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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)

January 21st

Today is the birthday of Louis Menand, born in Syracuse, New York, in 1952.  He followed the footsteps of his parents (an historian and a political science professor) into academia, teaching at Princeton University and the City University of New York, and currently serving as Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University.  He is best know for his 2001 book, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History.  In it, Menand studies the philosophical concept of Pragmatism and the primary thinkers responsible for its development.  The Metaphysical Club, probably in existence for no more than nine months, was an informal group that met in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1872, comprising of William James, Charles Sanders Peirce and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  The book focuses on the influence the American Civil War had on the population, the emerging sciences of statistics and evolutionary biology, and the impact of the Club's intellectual heir, John Dewey.

Currently Reading

The Doot,
Magda Szabo

A young writer, struggling for success, employs an elderly woman called Emerence to be her housekeeper.

From their first encounter it is clear that Emerence is no ordinary maid.

Although everyone in the neighbourhood knows and respects her, no one knows anything about her private life or has ever crossed her threshold. Only a great drama in the writer's life prompts Emerence to unveil glimpses of her traumatic past - a past which sheds light on her peculiar behaviour.

The Door brilliantly evokes the development of the bond between these two very different women, and the tragic ending to their relationship.

The Snow Merchant

This is why I love Twitter: a few Fridays ago I tweeted that my #FridayReads was Sam Gayton's The Snow Merchant which I was thoroughly enjoying and anticipated choosing for our boys bookclub... read on

And I Quote...
Books are necessary to correct the vices of the polite ~ Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)

Declan Burke reviews the best new crime fiction including Colette McBeth’s The Life I Left Behind .

The next DLR Lexicon bookclub meeting will be on Feburary 17th when we will be discussing books in translation.

"A Day In The Life" hosted by Childrens Books Ireland takes place on Saturday 24th, full details here

  Poetry Corner

I Hear America Singing
Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

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