Books

Book review: The Kindness

Polly Samson’s novel The Kindness is built around a family secret — the suicide of a beloved uncle. She tells Sue Leonard about it and what it’s like to write songs for her husband David Gilmour’s band Pink Floyd.

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Book review: The Shore

American Sara Taylor has, at 24, written a startling debut. Billy O’Callaghan discovers a writer eager to push the boundaries of fiction in a moving but frightening way.

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Book review: Aquarium

Caitlin, 12, lives alone with her mum Sheri in a subsidised housing complex by Seattle airport, a soulless zone of cargo transports and industrial units. 

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Book review: Greetings, Hero

BALANCING its outward perspective with an interrogatory approach to the secrets hidden in the human heart and mind, the 15 stories of Aiden O’Reilly’s very fine debut offer the reader a series of candid dispatches from a changing Europe.

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Book review: Weightless

BILLED as a book that’ll appeal to Mean Girls fans, I was expecting good things from Weightless. 

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Book review: The Whitstable Pearl Mystery

The title tells you all you need: our heroine — Pearl, naturally — runs a successful Whitstable restaurant.

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Book review: Something Coming Through

Paul McAuley’s 20th novel is the ultimate bailout narrative. Economic collapse, environmental destruction, terrorism, and political extremism have crippled the world, but help is here in the form of the Jackaroo. 

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Children’s books

Thank You, Jackson
by Niki and Jude Daly
(Frances Lincoln, €15.10 HB) 

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Book review: One of Us, The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

THERE are many times reading One of Usthat you have to stop. Where your stomach cramps. Where you have to catch a breath. Where tears well up and, sometimes, flow.

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Book review: The Buried Giant

WHAT a conundrum. What a bother. What a pickle and a palaver. Frankly, we need to talk about Kazuo.

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Book review: The Girl In The Red Coat

It can be hard to make an impact with a first novel, but Kate Hamer’s powerful thriller will certainly cement her name in the literature world.

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Book review: Before, During, After

RICHARD BAUSCH’s last novel, Peace, was a major critical success, and years ago novelist Richard Ford championed him by writing the introduction to Bausch’s terrific book of short stories, Aren’t You Happy For Me?

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Book review: Reasons To Stay Alive

IN an author’s note to his 2013 novel, The Humans, Matt Haig said it was partly a metaphor for his mental illness.

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Book review: The Temporary Gentleman

SEBASTIAN BARRY’S latest novel, his eighth (just published in paperback), opens with a bang: the World War II torpedoing of a ship carrying British officers to Africa.

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Book review: Langer Homicide

ANY book that manages to introduce a classic hard-boiled LA-based private investigator; a plea for help; as well as the expression “it’s fiercebad” in the first dozen pages is surely a good thing, like.

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Book review: Style

Critically acclaimed author, Joseph Connolly, presents a dystopian vision of a future in which celebrity and scandal become entwined.

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Children’s books

Finding A Voice
by Kim Hood (O’Brien €7.99)

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Book review: Weightless

Weightless
Sarah Bannan
Bloomsbury Circus, €19.50; Kindle, €9.06 

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Book review: Breadline Britain: The Rise Of Mass Poverty

Breadline Britain: The Rise Of Mass Poverty
Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack
Oneworld Publications, €14.99;
ebook, €15.98

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Book review: A Killing Winter

A Killing Winter
Tom Callaghan
Quercus, €20.85; ebook, €12.99

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Book review: The Heart of Man

The Heart of Man
Jón Kalman Stefánsson
MacLehose Press; €23.60

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Book review: The Fishermen

The Fishermen
Chigozie Obioma
One, £14.99; ebook, £4.19

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Book review: All Our Names

All Our Names
Dinaw Mengestu
Sceptre, £8.99; Kindle: £5.98

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Children’s books

Behind The Walls
by Nicola Pierce (O’Brien; €7.99)
The walls in question are those of Derry during the siege of 1689, and the story centres around the exploits of brothers Daniel and Robert Sherrard, as they strive to hold the city against the invading force of King James. 

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Book review: Neither Unionist Nor Nationalist: The 10th (Irish) Division in the Great War

Stephen Sandford Irish Academic Press, €24.95 
AMONG the great battles of World War I none was more sorrowful than Gallipoli. 

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Book review: A Shadow in the Yard

Liz McManus Ward River Press, €16.99; Kindle, €6.72
Liz McManus: “Retirement is blissful, it’s like being young again. “It was about civil rights, not nationalism 

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Book review: Melnitz

Charles Lewinsky Atlantic Books, €20.99; ebook, €12.53
Hailed by critics as Switzerland’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude, this epic family saga, from Swiss author and screenwriter, Charles Lewinksy, is finally published in English — nine years after its original release in German.

