Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Some Cracking Christmas Reads available now on our Catalogue

An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor
Barry Laverty, M.B., is looking forward to his first Christmas in the village of Ballybucklebo, at least until he learns that his sweetheart, Patricia, might not be coming home for the holidays. That unhappy prospect dampens his spirits somewhat, but Barry has little time to dwell on his romantic disappointments. Christmas may be drawing nigh, but there is little peace to be found on earth, especially for a young doctor plying his trade in the emerald glens of rural Ireland. 
Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly
From Dolores and Genevieve, two spinster sisters who must break free from their mother’s powerful personality, to Alice, who is facing having to open her home and her heart to the one visitor that she does not want this Christmas, from a captivating family story triggered by a letter to Lily’s disastrous arrival at her best friend’s wedding, these are stories to make you laugh, cry and nod in recognition.

Dickens at Christmas by Charles Dickens
This elegant collection gathers together not only Dickens' Christmas Books but also stories that Dickens wrote for the special seasonal editions of his periodicals “All the Year Round” and “Household Words”, and the hilarious festive episodes from “The Pickwick Papers”.

Driving Home For Christmas by Emma Hannigan
Christmas at Huntersbrook House is a family tradition and this year it's even more important as, with mounting debts and insufficient income from the livery yard, it looks like the Craig family might have to sell their beloved family home. Pippa, Joey and Lainey are the three grown up Craig children who, caught up with their own lives in Dublin, are, as yet, unaware of the problems facing Huntsersbrook. As the Christmas season approaches, the Craig family need to do some soul-searching and what better place than around the fire at Huntersbrook House.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
It's Christmas Eve, and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who's robbing his church's collection box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and the children. The tree-decorating is barely under way before his phone rings again - a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiralling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. He risks everything - and he may not make it back alive for Christmas dinner.

With Love at Christmas by Carole Matthews
Juliet Joyce adores Christmas. She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel, everything. Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get out of hand. Her son Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet's father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day. And has the chaos got too much for Juliet's husband Rick?

Christmas with Gordan by Gordan Ramsey
Gordan’s menus are built around a choice of 5 main course centrepieces - turkey, goose, beef, ham or sea bass - and include starters, accompaniments and desserts for each. To take the stress out of Christmas, Gordon offers masses of advice on ordering, shopping, preparation and timing. Also included is a great chapter on Party Food, and inspired recipes for Breakfast & Brunch, Lunches & Suppers, and Sweet Treats. Gordon's favourite Christmas ingredients, including stilton, smoked salmon, turkey and ham, are highlighted with suggestions for creative ways to use them over the Christmas period. Advice on wines and party drinks, cheese and other festive ingredients complete this invaluable guide to the perfect Christmas.

All I Want for Christmas” is a collection of heart warming short stories written by some of Ireland’s bestselling authors, all of whom are donating their royalties to Barnardos.

Some of Ireland’s top women fiction writers come together in this collection of humourous, witty, sad, charming and poignant stories to ensure there is a great read for everyone. 

December's Reads - Cavan Library Reading Group

This month we are also reading some of the titles from E.M Forster's body of work. Click on any of the Book Images below to reserve a title on our Catalogue.
Read along and leave your comments here...

E.M. Forster or Morgan Forster was born on the 1st January 1879 and died on the 7th June 1970.  He was a British novelist, essayist, and social and literary critic. His fame rests largely on his novels The Longest Journey (1907), Howards End (1910) and A Passage to India (1924).

Longest Journey
An introspective novel of manners at once comic and tragic, it tells of a sensitive and intelligent young man with an intense imagination and a certain amount of literary talent. He sets out full of hope to become a writer, but gives up his aspirations for those of the conventional world, gradually sinking into a life of petty conformity and bitter disappointments.

Set in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist introduces us to Maurice Hall when he is fourteen. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and on into his father's firm, Hill and Hall, Stock Brokers. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way, "stepping into the niche that England had prepared for him": except that his is homosexual.

Passage to India
Before deciding whether to marry Chandrapore's local magistrate, Adela Quested wants to discover the "real India" for herself. Newly arrived from England, she agrees to see the Marabar Caves with the charming Dr Aziz.

