Abigail Rieley

Writer and Author

Tag: Books (page 1 of 4)

A Womb with a View

 

L'Origine du Monde

Viewing L’Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris

Last week the Telegraph printed a piece by novelist Amanda Craig pondering whether a woman’s ability to produce offspring was, in fact, the font of perfect understanding of the human condition. The fact that the hook used to sell this rather daft premise was the childlessness of recently deceased author Maeve Binchy took the thing to rather spectacular levels of tactlessness but the argument itself is one that makes me want to bang my head off the keyboard. While I’m not for one moment suggesting that Amanda Craig is representative of all maternal thinking, her argument is one that’s depressingly familiar, and as a woman who’s hit 40 without child-shaped appendages it’s one I’ve heard in various incarnation way too often and every time I hear it it seriously pisses me off.

It’s a big subject but the first and foremost thing is that, as a writer, I don’t see myself particularly as male or female. The writer is a puppet master, inhabiting the head of every character. It doesn’t matter if they’re barren or fertile, male or female, sweet or rotten to the core. It’s my job to understand each one of them, what makes them tick, why they do what they do. Walking in their  shoes, seeing through their eyes is in the job description. Some of the characters will have jobs I’ve done, go to places I’ve been, feel emotions I’ve felt, but everything else is extrapolation. I try to have experienced as much of my characters’ lives as possible but there’s a limit. I’ll never be a man. I’ll never kill someone (I presume). I can think of dozens of things my characters will do that I simply won’t be able to. But that doesn’t mean I won’t know how they feel when they do those things. If I can’t imagine it, then I’ll find someone who’s done it. That’s my job.

It’s the same job for a male writer. The Telegraph piece is only concerned with the female authors who haven’t given birth. The vast body of literature produced by the opposite sex, none of whom have managed to personally drop a sprog, is completely ignored. The piece is written with the assumption that the words written by women exist in a hermetically sealed bubble. That there are men’s books and women’s books and never the ‘twain shall meet. It’s assumed that the fairer sex need their own playing field, that our minds need the same sporting considerations as our bodies. I’ve never fully understood why there always need to be men’s and women’s versions of every sporting event anyway but I’m damn sure that such precautions aren’t necessary when it comes to the intellect. It reminds me of an old theatre anecdote about the old stage actor confronted with a young co-star who favours method acting. The youngster ties himself in knots fully understanding his characters motivation while the old stalwart insists that the only thing necessary is to know your lines and try not to bump into the furniture. It’s acting, not being.

I’ll freely admit to being more than a little method when it comes to understanding my characters but that only goes as far as I need to to understand. I don’t need to live their lives. That way insanity lies.

But apart from underestimating the writer’s skill and insulting the whole of the female sex with the assumption that our words are not equal to men’s Amanda Craig is guilty of the kind of maternal smugness that generally brings me out in a rash. As women we’re told from a very young age that babies are an integral part of the female experience. As little girls we’re given baby dolls to nurture then when we get older we’re told that we will only be a true success when we have found that illusive balance between being a woman and being a mother. In Ireland in particular, with a booming birth rate, there’s little enough debate about women who might not want to have children. We talk ad nauseum about raising a family and there’s huge sympathy with the one in six who will struggle to start the family but you rarely hear from people of either sex who simply prefer to live their lives child free.

In the spirit of full disclosure I didn’t mean to get to this stage in my life without children but that’s the way it’s happened. I do know the pain of not being able to conceive but ultimately felt that I couldn’t face being reduced to a breeding machine in order to have a child. I was scared by baby dolls when I was little. My imagined perfect life never really had a cradle in it. I never really got on with small children. That might have changed and one day I’d like nothing more than to give a home to a child but it never was and never will be the way I define myself. That perfect future that I dreamed up when I was a kid might not have had a cradle but it did have a desk, with a vase of flowers, a steaming mug of coffee and a typewriter. That hasn’t changed.

What’s in a Name?

So Ireland has a new president.  Last Thursday the public hit the polling booths and resoundingly voted for Labour candidate Michael D. Higgins.  When the news broke journalists and bloggers alike tried to find a nice handy soundbite to stick our president elect into.  “Veteran politician”, “humanitarian”, “short”, “elderly”, many labels were bandied about.  The one that seems to have raised most eyebrows however is “poet”.

