Tuesday 29 January 2019

The Book Clubs’ Favourites 2018

Are you looking for a good book? Something that comes highly recommended by other avid readers? We asked local book clubs in County Clare, some library-based and others not, to list their favourite books from those they had read in 2018 and which they would recommend to others looking for a good read.

The top three recommendations were:
Homefire by Kamila Shamsie
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Lullaby by Leila Slimani

Other recommendations were:
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford
Lean on Pete by Willie Vlautin
Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Plainsong by Haruf Kent
Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
West by Carys Davies
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Irish crime novels very popular in Clare’s libraries in 2018

The popularity of Irish crime writing continues among our readers, with Liz Nugent having 3 books in the list of the ten most popular fiction books borrowed from branches of Clare County Library in 2018.

Liz Nugent, picked up two awards at the 2018 An Post Irish Book Awards for her latest novel Skin Deep - the first for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year, and the second, for the Ryan Tubridy Listeners’ Choice Award. Skin Deep is her third novel. Her second novel Lying in Wait was the most borrowed adult fiction book in our libraries in 2018.

Other crime novels making the top ten list were The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and The Late Show by Michael Connolly. Connolly introduces a new female lead character in his latest book. Donal Ryan’s 4th novel From a Low and Quiet Sea which takes the reader from Syria to small-town Ireland was the 4th most popular fiction book in the libraries. The runaway success story of 2018, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman – a sad but humorous and life-affirming novel – reached number 6 on the list. The final three places on the top ten list were claimed by authors Emma Hannigan, Cathy Kelly and Sheila O’Flanagan – perennial favourites with the readers of Clare County Library.

Top 10 fiction books 2018
1. Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
2. Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
3. The Late Show by Michael Connolly
4. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
5. Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
7. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
8. The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan
9. The Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly
10. The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan

Readers in Clare County Library get healthy

All but 3 of the books on the list of the top ten most popular adult non-fiction books in Clare County Libraries in 2018 were related to healthy eating, wellbeing or mental health. Healthy Ireland is the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Ireland and as part of that strategy all libraries have been provided with relevant books and health related events have been held throughout the library network.

Of the three books that aren’t on the Healthy Ireland reading list, one – The Happy Pear by David and Stephen Flynn – is also a healthy eating cookbook. The 3rd most popular book on the non-fiction list was The Doctor’s Wife is Dead by Andrew Tierney. The book, set in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary in 1849 unravels a compelling but forgotten murder mystery about the trial of a local doctor for the murder of his wife. Michael Harding’s On Tuesdays I’m a Buddist, claimed 8th place on the top ten non-fiction books list. Mixing stories from the road with dispatches from his Irish Times columns, this is a powerful book about the human condition and the ultimate bliss of living in the present moment. Brian O’Connell’s book about Sixmilebridge native Brendan O’Regan was also very popular with our readers.

Top ten adult non-fiction books 2018
1. The plan: eat well, lose weight, transform your life by Aoife Hearne
2. Karl Henry's healthy living handbook by Karl Henry
3. The doctor's wife is dead : the true story of a peculiar marriage, a suspicious death, and the murder trial that shocked Ireland by Andrew Tierney
4. Mindfulness for health: a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing by Vidyamala Burch.
5. Food for the fast lane: recipes to power your body and mind by Derval O'Rourke
6. The Happy Pear: healthy, easy, delicious food to change your life by David and Stephen Flynn
7. Mindful walking: walk your way to mental and physical well-being by Hugh O'Donovan
8. On Tuesdays I'm a Buddhist by Michael Harding
9. Your middle years: love them, live them, own them by Paula Mee
10. The life well lived: the therapeutic journey to recovery and wellbeing by Jim Lucey

Wednesday 16 January 2019

No more fines on late library books

From the 1st of January, fines for overdue library books have been removed and no existing overdue fines will be collected. It will take a while before fines that existed pre- Jan 1st will be removed from members’ accounts but these fines will not be collected. We are encouraging members of the public to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries. There will be no overdue fines to pay and we would be happy to reactivate your library membership for you to begin using your local library again.

The removal of fines is a key aim of the new public library strategy Our Public Library 2022: inspiring, connecting and empowering communities which was published jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association and the Local Government Management Agency and launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. in June 2018. The strategy states, ‘The library is a free lifelong resource that should be available to all without barriers or charges. Library charges have been shown to have a detrimental effect on library use by children and the disadvantaged. However, there is little evidence to show they ensure timely returns – rather they may actually dissuade members and users from returning overdue items.

However we ask members to return their library books and DVDs promptly out of courtesy to other borrowers. You will continue to receive reminders and overdue emails to prompt you to return items to the library. Once a third overdue reminder has been sent, your card will be blocked until the outstanding items have been returned or the issue resolved. The elimination of overdue fines is another way for libraries to encourage people who might not regularly use the library to experience what they have to offer. So if you have been avoiding visiting the library for a while because of outstanding fines, it’s now safe to pop in and see what’s on offer.