Topic Archives: Books

Happy Christmas, intolerable Joyceans everywhere!

If you don’t know by now, it’s tradition!  And Brendan’s cryptic crossword in today’s Guardian nods in the general direction… Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, once again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Adds I should have also noted this brief history of the day that it’s in, also from the more…


Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster Headline Spring Festival at Queen’s Institute for Conflict Transformation


  Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster are among the highlights at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s Spring Festival of Events at Queen’s. Former Taoiseach Ahern speaks on ‘Reflections on Peace in a Changed Ireland’ on Tuesday 31 May, 5-7 pm; while First Minister Foster delivers the Harri Holkeri Lecture more…


Big Politics Pub Quiz tonight! #ImagineBelfast


Tonight’s the night for the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz at The Black Box in Belfast, part of this year’s fabulous Imagine Festival. We are delighted to have guest quizmasters in the shape of Steven Agnew MLA, Alex Attwood MLA, Trevor Lunn MLA and John McCallister MLA. Prizes are courtesy of Stratagem. We have already more…


Books, books, books for Big Politics Pub Quiz

Imagine Belfast square logo

Thanks to our friends at public affairs company Stratagem, we have a bumper crop of prizes to give away to the winners and nearly-winners of this year’s Great Big Politics Pub Quiz. First up, the books. If you are a history fan, we have a bit of focus on this year’s big centenary events, with more…


Where the River Bends – Considering Forgiveness in the Lives of Prisoners by Michael McRay, Book Review


What do we do with uncomfortable stories? Uncomfortable stories about ourselves? Uncomfortable stories about our ‘enemies’ or rivals? Or uncomfortable stories about people we may never think about at all – like prisoners. In Where the River Bends: Considering Forgiveness in the Lives of Prisoners (Cascade Books, 2016), Michael McRay takes us behind the walls more…


Captured by a Vision at the 4 Corners Festival – Rev Ken Newell at St Patrick’s Catholic Church


Rev Ken Newell, former minister at Fitzroy Presbyterian in Belfast, is well-known for both his evangelical and his ecumenical convictions. While some – mainly evangelical Christians – are convinced that a Christian can’t be both evangelical and ecumenical, Newell challenged that conviction over the course of his long ministry at Fitzroy, in part through his more…


“Perhaps it’s best to simply regard Gerry’s book as the political equivalent of an ageing hardman action star taking a role in The Expendables…”

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde on the “exciting publishing news”, the terms may be used advisedly, of the forth-coming publication of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ Little Book of Calm Little Book of Tweets.  From the Guardian article Enormous congratulations to Gerry Adams, who is formally elevated to irony’s army council. The Sinn Féin president is more…


‘Long on material for jeremiads like this’: John Andrew Fredrick’s ‘The King of Good Intentions II’: Book Review


A fresh novel about the travails of a struggling musician on L.A.’s indie-rock fringe, this sequel to The King of Good Intentions continues the story of John and his jangle-pop band, The Weird Sisters. Likely at least semi-autobiographical, narrated after all by John with frequent asides to us, this takes up the tale on the more…


An Insight into Belfast’s and Europe’s Past: Rest and Be Thankful by Fr Daniel Cummings – Book Review


The autobiography of a Redemptorist missionary might not be at the top of everyone’s reading list, but a new book by the late Fr Daniel Cummings should appeal to a much broader audience than might be expected. Rest and be Thankful: Autobiography of a Belfast Missionary – Daniel Cummings C.Ss.R, was published this year and more…


Politics and Peace in Northern Ireland by David Mitchell – Book Review & Launch 5 November


While the Northern Ireland peace process is considered an outstanding success internationally, those who observe its politics day by day know that it hasn’t all been ‘happily ever after.’ Yes, we’re all grateful that violence has by and large ceased. But the implementation of the 1998 peace agreement has been fraught and 17 years on, more…


Election Notebook (Nick Robinson) – a humble & honest recollection of #ge2015 – and a reminder that NI politics don’t matter at a UK national level

Nick Robinson Election Notebook

Nick Robinson’s premise was to document the twelve month run up to the May 2015’s General Election. Between the Scottish independence referendum, UKIP’s rise and wobbles, and early polling that couldn’t predict the next government at Westminster, it was sure to be volatile period on which to report. The diary format of Election Notebook: The more…


Belfast: Toward a City Without Walls by Vicky Cosstick — Book Review


In certain parts of Belfast, walls dominate the landscape – as well as the consciousness – of those who live and work around them.  A new book by Vicky Cosstick, Belfast: Toward a City Without Walls, explores the history, significance and most daringly, the future, of these walls, highlighting the efforts of some citizens of more…


The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants, edited by Burgess and Mulvenna – Book Review

contested identities

Edited academic collections are often technical and specialized – appealing to academics, but offering little to other readers interested in the topic. The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants (Palgrave 2015), edited by Thomas Paul Burgess (UCC) and Gareth Mulvenna (Queen’s) is an exception to this trend, as it draws in an eclectic range of contributors more…