Monthly Archives: December 2012

Unsung Heroes – Our Librarians

Or, at best untunefully sung and, on occasions, out of tempo.

Therefore, the proprietors of the Alibi Library would like in this post to pay homage to a comrade in quills. The library could not possibly offer the assistance it does without the help of a close circle of friends and fellow enthusiasts. In particular, they would like to acknowledge the tireless work of friend and librarian, Julian6, and recommend his literary critiques to a wider audience. That said, Julian’s reviews have already been published by such dizzyingly celestial bodies as the Guardian Culture section online. And he has, indeed, been influential in bringing to the attention of the staff at these premises, works that have had a profound influence on the collection through his broad array of interests; Music, Writing, Reading, Movies, Softball , Birdwatching. In turn, Julian6 has borrowed and read from the collection of The Alibi Library.


An example of his fine reviewing can be found below:

James Kelman – How Late It Was, How Late

This book follows the troubled progress of an unemployed builder inhabiting the rougher parts of Glasgow. At the very beginning he is beaten up by the police and ends up in a police cell. He is later released but has apparently gone blind due to the ill treatment he endured. Much of the book follows his stumbling odyssey around Glasgow trying to survive. It is a very introspective work delivered in broad Glaswegian vernacular which actually far from being tedious is alive with drama thanks to the sustained brilliance of Kelman’s monologues and dialogues. Later in the book doubts and confusions emerge about what really happened to Sammy the builder and his past proves grimmer and more shady than it appeared at the beginning. The real strength of this work is the honesty and dramatic truth of Sammy’s inner life which is the book’s primary concern. The almost unreal stoicism he exhibits when confronting his blindness. No matter how grim his past may be and how culpable he is for the position he finds himself in – we tend to side with him as is often the case in works where the anti-hero is so direct and acute in his self-knowledge. Someone who knows themself remains stubbornly human even at their least attractive moments. The conclusion is especially moving although the dark clouds remain.


Visit his link on:


Last Minute Christmas Shopping


The Matilda Project


. The Alibi Library has always been particularly fond of this blog whose mission statement reads:

I’ll scour the world and London, my adopted hometown and the greatest city in the galaxy, by the way (yeah that’s right, take that Martian metropolises) for the little independent bookshops that smell of paper and sell you not just a book, but a little piece of human history.   Every week, no matter where in the world my crazy nomadic lifestyle takes me, I’ll share a new indie bookshop.

Every week one is able to find a scrupulously detailed review of a trusty book seller accompanied by artistically pleasing photography of their premises. Furthermore, to enhance your book shopping experience, a handy map is provided, indicating the location of all the fabulous bookshops reviewed. Indeed the Alibi Library has some ambition to become the first fictional library or book shop reviewed therein.

This week the site beseeches its followers verily:

So friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears and let me beseech you to do me a favour.  If you have a couple of Christmas gifts left to buy, please please consider buying books for your loved ones; they’re the present that never goes out of style!  And please, if you would, make the effort to do it in a bricks and mortar bookshop.  If it’s a nice and friendly local independent one, well then all the better.

And the Alibi Library would like to second this plea.

Bloomsday Survival Kit

The Alibi Library would like to recommend from the Bloomsday Survival Kit:


The guide offers grateful readers the chance to pass unobtrusively through Dublin´s fair streets on this most auspicious of days in the Dublin calendar.


 It offers a range of guises and strategies for survival.


Jimmy Bloom takes time out to send a subliminal message to Blazes Boylan.

The guide can be found at:

The Bloomsday Survival Kit at: