Beginnings or are they endings?

There is a beginning and an ending for all experiences. Sometimes it is hard to end such experiences. This is about knowing when to let something go which is no longer relevant to our lives and is just taking up valuable space.

Now it may be as simple as realising that the book we have had since our twenties and which we have never read again is actually only taking up space on our precious book shelf. Some might say it has seen them through life but has it really when it has never been taken down from that shelf? Why is it some people just don’t hold onto things while others seem to get solace from having them?

I have a copy of all Shakespeare’s plays. It was given to me as a twenty first birthday present. So on my shelf is a book I received nearly forty years ago and which I never read as the cover makes my teeth “water” and the pages make my fingers itch!!! Really how inane is that? Why do I need to hang onto something which I have never and will never read?

So today the Shakespeare tome has been moved to the box which will make its way to the book exchange. Surprisingly it was not as difficult as I thought it would be to remove this book. Having developed a skin allergy to paper and card dust and certain other fibres, the need to hold onto this book was not as strong as I thought.

The practicalities far out-weigh, the nostalgia I had attributed to this books. This is definitely an unexpected ending. Or perhaps  a new beginning?

brown book page
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

National Author’s Day

Today in some countries national author’s are celebrated. Who would  be the national author I would like to be celebrated?

The first name which immediately comes to mind is Ruth Dudley Edwards as she is a crime fiction writer but she is also a historian and biographer, Then there is Maeve Binchy, who was a fiction writer but it was her column with the Irish Times on a Saturday which had me hooked.

What about Sara Breen and  Emer McLysaght?  Or perhaps A. O’Connor, the author of “The House”  (please see blog post “The Start of a Book Series” for a review)?

Eilís Dillon, John B. Keane, Brendan Behan or Frank O’Connor? these authors bring me right back to my childhood together with Patricia Lynch.

I would find it so difficult to choose just one author to celebrate National Author’s Day if we indeed we did celebrate it in Ireland. However, I know I will not be able to sleep until I have found some books written by these authors and reread them. The difficulty is which one?

So who would you recommend if you were celebrating National Author’s Day?

The Start of a Book Series

Do you ever come across a book in a different genre to what you usually read and find yourself drawn slowly but surely into the lives of the characters?  Then at the end of the book finding it is the first in a series?

This has just happened to me. If you like Downton Abbey television series, if you like books about “the big houses”, or perhaps it is more modern rather than historical novels which appeal to you or yet again it is Irish themed novel?  Then I have the very book for you.  The House by A O’Connor published by Poolbeg Press.

Although the books spans many generations the imagery evoked by the author is brilliant.  The characters are well-developed and the story line just begs for more.  It is one of those books which lures you in until today’s world is forgotten.

As the title suggestions the house is the link between the characters of the various generations.  As it says on the front of the book “one house, one family, three generations.

The House (Armstrong House Series Book 1)

 

If you decide to read this book I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Happy reading

 

Did I Really Miss It?

How did I miss it?   August 9th was National Book Lovers Day.  I mean I love books, adore reading, have some perfect places in which to read.  I have the snuggler for when it is cold and of course have the tea-tray with all the accoutrements for the perfect cuppa.

So how did I miss it?  i totally forgot to note it on my calendar!!

If you are a book lover I hope you enjoyed your day.  I hope you had time to read.  I hope you enjoyed the book.  I hope you are enjoying your reading if you are still reading your book.

What book do you have on hand?  At the moment, I am reading a series of books by P. F. Ford.  They are a British Police detective series and which I am thoroughly enjoying.

 

 

Where My Books Go

By W.B.Yeats

 

All the words that I utter,

And all the words that I write,

Must spread out their wings untiring,

And never rest in their flight

Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,

And sing to you in the night,

Beyond where the waters are moving

Storm-darkened or starry bright.

Bliss with a Twist

One of life’s pleasures is curling up with a good book to the sound of rain beating against the window pane. Bliss.

Now there are a certain few tweeks to make this pleasure absolute bliss.  Firstly the coffee it has to be a blend which you enjoy, this is definitely not the time for “it will do” blend.  Secondly the mug.  It has to be big enough to hold a warming amount of coffee but not too big that the mug itself is hard to lift.  Thirdly one has to be comfy. Perhaps a quilt to throw aIMAG1015[1]round the shoulders or over the knees.  Perhaps a throw or perhaps that old warm roomy jumper that has survived so many mishaps.

