Friday, February 12, 2010


As ever there are so many marvellous books out they’re this Christmas and there is nothing like browsing around a bookshop, I find it really relaxes the mind. I am sure everyone will be delighted to know that in Naas, Joan, formerly of Nas na Riogh bookshop has just reopened a small and friendly shop on Friary Place. She has a super stock and will try and get hold of anything she doesn’t have for you, if you ask. It is actually such a refreshing change to browse in there from the often frenetic atmosphere I n the larger stores- you can sort of absorb the passion for books that the owner brings? Anyway check it out, either for Christmas presents or f to spend your book tokens…..All the books features in this review were found in Joan’s shop.

Lot of people seem to like to get a new cookery book for Christmas and I spotted two really charming and old-fashioned ones amidst all the glamour of Jamie and Nigella. “Brother Anselm’s Glenstal Cookbook” (12.99) looked wonderful, as does the old favourite, republished form many decades ago: “Full and Plenty- Classic Irish cooking” by Maura Laverty (14.99). Just beside them I spotted a beautiful tome I had heard discussed on the radio back in October – “Echoes of Memory” by John O’Donohue (13.99)- some of his poetry form here was read out on air by his brother and it was tremendously moving- a lovely present for any poetry lovers.

Nest I spotted another one of my old favourites: “Love of the world- Essays” by John McGahern (20.99). I am a great follower of his, although I did hear from a reliable source that this particular new publication is a little “heavy”, so be warned…In a more biographical but possible lighter form I noticed the Mitch Alblom ( famous author of the wonderful “Tuesdays with Morrie”) had his new autobiography on the shelf : “Have a little faith” (14.99)- I haven’t had chance to read it yet, but I am pretty sure that like Alblom’s other work it will be thought-provoking and authentic.

There were seemingly shelves and shelves full of thrillers, but Joan reckoned the read of the year was porobabaly”The girl with the dragon tattoo”, by Steig Larson- (8.99) first part of a trilogy which is really gripping and well written. Nearby I saw “The Lyrics of Leonard Cohen” (15.60), a must for either poetry or music lovers, and another interesting source of escape was beside it: “The road less travelled” edited by Bill Bryson (27.99), which was a sumptuously illustrated book of less common travel destinations)

The b Naas bookshop has a great collection of children’s books, as it always did and the gorgeous hardback “The Usborne Book of Poetry” (23.99) would make a lovely keepsake present for a child. The Irish illustrator PJ Lynch always draws me to a book and I saw “The Snow Queen” (7.99) and “The Gift of the Magi “ by O’Henry (3.20), both good gift ideas. Fr older kids Joan has the whole series of the “Twilight “ books by Stephanie Meyer and as an alternative to the classic Guinness Book of Records I saw “Ripley’s believe it or not” (20.99), which looked like a good read, especially for reluctant young male readers.

The sports section was huge and Joan’s son Oisin helped me focus on one or two books that might be more interesting (as I don’t have a clue about sport….) “Working on a dream- a year on the road with the Waterford footballers” by Damian Lawlor, (16.99) actually looked temptinf- I liked the title…I also think Dinal Og Cusack’s autobiography looked very interesting: “Come what may “ (15.99).

Phew, only a tiny selection forms a lovely shop and SO many to choose from! Enjoy your Christmas reading by the fire!


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