdowns is the first hurdle. Next there are the wines to consider. And what about - flowers, lighting, table decorations? In this much-needed book, cookery writer Darina Allen smoothes away the stress of entertaining with over 250 recipes that cover everything from three-course dinners to tapas and one-pot suppers. Chapters include Starters, Finger Food, Brunch, Formal Dinners, Family Desserts and Festive Meals and the recipes are balanced so that you can prepare some dishes in advance and include modern recipes from around the world as well as vegetarian options. Be inspired by Darina's styling ideas for decoration and place settings to help you create the perfect atmosphere, whether it is a romantic dinner for two or a lively evening with friends. Darina uses her own experience to show how you can use sea shells as butter dishes, shot glasses for soup and a sari as a tablecloth for an Indian feast. Or throw it over your table lamp to soften your lighting. There are also extensive menu planners to help you plan your event and practical advice on wine and other drinks. Darina covers everything from tapas to three-course dinners and from canapés to casseroles in this bible of entertaining. She includes chapters on Brunch, Prepare-ahead Meals, Picnics, Romantic Dinners, Finger Food, Formal Dinners, Festive Meals and many more as well as providing extensive menu planners and practical advice on wine and other drinks to complement your food. Style tips and ideas for table settings, flowers, lighting and even party games will ensure your soirée looks as sensational as it tastes. She also includes options for vegetarian and vegan guests throughout the book. ------------------------------------------ Under the Spotlight: Conversations with 17 Leading Irish Journalists by Roger Greene (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 9.00 UK; 217 pages) "Under the Spotlight", by Newstalk 106's Media Matters programme presenter Roger Greene, is a collection of 16 radio profiles of leading figures from Irish media which reveal the personal and professional motivations behind the people who bring news and entertainment to the public. Among the people interviewed in the book are Conor Brady, Fergal Keane, Lara Marlowe, Paddy Prendiville, Gene Kerrigan, Kevin Myers, Joe Mulholland, Vincent Browne, Hector O hEochagain and Tom Paulin. Each interviewee discusses their childhoods and upbringing and reflects on the journey that has brought them to their present position at the top of their profession. They deal with the reasons they chose the media, their career progress and the impact their chosen profession has had on their private lives. For instance, Fergal Keane describes his journalistic journey from Ireland to the BBC and onward to the world's war zones. He speaks about his upbringing with his alcoholic father and the subsequent break-up of the family. He talks about the emotional, elevating and terrifying experiences of being a war correspondent for the BBC and reveals that he has now lost the courage to cover wars --------------------------------------------- Ireland: Railways Past and Present by Michael Baker (Trade Paperback; 27.00 Euro / 32.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 146 pages, with black-and-white photos throughout) Presents a past and present tour of Ireland's railway network, which embraces not only the main lines around Belfast, Dublin and Cork and developments in stock, services and electrification, but also the remote narrow-gauge outposts of the Far West, gone for ever. ------------------------------------------- The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin by Christine Casey (Hardback; 45.00 Euro / 55.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 756 pages, with colour photos) This book is a uniquely comprehensive guide to the buildings of central Dublin, in the great tradition of the Pevsner series. Churches, public buildings and streets are described for every district, each full of new discoveries and lively detail. Illustrations include numerous maps, plans and specially taken colour photographs. The entire area within the canals is covered, along with the Phoenix Park. The grand 18th-century set-pieces - Custom House, Four Courts, Bank of Ireland - are offset by a graceful Georgian cityscape, much of which remains intact. The astonishingly rich and varied house interiors are also treated in full, many for the first time. Civic and commercial Victorian architecture features in strength, together with the highs and lows of post-war building, which culminate in some sensitive and resourceful buildings by a new generation of Irish architects. Two fine Gothic cathedrals remain from the medieval city, whose history is traced in a scholarly introduction that runs down to the present day. This is the third volume in the Buildings of Ireland series. For all who share an interest in the fabric of Dublin - architect or historian, tourist or armchair traveller. ------------------------------------- Ireland in the World: Further Reflections by Garret FitzGerald (Hardback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 255 pages) Ireland in the World - Further Reflections is a collection of essays, many of which have not previously appeared in print, on Irish history and politics, contemporary Irish society and world affairs by the former Taoiseach and respected columnist Garret