Readers' Recommendations

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Justine murphy

Justine Murphy

Dublin born and bred

Where in Dublin do you live?
Rialto
Where are you from?
Dublin

What are you reading right now?

32 Words for Field by Manchán Magan

Tell us a bit about it...

It's a journey through the Irish language and how it holds clues about the land around us as well as clues about the history and culture of Ireland.

Lesser used Irish words are included which he shows can still be linked to everyday Irish and the English words that derive from them. For example, he explains how the news will use the word 'fuadach' for 'kidnap' but it used to mean spirited away by the fairies. Does it change my understanding of the news? No, but it enriches my world and makes me even more in awe of languages and how they work than I was before.


What is your favourite book of all time?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Tell us a bit about it...

A dramatic story of power between people who love each other and hate each other. It's a story of people entwined together even if they don't wish to be and of those entwining vines wrapping around passion, hate, vengeance, pride and love. The characters move between the freedom of the moors of Yorkshire and the stifling interiors of a rough farmhouse and an elegant gentle house - both equally stifling.


What book do you remember most from childhood?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Tell us a bit about it...

The young girl in this is the one who takes action and makes things happen and is transformed by the new situation she finds herself in, in Yorkshire. As she is transformed and becomes less harsh, so she encourages her sickly cousin to be active and stop feeling sorry for himself.

She finds the key to a walled garden and together with two young servants who become friends, they find a place of refuge in their secret world, in their secret garden.


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

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Tell us a bit about it...

This charts the life of a woman and her journey towards self fulfilment. A beautifully written book in terms of its rhythm, the story moves through her relationships and interactions with people. "Women forget all those things they don't want to remember and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth".


What is your favourite book by an international author?

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

Tell us a bit about it...

A hilarious page turner where every second chapter is an episode of a popular radio soap with all the implausible twists and turns you would expect. Every other chapter is the story of a young writer who scandalously falls for an older woman. The young man shares an office with the manic soap author in the vibrant city centre of Lima, Peru.


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

The Dalkey Archive by Flann O'Brien

Tell us a bit about it...

This is the world where a man might become a bicycle at any moment and a testy St. Augustine meets two swimmers in a cave in Dalkey. A surreal novel that captures a type of Irish humour.


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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 …

Share Your Favourites?

We want to hear about the books that matter to you. Tell us about your most cherished books, what you’re reading right now, your favourite book from your childhood, and the books that make up the story of your life. Share your recommended reads and take part here

Take Part

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