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Local libraries as popular as ever with 2019 top books revealed

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POPULAR BOOKS: Staff from Killarney Library, Eamon Browne, Kathleen Rice, Hazel Joy and Sabrina Horgan, pictured with some of the most popular books of 2019. Photo: Francis Foley

 

 

By Francis Foley

 

The digital age may be taking over, but the love of real books isn’t declining – in fact, according to Killarney Library, they’re just as popular as ever.

 

However, libraries are having to adapt to the modern digital age and are making allowances by developing online ordering, renewal and a wealth of online services.

 

“It is more than just books,” Killarney Librarian, Eamon Browne, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

 

All books can be ordered online and collected later, and for even more convenience there is a service that allows the lender to take the book back to any library in Ireland. Also, ebooks and audio editions are available to the public to cater for the modern local library, which of course is true judging by the list of the most popular books borrowed in 2019. And it is the coverage these books receive on digital media, television and film that leads to their demand at the local library, he explained.

 

The most popular books list for 2019 were:

Adult Non-Fiction: ‘The Official Driver Theory Test Book’

Michelle Obama, ‘Becoming’

Vicky Phelan, ‘Overcoming A Memoir’

 

Adult Fiction:          Christy Lefteri, ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen’s 'Aisling' books.

James Patterson, series of novels.

Margaret Atwood, ‘The Testament’ - Sequel to ‘The    Handmaid’s Tale’.

Heather Morris,’Cilka’s Journey’ – Sequel to ‘Tattooist of Auschwitz’.

Graham Norton, ‘A Keeper’

 

Children’s Titles:   Jeff Kinney, ‘Dairy of a Wimpy Kid’.

Dave Pilkey, ‘Dogman’

Judi Curtin, Irish children’s author, most titles.

J.K. Rowling, series of ‘Harry Potter’ books.

David Walliams’ series of books, most titles.

 

Topping the list in the non-fiction section may come as a surprise to some; ‘The Official Driver Theory Test Book’, both car and commercial truck editions. This can be explained because of their price and hopefully, because of their short period of use.

 

What also has a great influence on which books are most popular is what is trending on social media or in the news.

An example of this was Brexit and the border issue in the North of Ireland which lead to people wanting to find out more for themselves.

“Some books just fly off the selves because of trending such as, Graham Norton’s ‘A Keeper’ and Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’,” Eamon said.

 

When it comes to the children’s section, J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series of books is still popular as they find a new generation of readers, as does the works of Roald Dahl. There is also demand for new children’s authors such as David Walliams, ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’, and Jeff Kinney with, ‘Dairy of a Wimpy Kid’, he added.

“The services the modern local library supplies are important to the local community, and it’s a great thing to see.”

 

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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