Monday, 14 December 2015

Currently Recommending

Children of the Rising: the untold story of the young lives lost during Easter 1916 by Joe Duffy. 

Children of the Rising is the first ever account of the young lives violently lost during the week of the 1916 Rising: long-forgotten and never commemorated, until now. Boys, girls, rich, poor, Catholic, Protestant - no child was guaranteed immunity from the bullet and bomb that week, in a place where teeming tenement life existed side by side with immense wealth. 

Drawing on extensive original research, along with interviews with relatives, Joe Duffy creates a compelling picture of these forty lives, along with one of the cut and thrust of city life between the two canals a century ago. This gripping story of Dublin and its people in 1916 will add immeasurably to our understanding of the Easter Rising. Above all, it honours the forgotten lives, largely buried in unmarked graves, of those young people who once called Dublin their home.

Why not reserve on our catalogue today!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Decembers Read - Cavan Library Reading Group

Anne Tyler's Body of Work

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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. Her eleventh novel Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Her most recent novel A Spool of Blue Thread is brimming with the luminous insight, humour and compassion that are Anne Tyler's hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family.

A Spool of Blue Thread made it into Cavan Library Service’s Summer Reading list and was enjoyed thoroughly by Cavan Reading Group members

December's Read - Bailieborough Library

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

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One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?” From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning—but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

November Read - Cavan Reading Group

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
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"Wonder" is the funny, sweet and incredibly moving story of Auggie Pullman. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, this shy, bright ten-year-old has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. 

The thing is, Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all? Through the voices of Auggie, his big sister Via, and his new friends Jack and Summer, "Wonder" follows Auggie's journey through his first year at Beecher Prep. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, "Wonder" is a book you'll read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

November Read - Belturbet Library

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

November Read - Cootehill Library

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
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This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.

November Read - Bailieborough Library

Us by David Nicolls

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Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date.. and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen-year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells Douglas that she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European Capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best, anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and may even help him to bond with Albie.


Longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize
UK National Book Awards, Author of the year, 2014

October Read - Belturbet Library

The lives of Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
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Hauled in a cart to a field hospital in northern France in March 1916, an American woman wakes from unconsciousness to the smell of gas gangrene, the sounds of men in pain, and an almost complete loss of memory: she knows only that she can drive an ambulance, she can draw, and her name is Stella Bain. A stateless woman in a lawless country, Stella embarks on a journey to reconstruct her life. Suffering an agonising and inexplicable array of symptoms, she finds her way to London. There, Dr August Bridge, a cranial surgeon turned psychologist, is drawn to tracking her amnesia to its source. What brutality was she fleeing when she left the tranquil seclusion of a New England college campus to serve on the Front; for what crime did she need to atone - and whom did she leave behind?

October Read - Cootehill Library

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
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Here is a gorgeous, slowburning story of families growing up and tearing each other apart in rural Northern Ontario, where tragedy and hardship are mirrored in the landscape. Centre stage are the Morrisons whose tragedy is insidious and divisive. Orphaned young, Kate Morrison was her older brother Matt's protegee, her curious fascination for pond-life fed by his passionate interest in the natural world. Now a zoologist, she can identify organisms under a microscope, but seems blind to the tragedy of her own emotional life. She thinks she's outgrown her family, who were once her entire world - but she can't seem to outgrow her childhood or lighten the weight of their mutual past.

October Read - Bailieborough Library

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín
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Set in the late 1960s in Wexford, Nora Webster is a woman struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband Maurice. Living in a small community where well-meaning neighbours continually interrupt her to express their grief at her loss and provide unwanted 'advice' of what she must do now, Nora just wants to continue on in solitude. Raising four children alone and faced with making decisions independently, leads Nora to discover hidden strengths. Through unexpected gifts of new friendships and music, Nora may find a way to live a happy life again.

October Read - Cavan Reading Group

A place called winter and other titles by Patrick Gale

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To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything. A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.

BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club Read.

Click on the image to see all items by Patrick Gale on our catalogue

September Read - Belturbet Library

That they may face the rising sun by John McGahern

Joe and Kate Ruttledge, have come to rural Ireland from London in search of a different life. In passages of beauty and truth, the drama of a year in their lives and those of the memorable characters that move about them unfolds through action, the rituals of work, religious observances and play. By the novel's close we feel that we have been introduced, with deceptive simplicity, to a complete representation of existence - an enclosed world has been transformed into an Everywhere.

Shortlisted for the International IMPAC Award, 2003.

Winner of the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year, 2003.

September Read - Cootehill Library

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson
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Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

September Read - Bailieborough Library

The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton

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There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . . 
On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . . Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Shortlisted Bookseller Book of the Year
Richard & Judy Book Club Spring 2015 Title
Waterstones Book of the Year
Specsavers Book of the Year
National Book Awards New Writer of the Year.