Category: Books

Down to earth in rural Ireland

Lay of the Land: Reflections on life in rural Ireland by Fiona O’Connell (Red Stag, €12.99) Christopher
 Moriarty   This collection of chatty articles is attractively illustrated by Caroline Barry with a pen-and-ink sketch at the head of every one of the one hundred plus short chapters. They are a selection from the author’s weekly articles…

Making the most of a wide, wide world

Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel by Rosita Boland (Doubleday, €16.99) Barbara
 Pierce   Elsewhere is a fascinating series of essays written about extraordinary journeys travelled by Rosita Boland over a period of about thirty years. She set off alone with only a 10kg bag, a passport and a black note book, no…

The ‘lost city’ of Eblana

Mainly About Books by the books editor   The publication in late 2016 of Pat Wallace’s Viking Dublin (Irish Academic Press, €60.00), was a summation of decades of work by two generations of archaeologists from the National Museum and others, to define the city’s beginnings. However, the book has nothing really to say about pre-Viking…

Myth, mystery and the depths of religion

Living the Mystery: What lies between Science and Religion by Mark Patrick Hederman (Columba Books, €19.99) Christopher Moriarty This book is a heartfelt plea from its erudite author who has spent more than 50 years of his life as a Benedictine monk. As a devoted man of religion, he celebrates the value of faith and, as…

Can this fine book really be Gabriel Fitzmaurice’s swansong?

A Farewell to Poetry: selected Poems and Translations by Gabriel Fitzmaurice (Currach Press, €19.99) Seamus Cashman   The title of this collection invites echoes of its author’s friend and fellow poet Michael Hartnett’s Farewell to English — and who knows, perhaps Gabriel’s mind is quietly nurturing a similar outcome?  Though it is a challenging title, it…

Walled around with God

The Joy of God: Collected Writings by Sr Mary David with a foreword by Fr Erik Vardan (Bloomsbury, £12.99) This collection of essays, or rather talks, reveals a very interesting character. The author Sr Mary David had a late vocation. American born she was educated there, attending Loyola University and the University of Virginia, before crossing…

Recent Books in Brief

The Bible Tells Me So…Why defending Scripture has made us unable to read it by Peter Ennis (Hodder & Stoughton, €14.99) This book, by an American academic and evangelical, is one which will interest a wide audience. Through many years of both teaching and preaching, he came to face a problem. The further he studies the…

The great Dom Eugene Boylan

Dom Eugene Boylan: Trappist Monk, Scientist & Writer by Thomas J. Morrissey SJn (Messenger Publications, €19.95) This is an important biography of Dom Eugene Boylan, the well-known abbot of Mount St Joseph, the Cistercian Abbey at Roscrea. He was the author of two once widely read books, This Tremendous Lover and Difficulties in Mental Prayer, which…

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s lost opportunity

The Victorians: The Titans Who Forged Modern Britain by Jacob Rees-Mogg (W.H. Allen, €20.00) At the time of writing the futures of Brexit and the British Conservative party are still unsettled. But whatever happens we can expect the author of this book to have some role in it. Jacob Rees-Mogg is being spoken of by some…