Migrant Shores: Irish, Moroccan and Galician Poetry edited by Manuela Palacios was a choice for a local poetry reading group. I was looking for something to expand my poetry reading, I gave it a try. What came out of the reading was several months of trying to figure out what was happening and what the meanings of everything was. Most poems you can feel and hear the theme of immigration, emigration and migration. Some of the people had to leave homes due to wars and violence and became refugees; some left due to famines and found their ways to another […]
This is what may be termed as a “bad sandwich” book: nothing wrong with the bread but what’s in the sandwich is awful. In other words: the first and third act are a lot of fun, the second act soured me to the point where it’s tough to appreciate the book in its totality. I’ll start with the positives. I liked the Michael Forsythe character. Immigrating from Ireland to get work, Michael is stuck with a violent gang tied to the Irish mob in early-90s New York City. Michael has a wry sense of humor and a such-is-life view of […]
This is the Award Winner. The Dorothy Canfield Fisher award is a Vermont state award that the books are picked by adults (though I am not always sure why they were the pickers as one was a professor at my college who had no English or child background that I knew of) and then voted on by the kids. Of course, the year I did this award the “cool kids” pick won. But that is the perfect lead in to this book. It is 1943. Germany is winning the war. Mostly. Or at least that is what they say. Actions […]
One of the best parts of reading Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad books (and there are many best parts, I’ve gotta say) is that you can dive into any of them and get nearly the full experience and feeling even if you haven’t read all of them.
This is a mystery starring a bunch of Irish people with a taste of the possibly-supernatural thrown in. It reads like Tana French wrote it when she was in eighth grade, before she learned to actually be good. Nora’s sister Triona was murdered five years ago. She suspects her sister’s husband Peter, but the rich golden boy was never charged, and the murder is still unsolved. Nora fled home to Ireland to recover, but returns to her family’s relocated home in the States when she learns that Peter is getting remarried in five days. She wants to solve her sister’s […]
Faintingviolet is awesome and always on the hunt for research books for me. She sent along “How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads” and I was excited to read this since etymology is something I really enjoy. I was not disappointed. Daniel Cassidy began his interest of the Irish influence on the American language after inheriting a Gaelic dictionary from a deceased relative and realizing how many American words in modern language link back closely to the Gaelic. The book is split in two parts; the first is an easily accessible and fast read on the […]
Sometimes it’s tough to read a historical monograph and keep my own training out of the mix. I’m simultaneously a professional historian, and not. I do not hold advanced degrees in History, but I work at bringing history alive for visitors at my museum job. I spend the winter reading and researching various topics to prepare for the oncoming season of programs. This year my main research thrust is immigration and domestic servants. That led me to reading Ordinary Days, Extraordinary Times: Morristown New Jersey’s Irish Immigrant Past by Cheryl Turkington. In her work Ms. Turkington covers approximately one hundred […]