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Book review: Arab Jazz

Karim Miske Translated by Sam Gordon MacLehose, €20.99; ebook, €12.99
This French thriller is a timely tale of religious extremists and corrupt cops running up against each other in inner-city Paris.

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Book review: The Laughing Monsters

Denis Johnson Harvill & Secker, €15.99; ebook, €10.99
ROLAND Nair, a former NATO spy apparently reactivated, arrives in Freetown, the sweltering, crumbling capital of Sierra Leone, to meet a Ghanaian mercenary, Michael Adriko, who is an old adventuring comrade. 

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Book review: This Divided Island: Stories From The Sri Lankan War

Samanth Subramanian
Atlantic Books, £14.99; ebook, £5.99
Sri Lanka conjures up images of white beaches and blissful backpacker adventures. 

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Book review: Blue is the Night

Eoin McNamee Faber, €19.40
THERE’S A short line in Eoin McNamee’s Blue is the Night that could serve as a calling card for the trilogy it completes. 

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Book review: Second Life

SJ Watson
Doubleday, €14.50
AS THE title suggests, this is a psychological thriller based on a woman’s shadow life.

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Books for children

The World War Il Tales-the Apple Spy by Terry Deary (A&C BLACK €6.30)
Teacher Miss McLennan loves reading stories to her pupils, so when twins Jamie and Marie disrupt the class she sends them home. 

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Book review: Border Angels

by Anthony Quinn
Head of Zeus, £16.99

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Book review: The Utopia Experiment

by Dylan Evans
Picador, €15.99 

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Book review: Reading The World: Confessions Of A Literary Explorer

by Ann Morgan
Harvill Secker, £16.99;
ebook, £6.99

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Book review: Bark

by Lorrie Moore
Faber & Faber,
€10.99; email, €9.09

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Book review: Inherent Vice

by Thomas Pynchon
Vintage Books, £8.99;
Kindle: Not Available

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Book review: The Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson
Faber & Faber,
€22.50, ebook €8.47

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Book review: The Illuminations

by Andrew O’Hagan
Faber & Faber, €26.99;
ebook. €15.99

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Book review: The Village Effect

by Susan Pinker
Atlantic Books,
€18.99; ebook, €12.53

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Children’s books

The Dawn Chorus
written and illustrated by Suzanne Barton
(Bloomsbury; €8.80) 

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Book review: The Great Race

The Great Race
David Hill
Little, Brown, £25 

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Book review: Quite a Good Time to Be Born: A Memoir: 1935-1975

Quite a Good Time to Be Born: A Memoir: 1935-1975
David Lodge
Harvill Secker, €27.00

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Book review: Told Again

Walter de la Mare (with a new introduction by Philip Pullman)
Princeton University Press, £16.99; Kindle, £12.34

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Book review: Wayfaring Stranger

Wayfaring Stranger
James Lee Burke
Orion (€20.85, hb)

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Book review: Holy Cow

Holy Cow
David Duchovny
Headline, €29.50;
ebook. €7.49

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Book review: A Place For Us

A Place For Us
Harriet Evans Headline, €20.85;
ebook, €11.95

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Book review: Cameron’s Coup: How The Tories Took Britain To The Brink

Cameron’s Coup: How The Tories Took Britain To The Brink
Polly Toynbee and David Walker
Guardian Faber Publishing, €14.99;
ebook, €7.49

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Book review: Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again
Ben Elton
Bantam Press: €16.99;
Kindle, €3.58

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Books for children

The Hog, The Shrew And The Hullabaloo
by Julia Copus and Eunyoung Seo
(Faber and Faber; €8.80) 

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Book review: The Girl on The Train

Paula Hawkins tells Sue Leonard that the success of The Girl on The Train will allow her quit journalism.

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Book review: The Italians

Italy gave us the Roman empire and the Renaissance two of the most influential forces in European history. Has this legacy coloured Italians’ perception of themselves and their place in the world, wonders Marjorie Brennan.

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Book review: Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency
Paul Vigna and Michael Casey
Bodley Head, €22.35;
ebook €14.99

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Book review: Etta And Otto And Russell And James

Etta And Otto And Russell And James
Emma Hooper
Simon & Schuster, €29.50;
ebook €19.50

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Book review: Gone

Gone
Rebecca Muddiman
Mulholland Books, £13.99;
ebook £7.99

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Book review: Death Sentences

Edited by Otto Penzler
Head of Zeus, €29.80 HB

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Book review: The Room

Jonas Karlsson
Hogarth, €14.99;
ebook, €8.99

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Book review: A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread
Anne Tyler
Chatto & Windus, €15.99; ebook, €12.99

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Children’s books

Never Tickle A Tiger By Pamela Buchart (Bloomsbury; €8.80)
Hard Nuts Of History, Kings And Queens by Tracey Turner (A& C Black; €6.30)
The Binding by Jenny Alexander (Bloomsbury; €7.55) 

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Book review: The Bletchley Girls

Real secret of Bletchley were the girls who worked there, writes Hannah Stephenson.

