Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Lost, by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, Random House
A boy's parents never get over the loss of their older son, whom they last saw while fleeing from the Russian army in 1945. There is virtually no dialogue, and the deliberately slow progress of the plot makes you anticipate a big finale that doesn't arrive. What you get instead is a paradoxical conclusion, that makes sense for the little boy if not for the other characters. This kind of "sober" narrative will surely get critical acclaim in academia, but it is also recommended to anyone attracted to the theme of the fragile nature of the human mind.

Antigua and My Life Before, by Marcela Serrano, Random House
The day the Berlin Wall fell. Everything began that November 9, 1989, with the fall of the Wall. Who could have imagined how much more would come down with it. Which was what I told Violeta Dasinski that day. I ought to have been a witness: if only I'd paid more attention. In the photograph there is a forlornness in her expression I hadn't noticed until now. As if her consciousness were dissolving in her eyes. The date of the beginning of Violeta's public life was the day her name appeared on the front page of the Santiago newspapers: November 15, 1991. (Opening paragraph)

In the Wilderness, by Manuel Rivas, Overlook Press
"There were three hundred crows.... and there was a girl and a church." The lady of the manor, Misia, accounts how the three hundred crows are poet-warriors of the last king of Galicia. A priest, Don Xil, explains to a young peasant, Rosa, that the paintings of beautiful women which are discovered on the walls of the church are sinful portraits. Rivas's "delicate, restrained magical realism, deploys Galician folklore to lend a mythic resonance" to a story about Spain's reluctant transformation to a modern urban lifestyle.

Friday, October 26, 2007

We are not alone...anymore

Our congratulations go to the new Watch House Cross Community Library (Limerick City Library Service) for developing what is now the second Public Library Blog operating in Ireland. You can find out what they are writing about here.

Their new, state of the art branch library at Watch House Cross was officially opened on Thursday 31st May.This new branch library will serve the north side of Limerick City, especially the communities of Moyross, Ballynanty and Kileely.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

A Coin in Nine Hands, by Marguerite Yourcenar; University of Chicago Press
During the space of a day in Rome in 1933, a ten-lira coin passes through the hands of nine people—including an aging artist, a prostitute, and a would-be assassin of Mussolini. The coin becomes the symbol of contact between human beings, each lost in private passions and nearly impenetrable solitude. Within a few pages we have met half the major characters in this haunting, brilliantly constructed novel. . . . The studied perfection, the structural intricacy and brevity remind one of Camus. Yet by comparison, Yourcenar's prose is lavish, emotional and imagistic.

Selected Stories, by Robert Walser; NewYork Review of Books
Robert Walser lived on the fringes, an urban migrant working at menial jobs, rejecting adult relationships for the ever more total isolation in which he poured out poems, plays, novels, and hundreds of brief, brilliantly unpredictable prose sketches. He a writer of considerable wit, talent and originality, and for much of his later life an institutionalized madman who could be surprisingly lucid. He loved his food, his beer, and his freedom to ramble in both the Swiss and German countryside. Here are stories to be read slowly and savoured, a volume filled with lovely and disturbing moments that will stay with the reader for some time to come.

America's Magic Mountain, by Curtis White ; Dalkey Archive Press
An unassuming young man was travelling north by train from his home in Downstate , Illinois. He knew little of the world outside of the absurdly narrow purview provided by textbooks in what was called Industrial Psychology. To understand his capacities one has only to imagine the possibility of a young man whose life consisted of being shoved from box to box. That he never ventured forth from any of these boxes - until this momentous trip by train - says something about his willingness to trust and, yes, his essential timidity. At any rate, break forth he had now, for he planned a two-week stay at a recovery spa. (Opening page).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Children's Book Festival 2007 in Galway City

Here are some more details of events taking place around Galway City as part of the Children's Book Festival . Please contact each library for details.

