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...and welcome to the website for Raven Books, Blackrock. You'll find a variety of books, book-related news, a posting celebrating writers and writing, and plenty of suggestions for what to read next.  We hope you enjoy browsing! (This site is best viewed using Firefox)

December 7th

Today is the birthday of Noam Chomsky, born in Philadelphia in 1928.  Widely considered to be the father of modern linguistics, he is also renowned as a political dissident and a libertarian socialist intellectual.  He began developing his theory of generative grammar - that there is a universal grammar innate to the human brain - in the 1950s, producing Syntactic Structures (1957) which is now regarded as one of the most important texts in linguistics.  Chomsky's approach to the study of language has altered the philosophy of language and mind, and contributed to the cognitive revolution in psychology.

Chomsky's political activism found root in opposition to the Vietnam War.  He says his "personal visions are fairly traditional anarchist ones, with origins in The Enlightenment and classical liberalism."  A prominent, outspoken critic of US foreign and domestic policy, he has published over seventy political books many of which have posed controversial views unpopular with the US Administration.  Though he has often stated that there is no connection between his linguistic work and his political views, Powers & Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature & the Social Order  examined the relationship between language, human nature and foreign policy.

Currently Reading

The Dark Is Rising,
Susan Cooper

Itís Christmas-time in the Stanton family house: presents, carol singing, good cheer. But for eleven-year-old Will Stanton something sinister has begun, inching round his subconscious, shouting silent warnings he canít decipher. Then on Midwinter Day Will wakes up to a different world Ė silent, covered in snow and ancient forest, a world of another time. A world where evil lurks.

Because Will is not the ordinary boy he always thought he was. He is the last of the Old Ones and the power to vanquish the evil magic of the Dark lies within him.

The Snow Merchant

This is why I love Twitter: a few Fridays ago I tweeted that my #FridayReads was Sam Gayton's The Snow Merchant which I was thoroughly enjoying and anticipated choosing for our boys bookclub. .. read on

And I Quote...
The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame ~ Oscar Wilde

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our favourite authors, Kent Haruf. Here you can read a recent piece of his writing in the current issue of Grant Magazine.

A selection of writers and critics choose their favourite books of 2014 for The Irish Times.

The New York Times has released their Top 100 Books of 2014.

  Poetry Corner

Interior Portrait
Rainer Maria Rilke

You don't survive in me
because of memories;
nor are you mine because
of a lovely longing's strength.

What does make you present
is the ardent detour
that a slow tenderness
traces in my blood.

I do not need
to see you appear;
being born sufficed for me
to lose you a little less.

Translated by A. Poulin

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