All right, the blog is often accused of "knockin' Ireland".
That's not altogether true, of course, as only the things that are deemed bad about our little land get "knocked". Admittedly there are many such things.
One such thing that isn't, is Chapters on Parnell Street. Never mind its indigenous competitors Easons, Hodges Figgis, and Hughes & Hughes - or Waterstones from the land o'er the wave. Chapters is the best bookstore in Dublin.
I should point out at this juncture that I don't have shares in Chapters, nor have I received any dodgy brown envelopes, either real or insinuated. But if you're looking to get a couple of gifts for Christmas - and you're one of the unfortunate souls who gets drawn into all of that - or if you are just looking to get a couple of good reads for yourself, like moi, I really can't think of a better place.
As an example, I will cite the "Ultimate History of Porsche" hardback above. 208 colour glossy colour pages containing a comprehensive history of the German car manufacturer, whose founder gave us the famous - and once ubiquitous - VW Beetle, from whose rather humble lions spurted the present-day Porsche 911 Turbo S, with its 0-60mph time of 2.6 seconds (Road & Track Magazine test). Yours Sir/Madam, for €6.99. The book, I mean.
If you're not into automotive history - and I imagine many of you aren't - the store has plenty to offer by way of world, European and Irish history. R.F. Foster's "Modern Ireland 1600-1972 " found its way onto the Gombeen Nation recommended reading bookshelf, and Tony Crowley's "Wars of Words - The Politics of Language in Ireland 1537 - 2004" (Oxford University Press) can be picked up for a very democratic price there night now... one of the best books I have read in some time.
Even more so than the first-mentioned tome on Ferdinand's best. And that's saying something, for me.
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