Galway City Library, Augustine St.
Monday 22nd October: Matthew Noone a travelling storytelling musician from Australia will recount adventures from around the
world. 11.05-12.00
Tuesday 23rd October: Author and storyteller Pete Mullineaux will tell
tall tales and recite rhymes. 10.00-10.45 and 11.00-11.45
Wednesday 24th October: 'Larry the Lion'. Arts and Crafts - Create a happy lion!
Thursday 25th October: Storyteller Clare Murphy will weave her magic with some
enthralling tales. 1.15pm-2.00pm

Ballybane Library
Tuesday 23rd October: Chess Tournament. 11.00 -1.00
Thursday 25th October: Storyteller Clare Murphy, suitable for junior/senior infants.
Friday 26th October: Twilight Stories...stories based on African folklore.
Three Sessions: 10.30-11.30, 11.30-12.30 and 1.30-2.30

Westside Library
Wednesday 24th October: Mask making for 7to 10 year olds. 4.00-5.00
Thursday 25th October: Storytelling with Clare Murphy, suitable for junior/senior
Friday 26th October: Pete Mullineaux with an interactive storytime with rhymes
and song. For 3-5 year olds. 3.00-3.45

Oranmore Library
Wednesday 24th October: Arts & Crafts for 6 to 10 year olds. 3.00-4.30pm
Thursday 25th October: Interactive story time with Clare Murphy for 1st class.
Children's Fancy Dress. 4.00pm

Friday, October 19, 2007

Children's Book Festival - Around Galway

As the Children's Book Festival continues into it's final week, we include here details of events forthcoming in Galway Libraries. Also, some images from last week in Gort Branch Library, including Michael Carroll reading from his book "The Quantum Prophecy" which is the first book in his New Heroes science fiction series.

Eyrecourt Library
Friday 19th October: Author visit Kate McMahon. 10.00- 11.00 and 11.15- 12.15
Map of Europe Jigsaw Competition. 3.00-4.00

Athenry Library
Friday 19th October: Make and Do with Tina 11.30 – 1.00pm
Tuesday 23 October: Table Quiz for Primary Schools 11.00 – 12.30
Wed 24th October: ‘I can animate’ Workshop 11.00 – 12.30
Thursday 25th October: Storytelling with Tina 11.00 – 12.00

Gort Library
Friday 19th October: Storytime for Preschoolers. 11.00
Tuesday 23rd October: Deadline for Bookmark Competition
Friday 26th October: Baloonmania and announcement of Bookmark Competition Nominees

Portumna Library
Friday 19th October: Teddy Bear’s Picnic with Hayley
Fancy Dress Parade 4.00

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Author visits - Children’s Book Festival 2007

The month of October is a busy month throughout Galway County Libraries. Children’s Book Festival is in full swing.There are all kinds of events from the traditional Table Quizzes, Chess, Draughts, Story and Poetry Competitions etc.
It is a great opportunity to promote the Library to children.

Author Visits
Galway County Libraries will host 5 Children’s Authors during Children’s Book Festival.
Malachy Doyle will visit Galway City, Ballybane, Westside and Oranmore on Thursday 11th October.
Friday 12th Oct, he will visit Ballinasloe and Portumna
Malachy Doyle was born and brought up in Northern Ireland. He went to College in Lancashire and then worked for some time as a teacher and also in advertising. At thirty years of age he moved to a small farm in Wales with his wife and family. He worked as a care assistant in a special school and then began to write.
He is a prolific writer and has received many awards.
His Picture Books include Big Pig, The Dancing Tiger, Hungry Hungry Hungry, When a Xyder met a Zeeder. The Football Ghost for beginner readers, Amadans and amadans alert for young readers and Georgie his award winning novel for Young Adults.

Jon Berkeley will visit Galway City Libraries on Monday 15th Oct.
Jon Berkeley was born in Dublin and travelled extensively before settling in Catalonia with his wife and family. His novel The Palace of Laughter was shortlisted this year for CBI/Bisto award. His second book is due out this month The Tiger’s Egg.