 

 

Of course the most important choice is that of a book.  This is the time for the latest book by a favourite author.  Perhaps this is the time for renewing the warmth one feels from a favoutite book read so many times that the cover has that well thumbed look.

Easter Monday dawned to the sound of rain battering the windows.  Grey skys enveloped the area cutting the house off to the rest of the world.  Small streams were already forming as yet again another year had passed and the drains had not been cleared.  Rain dripped from the forlorn looking trees.

I went through my mental list. Dinner?  Left overs from Easter Sunday Lunch. Snacks? Leftovers from Easter Sunday and Easter Eggs.  Kitchen? Spick and span.  Oh yes, mental list checked off.  This day had all the makings for an uninterupted reading day.  Sheer Bliss.

I found myself in my favourite chair, my quilt folded beside me, in my comfy clothes and footrest in place.  Not knowing quite what book I wanted to read I had a selection.  Ruth dudley Edwards “Matricide at St. Martha’s”, Donna Leon’s “Earthly Remains“, Noel Dorr’s “Ireland at the United Nations” and Daisy Thurbin’s “The Radziwll Leagacy“.

A tray beside me held toasted hot cross buns my husband had made, a sliced apple and a pot of tea being kept warm with a tea cosy.  Beside it sat a small china mug with images of the London Olympics bringing back happy memories.

Yes I was all set.  Still there was something amiss.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.   Something just wasn’t quite right.  What was preveinting me from settling into one of my favourite pastimes.  Standing up and looking at the space I had made for my reading day it took a while for the incongruity to emerge.

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I sat down a little stunned. I was reading with a pot of tea!! For those of you who may not know me I am a coffee holic.  I love coffee and it hurts when I purchase or make a bad cup of coffee.  Realisation slowly dawned upon me that since I had had a massive allergy attack I had not sipped a drop of coffee.coffee.

Yikes. Nóilín minus a mug of coffee?  What a weird notion.  But it was no longer a notion it was a reality.  During the previous thirteen days I had not had a drop of coffee but what was really weird was that I had not missed it.  Nursing a cup of tea I pondered this new situation but the call of a book soon interupted these musings.

It wasn’t long before Ruth Dudley Eadwards had me laughing at the antics of the heroine and the question of why my body was rejecting coffee for tea was soon forgotten.  The rain continued unabated while I read and savoured being warm, having books to read while listening to music of the rain on the window.

It certainly was absolute bliss but with a new twist.

I will try this book genre just one more time.

 

I love to read. I enjoy finding a new book on perhaps a subject I haven’t really looked at before and being drawn in.

There are books however that over the years I have detested.  Yes a strong word but aptly describing my feeling towards fairy tales.  Yes, fairy tales.  I can remember fairy tales being read to me, later reading them for myself and always being frightened by either the tales themselves or the illustrations.

Thinking back to those tales still sends a shiver down my spine.  I can remember receiving a book one Christmas entitled “The Stolen Child and Other Stories” by Sinéad Bean DeValera.  Although these were Irish based I was still scared.

Recently, I was given a bag of children’s books some first published in the 1970’s.  In among them  was a book ” Great Fairy Tales of Ireland” compiled by Mary McGarry.  After numerous pots of tea I finally finished the book but I never relaxed into the book.

I think I can safely say that I will not be reading any more fairy tales however, I would recommend any of the books by Sinéad Bean DeValera if you can find them.  Also “The Lucky Bag” a book of Irish children’s stories by various authors.

Another series of children’s books, set in County Wicklow and written by Cormac Mac Raois are “The Battle of Giltspur, Dance of the Midnight Fire, and Lightening over Giltspur”.  These are adventure books with gripping tales centred around three children Niamh and Daire Durkan and their cousin Rónán.  They are books which can be enjoyed by a reader of any age, yes even a sixty year old!

For those who are nature lovers then the trilogy “Run with the Wind“, “Run to Earth” and “Run Swift Run Free” by Tom McCaughren are beautifully crafted books with descriptive passages which immediately evoke images of the Irish countryside.

I am halfway through this wonderful bag of books and thanks to Marie, Sinéad and Trina I have many more hours of enjoyment ahead of me.