Dec 1, 2009

November Book Swap

As this session comes to a close, we thought it was high time we shared the November book swap contributions! Roisin Meaney, a novelist and children's book author from Ireland, and Peter, the Pitch Doctor, Rush discuss their picks in their own words below. On an only semi-related note, we'd like to say in advance how much we'll miss Roisin's amazing baked goods and Peter's top-notch dinners. As sorry as we'll be to return to our own devices in the kitchen, at least now we have a chance at once again buttoning our pants.

Roisin on her donations:

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín evokes rural Ireland of the 1950s, and introduces the reader to Eilis Lacey, a young woman who emigrates reluctantly to New York, more out of a sense of familial duty than a real desire to spread her wings. This simple-sounding story, written from Eilis's viewpoint in Tóibín's usual sparse style nevertheless manages to convey pathos, sharp observation, and humour, while avoiding sentimentality as the heroine moves from Ireland to America, adapting as best she can to her changing circumstances. It's an easy and, in my opinion, rewarding read.   

William Trevor's fourteenth novel Love and Summer is also set in rural Ireland of the mid twentieth century, but there the similarity ends. The 82-year old 'master of quiet, Irish brooding' (the Guardian) has produced a doomed love story of sweetness and poignancy, steeped in end-of-summer sunshine and peopled with subtly drawn and very recognisable characters (recognisable to this Irish reader, at any rate!) Love and Summer will linger in the memory long after the last page has been turned. 

Peter discusses his picks (The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda, A Pathway to Peace by Gerry Adams, and The Big Book) in the video below.

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The library grows lovelier with each and every book swap, and the bedside to-read stack grows taller, too.  

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