A short plea for reading classics

At this time of the year publishers are particularly anxious to push their new wares. That is all very well for them, but many readers might also like to read something older, to return to the classics of all kinds that were the common rereading of yesteryear. Oddly enough as a result I suppose of…

The World of Books

‘So are they all, all honourable men’   The controversy that has been aroused by Bob Geldof (or should that be Sir Bob?) handing back his deed as Honorary Freeman of the City of Dublin at the City Hall has focused public attention on just what this title is. Turning as I always do to…

Recent books in brief

I am infinitely loved: A month of meditations by Brian Grogan S.J. (Messenger Publications, €4.95) The title of this little pamphlet is taken from a remark by Pope Francis: “When all is said and done, we are infinitely loved.” Brian Grogan reapplies this to draw out in a month’s course of meditations the idea that each…

A once in a lifetime exhibition

Frederic William Burton: For the 
Love of Art Exhibition curated by Marie Bourke, with essays by Patrick Duffy and others, edited by Claire Crowley (National Gallery of Ireland, €15.95) Thanks to RTÉ we know that ‘The Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ is Ireland’s favourite painting.  Yet experience tells us, too, that many who admire it are…

Memento Mori: The real message of halloween

Mors Britannica: Lifestyle & Death-Style in Britain Today by Douglas J. Davies (Oxford University Press, £30.00) Death: The Graveside Companion edited by  Joanna Ebenstein (Thames & Hudson, £29.95) Halloween, or rather the Eve of All Saints, has passed once again, and again with perhaps less religious observance than in past centuries. Halloween seems to date only from…

Recent books in brief

Forgiveness Remembers: A Journey into the heart of God by Paul Farren & Robert Miller, forewords by Bishop Richard Chartres and the late Cardinal Cormac Murphy  O’Connor (Instant Apostle, £6.99) This is a small book with a big – and important – message. Paul Farren is Administrator of St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry, and his friend…

Ireland and Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Padre Pio: Irish Encounters with the Saint  by Colm Keane (Capel Island Press, €14.99) Author Colm Keane will be familiar to many from his earlier books exploring aspects of life, death, and spirituality. They have proved to be both very popular and, in the eyes of some, controversial. In his new book  he explores the life…

What are modern publishers actually for?

The World of Books   Si Newhouse died the other day, and as the American millionaire owner of some high-profile titles such as Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, he was something of a celebrity, a celebrity however with a dubious reputation. The name of André Schiffrin [pictured] may not be so familiar to many,…

Shaking 
hands 
with
 the 
dead

Grave Matters: Death and Dying in Dublin from 1500 to the Present by Lisa Marie Griffith & Ciarán Wallace (Four Courts Press, €24.95) Peter
 Costello   One of the stranger experiences of  my childhood was a visit to the vaults of  old St Michan’s where it was then possible not only to see the coffins of the…