Now for those not familiar with President Michael D’s literary back catalogue, he’s well known in the west of Ireland, where he’s from, as something of a poet.  He’s not one of Ireland’s Nobel Literature Prize winners and he’s unarguably kept the day job as an academic and politician, but he has also published several collections of poetry with a couple of different publishers.  No one is making anything up when they say the guy is a poet. He’s even done poetry readings.

A couple of days ago The Guardian published an opinion piece by British poet Carol Rumens.  In the piece titled “Michael D. Higgins is No Poet” she dissects a poem of his the Guardian had printed as being apt on the day the result of the vote was announced.  It’s quite a hatchet job and it’s been doing the rounds on Twitter, as you might expect.  A couple of people have asked me what I think of the soon to be presidential verse.  And that’s the thing, the one thing that’s probably most extraordinary about the Guardian piece.

I could understand it if the man had been elected poet laureate or had won some big literary prize but he hasn’t.  His presidency will be memorable or damp squib depending on his political skills rather than his skills with a pen.  Even if he was the poetic peer of the kind of little old lady who rings up a certain kind of radio show to share a certain type of topical doggerel it wouldn’t really affect whether or not he’s any good at the job he’s just been elected to.  The question of whether or not Winston Churchill was a good journalist or writer or whether Ronald Reagan could actually act is only ever going to be of mild academic interest.  Their reputations will rest on something different.

But it’s not just whether or not he’s a good poet.  The headline of the article suggests that because his metaphors are clumsy and his lines don’t flow he is not worthy of the word poet at all.  And that’s not fair.  I’m not writing this to bang the Michael D. drum, it goes beyond whether we’ve elected a bard or a bullshitter.  That phrase sticks in my head because it moves the goal posts. It taps into something that I have a sneaking suspicion goes beyond what convenient soundbite can be applied to a certain politician.

Titles matter.  There are some you win, some you’re appointed, and others you earn after a long grind.  The title of poet falls into this last category, like writer or artist or author or even, perhaps pushing it a bit, journalist.  It’s the kind of title that you only feel comfortable calling yourself when you’ve got to a certain stage. It could be getting that first paid gig as a journalist, a first book for an author, an independent exhibition for an artist.  Everyone has their own level but the bar tends to settle at a fairly average height. To use myself as an example.  I’ve written stories as long as I can remember, even used to make little miniature books as a kid to bind them, but I would never call myself a writer.  I would say I liked writing, or I wanted to be a writer.  When I started work as a journalist I still hesitated to call myself a writer.  Apart from anything else I was working in radio.

Despite the fact that in my weekends and at night I was working on a novel, I would only describe myself as a journalist.  I’m even happy to call myself a hack – I’ve worked to pay the bills rather than serve the art – but, despite the fact the novel was eventually finished and I’d even started on a sequel, the title of writer and especially author just didn’t seem to fit.

These days I’ll call myself a writer and even author, quite happily.  I’ve written two books that were published and sold in bookshops all over the country and all over the web.  I know that whatever I do now I’ve passed that point.  The title is earned. 

There’s a lot of debate these days with the explosion of “independently” published books – covering everything self published down and including what would once have been firmly termed vanity publishing.  It’s so easy for anyone who chooses to publish their work and sell it through Amazon onto Kindles across the planet. A bit more work and expense can produce an actual book that can be ordered online or even stocked in real bricks and mortar bookshops.  The industry is changing and so a lot more people are probably entitled to call themselves author or writer. 

I wonder if this is where the viciousness of the Guardian article comes from.  A poet feeling encroached by any Tom, Dick or Harry hanging their hats on her hatstand and claiming a muse because they wrote a haiku once and published it on their blog.  If that’s the case I’d like to send sympathetic thoughts to Carol Rumens. The market has recently got a lot more crowded and it’s harder than ever to get your voice heard.  Even if you take the route of traditional publishing with it’s long apprenticeship in furtive adolescent notebooks, building the confident to submit to publishers, the eventual dizzying acceptance, even if you take that well travelled route, these days it’s damned crowded when you get there.

That’s why titles matter.  We hit the milestones and want the rewards.  When I was growing up the child of actors I was told that you couldn’t call yourself a pro unless someone not related to you was willing to pay.  If you could get paid for your art you had passed the most important milestone. A certain level of ability and experience was assumed because otherwise you wouldn’t get the gig.  By the time I had hit my 20s I’d worked out that talent and experience weren’t necessarily the only things that could get you paid for acting but that’s another post entirely!  The long and the short of it was that amateurs just aspired to it.  They weren’t willing to put everything on the line to earn a living at it.  Only when you took that step could you earn the title of fully fledged artist…usually with the realisation that the living would be extremely hard won.