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First Thoughts: An impressive book by Allie Murray

BOUNTIFUL, the début novel of Allie Murray, a native of County Waterford, now living in Rathcormac, elects to shine a light on the many deceits, conspiracies and undercurrents that tend to shape life in any number of Irish villages, says Billy O’Callaghan.

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Johnny Cash, from rags to rich

SINGER Johnny Cash burst onto the music scene in June, 1955, when his double A-side ‘Hey Porter’ and ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ reached no 14 in the US country charts.

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Julian Baggini challenges our beliefs about food

Julian Baggini’s mission is to make us think about what we eat and to learn more about it by exposing some of our absurd beliefs about food production, sourcing and cooking. Tony Clayton-Lea enjoyed the repast.

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Book review: Dead Girl Walking

This long-awaited return of Jack Parlabane sees the journalist down-on-his-luck and desperate for work, when he gets a call from the sister of an old friend, says Bridie Pritchard.

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Scandinavian crime novels light up dark days

Declan Burke takes a look at some recent additions to the increasingly popular casebook of Scandinavian crime novels.

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Book review: The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library opens with the theft of a book from a magic boarding school — a sort of heist on Hogwarts that immediately sets the tone, writes Stephen Wood.

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Book review: Age, Sex, Location

The dating world has never been straightforward, but with the advent of online dating sites, the popularity of speed dating and singles nights, not to mention Tinder, it’s more difficult to navigate than ever before.

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Book review: Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia

Peter Pomerantsev’s book about Russia today reveals complex, vibrant, corrupt society that expects the West to collapse just as the Soviet Union did — and then they will rule the world he tells Richard Fitzpatrick.

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Book review: Cowardice: A Brief History

 

Managing fear is one of the greatest challenges life throws at any of us. Michael Moynihan on a lively history of how we’ve coped with this great, eternal challenge.

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Book review: TK Whitaker: Portrait of a Patriot

The RTÉ television audience voted TK Whitaker “Irishman of the 20th Century” in 2001. 

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Book review: Mobile Library

Stories are king in this darkly delightful tale from journalist David Whitehouse. His second novel (his first, Bed, was published in 2012), starts at the end.

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Book review: The Offering

Madeline’s life is torn apart on her 14th birthday. Having moved to an island with her overbearing, God-fearing father and submissive mother, Madeline spends her days searching for God and playing with her dog. 

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Book review: Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung

WHAT this book demands from a reader is a willingness to accept that the best writer in America could write almost nothing but record reviews.

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Book review: Don’t Point That Thing At Me

It seems that Kyril Bonfiglioli, English-born and of Italian and Slovenian descent, drew on his leading character, Charlie Mortdecai, from the muddle of his own alcoholic and trauma-laden life.

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Book review: Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

As subject matter goes, the life of Sophia Duleep Singh offers the potential for about a dozen biographies.

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Children’s books

Wibbly Pig and the Tooky by Mick Inkpen
Squishy McFluff, The Invisible Cat Meets Mad Nanadot by Pip Jones
The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

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Book review: Flesh And Blood

She has struggled with anorexia, alcohol and depression, among other dramas. But, like her heroine Dr Kay Scarpetta, bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell has mellowed, she tells Hannah Stephenson.

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Book review: The Origins of the Irish

 

The story of the first post ice-age visitors to our shores is a fascinating read and fills in linguistic and archaeological detail with accomplished erudition, writes Neil Robinson.

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Book review: The Winter War

First-time novelist Philip Tier comes from the same ancient community of Swedish-speaking Finns as illustrator Tove Jansson, best known for the Moomin books.

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Book review: Some Luck

Jane Smiley returns to the agrarian American mid-west setting of her 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres for Some Luck, the first book in a proposed ‘Hundred Years Trilogy’.

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Book review: Runaway

In 1965, 17-year-old wannabe pop star Jack Mackay gets expelled from school in Glasgow, and persuades four of his friends to run away to London in search of musical stardom.

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Book review: The Girl On The Train

Like many commuters, every day Rachel distracts herself on her journey to and from work by indulging in fantasies about the lives of the people whose houses she peers into from the safety of the train.

