Broken Spine #25: One Book, One Twitter

Many of you may have read Dracula or Dorian Grey as part of Dublin’s One City, One Book month this year or last. But now a bigger event is trundling into town…every town. One Book, One Twitter began yesterday, and is the brainchild of Crowdsourcing author Jeff Howe. The book chosen was decided by a public vote (which for once wasn’t rigged by Irish voters to be Roy Keane’s Biography or the like), and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods beat off stiff competition from Slaughterhouse Five, Farenheit 451, Song of Solomon, and The God of Small Things.

Broken Spine #24: Book Shopping

Yesterday on twitter I asked my followers where they bought their books online in order to help you save some money on your purchases. So the following are the Best Places to Buy Books Online. (All deliver to Ireland, obviously) AMAZONAmazon started off as a US book retailer before branching out to supply nearly everything. It’s like the world’s biggest Argos, as you can see only the catalogue before making your purchase. Amazon has thousands of books, as well as out-of-print titles via its authorized resellers. Luke Teeling suggested checking between both amazon.com and amazon.co.uk for prices, as sometimes you can get a better deal from America. BOOKDEPOSITORYA few people suggested BookDepository.co.uk as the number one place to shop online for books. They do free delivery to Ireland, and prices on books that are at least six months old are very reasonable. It may take a few days for your … There’s more

Competition Closed: A Mug’s Game?

**Competition Closed** Congrats Lottie and Davin. Irish Grub In A Mug, a gift book hot off the presses at Gill & MacMillan in the last few weeks, made it’s way into Team Culch’s hands recently. It’s a dinky wee thing that doubles as a fridge magnet with ten recipes for Irish dishes that can be cooked in a mug in the microwave and  in our eyes  it had the word ‘challenge’ written all over it. Five Culchies have tried out five recipes from the book, so have a read about what they have to say about microwaved mug meals and stick around to enter the competition  if you’re brave enough – we have two copies to give away.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Teaser Trailer

Don’t know if many of you out there are fans of The Scott Pilgrim comics by Brian Lee O’ Malley but I feel like I should state up front they are one of my favourite things ever . But I’m sure plenty of you know of Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzzed and Spaced. Well the trailer was just released and I’ve been watching it on repeat for the last hour and can barely take my eyes from it to write this. I’ll let the blurb do the talking: Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob—omb, the 22—year—old has just met the girl of his dreams…literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. Genre—smashing filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) tells the amazing … There’s more

Broken Spine #23: Dromlach Briste

Dúnmharú sa Daingean…nó an bhfuil sé Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis anois? Bunaithe i gCorca Dhuibhne, meascann ‘Dúnmharú sa Daingean’ ealaín an iarthair l’anord an oirthir. Scríobhta l’Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, tugann an leabhar dea scríofa seo, seans dúinn chun filleadh ar an nGaeilge le scéal atá fíor-shuimiúil agus taitneamhúil ag an am céanna. Insítear scéal faoin príomhcharachtair, Saoirse, atá i ndeireadh na féide i mBaile Átha Cliath, tar éis a post, fear agus árasán a cháilleadh. Chun peirspictíocht nua ar an saol a fháil, bogann sí go Corca Dhuibhne in iarthar Chiarraí chun saol nua a chruthú. Ach ní fágtar a cuid fadhbanna sa phríomhchathair ar chor ar bith. Tagann Saoirse trasna rún dorcha san áit agus caithfidh sí dul ar tóir dúnmharfóra. Tá an leabhar seo lán le samplaí ina bhfuil an léitheoir in ann an fonn grinn atá ag Ní Dhuibhne a fheiceáil agus an scil atá aici chun scéal nua aimsire a chur ós ár gcomhair. … There’s more

Broken Spine #22 – Unbroken Spine

Something different for this instalment of Broken Spine. As you may have read, today is World Book Day, a celebration of reading. A lot of us are avid readers, and make our way through many books each month. However, with so many books out there, it’s hard to find the right ones. Previous editions of Broken Spine have tried to point you in the direction, but for Broken Spine #22, I asked the twitter masses for their opinions on books to avoid, so called #crapbooks. Twitter had plenty of suggestions, but I’ll start off with my own, which set the ball rolling. The worst book I’ve read recently, and one to definitely avoid is Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea. It sold more than 800,000 copies in the UK, and was a big seller in America too; something which did nothing to help cancel out those stereotypes O’Connor tries to … There’s more

Dublin’s first Literary Death Match

Fancy an evening listening to the sharpened words of some of Dublin’s writers? The Literary Death Match is coming to the Sugar Club tomorrow night (5th). Literary entities (magazines, publishers, etc.) are invited to send their most electric writer to represent them on the evening. Dublin’s first Death match will feature award-winning fiction writer and poet Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Stinging Fly‘s hand-picked reader-representative Colm Liddy, scribe Brian O’Connell (author of Wasted: A Sober Journey Through Drunken Ireland) and spoken-word brillianteur Marty Mulligan. There’s a seven minute time limit per reader, three all-star judges reeling off jovial critique and a goofball finale to decide the winner.Where & When: The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street Doors: 7:30, show at 9:15 (sharp), afterparty: 11 p.m on. Cost: €6 preorder; €9 at the door; €6 with a valid student ID.