Of course it’s not always so black and white.  Over the years there have been plenty of writers who’ve kept the day job.  Chekhov was a doctor, Flann O’Brien a civil servant, the list goes on and on and on.  Of course Michael D. was and is a politician.  It’s easy to be churlish about those who have clung onto the security of a day job don’t have the temperament to be an artist.  We all need to eat. The old milestones are still there.  The bar you have to touch to win the right to call yourself the title.  The president elect published his first collection of poems in 1970.  He’s not part of the internet chatter where everyone you meet online seems to be working on a book.  

It’s easy to assume that this is a new phenomenon brought about by the ubiquity of schemes like NaNoWriMo.  But I’m not convinced in the sudden explosion of wannabe literary activity. In my teens and 20s in Dublin it seemed like everyone I met was writing a book. That might just be an Irish thing but I doubt it somehow.  The only thing that’s changed now is all those people hunched over their bedroom notebooks can see all the other people and wave and talk about their hope and plans for world domination. The thing is that regardless of how someone takes those first few steps to that first and most important milestone, it’s not really changed.  It might be easier than ever before to publish your words and more people might call themselves writers and poets than have necessarily earned the right, but the bar is in the same place.  Whether it’s the self published author who’s sold enough ebooks on Kindle to give up the day job, or the literary effete who’s built a solid reputation through publication in a respected small press and enthusiastic readings there’s still a certain line to cross. We all instinctively know where it is.  It’s not the size of the cheque, it’s the respect it’s given with.

All this has nothing to do ability.  It’s more about a solid commitment to your craft (at the risk of sounding hopelessly pretentious).  I don’t know Michael D. Higgins as a poet. I do remember him as a Minister for the Arts.  Back then he showed his commitment to the arts and was damn good at his job.  I’m delighted that, for once, the person we’ve elected President is going to champion Ireland’s artistic heritage.  For that alone I wouldn’t fling pot shots at his own literary endeavours. I’m sure the debate about whether or not Michael D. is a good or bad poet will continue for years to come. I hope though that no one else will be silly enough to question whether he’s a poet at all.  That’s a goalpost that doesn’t need to be moved.

All in A Good Cause…

I frequently bang on about Twitter on this blog.  I wasn’t one of the early adopters, those hardcore few in Ireland who wandered around the large empty virtual room of Twitter chatting amongst themselves.  I joined just before my first book came out, in November 2008, ostensibly for marketing purposes but it wasn’t long before I was hooked.

The thing about Twitter is that it’s a nice place to hang out.  Whatever reason you poke your nose round the door, if you get the whole virtual cocktail party thing, you’ll soon find yourself sliding round the door  to join in one of the fascinating, or silly, conversations going on around you.  Over the past three years I’ve made friends, found a new way to do my job and found out about more about the city where I live, all through Twitter.  I’ve live tweeted my way through several trials, found new opportunities and many new connections, not to mention some great nights out.

I could wax somewhat evangelical about that little blue bird for the rest of this post but this post has a purpose.  One of the things Twitter is best at is bringing people together.  It underpins how the whole thing works after all.  One of the best examples of this I’ve seen jumped out of the Twittersphere this week into a bookshop near you.

Tweet Treats

About 18 months ago Jane Travers came up with the idea of putting together a Twitter cookbook in aid of charity.  It started gently, almost like a game.  Every day or so Jane would send out a challenge.  In 140 characters using the hashtag #tweettreats she asked for recipes for pasta dishes, or sweets treats, or quick and easy dinners.  The Twitter enthusiastically complied – hashtag games are a very popular way to pass a long evening and everyone knows the Twitter fixation with lunch plates (heavy sarcasm there before someone picks me up on that old cliche!) But this was more than your run of the mill hashtag game.  This was for charity – and a damn good charity at that.  Jane announced that proceeds would go to Médecins Sans Frontieres.

