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What the Dickens "Reader64" (Washington DC)

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Our Man in Hibernia: Ireland, the Irish and Me
Our Man in Hibernia: Ireland, the Irish and Me
by Charlie Connelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful foray around the Emerald Isle, 4 Nov. 2010
This is a lovely, funny and often moving book by the thoughtful, charming and cheerful Mr Connelly. I was delighted by the way in which he has combined his trademark humour with an honest and heartfelt exploration of his own cultural heritage and, Ireland, the country he now calls home.

Connelly has a fine eye for the telling detail, subtle insight, and a deft turn of phrase that makes a place and a people come alive on the page. Ireland is a treasure trove for such a skilled writer, and Connelly does not waste the opportunity to celebrate its charm, wit, and wisdom, investigating the land, its fascinating and sometimes tragic history, and its spirited and wry people. As always, Mr Connelly's friendly style makes him an excellent companion.

`Our Man in Hibernia' explores not just one man's family history but the history of the Irish Everyman, those who left dire circumstances in search of nothing so grand as riches, but enough to eat. I am not ashamed to say I had a lump in the throat reading the author's reactions on learning how his ancestor had to, literally, scrape a living in the most abject conditions. Connelly is excellent on the appalling history and legacy of colonial involvement but also has little time for the subsequent models of Priest-ridden enclave or a fool's paradise for bankers and developers either.

This is a fine introduction to Ireland. A splendid foray around the Emerald Isle with one of our finest travel writers and wits. I heartily recommend it.

May on Motors: On the Road with James May
May on Motors: On the Road with James May
by James May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, stylish, thoughtful and funny stuff!, 15 April 2006
Those of you who love well-considered musings on motoring, mechanical gadgetry, male middle age, and the design of all the stuff around us, will love James May. His regular column in the Daily Telegraph's Motoring section is a must-read, freeing him from the limitations of getting a word in edgeways in yet another of Jeremy Clarkson's increasingly egocentric rants.

James May's contribution is the perfect item for seated, solitary moments (if you follow me) but is not remotely dour or glum. His gentle, cerebral wit and deft, wodehousian turns of phrase make him one of the very best writers for the English-speaking chap.

A joy from start to finish...and recommended without reservation!

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