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In The World is a Ball, critic and author John Doyle travels the world in pursuit of his first love - football. In dispatches from Italy to Ireland and from Buenos Aires to Bratislava, and between encounters with crazed taxi drivers and drunken fans dressed as leprechauns or in lederhosen, Doyle celebrates the evolution of soccer as a global phenomenon.
He begins his journey with the first game he saw in repressed 1960s Ireland - a match which left a lasting impression on him - and then skips through the decades to concentrate on football in the twenty-first century. Here he focuses on the World Cups of 2002 and 2006, the European Championships of 2004 and 2008, and the key games and teams involved in qualifying for the historic 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
With eyewitness accounts that are both hilarious and nostalgic, The World is a Ball brilliantly weaves together travelogue, match-reporting and compelling social history. It's an insightful and thought-provoking vision of the beautiful game which for some is more a religion than a sport: where colonized nations can triumph over their colonizers, the poor are rich in the pleasure of play, and for ninety minutes, anything seems possible.
Charlotte is hovering between life and death, but it's taken a coma for her to realize she's made a complete mess of her short time on earth. Not to mention the five precious dating years she's just wasted on the cheating, faithless James Kane.
But after a quick peek at the afterlife, she decides it's not all it's cracked up to be either. So, when she is offered the chance to go back to earth, this time as a fully fledged angel, she jumps at it. As always, there's a catch. The person she's assigned to watch over is ...a certain Mr James Kane. And this is where the fun really starts.
Well, just because she's passed on doesn't necessarily mean she's moved on, does it?
Ronan O'Gara is one of the greatest sportsmen Ireland has ever produced. A brilliant kicker both from the hand and at penalty goals, a sublime orchestrator of play from the out-half position he has made his own, and a cool head in the pressure-cooker of club and international rugby, the list of the Cork man's achievements goes on and on. The leading points scorer in Irish rugby history, the Six Nations and the Heineken Cup. The architect of two amazing Munster triumphs in Europe. The man whose last minute drop-goal sensationally won the Grand Slam in 2009, Ireland's first for 61 years.
In his candid, illuminating autobiography, O'Gara tells the story of those many on-field successes and, with brutal honesty, the darker days as well, most notably at the 2007 World Cup. He tells the inside story of Ireland's disappointments in France, and responds to the allegations about his personal life that made front-page news that autumn. Ronan O'Gara: My Autobiography is the unforgettable story of a rugby player at the top of his game, of a life lived to the full, and of a passionate and proud representative of the people of Cork and Ireland.
Stillness: A deep silence and quiet calm, bringing feelings of peace, solace, contentment and serenity.
You may need this book if you have ever felt afraid, unsure, anxious or uncertain...
You may need this book if you have ever had sleepless nights, feared the morning, faced
difficult decisions, felt worried about the future or craved an answer to life's many mysteries...
You may need this book to start to trust and accept, to forgive and let go, with love and peace.
In Stillness Through My Prayer, Sister Stan shares simple, profound and calming prayers that she herself uses to help her achieve Stillness - that most elusive and treasured state of mind.
Travel a road rich in possibilities and fraught with danger ...
Journalist Declan Lynch's journey begins with a deposit of €100 in an online betting account, kicking off an honest attempt to explore the mysterious allure of gambling. Braving Paddy Power, the Premiership and Belgian women's tennis tournaments on Eurosport, Lynch's darkly humorous diary entries reveal the strange logic behind the punt - and of course there's always the chance of winning a little free money along the way.
Drawing on the wise words of sages from Dostoevsky to Corleone to explain, justify and occasionally even excuse his predilection for a punt, Lynch offers a rare glimpse inside the mind of that ever-sanguine individual - the gambler.
Two guards; one nun; one judge.
When a letter containing a list of victims arrives in the post, PI Jack Taylor is sickened, but tells himself the list has nothing to do with him. He has enough to do just staying sane. His close friend Ridge is recovering from surgery, and alcohol's siren song is calling to him ever more insistently.
A guard and then a judge die in mysterious circumstances. But it is not until a child is added to the list that Taylor determines to find the identity of the killer, and stop them at any cost.
What he doesn't know is that his relationship with the killer is far closer than he thinks. And that it's about to become deeply personal.
