Irish author, apparently working for the BBC. TV-series have been based on this and other books, though I have to admit I had never heard of him, nor seen any of these series. Basically it is fairly easy. He describes the life of a small Irish community, the way a lot of people imagine it to be. If that is the truth or not doesn't matter, it is funny to read. The characters are clear, the events are typical for a small community. There is humour in everything, though not laugh-at-loud-laughs, but more grin-on-your-face-while-reading funny.
67. Luciano de Crescenzo - Thus spake Bellevista
Brilliant book about one of my favorite cities: Napoli. Even though it is called Naples in this book, as I read the english translation, firstly because I bumped into this book in Auckland, where I swapped it, secondly beacuse my Italian wouldn't be up to scratch for it. Especially as some of it, left in the translation, is in Neapolitan, not proper Italian then. I'm still wandering how a city I only visited for 15 hours (of which I happen to be writing four, waiting for my train to leave, my very first travel story) has made so much impression on me. This book helped me understand the people a little. Professor Bellevista is a typical social philosopher. One everybody knows. The 'know it all' in the pub. The person the whole street comes to ask for advice in all kind of difficult matters. In the book he explains some typical Neapolitan phenomenon to his friends in half of the chapters. In the other chapters one can read an example of how it really is in practice. Brilliant theories are being unfolded, a lot of life's philosophies of the people of Naples should become obligatory law around the world. If you ever wanted to understand Italians in general, or Neapolitans in particular, this is the best book you can read. I have enjoyed reading it extremely much.
68. Dermot Bolger - In high Germany
Small one, cheap one. There are a couple of Irish authors in a series on sale at the moment in Australia. I chose this one as it offered to be about the time the main character went to Germany to see their national football (soccer for Americans and Australians) team. The book is the story told by the main person to his son, years later. His son being born in Hamburg, with a German mother. He knew he was about to become a father, the day the Irish had to play the Dutch, for a place in the semi-final. It is more the story of three friends growing up than about the sport itself. Quick read, the poems added in the book, to give it a bit more volume are superfluous in my opinion, but hey, who am I?