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Recent arrivals, non-fiction

  

 Jane Austen : the secret radical / Helena Kelly
Helena Kelly
Jane Austen : the secret radical
(London : Icon, 2016)
Helena Kelly posits that Jane Austen's novels are far more than the entertaining romances we take them for - rather they are serious fiction, treating, in a cleverly subversive way, many of the issues of the day, such as the place of women in society, the treatment of the poor, and the role of the Anglican Church in English society. In a densely argued and persuasive book she makes an excellent case for Jane Austen the radical, constantly referring to the texts of the novels, to each of which she gives a chapter of its own. This is Kelly's first published work - but I'm very sure it won't be her last.  

 ‌‌Walking tall / Rob Heffernan
Rob Heffernan
Walking tall : the autobiography of a world champion and Olympic medallist
(Cork : The Collins Press, 2016)
Growing up in the Cork suburb of Togher, winning an Olympic medal was not really on the horizon for Rob Heffernan, but that is what happened. Having been turned down for Gaelic football because he was deemed too small, Heffernan took up race walking on a whim, was world champion in his discipline in 2013 and won an Olympic Bronze in London in 2012, where he finished fourth in the 50km walking race, but was upgraded to third when it was revealed that the winner of the race was a drug cheat. This is his inspiring story, told with the the help of sportswriter Gerard Cromwell.

A doctor's sword / Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
A doctor's sword : how an Irish doctor survived war, captivity and the atomic bomb
(Cork : The Collins Press, 2016)
The story of Cork doctor Aidan McCarthy, born in Castletownbere in 1913, and his unlikely friendship with Isao Kusuno, the Japanese commander of a POW camp in Nagasaki in which he was incarcerated during World War II. When the camp was liberated Kusuno presented McCarthy with a Japanese military sword as a token of his regard. McCarthy was in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city, his camp being only 2 kms. from the epicentre, and part of the book is an account of the aftermath of the bombing. A documentary film based on McCarthy's story was released in 2015 and that is also available in Cork City Libraries.

‌‌All the Kremlin's men / Mikhail Zygar
Mikhail Zygar
All the Kremin's men : inside the court of Vladimir Putin
(New York : PublicAffairs, 2016)
Putin's Russia is in the spotlight as never before since Trump's election, but this book, translated from the Russian, is an insider's view of how Russia is governed. Based on a series of interviews with Putin's inner circle, it reveals a leader who is weaker than we have supposed, and yet more dangerous, as he invents enemies, and wars, to maintain his grip on power. A member of the Russian dissident band Pussy Riot is quoted on the back cover "You don't want to read this book if you want to believe that Putin and his inner circle have principles. They just don't..." The author is a Russian journalist and political commentator who was awarded the 2014 International Press Freedom Award by The Committe to Protect Journalists.

Atlas Obscura / Joshua Foer
Joshua Foer [et al.]
Atlas Obscura : an explorer's guide to the world's hidden wonders
(New York : Workman Publishing, 2016)
This isn't really a guide as much as a cabinet of curiosities, featuring over 600 curious and unusual destinations around the world - perhaps experiences is more apt than destinations as some are natural wondes, some are events, some are artifacts. Ireland - the Republic - gets six mentions, ranging from te usual cultural icons like the Skelligs to the rusted wreck of the Plassey on a beach in Inisheer. A book to open at any page at random and be charmed and surprised, you are sure to keep turning the pages.

Frantumaglia : a writer's journey / Elena Ferrante
Elena Ferrante
Frantumaglia : a writer's journey
(New York : Europa Editions, 2016) 
Translated from the Italian, this is a selection of the letters and papers of the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante, the author of the internationally acclaimed Neapolitan Quartet. They give a unique insight into her world and the creative impulse which gave birth to her fiction. Ann Goldstein, the translator, works at the New Yorker and has translated all of Ferrante's work to date. The title is an Italian word which means 'bits and pieces thatvrattle around in your head, not always comfortably'

The new book of snobs / D. J. Taylor
D. J. Taylor
The new book of snobs
(London : Constable, 2016)
A version of Thackeray's Book of Snobs for the twenty-first century, Taylor's book is witty and waspish, and covers the whole gamut of snobbery, including the inverted snobs whose snobbishness exceeds that of the upper classes they affect to despise. The author has published several novels, a few of which have been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, as well as some non-fiction. He lives in Norwich in England.

The poet's quest for God / edited by Fr. Oliver Brennan and Todd Swift
Fr. Oliver Brennan and Todd Swift (editors)
The poet's search for God : 21st century poems of faith, doubt and wonder
(London : Eyewear Publishing, 2016)
In the words of Fr. Enda McDonagh, Professor Emeritus of Theology at Maynooth, this book 'is an ambitious undertaking which will be of enormous value to those, and they are many, for whom poetry has become a resource or replacement for faith-bound spirituality'. Dip into it, you will find much to treasure. Oliver Brennan is an academic as well as being a Roman Catholic parish priest in the Archdiocese of Armagh, while Todd Swift is a poet and scholar and is the founder of Eyewear Books.

On the Banks : Cork City in Poems and Songs / edited by Alannah Hopkins
Alannah Hopkins (editor)
On the Banks : Cork City in poems and songs
(Cork : The Collins Press, 2016)) 
Billed as the first anthology of its kind, this collection ranges from the work of Edmund Spenser to the 19th century 'Bard of the Lee', John Fitzgerald, right up to the lyrics of Cork's own rock star Rory Gallagher. However, the bulk of the book is taken up with the poets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Thomas McCarthy, Patrick Cotter, Theo Dorgan, and Seán Ó Ríordáin, the latter in translation. It is arranged thematically.

A single headstrong heart / Kevin Myers
Kevin Myers
A single headstrong heart
(Dublin : Lilliput, 2016)
A second volume of autobiographical writing from the Irish journalist and controversialist, it is a prequel to his earlier book Watching the Door, and deals with his childhood and youth in postwar England. Myers is persently a columnist with the Sunday Times.

 Further suggestions from your local librarian at the following links: Adult Lending (Grand Parade), Bishopstown , Douglas , Tory-Top , Mayfield , Blackpool , and Hollyhill. For recent additions in our Reference Library click here Reference