Tag Archive | Books

Reading – Childhood Favourites


In keeping with the theme of books (from my last blog post), this week the focus is on getting kids to read more.  When so many children are going practically square-eyed from staring at computer monitors, iPads and T.V. screens, there’s a real need to spend time reading to younger ones, or planning regular trips to either the library or local bookshop.

I was reminded, last night, of how much reading I used to do in my younger years, by the #keepthekidsreading campaign being promoted on Twitter by @SummerBuzz, a Twitter account from Irish Libraries. My father was an avid reader – still is – and my aunt (on his side) would always buy us books for birthdays and Christmas.

Enid Blyton’s books were a favourite of mine. I’d say they formed 90% of my little library from the time I was about seven until I’d reached my mid-teens. And, although I’d an English teacher who criticised the long sentence structure, I do believe that they were (and are) a great asset in developing a child’s imagination.  I remember, to this day, being unable to pass a cave on a beach without having a good look around inside for treasure, and feeling the urge to investigate wooden panels in any room that would happen to have them, in case a secret passage way would be hidden somewhere.

Back then we used to trade our books in The Banba Bookshop (I think it was in Rathmines). We’d spend ages in there picking books out. If we traded for cash we’d get a third of the price back, depending on the condition/age of the book. If we swapped we’d get half the value of our books, so we nearly always swapped.

I still have a few of my childhood favourites. I was doing a clear out yesterday of the book cabinets, and still couldn’t find it in my heart to bring the books (below) to the charity shop. They’re third hand now as I’ve read them, and my daughter has read them too.

Do you still have books from your childhood days? Which ones have become emotionally attached to?  Have your children read them too?







An Irish Butcher Shop – Pat Whelan


I stopped by James Whelan’s Butchers this afternoon to pick up a copy of Pat Whelan’s new book ‘An Irish Butcher Shop’.  I’d been following all the latest on the book from Pat via his twitter account and when I heard the books were being delivered yesterday I couldn’t wait to get one.

An Irish Butcher Shop

An Irish Butcher Shop - Pat Whelan

This is a book for meat lovers! From the field to the table the reader can follow the entire story of the farm animal, the meat it produces, and how it is cooked. Each individual method of cooking meat is explained thoroughly and even the subject of cooking utensils is dealt with.

It’s fascinating to read the history of James Whelan’s butchers.  It’s worth reading too for the informative quality and the little touches of humour and local references here and there, but most of all for the recipes.  The book is crammed full of wonderful beef, pork, chicken and other meat recipes, as well as ideas for vegetables and sauces.

If the recipes themselves don’t leave your mouth watering, then the colourful photography will.  I certainly can’t wait to see if my own Moussaka turns out as well as Pat’s!