Book Thirty Four

Book Thirty Four 2014: 

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks


This isn’t the first time I’ve read the always fascinating Dr. Oliver Sacks. I, like many others, started reading him after the movie Awakenings and in the intervening years I’ve made my way through Awakenings itself, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, The Mind’s Eye and now Hallucinations.

It does exactly what it says on the tin and deals with the nature of how and why the human brain hallucinates, talks about why it’s mostly not in people with mental illness but how it happens to so many people and just generally dissects it in a way I hadn’t thought about before.

How much you like this will depend on your interest in the human brain and neurological conditions; mine is fairly infinite. His section on hallucinations in epilepsy is particularly right up my street, obviously.

He’s very much in my “I’d read anything by him” category.

To All The Beers I’ve Loved Before…

A while back I wrote a very, very brief post about some craft beers I’d tried and liked. I’d be no good at actually telling you what they were like, I just took pictures of the labels and stuck them out there…

It’s been a while so here’s is more of the same. Mostly Irish, all worth your time:

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The last one is draft, as you can see. Tried it on a trip to DNS, swung by Mulligan’s in Stoneybatter. Lovely spot, many, many craft beers on tap and not a tap with Guinness, Heineken or Carlsberg in sight.

Brave. Liked it.

Same deal as last time –  anything else you think is worth a go? Drop me a comment, tweet @rickoshea or mail

Book Thirty Three

Book Thirty Three 2014: 

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks


I first read The Wasp Factory….. I was going to estimate an actual date there but it was donkey’s year ago. Sometime in the 90s. I remember being blown away by it then (it was the first Iain or Iain M. Banks I had read) and it was thrilling to find out, all these years later, that it was just as incredible as I remembered it.

It’s dark, vicious, empty, dangerous, brave and an incredible story of the growing up of one very, very different 16 year old boy on a Scottish island.

You should read the story of how it came to be his first published novel after years of rejections.

If I had to pick a list of my favourite ten books I had ever read, this would be in it.

The Missing Links – Issue 2


The idea of The Missing Links is to stick together in one place at the weekend all of the things that you might have missed me rabbit on about during the week.


1 – This will feel like you should be a better person. Giving care packs to homeless people…

2 – First comment on this American’s picture of the Cliffs Of Moher? MWAH!

3 – Trailer time: Woody Allen has 2 upcoming movies – he’s acting in John Tuturro’s Fading Gigolo and directing his own Magic In The Moonlight.

4 – Two brand new book reviews this week – one nominated for the IMPAC, one a fluffy, fun love story.

5 – Read this – how to work more effectively by doing less (h/t to Mulley)

6 – The Pint Of Science Festival night I was honoured to MC this week was *huge* fun – take a look.

7 – TV pilots that didn’t make the cut this year including stuff with Ben Affleck, David Schwimmer, Tina Fey, Jamie Lee Curtis…

8 – This is why you need to go to Pitt Bros in Dublin. Pulled Pork Burger…

9 – A life philosophy I can live by, as found on Reddit.

10 – Last one of the week – a review from April of a brilliant thriller that’s only just out now – Sarah Lotz’s The Three.

Pitt Bros BBQ

I don’t recommend food stuff here very often (mainly because I don’t eat out in new places very often!) but last night on the way to Pint Of Science I tried somewhere that Cormac from the show has been raving about for ages – Pitt Bros on George’s Street.


My crap photo doesn’t do it justice.

The pulled pork burger was like magic in my mouth and the chips may be the best I have ever had. I don’t care what you cook them in and frankly I don’t want to know. Just keep doing them that way.

Fair enough, the bottle of O’Hara’s was over 5 quid which seemed a bit steep but the burger came with a free side so overall it was a very thrifty restaurant dinner.

I’ll be back to work my way through the menu.

Pint Of Science 2014

It was *vast* fun.

Thanks to Eva and everyone involved who asked me to be involved. They sold out every event at every venue.

There were pints, there was science.

Nothing too dangerous, apart from this.  Making graphene with a blender. I have one of those I make smoothies with…








If you like science, you missed out…


EDIT – These ones are by @pingulette – thanks for the shots! 



Book Thirty Two

Book Thirty Two 2014: 

Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer


I grabbed this straight after the lovely Maria Doyle Kennedy’s reading of the first part in Hodges Figgis on European Literature Night last week.

The setup is simple enough – a woman is trying to cancel a subscription by e-mail to a magazine. She mails an address that is one letter out and starts a long running correspondence with the man she accidentally befriends and then becomes something more to…

As with so much I’ve read this year I think I might have never picked this up based in the cover but after having heard the first section I was sufficiently intrigued to hear more (you’d be surprised of the power of a great voice reading text from a novel can have on its ability to leap of the page).

It’s an elongated short story really, an epistolary fable for the 21st century and a warm, interesting, slight diversion that I finished in a day. If you need a little off time from the heavy stuff I’d recommend this.

Only thing that sits strangely with me is that a sequel is due. I thought it ended perfectly…