Juliana Adelman I seem to be having a little thing for maps at the moment. I just picked up a copy of Rebecca Solnit’s new book Infinite city: a San Francisco atlas which contains maps that would surprise even the post-modern geographer. You can see them on her website. I have previously read and loved her Book of migrations: some passages in Ireland. On the lookout for nautical charts for my pirate-obsessed son, I stumbled across the US Coast Survey’s site. It’s a little clunky to navigate, but you can download thousands of hi-res images of historical maps for FREE. Yes, free (OSI please take note). Finally, I am excited that the National Library of Ireland is to open a new cafe starting this week. I am hoping the food improves and the prices go down. Is that too much to ask?
Lisa Marie Griffith With exams behind me I am looking forward to spending a summer peacefully reading and researching in the library and in preparation for a course next year I am about to begin George Rude, The Crowd in History: A study of Popular disturbances in France and England, 1730-1848. Despite having splurged on some course books on Amazon recently I have also managed to make it to the Hodges Figgis book sale to pick up some bargains. Hardback copies of Tom Garvin’s Judging Lemass can be picked up for just 15 euro! I have just returned from Havana where you simply can not ignore Ernest Hemingway’s influence on the city, or at least tourist industry so I have managed to pick up some of his books for just 4.50 in vintage classics. I have a feeling that a quiet summer of reading is going to go all too quickly…
Christina Morin Recently I discovered the wonderfulness that is Lapham’s Quarterly. I don’t know how it bypassed me for so long, but I’m glad to have found it! The Summer 2011 issue is titled simply ‘Food’, and it presents a fascinating collection of historical tidbits about the weird and wonderful world of eating. So, for instance, feast your eyes on (sorry – couldn’t resist!) the 1746 Parisian account, ‘What the Dead Ate’, or the firsthand 1910 account of force-feeding suffragettes in Liverpool. Incredible stuff! I’d like to say that I’ve finished all the reading I talked about in last month’s recommendations. Alas, I’ve really only added to the list. In particular, I’m looking forward to reading Diane Long Hoeveler’s Gothic Riffs: Secularizing the Uncanny in the European Imaginary, 1780-1820.
Kevin O’Sullivan In the spirit of Lisa’s Cuba-themed recommendations last month, I’ve been stocking up on books for a trip to the western United States. Top of the pile is Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, but I’ve also snuck in Hemingway’s Spanish civil war novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. When I get back, I really must drop in to the exhibition of Henri Matisse’s art books at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Looks great. Speaking of which – if, like me, you’re a believer in great book design, then Our Daily Bread, a history of Barron’s bakery in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, that I came upon recently is well worth the look. Interesting piece of social history too. Finally, six months into 2011 I’m sure that most of the resolutions are dead, but have a glance at this scan of Woody Guthrie’s hand-written ‘New Year’s Rulins’ from some time in the early 1940s. Sample: ‘Help win war – beat fascism.’