Good evening, fellow Bookworms!
If there are any Irish bookworms amongst my followers, Happy St Patrick’s Day! We’ll get some Irish books, or at least Irish-themed books in this blog, as that’s our obvious theme for this one! Talking of which, as you know from My Family and Other Bookworms, two of my aunties were over from Ireland last weekend, Andrea and Jennifer, and I had mentioned that my Auntie Jenny had left her Kindle on the plane on the flight over from Dublin to Manchester. Actually, her Kindle and her iPad. Thankfully, though, they were found by cabin crew and looked after at Manchester Airport, so when my auntie phoned up, they were able to put an owner to the items and were sending them out to her in the post, so I hope she’s now received them and has got all her electronic books back!
As we are going to be mentioning Irish books, or at least books set in Ireland, I think we should start off with one I read and loved very recently, that being Round Ireland With a Fridge, by Tony Hawks. I can definitely recommend this one, as can my dad! It’s the result of a drunken bet, and it’s VERY funny! For anyone who doesn’t know, Hawks was a minor pop star back in the late 80s, as part of a one hit wonder act called Morris Minor and the Majors. You may recall, if you were around in 1988, a song called Stutter Rap (No Sleep Til Bedtime), which was a parody of No Sleep Til Brooklyn by the Beastie Boys. Well, Hawks was partly responsible for that! Hmm…. that’s “responsible” in the loosest possible sense of the word, of course, lol!
I also mentioned, in a recent blog, one of my Paulo Coelho books, one of the as yet unread ones – Brida. Now, I KNOW Coelho is definitely NOT Irish – he’s Brazilian if I am not mistaken, but Brida is set in Ireland, so it’s getting a mention in this blog! That’s hanging around here, in Computer Corner. Talking of which, if we actually go under the laptop and thus into the sort of Computer Cave, as it were, we will find Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt. That is definitely set in Ireland and by an Irish-American, as it’s the first instalment of his memoirs. He followed that up with ‘Tis, and also wrote Teacher Man, a book about his experiences as a teacher in several New York schools.
Onto books lurking in my wardrobe… Not that I can get to this without shifting some stuff in front of the doors, but I know the Barrytown Trilogy, by Roddy Doyle, is somewhere in my wardrobe unit, or at least I am pretty certain it is! I have the trilogy edition, but as separate novels, the books are The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, all of which feature the Rabbitte family in Dublin, and I’ve put them on the List Challenges list as a trilogy and as the three separate novels, so come the end of this year when I publish the list, you’ll be able to tick them off as you see fit if you have read the all-in-one version or individual novels. Or even both!
Well, we can’t have a blog about Irish books without mention of James Joyce, can we?! That would be an epic fail! I have to admit that the only book of his that I have read is Dubliners, which is a collection of short stories of Dublin life in the early 20th century. I have yet to attempt Ulysses – if anyone has read that one, what’s it like? I have heard it has a reputation as a “challenging” read!
It’s not the most comprehensive blog regarding Irish books, I know, but if it gives readers a starting place and a few ideas, that’s the main thing. I do need to move on to an update regarding the Ongoing Concerns now, as I made progress with a few of them yesterday! I have started Moonstone, by Sjón, and am almost a third of the way through it already, reaching 32% according to Goodreads! It has been added to the OCs, so there are currently 8 on that list right now, and I have updates for three more of them…
The Pie at Night, by Stuart Maconie, now tops the OC charts, as it is up to the 70% read mark, and is a truly good read. He just strikes me as the sort of bloke I’d like to have a good chat with about music, and books, and footy! I was reading the chapter about footy yesterday, actually, which mentions matches at all sorts of levels, including Manchester United’s Champions League home game against Olympiakos in March 2014, three years ago, when we overturned a 0-2 first leg deficit, winning 3-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate, thanks to Robin van Persie’s hat-trick! Rochdale and FC United also get significant mentions in this chapter. Mention of ‘Dale reminds me of one of my former colleagues, Mark Owen (no, not the one from Take That, lol, a less-famous one) who once called his fantasy footy team Up The Dale Down The Ale!
Before we go on to the other two books with which I made progress yesterday, I must also mention that United made progress yesterday in the Europa League, as we won 1-0 on the night with a 70th minute goal by Juan Mata at the Stretford End, to win 2-1 on aggregate, and we found out this lunchtime that we have been drawn against Anderlecht of Belgum in the quarter-finals, with the first leg away, second leg at Old Trafford. Anderlecht were United’s first-ever opponents in Europe, back in the autumn of 1956 in the European Cup. We stuffed them comprehensively, as we won one of the legs 10-0, which is still our record victory to date, I believe. I doubt a 10-0 thrashing is on the cards this time, but I just hope we win and make progress – we need to be more clinical and finish teams off. We also really need to stop fannying about at the back! (That’s a technical term, by the way, lol!)
My Ongoing Concerns wipe board…
So, back to the books now we’ve got the footy out of the way, and I decided we needed to make some further inroads with the YA novels on the Ongoing Concerns list, and got Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist up to 40%, and Finding Audrey up to 29%. They are still quite a bit behind some of the other books on the OC list, but if we can get some of the others OFF that list, we can focus more on some of the YA stuff. The likelihood is that Moonstone will be finished fairly quickly, which gets that out of the way, and Tuesdays With Morrie will be read again this coming Tuesday and thus that will be even nearer completion. I also think getting The Pie at Night finished off fairly soon is a distinct possibility.
Yes, those are magnets from a few of my holidays at the bottom of the wipe board! From Berlin, Chichen Itza and Marrakech, respectively. The books are listed in order of closest to completion. If I added another couple of books, I could have a top ten, like the charts, lol, but eight is more than enough, really, and I need to get it down a bit! As I have said, though, in previous blogs, I had to have several books on the go at one time in my student days, so it goes back to the early 90s and I never got out of the habit even after graduating in 1994. Half of my degree was in literature, so I had to half-read a lot of books!
Anyway, I think that’s about all for now, so I hope you’ve enjoyed our little look at books of an Irish persuasion and an update on the Ongoing Concerns! Until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!
Joanne x x x
Books mentioned in this blog entry…
- Round Ireland With a Fridge – Tony Hawks
- Brida – Paulo Coelho
- Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
- ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
- Teacher Man – Frank McCourt
- The Barrytown Trilogy – Roddy Doyle
- The Commitments – Roddy Doyle
- The Snapper – Roddy Doyle
- The Van – Roddy Doyle
- Dubliners – James Joyce
- Ulysses – James Joyce
- Moonstone – Sjón
- The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie
- Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
- Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella
- Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom