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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Thursday, 24 July 2008

I don't know when I can go downtown these days without returning with a book of some sort. This evening it was Yasmina Khadra's bestselling but disturbing novel The Attack. Its fictitious plot is narrated by the main protaganist, an Israeli Arab doctor who tends to patients severely injured by and decapitated at the hands of a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv.

The Attack was recently nominated for Dublin's International Impac Literary Prize, one of the most lucrative book prizes there is. Long after the winner had been announced, the shortlisted titles continue to be promoted and sold with a seriousness here in Irish bookshops. I think this to be a very good thing.

I have just finished a pocketbook classic detailing Mary Kingsley's travels into West Africa. Written over a 100 years ago, The Congo and the Cameroons forms part of Penguin's Great Journey series.

I am especially excited about the Man Booker longlist this year, to be announced on July 29. I feel that there will be some strong contenders dominating the list this time round and selection will prove difficult. I know I'll splurge on all the titles if I haven't bought and read some of them already. The other time, I'd probably go broke is when the start of September releases scores of new autumn titles.

I am consumed by books....their overwhelming charm and seductive power. My greedy purchases increase by the day and it's still all never enough.

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