Room with a view

This is the story of a young English middle-class girl, Lucy Honeychurch. While vacationing in Italy, Lucy meets and is wooed by two gentlemen, George Emerson and Cecil Vyse. After turning down Cecil Vyse's marriage proposals twice Lucy finally accepts. Upon hearing of the engagement George protests and confesses his true love for Lucy. Lucy is torn between the choice of marrying Cecil, who is a more socially acceptable mate, and George who she knows will bring her true happiness. 

December's Reads - Cavan Library Reading Group

We are  reading some of the titles from Yasmina Khadra. Click on any of the images below to reserve a title from the Catalogue.

Make sure you read along and don't forget to leave your comments/reviews here...

About  Yasmina Khadra
Yasmina Khadra is the pseudonym of the Algerian writer Mohammed Moulessehoul, born in 1956. A high ranking officer in the Algerian army, he went into exile in France in 2000, where he now lives in seclusion. In his several writings on the civil war in Algeria, Khadra exposes the current regime and the fundamentalist opposition as the joint guilty parties in the Algerian Tragedy.  

The Attack
Dr. Amin Jaafari, an Arab-Israeli citizen, is a surgeon at a hospital in Tel Aviv. Dedicated to his work, respected and admired by his colleagues and community, he represents integration at its most successful. He has learned to live with the violence and chaos that plague his city, and on the night of a deadly bombing in a local restaurant, he works tirelessly to help the shocked and shattered patients brought to the emergency room. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn. His wife’s body is found among the dead, with massive injuries, the police coldly announce, typical of those found on the bodies of fundamentalist suicide bombers. As evidence mounts that his wife, Sihem, was responsible for the catastrophic bombing, Dr. Jaafari is torn between cherished memories of their years together and the inescapable realization that the beautiful, intelligent, thoroughly modern woman he loved had a life far removed from the comfortable, assimilated existence they shared.

The Swallows of Kabul
Since the ascendancy of the Taliban the lives of Mosheen and his beautiful wife, Zunaira, have been gradually destroyed. Mosheen's dream of becoming a diplomat has been shattered and Zunaira can no longer even appear on the streets of Kabul unveiled. Atiq is a jailer who guards those who have been condemned to death; the darkness of prison and the wretchedness of his job have seeped into his soul. Atiq's wife, Musarrat, is suffering from an illness no doctor can cure. Yet, the lives of these four people are about to become inexplicably intertwined, through death and imprisonment to passion and extraordinary self-sacrifice.

The Sirens of Baghdad
A young Iraqi student, unable to attend college because of the war, sees American soldiers leave a trail of humiliation and grief in his small village. Bent on revenge, he flees to the chaotic streets of Baghdad where insurgents soon realize they can make use of his anger. Eventually he is groomed for a secret terrorist mission meant to dwarf the attacks of September 11th, only to find himself struggling with moral qualms. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

November Reads: Cavan Library Reading Group

Some interesting reads are being recommended this month by the members of Cavan's Reading Group. Read along with us and sharing your thoughts here! 
Click on any of the book images to reserve any read on our Catalogue...

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore

Judith Hearne is an unmarried woman of a certain age who has come down in society. She has few skills and is full of the prejudices and pieties of her genteel Belfast upbringing. But Judith has a secret life. And she is just one heartbreak away from revealing it to the world.An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

They lied to protect their country. He told the truth to save it. Narrated by Picquart, An Officer and a Spy is a compelling recreation of a scandal that became the most famous miscarriage of justice in history.

Cissie's Abbattoir by Dr Éibhear Walshe

The author's personal journey takes us through his hometown, the buildings of his childhood city, his grandmother's abattoir, the Mental Hospital where his father works, and the Folly Church where he serves as an altar boy. It is the story of a city and the story of his journey from fear to pride but the most important character throughout is the entertaining, fashion-conscious, poker-playing Cissie, his lively and witty little grandmother who taught him by example how to survive and prosper, and how to live with style and verve. 

