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...and welcome to the website for Raven Books, Blackrock. You'll find a variety of books, book-related news, a posting celebrating writers and writing, and plenty of suggestions for what to read next.  We hope you enjoy browsing! (This site is best viewed using Firefox)

July 26th

Today is the birthday of George Bernard Shaw, born in Dublin in 1856.  He produced over sixty plays but made his money from writing music and literary criticism.  He wrote dramas about ideas at a time when other playwrights were focusing on sentimental melodramas.  His writing dealt sternly with prevailing social problems, though his humour made his messages more palatable.  He was an ardent socialist and he often targeted those who exploited the working class. 

His most famous, and most adapted, play is Pygmalion (1912) which tells the story of a phonetician called Henry Higgins who teaches a cockney flower girl called Eliza Doolittle to speak and behave like a duchess in order to win a bet.  Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938 for Best Adapted Screenplay for Pygmalion).  He said, "Youth is a wonderful thing.  What a crime to waste it on children."

Currently Reading

The Folded Leaf,
William Maxwell

The path to adulthood is littered with broken relationships.

In the suburbs of 1920s Chicago two boys form an unlikely friendship. Spud Latham is slow at school but quick to fight and a natural athlete - Lymie Peters, thin, pigeon-chested and terrible at games, is devoted to him.

As they graduate from school to college, tensions start to surface. It is Lymie who first meets Sally Forbes, but it is Spud she falls in love with. This signals the end of their friendship and the rift is almost more than Lymie can bear.

Women In Translation

With the buzz for Women In Translation Month gaining momentum, you may be wondering, "Where do I begin? I don't know of any female translated authors"... read on

And I Quote...
Against the sustained tick of a watch, fiction takes the measure of a life, a season, a look exchanged, the turning point, desire as brief as a dream, the grief and terror that after childhood we cease to express ~ Mavis Gallant

The 2014 Man Booker Prize longlist has been announced, with geographical boundaries expanded from previous years.

George RR Martin donates $10,000 to UK wolf charity following 13-year-old's pocket money plea.

Lauren Collins asks how Nora Roberts became America's most popular novelist.

  Poetry Corner

The Silver Swan,

The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached, unlocked her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:
“Farewell, all joys; Oh death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.”

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