Michael Carroll will visit Galway City Libraries on Tuesday 16th Oct.
On Wednesday 17th he will visit Gort, Athenry and Tuam.
Michael Carroll was born in Dublin, left school at sixteen and worked as a postman for 3 years. He then worked in the computer industry for a number of years. He writes for adults and children. He writes science fiction and his children’s series The New Heroes are proving very popular. The titles include Quantam Prophecy, Sakkara and Absolute Power.

Maeve Friel will visit Tuam and Dunmore Libraries on Thursday 18th oct. Oughterard and Headford on Friday 19th Oct.
Maeve Friel was born in Derry.She grew up in a house filled with books. She has a great interest in myths and legends and they tend to find a way in to her books. Her first novel The Deerstone was published in 1992. She writes for all age groups. Her Witch-in-Training Series are very popular with the younger age group.

Baboro The International Festival for Children have organised Oisin McGann to read in Killimor and Loughrea Libraries on Friday 19th October and on Saturday 20th the Storyteller Andrew Mc Kenna will entertain children in Glenamaddy and Tuam Libraries.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Children's Book Festival in Tuam Library

The Children's Book Festival is a nationwide celebration of children's books and reading, which this year will be taking place from October 3rd-26th. The following are details of events happening in Tuam Branch Library during the festival.

Tuesday 16th October – Jewellery making and bead workshop with local artist Karena Ryan, 10.00 – 11.00 & 11.15 -12.15

Wednesday 17th October – Author Michael Carroll will read from his ‘new hero’s’ book series at 3.15 – suitable for children aged 10+.

Thursday 18th October - author Maeve Friel will read her latest spellbinding story from her “witch-in-training” series suitable for 1st and 2nd classes. 9.45—10.30, 10.45 –11.30 & 11.45—12.30.

Friday 19th October - Jewellery making and bead workshop with local artist Karena Ryan, 10.00 – 11.00 & 11.15 -12.15

Saturday 20th October – Australian performance storyteller Andrew McKenna will tell stories from around the world with the use of words, mime, music, gesture and masks.

Monday 22nd October: Print workshops with the National Print Museum… Participants will work with artefacts from the Museum's collection to hand set and print their names in metal type. The participants will learn basic composing skills to construct their names, which will then be inserted into a 'WANTED' poster, and printed on The Farley Proofing Press, a key working piece of the Museum's collection.
Hand Folded Printers Hat
The second half of the workshop will show participants how to make old style printers hats, using Origami techniques. They will then have the opportunity to decorate their printers hats.
Suitable for 5th and 6th classes
9.30—11.00 & 11.30—1.00.

Tuesday 23rd October: Story time with local storyteller Gerry King; suitable for pre-schools and junior infants. 11.00—12.00

Wednesday 24th October: Galway based story teller Clare Murphy takes us on a magical journey with her amazing stories from around the globe; 9.45—10.30 & 10.45—11.30 & 12.00—1.00.

Thursday 25th October: Table Quiz for 3rd and 4th classes
Friday 26th October: Table Quiz for 5th and 6th classes

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lessing wins Nobel Literature Prize

British author Doris Lessing has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy has announced.The academy described Lessing as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny." Few had tipped Lessing for the prize. At 87, she is the oldest person ever to win, and only the eleventh woman since it was first awarded in 1901.

Lessing is widely respected by her contemporaries as one of the most cerebral novelists of her generation. Author Margaret Drabble once described her as "one of the very few novelists who have refused to believe that the world is too complicated to understand.''

Born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), race and empire are themes frequently explored by Lessing. In her debut novel, The Grass is Singing (1950), she examines the relationship between a white farmer's wife and her black servant.

Lessing's breakthrough came with The Golden Notebook (1962), a book that became a favourite for the feminist movement for its examination of the male-female sexual relationship from a woman's standpoint. Lessing herself has said she does not want to be viewed as a feminist icon. She caused controversy in 2001 when she said she found herself "increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed."

