Category: Reviews

Keeping control of the Nation’s money

No Complaints: A Memoir of Life in Rural Ireland and in the Irish Public Service by Maurice O’Connell; edited by J. Anthony Gaughan (Kingdom Books, €15.00) Ciaran Casey Former ministers for finance have demonstrated a welcome readiness to publish memoirs in recent years. We now have offerings from five of the seven office-holders from the period…

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Days of Darkness in 1950s’ Wexford

Snow, a Novel by John Banville (Faber &Faber,£14.99/€17.50) Derek Hand Abandoning the nom de plume of Benjamin Black – the name under which appeared a highly successful series of crime novels – John Banville has finally embraced as his own the thriller genre with this murder mystery Snow. The creation of this mask and the sleight of hand it entailed,…

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Following Newman’s Way

The Gentle Saint: A pilgrimage to Oxford, Dublin and Rome in the Footprints of Saint John Henry Newman by Patricia O’Leary (Gracewing, £12.99) To many readers Patricia O’Leary will be a familiar name, as she contributed a column to this newspaper for some 14 years. By metier a Cork-based journalist, she also studied catechetics and scripture at…

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Finding a spiritual way forward

The Art of Spiritual Direction: a guide to Ignatian practice by Jos Moons SJ, with a foreword by Paul Nicholson SJ (Messenger Publications, €19.99/£18.99) Most of us recognise in areas of our life and leisure that training is important, and that practice is needed to keep in trim. Yet when it comes to matters of the…

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Looking at the legendary figures of yesteryear

Bono was sitting beside Sophia Loren on a plane once when a lightning bolt flashed through the sky. She leapt into his arms in terror. “Don’t worry,” the U2 frontman assured her, “That’s just God taking your photograph.” It’s hard to believe the 86-year-old star is still acting. The term “living legend” is over-used but…

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Self-Help in hard times

How to be Our Best Self in Times of Crisis by Stuart Breen and Tom Gunning (Veritas, €7.99) As human beings we seemed made to thrive at times in moments of danger. Yet the present pandemic, being what it is, created great and unexpected troubles: physical, mental and spiritual. This little book by two writers…

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