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mnoonan@northshire.com's blog

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe - Book Review

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Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385521314
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - February 26th, 2019

This is an account of the murder and "disappearing" of Jean McConville, a widow with 10 children in sectarian Belfast in 1972, and the growth and development of IRA's Provos wing, Sinn Fein, and the evolution of today's uneasy peace. Keefe calls it "narrative nonfiction." It is the story of a deliberately broken community. Being partisan, how quickly can nativism turn into nationalism and then radicalization? And what is the result? This is a study in morals, ethics, and loyalties. Terror and justification of violence quickly becomes the norm and has horrendous results on both the victims and the perpetrators. This book is a profound and truly important work that is timely and relevant in many varied ways. Say Nothing will reverberate today and tomorrow, and will ask the reader to pay attention. It is about collective memory, action, guilt, and communal and personal P.T.S.D. Most of all, it is a clear eyed, unromantic record of a horror that was perpetrated for decades and where reconciliation and truths are still in abeyance. I read this brilliant book in a week and turned around and started it again! ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


Why Religion?: A Personal Story by Elaine Pagels - Book Review

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Why Religion?: A Personal Story Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062368539
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - November 6th, 2018

Elaine Pagels is a personal favorite of mine who is an impeccable scholar of Religious History. This time in an intimate memoir that is is so eloquent and elegant- even as your bones feel the scrape of anguish of the internal tumult of Pagels' story; the priority of understanding the gospels is a focus that helps her core being. "Why Religion" also poses the question of why and how does Religion still exists at all in the 21st century; why is Hope inherent in Faith? What I appreciate is how her scholarship became more honed, her clear sightedness never wavered through her tragedies. This is truly a great memoir on so many levels. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


Ghost Wall: A Novel by Sarah Moss - Book Review

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Ghost Wall: A Novel Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780374161927
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 8th, 2019

This novel gave me pause to consider my own obsession with Bronze Age Man, it also gave me the shivers. The opening scene from the point of view of a sacrificial victim is visceral. We follow Sylvie, a 14 year old trapped in her father's obsession of precise re-enactment. The psychology of this novel is razor sharp and left me with a self-inflicted bloody lip. We are caught in a vortex of reality between present time and the Bronze Age. The question is, has man actually progressed from his "Primitive" self? ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams - Book Review

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The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316382533
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hachette Books - September 11th, 2018

This deftly wrought book almost defies a category. While it is a book of Paleontology this book reads like an old fashioned "Who Dunnit" but throw in international espionage, Mongolian History and a solid dose of psychology and you've got a great read. If you liked Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon this is for you. I love this book. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson - Book Review

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$17.99
ISBN: 9781681198590
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury YA - November 6th, 2018

This is the perfect book for Samhain (Halloween) or for anyone who loved the Raven Quartet by M. Stiefvater, This is the first (of many I hope) for author Watson. The Wren Hunt is dark and faeire like (not necessarily the pretty or nice faeries either.) This about the wars within of the "Draoi" ie. Druid society; set in contemporary Ireland but based on the ancient tradition and song of the Wren Boys. It is also about becoming comfortable in your own skin from the point of view of Wren, a young woman dealing with truths, lies, love and treachery on many fronts. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey - Book Review

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The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780544800885
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 17th, 2018

History is often viewed through the mythology of the winner, in the Darkening Age Catherine Nixey turns the popular history of the rise of Christianity on itself. The romance of how early Christianity saved "Ancient Knowledge" is thoughtfully & graphically deconstructed. Nixey shows us the horror and disbelief of several classical authors. Echoes that reverberate today. History does repeat itself & sometimes it is hard to discern our own places within it. While not wholly critical in her analysis, Nixey brings to the general public lively & engaging research that is often only discussed in academia. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


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