In her latest novel, The Cleft (2007), Lessing continues her exploration of the relationship between the sexes by constructing a mythical all female world into which men are suddenly introduced.Under My Skin (1994) and Lessing's other autobiographical book Walking in the Shade (1997) are widely regarded as the high-point of her career. They were praised for capturing the last days of the British Empire.

Also notable is Shikasta (1979), which marked a venture into science fiction, something of which the Swedish Academy was rumoured to disapprove. This was blamed by some for Lessing missing out on the prize in the past.

Galway Public Libraries hold over 40 of Lessing’s works across it's library network, There are approximately twenty five titles held in Galway City Library. All of these titles may be borrowed by library users either directly, or through their local library branch.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Passion Perfect, by Annie Ernaux
Annie Ernaux has written eloquently about loss. Now she writes of another kind of loss, the loss of herself in a love and then the loss of the love itself. In spare, beautiful language, she writes of the end of an affair, the coming to terms with it’s close and with the person she has become because of it. A stunning story, despite its detachment and the careful exclusions of any excess, that pulsates with the very passion Ernaux so truthfully describes. Small, but abundantly wise.

Antichrista, by Amelie Nothomb
With their hoodies and their attitude, teenagers have become the terrifying, foul-mouthed behemoths of adult society. Blanche is just such a teenager. She is bad at friendship and good with books. Enter Christa, another precocious 16-year-old, but one with social skills. How can Blanche possibly interest her? Amélie Nothomb is an artist like no other. She emerges from the multitude thanks to the perfume of her authenticity, her audacity, her conscientiousness and a humility which for her is a mark of honour.

The Lost Grove, by Rafael Alberti
Autobiography of Rafael Alberti, writer and poet, whose life and work remained interconnected with profound social and political change that occurred in Spain throughout the 20th Century. This book evokes all the joys, the sorrows, the embarrassments, and the longings of a boy growing up, and it unashamedly presents all the pleasant and all the bitter reflections of a man looking back on himself as a youth. By turns reflective and confessional, Alberti's reminiscences recreate his strict Jesuit upbringing, adolescence and struggles as both painter and poet.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

2007 Frank O'Connor Short Story award winner

Miranda July has won the 2007 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, presented in Cork and sponsored by Cork City Council and the Munster Literature Centre in association with the Irish Times . She is the third winner of the richest short story prize.

Her collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You (Canongate) was praised as "a book of original genius", "a book which we believe will endure for a long time."

In this debut collection of short stories, July introduces the possibility of a moment that can change everything. July's characters are awkward and often remote, yet they are also profoundly sympathetic. With great compassion and generosity she reveals the idiosyncrasies, vulnerability, longing, and odd logic that govern our lives.

Previous winners of this prestigious award were Yiyun Li for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2005) and Haruki Marukami for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (2006).

MIRANDA JULY grew up in Berkeley, California, where she began her career performing her plays at the local punk club. She is now an internationally acclaimed filmmaker and performing artist. She wrote, directed, and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d'Or at Cannes, among others. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ballybane Library photographic exhibition celebrating Traveller culture and way of life

Anne-Marie Stokes of the Galway Traveller Movement speaking in Ballybane Library at the opening of a photographic exhibition celebrating the culture and joy of life of the traveller community.

'The history behind each photograph tells its own story. There is a very close family bond within each family and I think Derek Spiers has really captured this in these photographs.

Religion is a big part of Traveller culture. Our faith and our belief in God has kept us strong in spite of all we have come up against in the past.

We are very proud of old customs and traditions, but now some of our traditions are dying out. Travellers no longer seem to travel as they did in bygone days; we now look forward to meeting up with old friends and relatives during the summer.

Travellers have many skills; they are creative people. Poetry, drawing and story telling are just some of the skills that Travellers possess.

These photographs show many aspects of Traveller life - happiness, sadness, faith. We are very proud of our identity and culture and I think these pictures capture this. I hope you will enjoy the exhibition and hopefully we answer any questions you may have.'