We didn't manage to organise a mini blogmoot in such short notice, but I did manage to find a trace of Barbara Smith (Cailleach) in a Dublin bookshop. This poetry book of hers, Kairos, is gorgeous, with nuggets of gold behind that dreamy picture. What a delight. An explosion of something pleasant on the tongue. These are definitely for reading aloud. It has now taken pride of place in my living room.
It was my fault we didn't meet up; it didn't even occur to me that it could be a possibility. The next time I am in Dublin, maybe in November or December, we will definitely try to arrange it.
My regular visits to that charming city always involve something to do with books. I love to drink a large latté in my favourite cafés, which just happen to be close to my favourite bookshops, which all blur into one after a five-day visit. Barbara also told me about the Chapters bookshop, which was a wonderful place, with new and second-hand books. This is where I found some good bargains on new hardbacks. All in all I ended up buying ten books while in Dublin ... and I wrote a fair amount towards my own novel, even a few pages while sitting on those café terraces. The main character is from Dublin, so it's nice to visit his place and remember all the little things about our stock.
Here are the titles I bought, so you can kind of tell what mood/state of mind I'm in at the moment:
The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, Roddy Doyle (Irish author)
The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne, Brian Moore (Irish author)
This Human Season, Louise Dean
The Sea, John Banville (Irish author)
On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan
Blindness, José Saramago
Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones
My Life As A Fake, Peter Carey
Now, of course, who knows when I will get round to these, given there's already a big backlog. But I do love swaying in front of the bookshelf, letting my fingers run over the spines, deciding almost at random what my next book will be. A lucky literary dip. That way I move between different authors, styles, years. I also love to read books that I've bought in a place I've visited. I write the date and the city inside the cover, so I remember the trip when I finally get round to reading the book.