This was something everyone could get behind and it’s great to see that so many did.  There are recipes there from writers Like Ian Rankin and Joanne Harris, TV personalities and actors like Dara O’Briain, Richard Madeley, Lou Diamond Philips and Paula Adbul.  The recipes range from the severely mouthwatering-sounding Cthulhu Crumble from award winning author Neil Gaiman, to the jokier Mrs Fry’s Saucy Surprise (“Smear lovingly and beat feverishly until fully hardened. Whip to a frenzy then drizzle before taking a cold shower & preparing your meal”) from “Edna Fry”, the much put upon “wife” of  broadcaster & global national treasure Stephen Fry and author of Mrs Fry’s Diary.

There are over a thousand recipes and 140 celebrities not to mention cooking advice and cooking tips from chef Marco Pierre White, who also provides the foreword. There seriously is something here for everyone with recipes to suit every pocket, every mood and every occasion – and did I mention it’s all for charity?

Full disclosure here, I do have a recipe in there (a very nice and easy pasta dish, if I do say so myself), and Jane has very kindly put a celebrity star by my Twitter name. Also the book is published by the O’Brien Press who published my most recent book Death on the Hill but don’t let that stop you rushing out to grab a copy.  In all honesty it’s a great little book with some truly mouthwatering recipes that I’m itching to try. I don’t usually do book reviews or plugs here but Tweet Treats is a worthy exception.  It’s an example of the best Twitter can bring and deserves to do extremely well.  So what are you waiting for?…

In the Spotlight

Death on the Hill hit the shops this week.  To coincide with this I’ve been hitting the publicity trail.  The last week has passed in a blur of corridors and studios and next week promises to be no different.  It’s a necessary part of bringing out a book but it’s one of the more surreal parts of the job.

As a journalist I’ve been in a fair few studios over the years.  I started out working in radio and it’s great to get the chance to be sitting in front of a mic again albeit on the other side of the desk.  It’s strange to be answering questions rather than asking them and being an item on the running order, a part of the story.

It’s very different from the daily business of court reporting.  Taking notes, checking facts, always on watch to catch the smallest detail that will make the picture that you paint at the end of the day all the more vivid.  It’s quite a passive line of work, an observer not a contributor.  Definitely not a position that tends to land in the spotlight.

Of course when you write a book it’s a different matter entirely.  You’re no longer simply a story in the paper, waiting for tomorrow’s chips.  You’ve pinned your colours to the mast and embarked on a project that involves, of necessity, some hard sell.  Suddenly you’re flashing a smile and plugging away and getting ever more removed from the violent facts that you’re recounting.

Covering murder is an odd business.  When you do the job for any length of time you develop armour so that the gory details slide off you like drops off an umbrella.  You become flippant when faced with brutality, treating each tragedy lightly because it’ll only be followed by another.  That’s not that you don’t have compassion, just that it get’s rationed, metered in the face of relentless details that bleed into one another as trial follows trial follows trial.

The details of each successive trial settle on each other until your brain is clogged by the fallen details of dozens of deaths, dozens of post mortems.  You learn to leave the job at the end of the day and put aside the details and the pain of the victims and their families but your sense of humour gets a blackened edge and gallows laugh.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job – well love is probably the wrong term, but it’s what I do and the work suits me. But when you’re selling a book it tends to come home that while you are happy to have a book with your name on it you’re also constantly retelling somebody else’s personal tragedy with each bright and breezy interview.  It’s more than a little surreal.

All you can do is try to keep the balance.  A balance between the book I’ve written, telling a story as a writer and a journalist, and the dark, tragic truth at the centre of it.  It’s the nature of this kind of book.  Most of the time I don’t navel gaze but when I find myself sitting in another corridor waiting to go on air to do another interview it can get a little introspective.  Tomorrow starts with two such corridors.  You have been warned.

Publication Day!

Today Death on the Hill is officially published.  You probably won’t find it in the shops just yet – it usually takes a couple of days for book stocks to move from warehouse to shop floor.  Which makes a publication day rather peculiar.

I’ve had my author copies of Death on the Hill for a while now.  They’re sitting in a neat row in our front room and every now and then I go and take a look at them – I still get a kick out of seeing my name on the spine of a real, live book with pages and everything. I’m excited about seeing copies in bookshops but publication day itself is a marker in time that’s even more confusing than a mid life birthday.

You wake up and the morning is the same as the one before. When I was a child dreaming of being a writer I thought there would at least be streamers.   The appearance of a book in print with your name on it would signify an end to the normal daily grind and an emergence into the artistic realm like a butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis.  I was a rather romantic child.