Spiked with dark humour, seasoned with acute insights about the perils of urbanisation, and fuelled by rage at man's inhumanity to man, this is crime-writing at its darkest and most original.
Meet Ireland's new Taoiseach, Brian Cowen
Despite a high profile at the centre of Irish political life for more than twenty years, relatively little is known about our new leader. Just who is Brian Cowen?
The story begins in the village of Clara, Co. Offaly, where family, local life and the GAA were formative influences. The sudden and unexpected death of his father, Ber Cowen, Fianna Fáil TD for Laois Offaly, thrust a twenty-four year-old Cowen into the heart of Irish politics.
After an eight-year apprenticeship on the back benches, Cowen was appointed to his first ministerial position by Albert Reynolds and later went on to hold the senior cabinet positions of Health, Foreign Affairs and Finance. By the time of Bertie Ahern's resignation, Cowen's standing in the party was such that his election to the leadership of Fianna Fáil seemed inevitable. On 7 May 2008, Brian Cowen became Ireland's eleventh Taoiseach.
Here, for the first time, is a portrait of Brian Cowen which follows his remarkable life story, tracing the road to power from early childhood right up to his eventful early months in the office of An Taoiseach.
Tales of golfing stars and memorable moments from Ireland's best-loved golf correspondent.
In almost thirty years as Ireland's leading golf journalist, Dermot Gilleece has met and interviewed numerous heroes of the game.
Join Dermot on the course as he looks back over many wonderful years of golf with the greats - from Jack Nicklaus' first game on Irish soil, to sympathetic accounts of the declining skills of iconic golfers such as Seve Ballesteros. Packed with stories and insights about legends from Gene Sarazen, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods to, of course, 'Himself', Christy O'Connor Snr, Touching Greatness offers highlights from Dermot's much-loved column in the Irish Times, as well as more recent observations on the game. There are unmissable insights into illustrious characters from the amateur game, women's golf, Irish involvement in major team competitions like the Ryder Cup, and the history of Irish golfers in the Open, including the double Open and PGA Champion, Padraig Harrington.
At turns moving and funny, and always beautifully written, Dermot's tales bring you right onto the fairway as you soak up the very best stories from inside the world of competitive golf.
I warn society against the child who has been hurt
A tormented childhood in Letterfrack industrial school with the Christian Brothers left an enduring mark on Peter Tyrrell. Ignored by the authorities and distressed by his memories, he later burned himself to death on Hampstead Heath in London. His story of horrific abuse is told with childlike simplicity, penned in a series of letters to Senator Owen Sheehy Skeffington. Bringing to life, with touching sincerity, a shocking reality where beatings of children as young as five were commonplace, this startling account may have gone unpublished if not for its chance discovery amongst Skeffington's papers. At last, Peter Tyrrell has been given a voice.
Tyrrell never recovered from the abuse that he suffered, yet was determined that his story should be heard. His memoir makes for harrowing yet extraordinarily compelling reading. It is impossible not to be touched.
Cassandra never set out to be a psychic, least of all a famous one, with her very own magazine column, plus a glamorous TV slot thrown in for good measure. Let's face it, it's not exactly the usual career choice a girl might make, now is it? But whether she likes it or not, ever since Cassandra was a little girl she's been able to see into the future.
While she can make predictions with 100 per cent accuracy for everyone around her, her psychic gift floats right out the window whenever there's a D.S.M. (decent single man) around that she actually fancies herself especially when that D.S.M happens to be her hot, new TV producer boss.
It seems even being able to foretell the future can't protect Cassandra from what destiny has in store. and sometimes fate won't let you look before you love...
Most of us can remember a defining moment in our lives. A split second when time stood still and our lives changed forever. For Lily Ormond, that moment came late one night when she answered a knock on the door and discovered that while she'd been smashing garlic and rosemary and watching the soaps, her sister Alison had drowned.
Coming to terms with losing her only sibling and best friend was devastating, becoming a mother overnight to Ali's three-year-old son Charlie was mind-boggling, but discovering that her identical twin had been leading a secret life for years was almost Lily's undoing...
And so begins a journey linked with four men who'd been part of a life she hadn't even known existed. A journey that forces Lily to come to terms with a father who'd never really cared for her, a child who needs her too much and a sister who wasn't what she seemed.