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Short Non-fiction

Books are not Dead Things

Recently, I visited a café in south county Dublin and noticed that the walls were decorated with shelves chock-full of books. Piles of them, literally, ten and twelve high in some places. They were all hardbacks of a certain era – 1940s/50s…

The Open Book: J.R.R. Tolkien

I was twelve when I finished reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It had taken me a year to the day and as soon I closed the cover on those adventures I cried like a five year old. I was distraught that there wasn’t more. Harry Potter had…

The Open Book: Marcel Proust

It’s really difficult to write or talk about Proust without coming across as a pretentious and irrelevant toolshed. ‘Proust scholar’ has become a pop culture shorthand for the most useless type of individual imaginable. Without even being…

The Open Book: Hugh Howey

When the idea for the Open Book series was suggested, I really didn’t have to do a lot of thinking about who my favourite author is. What some might find odd about my choice as a sci-fi reviewer, is that the author I picked is a relatively…