All tagged Ireland

Stream-It Saturday: Moone Boy (TV)

In my continuing selfless service to the world (ahem), I'm always looking for the next awesome thing to stream. And, of course, I must share my finds with you fabulous folks. Hence, Stream-It Saturday. 

This week's streaming choice is my beloved Moone Boy, shown in the U.S. exclusively via streaming on Hulu and broadcast in the U.K. on Sky. 

Here's the deal. Moone Boy is a bit... bonkers.

But in the cutest, most endearing way. I swear!

It's loosely based on Irish cutie-pie Chris O'Dowd's childhood in a small town of Boyle, in Ireland. The main characters are 12-year old Martin Moone and his imaginary friend, played by O'Dowd, Sean Murphy. The two get in all sorts of capers and scrapes while Martin deals with life in his charmingly crazy family.

Moone Boy was one of my favorite new shows last year (along with The Mindy Project and Orange is the New Black) and it's back for another season on Hulu in about a week. If you haven't watched it, you've missed out on something special. 

15 Reasons You Should Stream Moone Boy Immediately

{List-O-Rama} Five Fantastic Books About Ireland

Cobh, Ireland; Photo by Flickr user asoltani, Creative Commons licensed.

I (like many of you, I’m sure) was saddened by the news of Irish author Maeve Binchy’s death last week.

I read all of her books that my public library had after the movie based on her book Circle of Friends came out in 1995. The month I spent glomming on her books is probably one of the reasons that two years later I spent half a year living in Cork, Ireland and then returned to Ireland for my graduate degree in Dublin (I still love Cork more than Dublin, for the record). In grad school, much of my focus was on Irish women’s literature (though I was always in trouble for studying the “wrong” people and considering some male writers as as important in terms of the depiction women in the literature of modern Ireland… *sigh*) and Irish lit is an interest of mine.

So, instead of list of non-fiction sports books I was planning on recommending today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite books about Ireland—no worries, Angela’s Ashes is not among them. 

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Though I think some of her other books are “better,” this was the one that led to my reading all of her books, so it has a special place in my heart. If you’ve only seen the movie (why isn’t this streaming anywhere?), you’re missing a whole lot of this story, because the book starts well before the main characters start university in 1950s Dublin. I will say that looking back, one of the things that’s striking to me is that this novel is set in the 50s, and I first went to Dublin in the mid-90s and it wasn’t all that different from what’s described in this book. Now, it’s a very modern, very European city—it’s remarkable how quickly that city transformed. 

{Review} Come See About Me by C.K. Kelly Martin

Love is real and real love lasts. I used to feel sorry for people who didn’t believe in it—the people who were lonely with someone else or lonely alone. For awhile I was was one of the lucky ones.

C.K. Kelly Martin, who’s written several marvelous young adult novels, couldn’t find a traditional publisher for her first book for adults, Come See About Me.

According to Martin, no one knew how to market a novel with a 20 year old protagonist. Come See About Me certainly isn’t a teen novel, it’s mature and addresses themes that are not seen in the YA category. And since “Adult” fiction typically features older narrators, not a recent college dropout, it couldn’t be marketed as “Adult.” Essentially, a marketing problem* prevented this novel from hitting bookstore shelves. 

This is absolutely perplexing to me.

Luckily for us, Martin couldn’t keep to herself the story of Leah, a young woman who’s life has wholly stalled following the death of her boyfriend, Bastien, who was killed while crossing the street in Toronto. She flakes on her job, fails out of school, hides from her friends and family—she can’t move forward because of the loss. She wants to be alone with her memories and sadness over what should have been, over their lost future together.

Alone is what’s easier. Everyone else would prefer that I pretend my life hasn’t been hollowed out. They believe their expectations should carry some weight with me. Only Bastien truly carries any weight and people try to use that fact against me too and tell me what he would want for me. Some of the things they say about that might be right, but since he’s not here he doesn’t get to decide how I should handle his absence.

The early chapters, in which Leah recounts her relationship with Bastien, were incredibly difficult for me to read. The two went to high school in British Columbia together, though they weren’t even friends—acquaintances is a better description—and connected later, when they both went to college in Toronto. Their love was the forever sort, not the college dating temporary sort.

Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is a favorite of Urban Fantasy fans—and I can see why—but I was left both intrigued and frustrated.

The Fever series has been recommended to me by a number of folks, most recently Tatiana of The Readventurer and Goodreads fame, who answered my desperate plea for a good adult read (I get sucked into the YA rabbit-hole easily). Darkfever follows southern bell, aspiring Barbie MacKayla (Mac) as she travels to Ireland to pressure the local authorities to further investigate her sister’s murder. She stumbles into a hidden side of Dublin, and eventually (albeit under duress) teams up with the mysterious Jericho Barrons. Together, they seek out the seediest of Dublin’s fae underbelly while Mac discovers her own unique abilities.

The world, atmosphere and setting in Darkfever is top-notch.