Battle with the TBR Tower: October Reads

I’m a bit late with posting this as I’ve hit the ground running for November, but I’m still here, continuing my reading challenge, and in October I chose to read spooky novels, and ended up sneaking in a couple of titles that were not on the original list. See HERE

I only managed to read 3 and not 5 novels, as I had hoped, but no apologies, and no excuses – time has a mind of its own! Also, as you know if you have been following me, I’m not in the business of slating other writer’s work, and I only post about books I have enjoyed. Luckily, all three from October’s pile have gotten the thumbs up!

 

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The Nightmare: F.B. Hogan

This collection of 7 short stories contains themes of horror and tales of the unexpected. A great little book to dip in and out of on a cold, dark night be the fire, or tucked up beneath the duvet! The ghostly in the everyday is acutely observed, my top 3 favourites being, Ventry, the hauntingly sad, yet retributive Always, and the wicked I’ve Got My Eye on You. These stories will keep you suitably chilled!

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The Lingering: SJI Holliday

A couple with a disturbing secret enter a spiritual commune, their aim, to make a fresh start, and to get away from their dark past. The commune just happens to be located in a rambling, haunted manor house, which also used to be an asylum. All the ingredients for a fairly spooky read, The Lingering is a disquieting blend of suspense and horror.

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You Let me In: Lucy Clarke

Chilling and compulsive reading, I didn’t want to put this down until I had read the very last page. Lots of twists and turns, but so expertly structured that I followed along seamlessly, and woah – I’ll bet that there will be authors out there who identify so much with the character of bestselling writer, Elle Fielding and her social media persona! This was my first Lucy Clarke book to read, but it won’t be the last.

 

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, blogger and filmmaker. She is the author of the award-winning novel, LADY BETH. Her short film, FRAMED (2018) is currently screening at festivals worldwide, and she is also the writer of the multi-award winning short film IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). Caroline was a finalist in the 2018 Blog Awards Ireland.

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Wonderful Things!

Three wonderful things happened this week.

The First Thing! This blog was a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards in two categories: Books & Literature and Arts & Culture, so naturally, I was pretty chuffed to attend the awards night in the TRAMLINE Venue, Dublin. The theme of the night was Dia de los Muertos, hence a great excuse to dress up, and the place was only heaving with positivity and good will, and although I didn’t win, I am delighted for all those who did, particularly those in my categories. I keep this blog going because it gives me pleasure to do so, and I get to share, through The Librarian’s Cellar, my favourite books, films, guest interviews and occasional theatre reviews. Through the general side of the Blog, SHE BLOGS, I can write to my heart’s content all things that relate to my personal passion: writing and filmmaking.  So thank you, Irish Blog Awards – the recognition is much appreciated!

The Second Thing! FRAMED, my directorial debut, is in the official selection of The Directors Circle Festival of Shorts in the horror film category. Supporting bold, visionary filmmakers while advancing the art form of film with remarkable cinematic technologies and experiences. the festival takes place in Erie, Pennsylvania, and is the eleventh film festival that FRAMED has been selected to screen at – so far!! I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of such a generous and talented cast and crew, so here I go, thanking them profusely, once again!

The Third Thing! LADY BETH, and a lovely reminder that it is one year since my book won BEST NOVEL at the Carousel Aware Prize Awards. It’s been a fantastic year (moving way to fast though!) and for this too, I am so grateful to everyone who encouraged me to push it out there, read it, praised it, critiqued it, and helped to spread the word. For all these reasons, I would like to pay it forward and have 10 signed copies of Lady Beth to give away. Simply let me know if you would like one.

I am a firm believer in magic, whether it pays you the occasional visit or you make your own, keep creating. It might even return threefold!

Black Dogs and Fuckery

A reblog, for the day that’s in it. #worldmentalhealthday2018

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More often than we care to admit, sensitive, intelligent and creative souls fall down into the pit of depression sometimes. And I’m not talking the ‘blues’ here, like when your favourite jeans don’t fit anymore, or you didn’t get that job, that ring, that funding for your project; that house. No, what I’m talking about is that big black dog, the silent visitor that comes along every now and again, scratching its ugly claws at the door while you keep pretending, keep trying to ignore it. Keep trying to drown out the hunger of its need to get inside your head, to hang out there with its incessant negativity. You’re not good enough, you’ve nothing of value to say, to contribute, you‘re going to fail and nobody really likes you anyway; you have failed. You’re shit and the world would probably be a better place without you in it.

Complete and utter fuckery with your…

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WE, the Writers …

WE, the writers, get up every morning to face the daily demons of self-doubt, and even when we think we are doing well, we are probably waiting for the hammer to fall on our notions of wordy pursuits. We all have it, that internal voice. We are not good enough.