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Book review: The Silent Sister

New mystery from the pen of international bestselling novelist Diane Chamberlain. High school counsellor Riley MacPherson has a lot on her plate.

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Book review: spill, simmer, falter, wither

spill, simmer, falter, wither, the début novel — one of the most highly anticipated in years —– of Lancashire-born writer and artist, Sara Baume, now resident in East Cork, presents us with a love story, of sorts, a direct and deliciously tragic paean from a man to his dog.

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Children’s book reviews

Wanted, Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar
The Bike Escape
Black Wreath The Stolen Life of James Lovett

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Book review: Waterloo - Four Days That Changed Europe’s Destiny

‘Waterloo’ meticulously recalls the events of four days in June 200 years ago when 200,000 men were engaged in a struggle which laid the foundations of contemporary Europe, writes Allan Prosser.

This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Book review: Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts

The defining events in Eugene O’Neill’s life took place before he was born. <B>Liam Heylin </b>on an unblinking biography.

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Book review: The Longest Afternoon

VISITORS to modern day Waterloo may struggle to follow the topography of one of the most important military encounters in European history. In particular, an enormous earthwork, the Lion’s Mound, erected 1820, has significantly altered the perspective, writes Allan Prosser.

This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Book review: A Man Of Good Hope

A Man Of Good Hope
Jonny Steinberg
Jonathan Cape, €28.99;
ebook. €14.50

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Book review: Vigilante

Vigilante
Shelley Harris
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99;
ebook €8.49

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Book review: A Delicate Wildness

A Delicate Wildness: The Life and Loves of David Thomson 1914-1988
Julian Vignoles
Lilliput, €16.99

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Book review: Goodhouse

Goodhouse
Peyton Marshall Doubleday, €15.99;
ebook, €11.99

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Book review: French Women Don’t Get Facelifts

Don’t be fooled by Mme Guiliano’s seemingly feather-brained little book of lifestyle advice for older women — now in paperback and the sequel to French Women Don’t Get Fat.

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Children’s book reviews: Poppy’s Babies, Maia and What Matters, A Crack in Everything

Poppy’s Babies
by Jill Barklem
(Harper Collins; €8.99 HB)

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Book review: The Glorious Madness: Tales of the Irish and the Great War

Andrew Melsom on a collection remembering Irish soldiers’ often heroic roles in World War I    

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Book review: Printer’s Devil Court

SUSAN HILL’s long and diverse career will surely always be defined by The Woman in Black. 

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Book review: The Man Who Walked Away

It is 1886. A traumatised young man, Albert, is unable to stop walking. He walks from town to town, across the countryside, across borders, sleeping in ditches or barns.

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Book review: On Writers and Writing

Margaret Atwood interrogates the myths around the idea of being a writer. Val Nolan is impressed by her conclusions.

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Book review: A Dancer In The Dust

This starts off as a simple whodunit: New York risk assessor, Ray Campbell, learns that a man he once knew in the fictional African country of Lubanda has been found dead outside a New York hotel.

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Book review: A Brief Stop On The Road From Auschwitz

A Brief Stop On The Road From Auschwitz is a sensitive prisoner-of-war story, because author Goran Rosenberg is writing about his father, David.

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Book review: Life, Love and The Archers

ONLY after reading this collection of memoirs, reviews and prose by the poet Wendy Cope (b. 1945), did I realise that she has become a ‘national treasure’ in the UK.

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Book review: After Helen

After Helen is a moving look at love, loss and the challenges of parenthood.

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Book review: The American Lover

Rose Tremain is one of England’s most significant writers. She’s won The Orange Prize; The Whitbread and the The James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She spoke to Sue Leonard about her latest collection of short stories.    

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Children’s books

Light-fingered Larry, by Jan Fearnley (Egmont; €8.80)
Larry uses his slithery tentacles to steal things, which he stores in his undersea den. 

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Here’s the new book releases to look out for in spring 2015

Richard Fitzpatrick reveals some books that are certain to cause a stir this spring.

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Book review: The Rich: From Slaves To Super Yachts, A 2,000 Year History

The rich are different, even more different that we ever imagined, discovers Marjorie Brennan, the only problem is the gap between them and us is widening.

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Book review: If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go

Judy Chicurel

Tinder Press, €15.99; ebook, €9.99

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Book review: Waiting For Doggo

Mark B Mills

Headline Review, €19.40; ebook, €8.49

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Kids books to look out for

Here’s some newly released books that will appeal to the young book worm.

