Rosepoint Reviews – March Recap—It’s Spring? Did we miss the memo?

Rosepoint Review Recap-March-Hello April!

March is typically a radical mix of warm to freezing with another blast of snow. I’m content to look out the window and note the grass is turning green again, the trees are trying to bud out. The deer came in and I swear they must have sat on my Magnolia tree, broke the main trunk and branches back to about a foot tall (it was just over 3). Damn does.

April will be very busy with a visit from my daughter, granddaughter, and new great-grandbaby boy. So excited to see the little guy, born last November and already teething. Mercy! My daughter was later than that but walking at nine months. (She skipped the crawling phase; once she pulled herself up it was all over.) We’ll be exchanging visits to southern Illinois and they up here, so we are very excited to see them.

March, of course, #readingirelandmonth22, and I participated with a number of selections, many suggested by the host of the all things Irish celebration, Cathy at 746Books. You will find a wealth of titles to investigate.

Between the CE and I, we read and/or listened to seventeen books for March, some from NetGalley, but more from my local library as that is where I get most of my audiobooks.

The Paris Network by Siobhan Durham The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly Hope Island by Jackie Elliott Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paris Network by Siobhan Curham (audiobook)
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay (a CE review)
Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly (CE review-Reading Ireland Month)
 Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles (Reading Ireland Month)
Pieces of Her (vs audiobook) by Karin Slaughter
Second Chance by Mike Faricy (Reading Ireland Month)
Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery (Reading Ireland Month)
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Reading Ireland Month)
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (audiobook-Reading Month)
The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan (a CE review-Reading Ireland Month)
The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly (Reading Ireland Month)
Hope Island by Jackie Elliott
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (audiobook-Reading Ireland Month)
Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe (a CE review)
Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne (audiobook-Reading Ireland Month)
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry (audiobook-Reading Ireland Month)
Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)

 

Reading Challenges

March, so much going on but think I’ve about got my challenge page caught up.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m four books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 48. Slow progress on the NetGalley Challenge in March as I participated heavily in the #readingirelandmonth22 challenge with eleven novels by Irish authors, of Irish ancestry, or about Ireland.

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

As I mentioned last month, the second reading choice of the year is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee an all-round awesome Historical Fiction, and a favorite of mine last year. Since I’ve already read it and participate in discussion, I’m waiting now for the next one, which will be The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, published in March 2021, and another Goodreads Choice nominee. Have you read this one? I confess, first time I’ve seen the title. LMK if you liked it, please.

The first quarter flew by and I’d resolved to try and narrow down my favorites this year. I had several in January, including The Golem and the Jinni, a couple in February including The Lincoln Highway, and several again in March, including A Ladder to the Sky (audiobook for March). And the winner for the first quarter:

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Kept me glued to my earbuds, stunned by the prose, shocked by the cunning morality of the protagonist. Resonated well after I shut off the audio.

I hope you’ve seen a title here that beckons to you and I’d love it if you let me know in the comments. Welcome to my new followers and a hardy thank you to those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. I do so appreciate you!!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a great weekend!

Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir by Gabriel Byrne- #Audiobook Review – #biographies

Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir by Gabriel Byrne

Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne

A Reading Ireland Month book 4 leaf clover w leprechan

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Biographies & Memoirs

Book Blurb:

When award-winning actor, producer, and international icon Gabriel Byrne was a young boy, his grandmother brought him to the cinema for the first time. There, Byrne fell in love with the transporting power of the big screen. Growing up in 1950s and 60s Dublin within a family of eight, Byrne’s formative childhood years were both carefree and challenging, spent between home, the church, school, and the streets of his ever-changing city where he observed that some of the greatest actors and entertainers could be found in the lives of those around him. 

In captivating, funny, and sensual prose that brings to life the myriad voices of his youth, Byrne recounts his first formative 12 years – morning routines with his father, a barrel-maker at the Guinness factory; his debut role in a nativity play; his relationship with his dynamic mother; and his years at a seminary where he studied to be a priest. Interspersed throughout this engrossing childhood story we see Byrne’s ascent to global stardom, from his days acting in amateur drama groups in London, to his first big role opposite Richard Burton, his arrival at the Cannes stage for his breakout hit movie, The Usual Suspects, to the HBO show In Treatment for which he won a Golden Globe.    

Combining the cinematic power of Fellini’s Amarcord with the poignance of John McGahern’s writing, Walking with Ghosts is both a moving exploration of the pathos in what it means to be famous and a singular account of Irish boyhood.

My Review:

Oh my goodness, this good-looking Irishman would have turned my head, but add a beautifully written book full of prose, emotional memories, and a sense of humor as well and he has also stolen my heart.

The descriptive writing style pulls a reader in quickly and my problem with listening to the narration of his own audiobook is that I didn’t have a way to highlight passages. Probably, a good thing, as there are quietly related anecdotes, humorous thoughts, as well as painful memories delivered in a sensitive and contemplative manner, and not everything that resonates can be quoted.

Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel ByrneThe man relates some soul-crushing experiences as well as unabashed astonishment at his rising popularity; sincerely self-deprecating.

There are intense moments (as he relates his time with the seminary) as well as the lighter flashes of the acting years spent rising to stardom and brushing elbows with major cinema notables though this is certainly not a name-dropping tell all.

Of course, there is the on-going story of his struggle with alcoholism and depression that appears to have controlled much of his life, cementing the stereotype of the Irish males.

The storytelling is not chronological, though he does spend time on his childhood, imparting tales of his parents and his lack of confidence or machismo. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, he collected a number of ghosts along the way and he appears to have come to terms with most of them. The lovely Irish brogue-infused narrative alternates somber thoughts to the amusing, which he apparently also appreciates kept him plowing through, one foot in front of the other, eventually to come to terms with it all and settle in peace.

A biography audiobook you’ll want to pick up if for nothing else than to hear that triumph over all that can be achieved by even the most humble of us.

Book Details:

Genre: Cultural & Regional Biographies, Biographies of Celebrities & Entertainment Professionals, Rich & Famous Biographies
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
ASIN: B08NTW1BND
Listening Length: 6 hrs 57 mins
Narrator: Gabriel Byrne
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Walking with Ghosts [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Gabriel Byrne - author
Gabriel Byrne – actor-author

The Author: GABRIEL BYRNE was born in Dublin and has starred in over eighty films for some of the cinema’s leading directors. He won a Golden Globe for his performance on HBO’s In Treatment. On Broadway, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and has been nominated twice for the Tony Award. He lives in Manhattan and Maine. [Amazon]

Born the eldest of six children to Roman Catholic parents, Byrne is an acclaimed actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and author, narrator of his own biography. Byrne spent five years in a seminary (now an atheist), worked in archaeology, cook, and teacher before starting to act at the age of 29. He was married to Ellen Barkin from 1988 to 1999, and to Hannah Beth King in 2014. They have a daughter born in 2017 and as of 2021 live in Rockport, Maine. [Wikipedia]

©2022 V Williams – V Williams

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