Do you enjoy reading older publications?
At the moment I am not reviewing as much as I normally would. I have started a new part time job and I have also returned to college for a few months, meaning my blogging time has been reduced dramatically. What I have decided to do in the meantime is to mix up my posts a little by sharing some older publications from my personal ‘To Be Read’ pile that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the last few weeks.
The fact I am listing them here means that they are all older publications that have left their mark, all justifiably deserving a place on everyone’s reading lists.
I have included a memorable quote from each book so please do let me know what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere by Jan Morris (2001)
About the Book:
Jan Morris has crafted a sublime meditation on a most unusual city. James (as she was then) first visited Trieste as a soldier at the end of World War II. Since then, the city has come to represent her own life, with all its hopes, disillusionments, loves and memories.
“There are people everywhere who form a Fourth World, or a diaspora of their own. They are the lordly ones….They are exiles in their own communities, because they are always in a minority, but they form a mighty nation, if only they knew it. It is the nation of nowhere, and I have come to think that it’s natural capital is Trieste.“
The Gathering by Anne Enright (2007)
About the Book:
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968.
The Gathering is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.
Memorable Quote :
“We will do the Hegarty thing. We will be brave & decent & hearty, we will cry & suffer through. The great thing about being dragged up is that there is no one to blame. We are entirely free range. We are human beings in the raw. Some survive better than others that is all“
My Coney Island Baby by Billy O’ Callaghan (2019)
About the Book:
On a bitterly cold winter’s afternoon, Michael and Caitlin escape their unhappy marriages to keep an illicit rendez-vous. Once a month, for the past quarter of a century, Coney Island has been their haven.
These precious, hidden hours are their only nourishment. But now, amid the howling of an angry snowstorm, the shut-down, out-of-season resort feels like the edge of the world. And their lives, suddenly, are on the brink – with news of serious illness on one side, and a move to the Midwest on the other. And so, after half a lifetime spent in secret, certain long-avoided facts need to be faced, consequences examined, decisions made, and – perhaps – chances finally taken.
A quiet, intense drama of late-flowering intimacy, My Coney Island Baby condenses, within the course of a single day, the histories, landscapes, tragedies and moments of wonder that constitute the lives of two people who, although born worlds apart, have been drawn together.
O’Callaghan, a masterful prose stylist, has created a devastatingly powerful novel about two unforgettable characters and the choices they have made. This is a book full of sorrow, but also radiant with beauty, longing and breathless desire.
“In the cities, steel and stone are the tangibles, and death is just death, a fact of life and an end to things. No hoods, no scythes, no shadows, no capital letters. In the cities, stories are for the pages of books. Told sometimes to pleasure or to scare, but not believed, at least not to a level where belief gets to dictate. Neither ides nor omens for New York, London, Paris or Dublin, only facts. It has to do with different sets of freedoms”