Book reviews: recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest
– Aliah O’Neill
($23.95 / 149 pages/ The Collins Press/Dufour Editions)
Coffee Table Books
E. Charles Nelson’s An Irishman’s Cuttings: Tales of Irish Gardens and Gardeners, Plants and Plant Hunters is a collection of essays full of entertaining stories of gardeners and the plants close to their hearts. The term “an Irishman’s cutting” traditionally refers to a plant sample with roots that have formed well before being separated from its host plant, making it more likely to thrive as a new plant. Nelson considers each tale included in this book a cutting of a different sort, indicating the deep Irish roots of the gardeners and their stories. Each selection is drawn from The Irish Garden magazine, for which Nelson has written since 1992. Covering topics from historical botanic enthusiasts of the 1800s to an Irish girl who wrote murder mysteries with horticultural twists taking place in Irish gardens. Nelson’s book is filled with gorgeous photographs and delicate illustrations that make An Irishman’s Cuttings an ideal gift for any plant lover.
– Kara Rota
($54.95 / 224 pages / The Collins Press/Dufour Editions)
Dublin Zoo: An Illustrated History by Catherine de Courcy follows the fascinating history of the beloved Dublin Zoo from its beginnings in 1830 as a private society for anatomists and physicists, supported by wealthy subscribers, to its current status garnering more than 900,000 visitors a year with a professional zoo team contributing to international animal conservation programs. Split into chapters covering every few decades of the zoo’s history, including “Expansion and War,” “Growth and Decline” and “Radical Change,” de Courcy’s hefty book is filled with incredible full-page photographs of the animals that make the Dublin Zoo a top-notch destination for families centuries after its advent.
– Kara Rota
($34.95 / 368 pages / The Collins Press/Dufour Editions)
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