The Girl who beat isis

In August 2014, Farida, like any ordinary teenage girl, was enjoying the summer holidays before her last year at school. But Farida lived in the mountains of northern Iraq — and what happened next was unimaginable. Her village was an ISIS target. In Ireland we forget sometimes just how good we have it. Reading this […]

The son

translated from French by Adriana Hunter It is eleven days since our first person narrator has died. He was just twenty one years old when meningitis took him. Now he tells the story of how his parents, specifically his father, are trying to cope with that hard fact. Their son is dead. This is a […]

Old Burnside

A memoir of a Southern Girlhoodold burnside

In 1913 Harriette Simpson Arnow moved to Old Burnside, Kentucky, with her family. This is her recollections of life in the once bustling lumber town. She was only four years old at the time, and yet she still manages to recreate the town and people she knew back then. It is a small book, only 125 pages in the edition I read, but there is plenty going on.

Rules of Engagement

25 May 2003
The tip-off came from a Fleet Street contact that Saturday evening: something serious was brewing in the media, something ‘pretty big’. I’d been under the cosh for the last week after being accused of war crimes, so I wondered how much bigger it could get.

So, do I admit at the start or the end of this review that I was anti the Iraq war? Does that political inclination mean that my opinion of this book is biased? I’m not sure, I do however know that this book did not get off to a good start with me, as the dedication is “to the soldiers of Ireland who left their native land to fight for the Crown so that small nations might be free.” That grates. It is meant with the best of intentions, or at least I suppose so, and I’m guessing he is talking about in modern times, but it still grates. After all, Ireland is one of those small nations that had to fight against the Crown so that she might be free.

Zero Point One Six: living in extra time

ISBN: 184018485X
See also: Wikipedia on Mick Doyle ; Irish Examiner’s Obit

I still do not know the exact point at which I first became aware; all I can recall is waking up very gradually and becoming increasingly conscious that I was probably in this world, or somewhere else, other than just being dead.

In 1996 Mick Doyle suffered a brain haemorrhage and spent four weeks in a coma. He was lucky enough to wake up and to be able to begin the road back to recovery. This book tells his story of recuperation. A former international rugby player, an Irish rugby coach, a British and Irish Lions coach, a media pundit, Doyle was also lucky enough to be on of the 0.16 per cent of people who recover from a brain haemorrhage. Hence the title of the book.

Read more about Zero Point One Six: living in extra time

Back from the Brink

with Vincent Hogan ISBN: 1846050766 See also: ; Wikipedia ; BBC ; The Telegraph Paul McGrath is probably Ireland’s best loved sporting star. Known as god to many an Aston Villa fan, he was one of our greatest players ever. And we all knew he had a drinking problem, there were the disappearances. And a […]

Time Added On

When you are a child, and you’re poor, and you live next to other people who are poor, you never think of yourself as being poor.

Around a month ago I read an entry on Omaniblog about this book, up until then I hadn’t even known that George Hook had a book out. But that post caught my attention. George Hook is probably best known in Ireland for his rugby punditry. Together with Brent Pope and Tom McGurk, he analyses rugby for RTE in an entertaining, honest, blunt manner. He also has a radio show, but I’m not big on the radio so haven’t heard him enough to comment on that. In many ways I suppose he is the Eamonn Dunphy of the rugby world.

But I know him primarily from his rugby comments, and his constant promises that Munster will lose, and that the likes of Stringer shouldn’t be playing. I disagree with him, but am well aware that he is very knowledgeable about the game. And in an entertaining way.

Queen Emma and the Vikings

A history of power, love and greed in 11th-century England ISBN 0747574898 Read with Medieval Britain book group She looks a little peevish, although this would not have been the intention of the artist This is the story of Queen Emma, by birth a Norman, who married two kings of England. Her first marriage was […]

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Starring (as themselves) Daniel Johnston, Bill Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Louis Black This is a documentary based on the life of musician, song-writer, and artist Daniel Johnston. Throughout his life he had taped conversations and videoed life going on all around him, many of these are used in this documentary. Johnston is something of a cult […]