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Mr Ulster

Working for a cohesive Northern Ireland society

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books

Review: Une Visit chez Magritte (Duane Michals)

René Magritte was the first artist that I identified with -- particularly his sense of humour yet thought provoking presentations of surrealism. One of my favourites paintings of his -- and one of his more famous ones -- is Ceci... Continue Reading →

Review: Women of Vision (National Geographic)

Women of Vision accompanies a travelling exhibition of the same title, curated by National Geographic. Both celebrate the work of eleven inspiring female photojournalists, featuring nearly 100 images, ranging from social issues, effects of war, and changes in our natural... Continue Reading →

Review: British Life Photography Awards: Portfolio 1

The British Life Photography Awards: Portfolio 1 is a catalogue book of the winners and finalists of an inaugural event "to capture and share" the perspectives of photographers from all walks of life. The inspiration for the contest comes from... Continue Reading →

Review: World Atlas of Street Photography (Jackie Higgins)

I have not studied photography formally, but take solace that many of the 100 photographers featured in this thorough volume of the urban landscape and its people have learned their craft from the harsh realities of the street. Nevertheless I... Continue Reading →

Review: Frank Browne: A Life through the Lens (David and Edwin Davison)

God can sanctify photography. With a poem by Pope Leo XIII, Colin Ford explains the basis for how Irish Jesuit Frank Browne acquired a camera from his bishop uncle, at the age of 17, and kept making images throughout his... Continue Reading →

Review: Time to Fly (Neil O’Brien)

I had the pleasure of meeting Neil O'Brien at a NI Biz Camp event in Belfast, April 2013. I immediately liked his sense of humour: "Sending me to a relaxation course is stressing me out!" Yet behind his Irish wit... Continue Reading →

Review: Coffee with Jesus (David Wilkie)

I came across Coffee with Jesus on a display table at the front of a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Just as well, as I doubt I would have perused the religion section to discover it. Coffee with Jesus originated online,... Continue Reading →

Review: A Week at the Airport (Alain de Botton)

Perhaps poignantly after just returning from a long and splendid transatlantic Christmastime holiday, and getting back into routine in the return to work, I finished Alain de Botton's book, A Week at the Airport. A Week at the Airport is... Continue Reading →

Review: Touching Distance (James Cracknell)

Reading this book was always going to have a special meaning to me, as my wife had a stroke about two years ago. Like James and Bev, my wife and I are writing a book together about our experience. We... Continue Reading →

Breadboy book launch

Breadboy is Tony Macaulay's sequel to Paperboy, growing up as a young teenager in Shankill, West Belfast. I was delighted to be invited to the book launch, having also been to the one for Paperboy, three years ago. Like then,... Continue Reading →

Review: Religion for Atheists

Alain de Botton proposes applying what has worked for religions to a more appealing atheism, in his book Religion for Atheists. He admits that a coherent theory will not be done in a single, short volume such as he has... Continue Reading →

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

Somehow I escaped reading this essential school text, with its story of racism in 1930s American South. Living in Northern Ireland, I draw parallels with sectarianism, with its similar bigotry and prejudice. To Kill a Mockingbird was part of a... Continue Reading →

Discussing e-books on BBC Radio Ulster Saturday Magazine

You never know where a blog posting will end up -- on the back of my praise for Libraries NI making available e-books for loan via the Overdrive mobile application, I was asked to participate in a discussion on BBC... Continue Reading →

Borrowing e-books from Belfast Central Library

Well, the ability to borrow e-books from any public library in Northern Ireland somehow missed me. I only discovered this via an article in the magazine Tap!, in a review of the iPhone app Overdrive. It's genius. But you will... Continue Reading →

Review: Paperboy (Tony Macaulay)

Tony Macaulay is a respected professional community relations and youth worker based in Belfast. For example, he has written independently, "A discussion paper proposing a five phase process for the removal of 'peace walls' in Northern Ireland". This book is... Continue Reading →

Paperboy book launch

Went to the launch of first book by Tony Macaulay, Paperboy, at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. Paperboy is a memoir of Macaulay's experiences as a young paperboy growing up in the Shankill Road in the 1970s. Good crowd of his... Continue Reading →

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