The reality is generally rather more prosaic.  Today I got up at the usual time and headed off to court.  There’s a new murder trial starting this week and there were several cases in the Monday list that I wanted to keep an eye on.  Then I went grocery shopping.  Life goes on.

In the days and weeks to come things will get busy.  There’ll be interviews to do, publicity.  I’ll start haunting book shops and counting their stock and fretting about sales figures.  I’ll be pestering everyone I know to buy, or read, or review and shouting about the book from every available rooftop.  This evening though it’s my publication day.  A moment in time where the one thing that matters is that the book is written.  It’s real and will very, very soon be coming to book shops all over Ireland.  That’s something to be pleased about.

Death on the Hill 1

A New Book

It’s an extraordinary feeling to hold your own book in your hands, that moment when it goes from being a string of insubstantial computer text to a real, proper book with a cover and pages and photographs and everything.

It’s even better when you see more than one of it.  That’s the moment when the penny drops that there is absolutely no going back, that this is the real thing and that the thing you spent weeks or months working on now has a life of its own.  It’s the sudden realisation that with this box load of author copies there is the reality of thousands of other copies that will soon sit on bookshop shelves around the country.

It’ll be a few more weeks before my latest book, Death on the Hill, hits the shelves but today the postman brought my author copies.

Death on the Hill stack

For the moment I can just sit and look at them in all their multiple beauty.  Have a moment of self engrossed anticipation before the reality of launching a book and the selling that must come.  Not tonight though.  Tonight I’m just happy to have written another book.

A Book Recommendation

A former colleague of mine has just brought out a book on the trial of Ronnie Dunbar for the murder of Sligo teenager Melissa Mahon.

The Ronnie Dunbar trial was one of the most disturbing trials we’ve had in recent years.  I wrote about it extensively here as I covered it for the Sunday Independent.  Dunbar was a charismatic accused, an intense heavily tattooed figure who believed that one day he was to be the King of a new world order which he would rule with his dogs and his will.

He told his teenage daughters and Melissa that these tattoos could banish demons and ghosts.  It was two years before Melissa’s skeleton remains were found on the shores of Lough Gill in Sligo, weathered by the elements and gnawed by wild animals.  It was only then that Dunbar’s daughters came forward to tell a harrowing story of murder, terror and concealment that would form the basis for the prosecution case against their father.

Dunbar was the person that the vulnerable Melissa had run to when her fraught homelife was too much.  Someone she trusted and looked up to…someone who she loved and allegedly told people was her lover.

Bronagh has set out the whole story of this extraordinary case.  So if you want a good read…you know where to go.

Jungian Psychology & MP3 Playlists for Building Characters

So I’m starting the new book.  For the first time in years I’m building my characters from scratch and I’m remembering all the techniques I’ve used over the years to flesh them into believable people who will help to form the plot I’ll build around them.

I grew up the child of actors and I’ll admit my approach is a little bit method but it’s always worked for me.  When I first start work on a character I know them as a gut feeling, the bare bones of them.  I know what they’re capable of and how they think but the surface stuff like dress sense, hair colour, height etc, etc, etc just isn’t there yet.

So there are two techniques I use again and again.  They help to give a framework to the instinctive stuff that all the rest can be hung on.  It might sound a bizarre or, heaven forbid, pretentious way of going about things but it works for me.

Jungian psychology mighsound a bit involved but really I’m only talking about a psychological tool used extensively by recruiters, team building coaches and their ilk.  I spent a few months many years ago working for a crowd of occupational psychologists.  They liked to know what made their staff tick so we were all made to do all kinds of psychometric tests, including the MBTI.

Now despite the fact that the detailed analysis of the types has always reminded me of horoscopes, the test can be a handy for building characters.  Apart from the fact that, to get it, you have to answer a detailed set of questions as your character – which is always good practise before you start putting words in their mouths – it also gives you an overview of what makes your character tick.  Each of the 16 types has a detailed definition which covers what kind of worker they are, what kind of romantic partner, their strengths and their weaknesses.  If you don’t know them already, a detailed read gives you all the buttons you might want to press (if you’re planning on giving your character a hard time.)

