As a bookseller, I try to be aware of all the new books coming out; as a reader, it is a huge delight to see how many of them are by brilliant Irish writers, both debut and veteran. To celebrate Irish Book Week, these are some of my favourites this year – there is a mixture of fiction, memoir and young adult titles as that is what I mostly read. Hope you find some books here to whet your appetite for reading!
All our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue – vividly written, engaging YA read with school misfit Maeve stumbling on an old pack of tarot cards and using her readings to become popular. Until a strange card turns up, the reading goes wrong, and her once best friend disappears. Contemporary Ireland has never seemed so hip!
To Star the Dark by Doireann Ni Ghriofa – a deeply intimate book that speaks of time and family and the evanescence of life, these are beautiful and deeply moving poems.
Holding Her Breath by Eimear Ryan – a stunning debut novel with such clean, fluid prose that reading it is effortless. I had read halfway through before I was aware!
I Want to Know That I Will Be Okay by Deirdre Sullivan – sharply tender short stories that delight and dazzle; both tender and terrifying. One of my books of the year!
Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth – a funny, heart-warming YA read as Aideen struggles with family, school, friendship and an unexpected crush by solving other peoples’ problems…while ignoring her own.
Corpsing by Sophie White – with writing that is raw and nakedly honest, but also very funny and life-affirming, the author bares herself to us as she struggles with death, life, mental health issues and addiction. Absolutely compelling stuff.
Savage her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan & Karen Vaughan – a darkly lyrical and powerful slantwise take on one of our most ancient myths.
Actress by Anne Enright – beautifully written tale laced with bone dry humour; a subtle, acerbic yet tender examination of a complicated but loving relationship.
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – a spellbinding book with uncanny echoes to the present; over the course of a weekend, three women’s lives are irrevocably changed by meeting one another during the 1918 Pandemic in a Dublin hospital.
OK, Let’s do your Stupid Idea by Patrick Freyne – found myself wheezing helplessly with laughter with one chapter, damp-eyed and moved by the next. Wonderful essay memoir.