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Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape edited by F.H.A. Aalen, Kevin Whelan, Matthew Stout
This is a highly illustrated large format book., the first edition of which was published in 1997. This new edition contains at least one-third of new content including 500 new maps and photographs. The contemporary section has been completely rewritten to take account of the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger. Topics include archaeology, field and settlement patterns, houses, demesnes, villages and small towns, monuments, woodland, bogs, roads, canals, railways, mills, mines, farmsteads, handball alleys, and a host of other features. The Atlas also has a significant practical dimension. It increases the visibility of the landscape within national heritage and establishes a proper basis for conservation and planning. It explores contemporary changes resulting from the Celtic Tiger, and proposes how to implement necessary change in sympathy with inherited landscape character.
City of hope by Kate Kerrigan
Set in rural Ireland and hedonistic New York in the 1930s, "City of Hope" is a meditation on loves lost and found. This is an uplifting, inspiring and heartwarming story of: a woman truly ahead of her time; of loves lost and found; and, of courage and determination. It is the 1930s and when her beloved husband, John, suddenly dies, young Ellie Hogan decides to leave Ireland and return to New York. She hopes that the city's vibrancy will distract her from her grief. But the Depression has rendered the city unrecognizable - gone is the energy and party atmosphere that Ellie once fell in love with, ten years before. And while she is used to rural poverty back home in Ireland, the suffering she sees in New York is an entirely different proposition. Walking around the neighbourhood, Ellie sees destitute families and hungry children on every street corner. The horror of it all jolts Ellie out of her own private depression. Pushing thoughts of her homeland and her dead husband firmly out of her mind, she plunges headfirst into her new life to try and escape her grief. All her passion and energy is poured into running a home and refuge for the homeless.
Kristin Lavransdatter: The wreath, The wife, & The Cross by Sigrid Undset; translated from Norwegian
The trilogy follows the life of Kristin Lavransdatter, a fictitious Norwegian woman living in the 14th century. Kristin grows up in Sil in Gudbrandsdalen, the daughter of a well-respected and affluent farmer. She experiences a number of conflicts in her relationships with her parents, and her husband Erlend, in medieval Norway. She finds comfort and conciliation in her Catholic faith.
The Prague cemetery by Umberto Eco
Nineteenth-century Europe--from Turin to Prague to Paris--abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created its most infamous document? Eco takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the underbelly of world-shattering events.
The quality of mercy by Barry Unsworth
The Quality of Mercy opens in the spring of 1767, in the immediate aftermath of the events in Barry Unsworth's “Sacred Hunger”. It follows the fortunes of two central characters from that book: Sullivan, an Irish fiddler, and Erasmus Kemp, the son of a disgraced Liverpool slave-ship owner who hanged himself. To avenge his father's death, Erasmus Kemp has had the rebellious sailors of his father's ship, including Sullivan, brought back to London to stand trial on charges of mutiny and piracy. But as the novel opens, a blithe Sullivan has escaped and is making his way on foot to the north of England, stealing and scamming as he goes.
The sealed letter by Emma Donoghue
After a separation of many years, Emily 'Fido' Faithfull bumps into her old friend Helen Codrington on the streets of Victorian London. Much has changed since then. But, for all her independence of mind, Fido is too trusting of her once-dear companion and finds herself drawn into aiding Helen's obsessive affair with a young army officer.
The thread by Victoria Hislop
Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From that day the lives of Dimitri and Katerina become entwined, with each other and with the story of the city itself. Thessaloniki, 2007. A young Anglo-Greek hears the life story of his grandparents for the first time and realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of people who have been forcibly driven from their beloved city. Should he become their new custodian?
Whose side are you on? : sport, the Troubles and me by Teddy Jamieson.
From the late 1960s, Northern Ireland has been mired in violence. Yet it has had seen more than its fair share of sporting heroes - from footballer George Best, through snooker champion Alex Higgins, to boxer Barry McGuigan. Life was tough for these working-class lads, but they could shine on the football field or find refuge at the town boxing club. For other kids, like the young Teddy Jamieson, a knockabout in the back-lanes was as good as it got, but at least they had their heroes. Watching McGuigan on telly, Teddy could feel proud to be Northern Irish. But sport - like everything else in Northern Ireland - could quickly turn nasty when politics were involved. This extraordinary journey through sport and the Troubles has it all: from Olympic gold-medals to Gaelic football; from death threats to reconciliations. Then there is Teddy's own story, as we learn how the age-old playground question 'Whose side are you on?' doesn't always have an easy answer.