I don’t usually cross the streams here but there’s so much to put all in one place this seemed to make sense.
Yesterday on the show we had the delightful and down to earth Ed Sheeran in to perform in front of 150 of our listeners in Studio 1. The whole thing goes out on the show today after 2 on 2FM.
If you fancy checking out all the onlinery-pokery there’s:
The rest of the photo gallery over on FB
The RTE Ten article including Taragh’s interview and the piece on the Six One news!
And their teaser video with Ed performing one of the tracks you can hear later on the show is up here too.
And Hot Press have a gallery of photos too.
Originally published in the Insider Magazine in the Irish Independent.
Miss the earlier columns about craft beer, being an ambivert and books? Have a look here.
After I posted this I was mailed by Andrew Arseblog. Fascinating stuff…
We’re just back from New York (sold out book tour for Arseblog, woo hoo!), but the hotel we were staying at had, for two days, gaggles of teen girls outside. We assumed some kind of celebrity, a Bieber or something like that. The hotel were completely discreet when we asked out of curiosity, but one of the parents of one of the girls told us they were all waiting for some 16 year old lad who makes Vines.
The security guard told A that when he emerged, they chased the town car down the road, one of the girls lost a shoe, another fell over and hit her head. It was pandemonium.
So your Breaking Bad of 2034 is actually already happening. This fella is a celebrity that gets a Beatle-esque following (albeit much smaller) through social media itself, 6 second clips = fame. I still have no idea who the ‘Viner’ is but there you go.
Just started the Book Club over on FB, for August the book we’ll all be reading is…
Liz Nugent’s “Unravelling Oliver”.
You can join in here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1518629805017155/
Book Fifty Four 2014:
Munich Airport by Greg Baxter
And this could not be more different from the book that I read for number 53…
I suppose whether you like it or not depends on your tolerance of small, human stories that centre around families and main characters that, like many written in modern fiction, are loners and live quiet lives of introversion and introspection. I suppose I always wanted to be one of those characters so that worked out perfectly for me…
The whole novel is told in a series of flashbacks while the main, unnamed character is sitting fogbound in Munich Airport with his father and a representative from the U.S. consulate in Germany as they wait for a flight to repatriate the remains of his sister who appears to have starved herself to death in her flat in Berlin.
I thought that, although it’s a little unnecessarily descriptive in places, it’s a beautiful, small, internal meditation on the nature of life, family and the dark world of anorexia amongst many other things.
Enjoyed the way he writes very much too; reminded me a little of Camus’ The Outsider. Must dig out his earlier novel The Apartment, have only seen good things about it.
Book Fifty Three 2014:
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
I’ll be honest, out of every genre of the bookreadin’ I find it the hardest to find thrillers that I really, genuinely can engage with and lose myself in. It happens every now and then – Douglas Kennedy’s The Big Picture was one, Robert Harris’ Fatherland another, I read and very much enjoyed the first of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books last year and even *says it in a whisper* The DaVinci Code…
I’d heard so much good stuff about this I thought it was going to be a near-impossible task to live up to the hype, yet here we are with me and a huge satisfied smile on my face after 900 pages or so…
I Am Pilgrim is a cracking, cracking thriller that is one part “terrorist attempting to bring down western civilisation” yarn, one part “I used to be in the CIA, I escaped and now they drag me back in” fun and one part travelogue around some of the most inaccessible parts of the world.
I cannot recommend it highly enough if you’re looking for a huge, chunky rattling thriller. I read it in 2 days, it will undoubtedly be made into a very poor movie.
Don’t wait for that, buy the book.
As promised, here are the links to the books covered on tonight’s Arena on RTE Radio 1.
All very much well worth your time, click each book cover for the individual review.
And the audio is now up on the RTE Radio 1 Arena website.
Fair enough, it needs a catchier name.
I’ve started that long talked about book club on FB. Pass it on
As part of my continuing efforts to drink at least one of every craft beer known to man (usually pale ales and IPAs to be honest) here are the latest things I liked at home *and* on one particular night out.
Alfie Byrne’s is under the Conrad Hotel, opposite the NCH and has craft on tap galore, a pool table, a ping pong table, great food and had free tables the Saturday night we were in.
Book Fifty Two 2014:
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I had long, long since intended to buy The Knife Of Never Letting Go as so many people I knew had said good things about it and it just slipped through the cracks. I was lucky enough to be on a panel with the author Patrick Ness in Easons recently to launch their Department 51 and his agent got chatting to me and promised to send me a care package
A Monster Calls is written by Patrick based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd and deals with Conor, a 13-year-old who is visited by a monster in the form of a yew tree in his room every night.
No more. Read the rest yourself. It is exquisite.
Don’t get me started on the artwork too – I have rarely come across a book that is so beautifully illustrated cover to cover. Every one of Jim Kay’s images is dark, rich, eerie and hypnotic.
I would urgently press this into the hands of everyone – small kids, hardened adults, and everyone who is a little of either.
Book Fifty One 2014:
Selfish, Whining Monkeys by Rod Liddle
I’ll be honest here – I knew I probably wasn’t going to agree with everything Rod Liddle has to say in this book but I’m a huge believer in not always reading inside ever decreasing circles and so…
The thing that did astonish me was how much of what he said I was nodding my head to (a fair amount). It’s a ranty, neither left nor right series of sort-of connected chapters about how people today have pissed away everything previous generations worked for because of things like easy credit, easy divorce and us becoming more and more self-obsessed.
I did end up skimming a bit but again I say I did agree with some of what was going on here so it was an experiment well worth doing.
If you like this, maybe you’ll like the rest…