I wouldn’t necessarily do the test for every character but certainly all the main ones. There are readily available free versions of the test online.  The actual MBTI test is trademarked so the free versions that you find (like this one or this one) will not correspond exactly but despite what is said about them they give much the same results.  Once you have the personality type that fits your character then the definitions are widely available with a bit of Googling.

I also make playlists for my main characters.  I’m used to working with noise around me so I’m not one of those writers that needs absolute silence to get the words down.  I always have music or the radio on while I’m working and listening to music that my character would listen to rather than my own personal taste helps to get into their heads.  We all listen to music for so many different reasons; because of memories, because we identify, because we are fitting in with the herd or standing out from the crowd.  Listening to their choice of music helps me see through my characters’ eyes, not to mention get into the right mood to write them.

Everyone has different ways of working.  These are just two things that work for me.  As of today my two main characters are personality typed and playlisted.  Now the real work can begin.

The Blank Page

So my novel is finished and with my agent.  A whole summer of feverish writing and editing came to an end just as the first leaves fell off the sycamore tree in the back.  I’m pleased with what I’ve written.  I like my characters, I’ve got rid of the plot holes and the thing comes to a satisfactory conclusion.  As far as I’m concerned it’s done.

I’m not saying that it’s absolutely done and dusted.  It can’t be just yet.  Up until it goes into print there will still be time to tweak and trim but from now on it’s not just my baby.  My agent’s got it now and soon we’ll be dangling it in front of publishers to see who bites.  Any changes made to the manuscript from this point in will come from either agent or eventual editor.  I’ve done what I can with the images I had in my head and now it’s out there.  It needs other pairs of eyes over it now.

Which leaves me with the problem of what to do while I’m waiting.  I had hoped to segue happily into a nice juicy trial as the Central Criminal Court kicked off it’s new term this week.  But life has a habit of not being particularly accommodating and the interesting, news worthy trial I was hoping for failed to materialise.  So I’m sitting in front of my computer, staring at the wall in front of me and quietly going mad.

It seemed like a good plan to start the next book on my list to occupy myself while the novel was doing it’s thing away from me.  I have plans, notes, even research on not one but two new books.  There’s another true crime and another fiction (the sequel to the one that’s so recently finished).

After much deliberation I decided to let the sequel sit – for the moment at least.  My characters need a rest and I need a break from the intensity of conjuring up all their emotions, fears and hopes.  It’s hard not to be slightly method when you’re drafting a story.  Editing gives a distance that allows a far more pragmatic approach but a first draft requires throwing oneself in head long only coming up for air when eating becomes a necessity.

So no sequel.  Instead I’ve turned to the next non fiction book I want to write.  It’ll be another true crime book like Devil but a bit wider in scope.  I’ve high hopes for this idea and have been looking forward to working on it for months.

So why is a blank page staring back at me?  I have everything in my head for this project.  I know what order the chapters will go in, what sources I’ll use, all the rest of it.  I even know how I’ll tell the story.  But when I sit down to write, the words will only drip onto the page in sulky fits and starts.

I’ve had the same 300 words squatting in the middle of the page for a week.  Occasionally I’ll move some of them around but for the most part they sit there staring at me accusingly.  On their own they look a little silly, insubstantial, flimsy.  They need the weight of a couple of thousand companions before they can do the job I’m giving them.

But waiting for the kettle to boil for the umpteenth cup of tea today I recognise my predicament.  I’ve been here before.  Every time I’ve started a book, every time I’ve started a long article, going back further, every time I started an essay.  This is apparently what I do when I start a new project.  This is the noisy, frustrating birth of whatever the latest project is.

I wish I could work some other way.  This way is annoying and gives me a headache.  But apparently this is what I do.  I’ll chip away for the next hours, or possibly days, and eventually the block will shift and the words will flow the way they’re made to.  In the meantime,  I think I’ll make another cup of tea.

An Honourable Mention

I was absolutely chuffed a couple of weeks ago to be asked by Chapters Bookstore here in Dublin to do a Q&A for their blog.  They have a regular post in which writers answer 5 questions.  My answers went up today.

I was honoured to be asked.  Ask anyone in Dublin who loves to read and they will tell you that Chapters is the best book shop in town.  That’s not to say there aren’t other great ones but Chapters is the largest independent book shop in town and is always a treasure trove of both new and second hand finds.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know and I am now going to go and try and shrink my head a little!

Older posts

© 2017 Abigail Rieley

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