Juliana Adelman My joyful return to fiction reading has continued (albeit at a slower pace now that deadlines are approaching). Last month I enjoyed The man who was Thursday: a nightmare by G. K. Chesterton and now, having gotten into the Edwardian mode, I am moving on to Tono-Bungay by H. G. Wells. Back to the nineteenth century and I’ll be heading to see an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, one of my favourite books from childhood, at the Gate Theatre. Back to the realm of history work and I am grateful to a librarian at the National Library of Ireland for pointing out the digital resource of the Hathi Trust library. Much nicer to use than Google Books, with a number of ways to read and view, it has a surprising number of Irish-relevant books. Finally, I love Belfast at this time of year because it kind of reminds me of New England. Take a walk through the Botanic Gardens and visit the excellent Ulster Museum. And if you’re hasty you might be able to get tickets to hear Americana music and listen to Ian Rankin read from his new book on the 11th and 12th. in an event organised by my favourite book shop, No Alibis.
Lisa Marie Griffith Perhaps because the weather is finally getting colder my main plans for this month are to get through a long list of films. The French Film Festival runs at the IFI between 16th and 27th of November. One of the films that stands out on the programme is The Silence of Joan. It focuses on an invented narrative of the last days of Joan of Arc. My week with Marilyn is also out at the end of the month and features Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. Sigor Ros’s second concert film Inni (Inside) is also released this month. I was really disappointed to miss Sarah’s Key when it was in the cinema during the summer. The film looks at the round-up of Paris’s Jewish population by the Vichy government in 1942 and is released on dvd this month.
Tina Morin This month, I’m treating my hubby to tickets to see The Saw Doctors, who are playing in a variety of venues across Ireland and Northern Ireland throughout the month. We’re also considering going to Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on 30 November to catch Dave Gorman, the guy behind the hilarious Googlewhacking Adventure and Are You Dave Gorman? For those of you unfamiliar with Gorman, ‘googlewhacking’, in his terms, refers to the phenomenon of entering a search term into Google and getting a single hit. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the show he produced after his travels around the world trying to identify as many ‘googlewhacks’ as possible, and it’s incredibly funny! On a more serious note, I’m completely immersed in an education by fire of digital humanities for a grant application I’m preparing and have been delving through myriad web resources to familiarise myself with terms and techniques while also getting a feel for design, layout, etc. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is absolutely essential for getting the necessary ‘tech-speak’ and for learning what’s behind the terminology. And, showing the incredible possibilities of digital resources beyond the obvious digitisation of primary texts, is the DHO:Discovery website, which links scholars with the digital holdings of an impressive range of Irish-based collections, allowing for inter-collection searching and comparison as well as offering an innovative range of ‘visualisations’ of material.
Kevin O’Sullivan I’m a little late to this I’m sure, but for those of you who’ve been participating in or, like me, fascinated from afar by Ireland’s own mass observation project, then you’ll have been intrigued by the film Life in a Day, produced by Ridley Scott and filmed by a cast of thousands from around the world in July 2010, that was broadcast on BBC2 last week. Well worth checking out. This month has also been a good one on the reading front. I’ve just finished Alice Wondrack Biel’s Do (Not) Feed the Bears, a fascinating, if not always the most eloquent account of man’s relationship with wildlife in America’s national parks. I doubt the medieval world looked much like the fantasy depicted in George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, but who cares? The book’s at times sloppy, at times makes your skin crawl, but it always demands your attention. A great piece of escapism. Finally, an app to make your life easier: for those of you with any kind of computer, laptop and/or smartphone who haven’t discovered Evernote yet, check it out. The possibilities are boundless.