Julian Gough’s State of Irish Literature Address 2010

Professional pig-interferer Julian Gough has a rather wonderful roundup of the state of Irish Literature as he sees it from his ivory squat in Berlin. The Blog O’Sphere gets mentioned as literature after a fashion, and Sweary of this parish is acknowledged for her zeitgeisty social experiment in Gort. Well worth a read, so off you go. Then come back here.  

The evolution of entertainment media

It occurred to me a few weeks ago, just how much I’ve changed the way I collect and store entertainment media. Eventually I put it down to 3 factors: 1. The reduction in the cost of hard drives has had a huge impact, making it possible to store an entire music (or movie) collection on one hard drive, and all for the cost of 5 or 6 CDs. 2. The cost. The price of a digital download is generally cheaper then buying a cd or dvd. 3. The convenience. I can download an album in 5 minutes, as opposed to a trip to the city centre to visit a music shop. Also, the storage convenience: 300 CD albums take up a lot of room, 300 mp3 albums need just one iPod. Looking back only three years ago, I would have added to my CD collection at least every few weeks, … There’s more

Broken Spine #21 – Christmas Reading

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without book vouchers! But if you plan on buying a book this week to read while you’re waiting for the turkey and spouts to cook on December 25th, Broken Spine is here to help you get in the festive mood. At least between the sheets… Of paper that is. Recommended Reading #20 – Terry Pratchett, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, Doctor Seuss First up is Terry Pratchett’s excellent Hogfather. The title character is the fantasy land Discworld’s take on Santa Claus, and visits children to deliver presents on December 32nd. Yes, it’s a fantasy novel, so suspend belief! You don’t have to have read Pratchett’s other Discworld novels to enjoy this one, as shown by the fact Sky One created a TV movie version which is suitable for everyone, fans and non-fans alike. It’s like a beautiful alternative Christmas fable. Definitely for fans of Tim Burton’s Nightmare … There’s more

Competition: RectoVerso #3 Christmas Buys

Yes alright, we can start calling it IrregularRectoVerso (apologies for my shambolicness, but there’ll be freebies at the end of the post to make up for it…keep readin’) It’s sometimes difficult to review non-fiction, but I like to read a lot of it, and Christmas is the perfect time of year for gift books to come into play. RectoVerso has hap’ly received a number of interesting things through the post box in the past few weeks and without further ado here’s a top three best of Irish covering comedy, food and beauty that should cater for one or two people on your Christmas list (is it a co-incidence that they’re all written by bloggers or tweeters? Well, no…).

RectoVerso #2 – The Her Fearful Symmetry Review

With many apologies for the long delay, illness and realjob overtime have kept me away. Readers and writers talk about that difficult second novel whenever a first novel is a runaway success. They’ve been saying it of Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry even though The Time Traveler’s Wife isn’t her only other work, (what of Three Incestuous Sisters, The Night Book Mobile – so on, so forth).  Yet, irrespective of how many different titles Niffenegger has in print, Symmetry was always going to be judged as the follow-up to what was for some a seminal work. So, how does it stand up? I want to say I liked it. In many ways, I did. As it opened with the death of Elspeth Noblin and introduced her and her younger lover Robert, I was settled in for a slow but unfaltering pace full of description and introspection. I wasn’t immediately attached … There’s more

Broken Spine #20 (with competition)

Another load of BS, another competition. This week we have one copy of 2fm DJ Jenny Huston’s new musical tome In Bloom – Irish Bands Now to give away. Thanks to Emma over at Entertainment Architects for the prize. It’s marvellous! Recommended Reading #18 – In Bloom – Irish Bands Now In Bloom – Irish Bands Now is the perfect stocking filler. Luckily it has come out just in time for Christmas! It is a wonderful collection of profiles and interviews with fifteen of Ireland’s top acts. There’s all the major players: Bell x1, Mundy, Fight Like Apes, Lisa Hannigan, as well as some upcoming artists such as Kilkenny’s R.S.A.G. and And So I Watch You From Afar. In addition to these excellent in-depth interviews, there’s also a foreword from Ireland’s only musical Oscar winner, Glen Hansard. The foreword itself is inspired, and starts the book perfectly by asking “What … There’s more

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – News from HP7

Do we have Harry Potter fans? Well if so then they will be delighted to learn that the first picture from the forthcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I has been published in USA Today. The pic depicts Harry, Ron and Hermione and the trio look like they mean business. The paper also published quotes from director David Yates, long-time producer David Heyman, and Ron himself, actor Rupert Grint. The three have confirmed that the first part of the adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s seventh and last Potter outing  will be more grounded that previous movies.