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Search tags: irish-lit
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text 2018-06-18 15:23
Reading progress update: I've read 99%.
Conversations with Friends - Sally C. Rooney

I closed my eyes. Things and people moved around me, taking positions in obscure hierarchies, participating in systems I didn't know about and never would. A complex network of objects and concepts. You live through certain things before you understand them. You can't always take the analytical position.

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text 2018-06-17 18:41
Reading progress update: I've read 76%.
Conversations with Friends - Sally C. Rooney

Something had changed between us, but I didn't know what it was. We still intuited each other's moods easily, we shared the same conspiratorial looks and our conversations still felt lengthy and intelligent. The time she ran me that bath had changed something, had placed Bobbi in a new relation to me even as we both remained ourselves.

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review 2018-06-04 00:00
Loving Irish
Loving Irish - Katy Regnery Regnery has done it again. Loving Irish, ran away with more than half of my heart. Hallie and Ian were meant to be together, yet forced to exist apart. Can they let go of the past and concentrate on taking a chance on their future? From young love to adult heartbreak, Irish proves that TRUE love will never die, when the heart is determined to find a way.
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review 2018-05-24 00:00
Gunshots & Goalposts: The Story of Northern Irish Football
Gunshots & Goalposts: The Story of North... Gunshots & Goalposts: The Story of Northern Irish Football - Benjamin Roberts Review can also be found on: diaryofdifference.com/2018/05/24/gunshots-goalposts-the-story-of-northern-irish-football-benjamin-roberts-book-review/

For the lovers of football and history - this book will be of your interest. If you happen to have any connecting with Northern Ireland as well - this book is made for you!

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I don’t think I fit in the description above. I love watching football - but I am not a football maniac, that knows who plays where, the club’s managers and who is on top of the Champion’s League this year. I love me some good sports matches, and I know a lot of players by name or face, but that’s about it.

Now - Gunshots & Goalposts: The Story of Northern Irish Football - the book that covers the stories of many football players in the past century in Northern Ireland.
While it covers so many stories, I wasn’t able to connect to any of the characters, and I choose to blame this on the way the book was written.

Which - is not a bad thing at all. Why? Because, this book is not meant to make you fall in love with the characters. It is instead, meant to show you the real picture of their lives, the politics that were ongoing in that time, and give you a brief history lesson of what you happened to miss in high school. All related to football, of course.

For me, it was very useful to learn a bit about the politics and history. Before I started the book, I knew NOTHING about Northern Ireland’s history. I knew NOTHING about their football history. This was a great first book for me to dive into the waters of the history of Northern Ireland's football.

The author, Benjamin Roberts, has done a wonderful job in the description and research. It covers a lot of the history period from the First and Second World War, the protestants vs catholics, the unionists vs nationalists, the east vs the west.

This book reminds me a lot of a movie that has been made in the country where I was born - Macedonia. The movie was called ‘’The Third Half’’ and deals with Macedonian Football during World War II, and the deportation of Jews from Macedonia. It reminded me a bit of this, even though in this book we don’t connect with the characters, or dive into their stories too much.

This is a three-star book for me - for the sole reason that this is not a book that I would usually read, and I wouldn’t read books similar to this one either. I enjoyed it, at times, but wouldn’t re-read it. However, I would definitely recommend it to people that love both football and history. I just prefer books where I connect with the characters.
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text 2018-05-18 18:07
The Country Girls / Edna O'Brien
The Country Girls - Edna O'Brien

Meet Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Kate, dreamy and romantic, yearns for true love, while Baba just wants to experience the life of a single girl. Although they set out to conquer the world together, as their lives take unexpected turns, Kate and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.

 

I have absolutely no idea how to rate this book. Can I say that I enjoyed it? Yes and no. Can I say that I appreciated it? Yes indeed.

It was an important book for its time—published in 1960 and showing an Ireland that doesn’t exist anymore. One where the Catholic Church and patriarchy reigned supreme and women had extremely limited choices. You could get married or become a nun. That was pretty much it, at least for the country girls. Women weren’t admitted to be sexual beings and weren’t supposed to criticize how their society worked.

Edna O’Brien writes beautifully about the naiveté of the two rural girls when they come to the big city. Kate is the artistic, romantic, intellectual girl who has idealistic visions of what life should be like. She wants to discuss literature with her dates and they only value her sexuality. She becomes involved with an older married man from her village because he offers a window into the more sophisticated world that Kate longs for. Baba, on the other hand, is far more earthy—she wants to smoke, drink, and enjoy the company of men. The two women couldn’t be more different from one another, but small communities make for strange friendships. With few people of the right age to choose from, you bond with the most compatible person available and these relationships rarely withstand leaving home.

The poverty, the alcohol problems, the repression of women--The Country Girls reveals them all. No wonder this book was denounced and banned. It was hanging out the dirty linen for the world to look at.

Ireland is a country that is definitely on my “to visit” list. I love reading books which are set there and I will definitely read more of O’Brien’s work.

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