But there’s also the external voices to torment us, and they are growing louder, it seems to me. The machine of US and THEM and the constant streaming of negativity. We are not as good as yer man, or yer woman. Not literary enough. Too literary. Too working class. Not working class. Not working class enough. Too overeducated. Too undereducated. Not cutting edge. Too political. Not politically correct.

Too young. Too old. Too genre-centred. Too female-centred. Too male-centred. Not a man. Not a woman. Not the right skin colour. Not the right ethnicity. Not hanging out with the right crowd; the cool writers, the media influencers, the critics, the bloggers, the reviewers, the editors, the festival organisers, the bookshop owners, the publishers, the award givers. Too trad. Not trad. Too independent. Too hybrid. Not marketable. Not selling enough. Not on the ‘hot new talent’ radar.

Not something. Too something; insert here any word you can stick a pin in the dictionary to divide us, pitch us against one another, make us feel superior, inferior or invisible!

All I’m saying is fuck that shit. We are readers too. I don’t care if you publish your work on a roll of kitchen paper or on a leather-bound, gilded limited edition. If I like your writing, I’ll read it, and I will spread the word. Let’s just support each other to shut down that noise. (Literally)

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Caroline E. Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Her novel, LADY BETH was awarded BEST NOVEL by the Carousel Aware Prize in 2017. She has also written and directed the short film, FRAMED (2018) currently on the festival circuit, and has written and co-produced the award-winning IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She is currently working on her latest novel.

From the Librarian’s Cellar: Eggshells

Congratulations to Irish author, Caitriona Lally, on winning the Rooney Prize 2018! Here’s my review of her novel ‘Eggshells’, from 2015. Delighted that she is getting the recognition she deserves. Talented writer indeed!

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“Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in – never has. She lives alone in a house in North Dublin that her great aunt left to her. She has no friends, no job and few social skills.”

So is she an interesting character? Is there enough going on for us to stick with Vivian for two hundred and fifty-three pages?

Absolutely. Yes.

Caitriona Lally’s debut novel is a delight.  Vivian is different, her circumstances cryptically threaded into the subtext. Nothing is explained, nor should it be, on this whimsical, darkly comical journey through the streets of Dublin and from the point of view of a deeply engaging, and deliciously quirky protagonist. Fascinated by words and obsessed with making lists, Vivian believing that she is not of this world, looks for magic in the everyday things, and who doesn’t need a bit of magic?

One for the Librarian’s shelf, Eggshells is published by Liberties Press. 2015

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Irish Blog Awards 2018: Finalist!

I am over the moon to announce the great news I received today. I am a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards 2018 in 2 categories:

Personal Blog > Arts & Culture
Personal Blog > Books & Literature

My blog has been shortlisted for three years running now, but this is the first time I have been selected as a finalist, so naturally, I’m pretty happy right now! Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which takes place on October 25th, and I am loving The Day of The Dead theme! A full list of finalists and all details are now on the Blog Awards Website HERE. Check out the cool logos!

Thanks so much to YOU, my readers who like and share my posts. I really do enjoy blogging on my favourite things, but it wouldn’t be much fun if no-one read them! Congrats too, to all the amazing bloggers on the Long and Short Lists, and especially to those who also made the finals! Fingers crossed and wish us ALL the luck!

Reading Challenge: 20 Books ’til New Year’s Eve!

I know that I am not alone in being the owner of a dangerously high and tilting book tower of ‘To Be Read’ titles, not to mention the Kindle!And yet, I continue to buy more and more books! So, I have decided to do something about that. Inspired by Cathy Brown and her lovely blog 747books.com – I am challenging myself to read 20 books, beginning on September 1st and finishing on 31st December. Here is my list – I will not be reading them in any particular order – and may replace some with other titles that take my fancy, but for now, this is it!

 

1: Her Name was Rose: Claire Allan

2: The Cruelty Men: Emer Martin

3: The Trick to Time: Kit de Waal

4: Kind Nepenthe: Matthew V. Brockmeyer

5: The Collector: John Fowles

6: The Story Collector: Evie Gaughan

7: A Head Full of Ghosts: Paul Tremblay

8: Bone Music: Christopher Rice

9: Sweet Little Lies: Caz Frear

10: The View from The Cheap Seats: Neil Gaiman

11: When You Eyes Close: Tanya Farrelly

12: What was Lost: Catherine O’Flynn

13: The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder: Sarah J. Harris

14: House of Spines: Michael J. Malone

15: The Broken Girls: Simone St James

16: This House is Haunted: John Boyne

17: Clock Dance: Anne Tyler

18: The Dead Girls: Derek Flynn

19: Devils’ Day: Andrew Michael Hurley

20: The Nightmare: F.B. Hogan