Mayhem

Added to Mount TBR in March 2018 – I came across this book as it was longlisted for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize. It sounded interesting It is a strange book in a way. Sort of a biography, sort of a book about drug addiction, but more a book about dealing with other people and […]

Cracked not broken

When he was nineteen years old Kevin Hines jumped from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco to what he thought would be his death. As he fell he found himself changing his mind. And luckily for him he survived. Severely injured, but he was pulled from the water alive. He had never wanted to […]

The Islandman

Translated from the Irish (An tOileánach) by Robin Flower Tomás Ó Criomhthain, or, if you’d prefer an anglicised version, Thomas O’Crohan, was born on the Great Blasket Island in 1856. He lived all his life there as a farmer and fisherman, married and had ten children, although many of them died before reaching adulthood. In […]

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.

Rainbow Pie

a memoir of Redneck America ISBN: 9781846272578 Before picking this book up I’d never heard of Bageant, and in the middle of reading it I learned from Metafilter that he had died, cancer. And that he was a well-known voice of “Redneck America”. In many ways this book reminded me of Harriette Arnow’s The Dollmaker, […]

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.

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.

Jarhead [based on book]

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Jarhead is the story of one young Marine as he goes through training and then into Iraq during the early 90’s. It isn’t an overtly political film, although Kruger has a few interesting, if throwaway comments to make. It is a personal view of the war, and how war changes people/

As a film I don’t think that this was anything special. It was entertaining enough, but both Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard are better than the film. The relationship between the pair is really what is at the heart of the film, the rest is simply the set-up.

And this is fairly understandable, considering that the film is based on the memoirs of Swofford. Of course as a film about war, and Iraq it does have a political message, if you want to see one. If you don’t you can ignore all that.

Read more about Jarhead [based on book]

While Green Grass Grows

ISBN: 1856352064 As the subtitle says this book is mainly concerned with the life of Bríd Mahon while she worked for the Irish Folklore Commission. In it Mahon lists many of the tales that the commission collected, as well as the lives of the people who collected the stories, customs and songs. It is a […]

Shooting History: A personal journey

ISBN: 0007171854 Jon Snow has been a journalist since the early 70’s, but even before that he was involved in anti-apartheid demonstrations, and worked as a volunteer in Africa. This book is his personal journey as the title indicates, but it also offers an insight into the political situation that grew out of the cold […]

Until the Final Hour

At 22 she dreamed of being a ballerina, yet she ended up working for and “liking the greatest criminal ever to have lived.” In this book she simply retells her experiences, without really putting her own interpretation to her actions and feelings. Throughout the book we come up against that old cliche, the banality of […]