Readers' Recommendations

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Anne marie kelly

Anne-Marie Kelly

Dublin born and Bred

Where in Dublin do you live?
Leixlip in Kildare
Where are you from?

What are you reading right now?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Tell us a bit about it...

It's a lighthearted, easy to read book with the subject narrating and commenting on her daily life. I am only starting it, but it appears that Eleanor is a person who is marginalised by society. This does not dampen her resilience though, as she is a strong character with funny observations on those around her.

What is your favourite book of all time?

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

Tell us a bit about it...

It's about a 12 year old girl, Frankie Addams, who lives in a small southern town in the US.

The story takes place during a hot summer before her brother's wedding. She only has one sibling who she idolises and a cousin who is 6 years old. I love this book because Carson gets under the skin of a girl who is trying to make sense of the adult world and is completely frustrated by it. It is a coming of age novel and I think there is a Frankie Addams in all girls, as they move between childhood and adolescence. McCullers' writing is flawless. She is sheer brilliant.

What book do you remember most from childhood?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Tell us a bit about it...

Most people know about Jane Eyre, there are loads of film adaptations. She has a very hard start in life but excels in school and gets a job as a governess in the house of the mysterious Mr Rochester. You couldn't make up Mr. Rochester with his dark looks and his broody disposition and as a child I wondered , what ill luck Jane had ending up in that house. There are several twists and turns that are intriguing and keep you reading. It is of course very well written and, at the time, I didn't know what half the words meant, but the story spurred me on.

Which of your books is battered from using over and over again?

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tell us a bit about it...

I read this book a few times, mainly because I had to as it was on my Leaving Cert course, but the more I read it, the more I loved it.
I don't know where the copy is, but it had a light grey paperback cover and it was fairly battered. I loved the language, the roaring 20's atmosphere, and the narrator's observations on the rich 'rich, careless people'.

What is your favourite book by an international author?

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Tell us a bit about it...

Wow, is all I can say. A real achievement. Fiorentina loves Fermina his whole life, from childhood to old age, even though she spurned him for most of his life. The descriptions of tropical South America make you feel you are part of the story. The prose is vivid, almost 3D like. There is a part early on, where Fiorentina is looking out through the window at Fermina sitting in an almond grove and you can almost smell the almonds and feel the sticky heat on your skin.

What book do you feel depicts your own or another culture most vividly?

Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey

Tell us a bit about it...

Great voice of a Dublin child from 1960s- 1970s. I really relate to all the cultural references and think it is very reflective of Dublin life.

Is there a book that changed your mind/perspective about something?

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

Tell us a bit about it...

This is a well-researched book on a gruesome topic. I usually avoid books on topics like murder, but the focus was on 2 boys who were accused of killing their mother in 1895 in London. The case was widely publicised to great shock and horror of the public. The boys concealed the body in the house for a while before they were found out and it makes for grim reading. It's very easy to take a side on something - you are taught to think that taking human life is completely wrong and indeed that is the case. The book shows how both boys were sent to prison for life and then how they helped society on their release. It also mentioned that no motive for the boys deed was ever brought up in court and evidence emerged that the boys were abused by their mother when their father was at sea.

Reading books like this make you consider that nothing is black and white and that you need to explore the grey area more. Definitely the subject of this book stayed with me for a long time after reading it.


The Books

We have been finding out about the books that matter to you, to grow this virtual bookshelf that represents the lives, families and culture of the people that call Dublin home. Here are a selection of some of the books that you have been telling us …

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