 This Party's got to stop by Rupert Thomson

On a warm day in 1964, Thomson’s mother dies suddenly. 20 years later, his father dies alone. In an attempt to come to terms with loss, he and his brothers move back into their father's house. This story reveals the fragility of family life and is both a love letter to family and a chronicle of the family splits that can tear people and communities apart.

Me and Mine by Anna May Mangan

This account of an extended Irish emigrant family’s experience in London from the early 1950s is thronged with prejudice, illness, death, poverty, hunger, gambling, sexual repression and domestic abuse. Despite this, what shines through is the warmth and loving nature of a family, beautifully and delicately described by a fine writer. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Shortlist is announced for this year's Guardian first book award!

This annual literary award by The Guardian newspaper recognises one book by a new writer. Check out the shortlist here...

We Need New Names  by NoViolet Bulawayo

'To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them.  Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in - who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?' Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn't all bad, though. There's mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices.  They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges - for her and also for those she's left behind.

Sex and the Citadel : Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World by Shereen  El-Feki

As political change sweeps the streets and squares, parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home - in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative, insightful and engaging account of a highly sensitive, and still largely secret, aspect of Arab society. Sex is entwined in religion and tradition, politics and economics, gender and generations, so it makes the perfect lens for examining the region's complex social landscape.  From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the Arab region, and brings new voices to the debate over its future. This is no peep show or academic treatise. Sex and the Citadel is a highly personal, often humorous, account of one woman's journey to better understand Arab society at its most intimate, and in the process, better understand her own origins.  Rich with five years of groundbreaking research from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Tunisia to Qatar, Sex and the Citadel gives us unique and timely insight into everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing in front of our very eyes.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

"My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down.  He hasn't yet missed a day of letting me down." In the aftermath of Ireland's financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds.  The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel. Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and J.M.  Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant. Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters.  Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes's story begins to emerge and with it the family's terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.  Based on actual events, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving novel about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we're told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, in which every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Leila has never met Tess, but she now knows more about Tess than anyone in the world. She's read all of her emails, researched her past and asked Tess for every detail about her friends and family. Tess has never met Leila.  But if she wants to slip away from the world unnoticed, she needs to trust Leila with her life. At first, Leila finds it easy to assume Tess's identity, and no one has any reason to distrust her. But as Leila is soon to discover, there is much more to a person than the facts and there are things about life you can learn only by living it ...Original, haunting and utterly gripping, Kiss Me First is an electrifying debut from a phenomenally gifted storyteller.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October Read: Cootehill Library

Crocodile Tears by Mark O'Sullivan

Property tycoon, Dermot Brennan, is found murdered in his Dublin Home. Leading the investigation is Detective Inspector Leo Woods, an embittered former UN peacekeeper with a drug habit, a penchant for collecting masks and a face disfigured by Bell's Palsy. He is assisted by the intelligent Detective Sergeant Helen Troy, an engaging character with a troubled past. A host of suspects quickly emerge; together Woods and Troy weave their way through a tangled web to get to the shocking truth.

Acclaimed children's fiction writer, Mark Sullivan, is an exciting new voice in literary fiction, the absorbing plot and the exceptional lead character combine to make this novel an excellent summer read.

October Read: Bailieborough Reading Group

Notes on Scandal by  Zoë Heller

Barbara Covett, a school teacher  has led a solitary life until Sheba Hart, the new art teacher at St. George's, befriends her. But even as their relationship develops, so too does another: Sheba has begun an illicit affair with an underage male student. When the scandal turns into a media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend's defense—and ends up revealing not only Sheba's secrets, but also her own.

October Reads: Cavan Reading Group

This month our group are reading the Collected Works of Richard Ford.

Richard Ford is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. His best-known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land. Ford's latest novel, Canada, was published in May 2012. 

Read with us! Click on any of the Book Covers and reserve a title on our Catalogue...

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What is 100 books with a Difference?

Through our “100 Books with a Difference” readers will explore the truth of living with prejudice and discrimination; learn that the shared experience of difference is what in fact unites us; and discover the wisdom of celebrating difference.

Find out more?

