Apart from my literary endeavours, I have also been venturing out from the rarefied surroundings of the Landing Bookshelves yet again. Last weekend was the Open House architectural event so once more my trusty sidekick and I took to the streets of Dublin. We headed along to No 4 Castle Street to take a peek inside the former shop premises and merchant’s town house that is now the headquarters of Dublin Civic Trust. This was taking a second bite of the cherry as it were, as we had recently been touring Dublin’s cultural hotspots for Culture Night. On that occasion, we missed the townhouse due to lack of time. On Saturday morning, the town house was thronging with visitors but we managed to get a place on the next tour of the building.
While we were waiting, we browsed the Trust’s publications and bought a copy of See Dublin on Foot: An Architectural Walking Guide by Julie Craig (for a reduced price of €5), which kept us occupied while we waited. Naturally, I have now discovered several more places to go and visit! If you get the chance, the book is well worth buying even at the full price of €8 from the website. The walking tours are divided into six sections: Oxmantown, Gardiner’s Dublin, the Collegiate City, Administration and Finance, the Liberties and Maritime Dublin. As the book was published ten years ago there will no doubt be some changes found (certainly in some cases perhaps for the better due to work of the Civic Trust) in the cityscape. I will keep you updated on my progress around the city.
The section on Maritime Dublin reminds me of another recent expedition, which was to visit the newly restored National Maritime Museum in Dún Laoghaire. If you are interested, take a look at my piece about it for the Irish News Review (here) where you will also find a link to the museum site.
I have been bowling merrily along with Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell) lately (and feeling terribly virtuous for reading my book club novel to boot) and have still made no further progress with The Go-Between. I certainly need to give myself a stern talking –to about said lack of progress. The trouble is that whenever I set myself a blog reading task, something else inevitably pops up and demands my attention. That is how it seems anyway; perhaps the truth is that the next book that comes along just easily distracts me. The cover is always brighter, perhaps?
To some extent, I can plead that competing interests affect my reading plan from time to time. The prime example of this is my book group as I feel that I owe it to the other members to make an effort and not just plead lack of time (well not too often anyway) to read to the book. I also read a certain amount of titles with my bookseller’s hat on, either to write a review or just to be up to speed on our stock. In the former category, I have been reading Fire and Ice, a Cold War thriller by John Joyce on which I have written a review this week for Writing.ie. The book is due to be launched in Hughes and Hughes Booksellers, Dundrum on 26th October, so of course I had to push it up the reading queue a bit.
Now after my Open House exploits, it’s back to my cosy Landing nook for a little more reading…