FitzGerald. What strikes the reader most forcefully is the breadth of Dr FitzGerald's interests, the range of his expertise and the clarity with which he presents his arguments, which are sometimes controversial and always compelling. -------------------------------------- Fond Memory: Consoling Words from the Irish Tradition edited by Ide Ni Laoghaire and Mary Webb (Gift Hardback; 13.00 Euro / 16.00 USD / 9.00 UK; 180 pages) For times of sorrow and remembrance or to be read at funerals. In times of sorrow, grief or loss we often look to our poets and songwriters, to our heritage and tradition for words of comfort, hope and inspiration. We look too for those words that reflect our sense of place, of belonging, words that sum up our deepest feelings about a loved one. Here, for the first time, is a collection specific to the Irish experience. Old and modern - poetry, prayers, songs, phrases, blessings - fitting words to express your heartfelt grief and to bring solace and healing. ------------------------------------------- GAA: The Glory Years – Hurling and Football 1991-2005 by Ronnie Bellew (Hardback; 22.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 17.00 UK; 276 pages with full coloutr illustrations throughout) During the past fifteen years, the GAA has gone through a renaissance. Despite the rising popularity of other sports, it has revolutionised itself to take its place centre stage in the Irish sporting arena, enjoying a greater groundswell of support than ever before. The developments have been astounding. The emergence of Ulster football and the revival in the West. In hurling, the men from Clare and Wexford and the domination of D.J. Carey. The amazing development of Croke Park and the rise in supporters' fanaticism. 'Jayo-mania' in 1995 heralding the era of the GAA superstar. The strikes and revolts of the Cork and Offaly hurlers and the emergence of player power. In "GAA: The Glory Years", Ronnie Bellew tells the story of these remarkable fifteen years - of the events, on and off the field, the breakthroughs, the controversies and the personalities behind a golden era that has seen the GAA reinvent itself to become the hottest ticket in town. This is the story of how the GAA got from there to here. ------------------------------------------ The IRB: The Irish Republican Brotherhood from the Land League to Sinn Fein by Owen McGee (Large Paperback; 30.00 Euro / 36.00 USD / 24.00 UK; 380 pages) This book analyzes the ideology and organizational traditions of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), its role in Irish politics and its place in Irish history. While the IRB has long been associated with the insurrections of 1867 and 1916, Owen McGee argues that it was never primarily an insurrectionary conspiracy; rather it was a popular fraternal organization and propagandistic body, committed to bringing about popular politicization in Ireland along republican lines. Focusing primarily on the new departures in Irish politics between the land war of 1879 - 81 and the outbreak of the First World War, this study identifies this period as being a critical phase in the evolution of modern Irish republicanism, as well as being the pivotal stage in the history of the IRB itself. It throws fresh light on the social and political origins of the Irish revolution of 1912 - 23, as well as the IRB's intended political role during that eventful epoch. Prominent members included: Michael Collins, James Stephens, Arthur Griffith, Bulkmer Hobson, Eamonn Ceannt and Edward Daly (the latter two fought in 1916 and were executed as a result of their involvement). ------------------------------------------- The Lemass Era: Politics and Society in the Ireland of Sean Lemass edited by Brian Girvin and Gary Murphy (Large Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 270 pages) This new book focuses on the impact of Seán Lemass on Irish politics and society between 1945 and 1973. It covers politics, economic policy, emigration, foreign policy (including the negotiations to join the EEC), cross-border co-operation with Northern Ireland, the Church, education, film and television policy. The Lemass Era shows that Lemass was the pivotal figure in the transition from the conservatism of de Valera's Ireland to the more open, progressive and modern society that takes form during the 1960s. Lemass was a 1916 veteran, a founder member of Fianna Fáil and a long serving Minister for Industry and Commerce, but this did not prevent him from ruthlessly questioning the state of Ireland after 1945. During the 1950s he sought to meet the challenge of economic crisis while also attempting to open up discussion on a moderate and realistic policy towards Northern Ireland. However, it was only in 1959 that Lemass had the opportunity to implement his new thinking. He became Taoiseach at the age of 59, but showed a capacity for new thinking and hard work that would have been impressive in a younger person. If de Valera characterised the main features of the first half of the twentieth century, then Lemass is the most formidable influence over the second half: it is his vision that has prevailed in the modernisation of Irish society and its economic success since the 1960s. --------------- Available Again: --------------- Strumpet City by James Plunkett (Paperback; 11.00 Euro / 14.00 USD / 8.00 UK; 550 pages) The classic, powerful novel of life and hard times in Dublin during the angry years leading up to World War I. A story bursting with memorable characters caught up in the bitter struggles of the age, driven by love and hate, pride and devotion. ---------------------------------- Roman Ireland by Vittorio Di Martino (Trade Paperback; 15.