You by Irish short-story writer and poet, Nuala Ní Chonchúir.
Colm Tóibín recently described the day he arrived at Princeton to teach: he was feeling stressed and harried until he reached into his pocket and felt his pen ... and an immediate softening of the self—the way he imagines a nun feels when she fingers her rosary beads. I was feeling a bit harried and headless-chicken myself the other day until I picked up Nuala Ní Chonchúir's You (which I was originally saving for the flight home this weekend), and I felt that same, immediate softening of the self as it pulled me in.
Exhale ... It's okay now.
I crawled into the arms of this beautifully written first novel and into the comforting and familiar world (I was also a "Miss Prim" as a kid) of this sensitive and charming pre-teen girl, and her dysfunctional, working-class Dublin family. You is captivating and memorable, lyrical and poetic (like every Dubliner I've ever met!), and heartwarming and heartbreaking—actually, I imagine heart-warmed and heart-broken is exactly how I'll be feeling tonight when I finish it. I want everyone to read it so I'll definitely be picking up a few copies for friends when I'm home. Note: I ran into a friend on the train the other night, and as she was getting off at her stop she commented that she hadn't wanted to interrupt me because I was so engrossed in whatever I was reading. Apparently, I was smiling, sighing, and then stroking the cover when I stopped reading. Needless to say, she has first dibs on reading it next!
I featured knitwear designer Charlotte Hess of Isobel and Cleo here a while back and I recently got an email from Charlotte with the update that since then, she has been awarded funding from the Scottish Arts Council, moved back to Philadelphia to work as a sweater designer for an international company, and most recently was selected as a semi-finalist in the Emerging Designers Competition in Charleston Fashion Week (CFW), to be held March 22-27. Hess is using Kickstarter as a way to raise some of the funds necessary to finish her collection and get to CFW. If you'd like to support an amazing young designer, the Arts, the economy, and someone's hopes and dreams, check out her project here and chip in a few bucks before Monday so she can reach her goal of $4,500.
Ham Sandwich - The Naturist by tigger_sinclair
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Have a great weekend!