Posts Tagged ‘Joseph O’Connor’


Monday, January 2nd, 2012

A friend of mine has ‘NOW’ written in large letters on the face of his watch. What time is it? It’s now. What year is it? It’s now. When will I be happy? Now. When will I choose my thoughts? Now.

It’s all we have. Just this moment. The past is gone. The future never comes. There is just this moment.

I’ve finished my book. After a very long time. Finally. Sure, there may be some tweaks to be done to it. It’s the hardest job of work I’ve ever had to do – harder than a degree. OK, not as hard are leaving religious life – that was the hardest thing I ever did. But professionally, it’s the most arduous journey I’ve taken. I’m very proud of the result; and a little scared too.

I’ve just finished reading Charles Dickens: a life by Claire Tomalin. It’s a brilliant book: I loved it and highly recommend it, especially to writers.

I’m delighted that President Michael D. Higgins will be presenting the Irish PEN Award to Joseph O’Connor in February.

As the new year begins, I’ve been cycling quite a bit. I did an hour and three-quarters today – not sure how far I travelled as the mileometer needs to be re-calibrated after I inserted a new battery. The day before yesterday it provided dodgy readings.

I’m doing a detox during January after the excesses of the Christmas. There’s a time for feasting and a time for fasting – well, detoxing.

If anyone out there wants a copy of the book I did a few years ago on how to stop smoking, they can get a copy at

Let’s all have a happy new year. Enjoy each moment. Live in the now. Let’s all be thankful for all we have and for all we are – now!


Joseph O’Connor, Ghost Light

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The book we’re reading for our next book club night in late May 2011 is Joseph O’Connor’s novel Ghost Light. In early May 2011 we read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s autobiography Infidel, an extraordinary and compelling book of a brave, free thinker.

Some books we’ve read in Wise Owl book club

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi:         Infidel

Amis, Martin:              Experience

Ashworth, Jenn:         A Kind of Intimacy

Barbery,Muriel:            The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Bayley, John:              Iris

Barry, Sebastian:          A Long,Long Way

Ben Jelloun, Tahar:        The Blinding Absence of Light

Browne, Dan:               The Da Vinci Code

Capote, Truman:            In Cold Blood

Carey, Peter:              Theft

Carter, Angela:            The Magic Toyshop

Cervantes:                 Don Quixote

Chandler, Raymond:         The Big Sleep

Change, Jung:              Mao: the Untold Story

Chekhov, Anton:  The Lady with the Little Dog & Other Stories

Dickens, Charles:          David Copperfield

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor:       Crime and Punishment

Doyle, Roddy:              Oh, Play That Thing

Edgeworth, Maria:          Castle Rackrent

Eugenides, Jeffrey:        Middlesex

Farrell J.G.:              The Siege of Krishnapur

Faulks, Sebastian:         Birdsong

Ferris, Joshua:            Then We Came to the End

Fitzgerald, F Scott:       The Great Gatsby

Flaubert, Gustave:         Madame Bovary

Ford, Richard:             The Granta Book of the American Short Story

Forster, E.M.:             A Passage to India

Franzen, Jonathan:         The Corrections

Franzen, Jonathan:         How To Be Alone

Gallagher, Mia:            Hellfire

Gardam, Jane:            Old Filth

Gray, Simon:               Smoking Diaries

Hamilton, Hugo:            The Speckled People

Hawthorn, Nathaniel:  The Scarlet Letter

Hemmingway:                For Whom the Bell Tolls

Holtby, Winifred:           South Riding

Homer:                     The Illiad

Homes, AM:                 This Book Will Save Your Life

Hornby, Nick:              Juliet Naked

Hosseini, Khaled:          The Kite Runner

Irving, John:              A Prayer For Own Meany

Ibsen, Henrik:             A Dolls House

Joyce, James:              Dubliners

Joyce, James:              Ulysses

Kafka, Franz:              The Trial

Karr, Mary:                The Liar’s Club

Kennedy, AL:               Day

Lee, Harper:               To Kill a Mocking-Bird

Llosa, Mario Vargas:  The Feast of the Goat

McCann, Colum:             Dancer

McGahern, John:            Memoir

Monk Kidd, Sue:            The Secret Life of Bees

Nabokov, Vladimir:         Lolita

Cruise O’Brien, Maire:     The Same Age as the State

Obama, Barrack:            Dreams of My Father

O’Connor, Joseph:          Star of the Sea

O’Connor, Joseph:          Ghost Light

Orwell, George:          1984

Plunkett, James:   Strumpet City

Proulx, Annie:             The Shipping News

Raisin, Ross:              God’s Own Country

Remarque, Erich Maria:     All Quiet on the Western Front

Rubenfeld, Jed:            The Interpretation of Murder

Roth, Philip:              The Plot Against America

Salinger, JD:              Catcher in the Rye

Sebold, Alice:             The Lovely Bones

Smith, Zadie:              On Beauty

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander:   One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander:   The Gulag Archipelgo

Stephens, James:           The Crock of Gold

Steinbeck, John:           The Grapes of Wrath

Stockett, Katherine:   The Help

Swift, Graham:             Last Orders

Tartt, Donna:  The Goldfinch

Thackeray, William M:      Vanity Fair

Toibin, Colm:              Brooklyn

Toibin, Colm:              The Master

Tolstoy, Leo:              Anna Karenina

Tomalin, Claire:      Charles Dickens: A Life

Twain, Mark:               The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

William, Trevor,:          Felicia’s Journey

William, Trevor,:          Love and Summer

Trollope, Anthony:         Barchester Toweres

Voltaire:                  Candide

Voynich Ethel:      The Gadfly

Williams, John:            Stoner

Williams, Niall:     History of the Rain

Wolff, Tobias:             Old School

Woolf, Virginia:           Mrs Dalloway

Zafon, Carlos Ruiz:        Shadow of the Wind