I want to see a copy of this Reading Guide?
It's easy, just click on the Book Image and you can download the Reading Guide for free.

Bernard MacLaverty's "Collection of Work" scores a 5-Star rating from our Cavan Reading Group!

"If you have not read any of Bernard's work before, or in a while; do not hesitate, reserve one today....", this is the advice from Cavan Reading Group members.

Here we have provided you with a few choices. Click on the Book Images to reserve your copy on our Catalogue!

This is the story of the growing up of Martin Brennan, a troubled boy in troubled times, a boy who knows all the questions but none of the answers. This is Belfast in the late sixties. Before he can become an adult, Martin must unravel the sacred and contradictory mysteries of religion, science and sex; he must learn the value of friendship; but most of all he must pass his exams - at any cost. 

This long-awaited new collection from the noted Irish writer Bernard MacLaverty examines worlds in collision, relationships fragmenting, innocence coming face to face with real life and real death. A Catholic schoolboy playing football has a theological debate with a Protestant policeman; a chess game in Spain is a catalyst for grief and redemption; in the haunting title story a Belfast man out walking his dog is kidnapped at gunpoint.

The award-winning Grace Notes is a compact and altogether masterful portrait of a woman composer and the complex interplay between her life and her art. With superb artistry and startling intimacy, it brings us into the life of Catherine McKenna — estranged daughter, vexed lover, new mother, and musician making her mark in a male-dominated field.
When Brother Sebastian, ne Michael Lamb, runs away from a bleak reformatory, taking with him twelve-year-old Owen Kane, the media and the police call it a kidnapping. For Lamb, though, it is a rescue of a formerly abused boy from a place of no hope, a last grasp at an elusive happiness. But as the outside world closes in, as time and money run out, Lamb finds himself moving towards a solution that is as shocking as it is loving. Lamb was produced as a widely praised film starring Liam Neeson in the title role.
Cal is the story of a Catholic teenager growing up in a mostly Protestant neighbourhood in Northern Ireland. Cal drives a getaway car after a Protestant is murdered and is tortured by the memory. His life is complicated by his growing love for the wife of the murdered man. Cal is one of the finest novels to emerge from the Northern Ireland conflict.

Fancy joining one of our Book Clubs?

We have 3 active English reading groups operating in each of our full-time libraries:

(1) The Johnston Central reading group was established in 1999 and currently has 25 members.
(2) The Bailieborough reading group was established in 2008 and has 8 members.
(3) The Cootehill reading group was established in 2002 and has 12 members.

We have an active Irish language group at Johnston Central Library:

Want to find out more? Contact Carmel Cusack-Smith at 049 4378500

How do I join?

It’s easy! Simply contact the appropriate Full-time library expressing your interest in joining their reading group!
LocationGroupDate & TimeContact

Johnston Central Library

Adult English
Reading Group
This group meet on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 1pm.Katherine McLaughlin
Grúpa léitheoireachtThis group meet on the 1st Thursday of each month at 1pm.
Carmel Cusack-Smith
Bailieborough LibraryAdult English
Reading Group
This group meet on the last Thursday each month at 1pm.Marleen Kennedy
Cootehill LibraryAdult English
Reading Group
This group meet on the 2nd Thursday each month at 7pmSinead McArdle

What type of materials do the groups review?

It varies. We have reviewed a multitude of diverse genres ranging from popular fiction to award winning novels. Click here to access our Reading Group booklist which lists the books our groups have reviewed since 1999.

Friday, 23 August 2013

There are battles captured here with such raw clarity that you expect to find gunpowder stains on your hands when you put the book down.......

Lost Nation by Jeffrey Lent

Set in the early nineteenth century, Lost Nation is about a man known only as Blood. A man of learning and wisdom with a secret past that has scorched his soul, Blood remakes himself as a trader, hauling with him Sally, a sixteen-year-old girl won from the madam of a brothel over a game of cards. Their arrival in Indian Stream -- a land where the luckless or outlawed have made a fresh start -- triggers an escalating series of clashes that will not only sever the master-servant bond between Blood and Sally, but also force Blood to confront his own dreaded past and offer Sally a final escape. In prose both lucid and seductive, the story carries us deeply into human and natural conditions of extreme desolation and harrowing hardship, and at the same time gives us the relentless beat of hope and, finally, the redeeming strength of love.
(Post title taken from "Lost Nation" review by Ron Charles, www.powells.com)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Introducing an exciting new voice in literary crime fiction!