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 11.00 UK 208 pages) Imagine Ireland untouched by Roman influence when Britain was part of the Roman Empire, a time when the distance was nothing for sailors routinely navigating the entire Mediterranean. Yet, the accepted view has been there was no Roman expedition to Ireland. The Irish lived in Celtic purity with little outside influence until St Patrick brought Christianity. Yet, many sites have produced Roman objects indicating a Roman presence in Ireland. "Roman Ireland" is a fresh reconsideration of Roman influence in Ireland. It outlines the influence of Latin on the Irish language, the Roman contribution to Irish art and the new contacts trade opened between the Irish and Roman worlds. Roman influence on social life, craftsmanship and farming is disclosed. Finally, new insights are provided on Christianisation as a vehicle of Romanisation in Ireland and the likely occurrence of at least one Roman military invasion of Ireland. ------------------------------------ For St. Patrick's Day ! --------------------- St Patrick of Ireland: A Biography by Philip Freeman (Paperback; 12.00 Euro / 15.00 USD / 9.00 UK; 215 pages) St Patrick did not drive the snakes out of Ireland (the island had no snakes), nor did he engage in epic battles of supernatural power with Irish druids. But the facts revealed in this eminently readable biography are no less astonishing than the myths that surround him. Born in Britain in the late fourth century, Patrick was raised as a Roman citizen and a Christian nobleman. Just before his sixteenth birthday, he was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved. He spent six years tending sheep in Ireland, escaped and returned home to his astonished parents. Soon afterward, he announced that God wanted him to become a priest and convert the Irish to Christianity. Patrick spent the rest of his life in Ireland, leaving behind two remarkable letters that reveal more about him than we know about almost any contemporary figure. Philip Freeman brilliantly reconstructs daily life in the British Isles during the last days of the Roman Empire, putting Patrick's achievements in contact with the beliefs of the day. The Patrick who emerges is even more extraordinary than the patron saint of legend - a passionate, courageous and very human figure who exerted an incalculable impact on the course of Irish history. --------------------------------------- A Little Book of St. Patrick edited by Don Mullen (Paperback; 4.00 Euro / 5.00 USD / 3.00 UK) Capturing in simple format the very essence of Saint Patrick, the quotations gathered here provide a profound insight into his thinking, offering the reader food for thought and substance for prayerful reflection. ---------------------------------------- I Never Knew That About Ireland by Christopher Winn (Hardback; 13.00 Euro / 16.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 306 pages) Bestselling author Christopher Winn takes us on a fascinating journey around Ireland, to discover the tales buried deep in the country's history. Packed full of legends, firsts, birthplaces, inventions and adventures, this book visits each of the four provinces - Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connaught - and unearths the hidden gems that each county in these provinces holds. Discover where people and ideas were born, where dreams were inspired and where the unforgettable figures of Ireland's past now slumber. You'll be able to visit the holy mountain, Croagh Patrick in Country Mayo, where St Patrick is said to have driven all the snakes in Ireland into the sea. At Lismore Castle in County Waterford you will uncover the bathroom dedicated to Fred Astaire, whose sister Adele was the hugely popular Chatelaine of Lismore in the 1930s and 40s. On the winter solstice you can bathe in the sunlight that fills the burial chamber at Newgrange, County Meath - the oldest solar observatory in the world. This irresistible compendium of facts and stories will give you a captivating insight into the people, ideas and events that have shaped the individual identity of every place you visit, and will have you exclaiming again and again: 'Well, I never knew that!' ------------------------------------------- Thank you for your continued support. It 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 LEAVE the books you DO WANT to order. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your full mailing address and credit card details including expiration date. You might like to split this information into 2 or 3 emails for security. 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 I 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 (last updated 10 March). Checking this page on the Read Ireland website is an ideal way to keep abreast of what is happening in the world of Irish Interest publishing. Please visit often! If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you very much for your continued support and custom. Sincerely, Gregory Carr @ Read Ireland
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