The Best of Me, David Sedaris (, pb Oct 2021)
What could be a more tempting gift than a compendium of David Sedaris's best stories, selected by the author himself? From a spectacular career spanning almost three decades, these stories have become modern classics and are now for the first time collected in one volume. For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside.
It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing. Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work.
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$15.00Discover the story Ernest Shackleton's legendary Antarctic expedition through the words of the world's greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes - one of the only men to understand his experience first-hand . . .
To write about Hell, it helps if you have been there. _________In 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to traverse the Antarctic was cut short when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. What followed became legend.
Throughout the long, dark Antarctic winter, Shackleton fights for his life and the lives of his men - enduring freezing temperatures, a perilous lifeboat journey through the ice-strewn sea, and a punishing march across the South Georgia glaciers to seek the one slim chance they have of rescue. Their survival would become history's most enthralling adventure. No previous biographer has experienced even a tiny taste of the polar hell on earth endured by Shackleton and his men.
That cannot be said of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has been described as 'our greatest living explorer'. From Shackleton's pursuit of adventure as a young merchant seaman, through his rivalry with Captain Scott, to the two remarkable expeditions to Antarctica that revealed his unrivalled leadership and courage, Fiennes brings the story vividly to life in a book that is part celebration, part vindication and all adventure.
$39.00This is a scholarly and yet intensely readable book. It takes female writers who were largely born in the 1950's and asks each one to reflect on her experience of being published, read and taken seriously as a writer in Ireland. The vast majority of these women do so, against a backdrop of raising families, holding down 'proper' jobs and generally swimming against the tide of what is expected from them. I found it inspiring, and humbling. In the words of Mark Twain, many of us might say "I'm writing a novel" to which his sharp reply was "Neither am I". These pioneers demonstrated through sheer will and dedication , to actually follow through. Some are more personal, some more academic, but an essential read for anyone interested in gender studies, writing in Ireland and creative endeavour.
WINNER OF THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY Category Award 2018
'Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting' Times
Little Lien wasn't taken from her Jewish parents - she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not.
Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es - the grandson of Lien's foster parents - knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences - so crucial in defining us - can also be redefined.
'Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through' Philippe Sands, author of East West Street.
$13.00A hilarious memoir about growing up in Northern Ireland in the 90s towards the end of the Troubles and a brilliantly propelling narrative of the extraordinary background story of her mother. Her mother's vivid personality and witty colloquialisms dominate the book and help to give a social history of life in Belfast from the 1950s onwards. Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O'Neill has seen it all - burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist and a classmate playing hide and seek with her dad's prosthetic hand (blown off making a device for the IRA).
Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They're too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl - booze, boys and Boyzone - to worry about the violence on their doorstep. Besides, the odd coffee jar bomb is nothing compared to the drama about to explode in Alix's personal life.
Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother's unorthodox family - a loving yet eccentric band of misfits - behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it's through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women. Warm, embarrassing and full of love and insight, The Troubles with Us is a hilarious and moving account of the madness and mundanities of life in Northern Ireland during the thirty-year conflict.
It's a story of mothers and daughters, the fallout from things left unsaid and the lengths a girl will go to for fake tan.