This week we are recommending you get your hands on Crocodile Tears by Mark O'Sullivan

Click on the Book Image to reserve a copy on our catalogue
Property tycoon, Dermot Brennan, is found murdered in his Dublin Home. Leading the investigation is Detective Inspector Leo Woods, an embittered former UN peacekeeper with a drug habit, a penchant for collecting masks and a face disfigured by Bell's Palsy. He is assisted by the intelligent Detective Sergeant Helen Troy, an engaging character with a troubled past. A host of suspects quickly emerge; together Woods and Troy weave their way through a tangled web to get to the shocking truth. 

Acclaimed children's fiction writer, Mark Sullivan, is an exciting new voice in literary fiction, the absorbing plot and the exceptional lead character combine to make this novel an excellent summer read.

Monday, 29 July 2013

It’s the story of two people who find joy together when they were least expecting it....

Bailieborough Reading Group gives "This is how it ends by Kathleen MacMahon" 4 Stars!

This is how it ends tells the story of two people who collide with each other just as the whole world seems to be caught between the hope and promise of Obama’s election and the catastrophic collapse of the global economy.

Bruno is a middle-aged American banker who has come to Ireland to escape the financial meltdown in his own country. Addie is an out-of-work Irish architect. Childless and isolated when she meets Bruno, her life seems to be on a downward spiral.

Addie and Bruno’s story is one of nationality and identity, of the power of optimism to defeat despair and the unstoppable march of time. It’s the story of two people who find joy together when they were least expecting it. It's about the past and the future and the elusive skill of living in the moment. It is a love story for our times.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

An intriguing debut novel set in 1832 spanning from Donegal to the New American Frontier...

Red Sky in morning by Paul Lynch

Click on the book image and reserve this on our catalogue
Donegal Spring 1832: Coll Coyle wakes to a blood dawn and a day he does not want to face. The young father stands to lose everything due to the cruel intentions of his landowner's son. Although reluctant, Coll sets out to confront his trouble. And so begins his fall from the rain-soaked, cloud-swirling Eden, and a pursuit across the wild bog lands of Donegal. Behind him is John Faller - a man who has vowed to hunt Coll to the ends of the earth - in a pursuit that will stretch to an epic voyage across the Atlantic, and to greater tragedy in the new American frontier. A mesmerising tale of oppression which explores the merciless side of man and the indifference of nature, it is both a mesmerizing feat of imagination and a landmark piece of fiction.

View our Summer Reading List 2013

Thursday, 11 July 2013

An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

This week we are recommending "And the Mountains Echoed" By Khaled Hosseini

Click on the Book Cover to reserve this book on our catalogue

A multi-generational family story revolving around brothers and sisters, And the Mountains Echoed explores the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honour and sacrifice for each other. With profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Meet Charlie. People think he's crazy. But he's not. People think he's stupid. But he's not. People think he's innocent...

He's the Gamal.......

Charlie has a story to tell, about his best friends Sinéad and James and the bad things that happened. But he can't tell it yet, at least not till he's worked out where the beginning is.

Because is the beginning long ago when Sinéad first spoke up for him after Charlie got in trouble at school for the millionth time? Or was it later, when Sinéad and James followed the music and found each other? Or was it later still on that terrible night when something unspeakable happened after closing time and someone chose to turn a blind eye?

Charlie has promised Dr Quinn he'll write 1,000 words a day, but it's hard to know which words to write. And which secrets to tell...

This is the story of the dark heart of an Irish village, of how daring to be different can be dangerous and how there is nothing a person will not do for love.

Exhilarating, bitingly funny and unforgettably poignant, this is a story like no other. This is the story of the Gamal.

This weeks recommended read!