Saturday, 13 July 2013


A message from the Editor.

Editing a blog is new to me. I used to be in editing when I  first started in the film industry and I have come to realise that there are big similarities: Editors spend a lot of time alone. They mutter to themselves a lot and get distracted easily, especially when they read something they are unfamiliar with, leading to hours spent on the Internet boning up and travelling on many tangents, most irrelevant to the task they embarked on in the first place. This is what I do as I am so ignorant of most of what my father writes. However, there are a few things I do know a little bit about and one of them (or should I say two?) is twins. A couple of these creatures arrived into my life in March 2010; a little boy and a little girl. In the madness of it all, I decided to write a blog about the experience. I was obviously nuts, sleep deprived; everything deprived. I managed to keep the blog going for about three months. You may ask yourself what this has to do with my father's  book reviews. Not a lot. It's more about the circle of life and strange connections rather than books. But, read on and you will see. Following this diversion is a short article written by Risteárd about why he writes his book reviews in the first place.

The Editor. 

From the blog Bursting for a Kiss - July 13th 2010

Happy Days

On July 13th...

1568 – The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral perfected a way to bottle beer.
1837 – Queen Victoria moved into Buck Pal.
1930 – The first world cup football championships began.
1975 – According to my diary, whilst in London, I went to Mass and then to the zoo where I saw moose, elephants, donkeys and performing dolphins and then had salad for tea and watched a film called 'West Side Story’.
1976 - Elvis’s bodyguards were fired so they wrote a book about him saying lots of nasty things.
1985 - I lounged on a couch, ate nachos and watched Live aid on a crappy telly.

2009 - The Little Boy and the Little Girl were conceived.
1913 - Eddie, their grandfather, was born.
1922 -Risteárd, their other grandfather was born.

Now you know everything.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Thought for the Day.

At the time of my retirement in 1988 I became more interested in writing. During my professional years I did frequent reviews for the medical newspapers. Then and later I did occasional reviews for the Irish Times and the Sunday Independent.  It was more than ten years after my retirement that I thought of reviewing books as an academic exercise. I have now collected about 130 reviews.

My reviews tend to be eclectic in subject matter - history, biography, politics, medicine, language, ecology, you name it - and unlike conventional reviews aimed at informing readers of a book’s contents, my reviews tend to reflect my own interests, prejudices and sense of curiosity.

 I have not read fiction for many years. My real purpose is self-education and a better retention of knowledge gleaned from reading, added to occupation during the more empty hours of ageing.

Time spent in reviewing a book varies in length. It may be dealt with in an hour or two or even as one writes the review, or it may be postponed as long as some days later when more reflection is required. Going for a walk in a quiet suburban area can be recommended. It is good for your health and it provides an opportunity for reflection about the review under consideration. A jumble of thought at the beginning may become better ordered by the time you get home.

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