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Book review: Let Me Be Frank With You

Richard Ford Bloomsbury, €18.75;

ebook, €7.49

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Book review: Saol: Thoughts from Ireland on Life & Living

Catherine Conlon

The Collins Press, €12.99

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Book review: Lines of Vision: Irish Writers on Art

Peter Murray wonders why, in an eclectic collection of writers’ responses to works on show at the National Gallery the majority of contributors chose pieces that allowed them avoid eye-to-eye contact with the subject.

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Book review: The Woman who Stole My Life

The Woman who Stole My Life

Marian Keyes 

Penguin/Michael Joseph: €14.99; ebook, €8.92

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Book review: Crooked Heart

Lissa Evans

Doubleday, €21.50; ebook, €11.99

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Five celebs pick their favourite book of 2014

See what book Ted Walsh, Anne Enright, Peter Sheridan, Theo Dorgan and Gary Cooke think should be in your Christmas stocking.

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The final chapter in sports books for the festive season

Another year, another sack of books.

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Bringing history into focus

The invention of printing meant we needed glasses and they led to changes we can hardly comprehend. Richard Fitzpatrick on history’s game changers.

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The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Short Stories

Edinburgh cop John Rebus has already been resurrected once by his creator, who brought him out of retirement for a new novel a few years ago and now he is back again in this short story selection.

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Paradoxical ties with Collins defined Civil War strategist

THE American-born Emmet Dalton had such a fascinating career that it is surprising it has taken so long for a proper biography to be written.

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Some Luck

Some Luck is  the first  volume of Pulitzer-prizewinning novelist Jane Smiley’s new trilogy The Last Hundred Years. 

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A History of Cloneyharp National School 1837-1979

A microscopic look at the setting up of the national school system, and a summary of how people’s lives changed over almost one and a half centuries, A History of Cloneyharp National School 1837-1979 is a window into the past. Con Ryan and Tom Carroll have succeeded in bringing back to life, vividly, a time gone but not forgotten.

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Forgotten Fitzgerald: Echoes Of A Lost America

The notion of Fitzgerald’s short stories as merely lucrative distractions from magnificent novels like The Great Gatsby has faded, but his biographer Sarah Churchwell contends that we are still only and overly familiar with a small selection.

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Character judged to perfection

WHAT might be the best first page of any novel this year announces the arrival of Ian McEwan’s latest portrayal of the professional elites.

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Inside Beatles’ minds

It’s nearly 45 years since The Beatles broke up but their influence on popular music is as strong as ever. Joe Dermody on Hunter Davies’ encyclopedic book on the band’s ground-breaking lyrics.

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Children’s books

The Busiest People Ever by Richard Scarry (Harper Collins; €8.30) vibrates with energy from the very beginning as everyone in Busytown goes about their work. 

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Where I’m Reading From: The Changing World Of Books

Tim Parks
Harvill Secker, £12.99;
ebook, £6.02

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Chronicler of life in China now has an audience in the West

Frog
Mo Yan
Translated by Howard Goldblatt
Hamish Hamilton, £18.99;
Kindle: £3.59

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The David Foster Wallace Reader

David Foster Wallace
Hamish Hamilton, €29.99;
ebook, €12.99

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Flesh And Blood

Patricia Cornwell
Harper Collins, £20;
ebook, £6.65

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Heaney’s second, and final, act

New Selected Poems 1988-2013
Seamus Heaney
Faber Hardback, €13.52;
ebook, €10.52

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The bittersweet symphonies of Beethoven’s life

Beethoven’s life was a series of disappointments, recurring conflicts, worsening illness and increasing financial worries, but, says Eamonn Lawlor, nothing could diminish his genius    

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The American Lover

Rose Tremain
Chatto & Windus, €24.50,
ebook €12.99

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A Brief Stop on the Road to Auschwitz

Goran Rosenberg’s parents survived the Nazi’s Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps and made a new life in Sweden but, as he told Tony Clayton-Lea, they never fully escaped it— neither should we.

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Children’s Books

Lost In The Sea Of Despair
by Tracey Turner
(Bloomsbury; €6.30) 

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Don’t dash the rush

Rush Hour
How 500 million commuters survive the daily journey to work
Iain Gately
Head of Zeus; £16.99 

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Candid dispatches, defined by unease, from a changing Europe

Greetings, Hero
Aiden O’Reilly
Honest Publishing, £13.99

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The lessons of a colourful life

Rainbow in the Cloud
The Wit and Wisdom of Maya Angelou
Virago, €19.40;
ebook, €7.99

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Endure to explore

Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer
Michael Smith
The Collins Press, €19.99 

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The Hilltop

Assaf Gavron
Oneworld, €25.35;
ebook €16.10

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Does Santa Exist?

Eric Kaplan Little,
Brown, €18.75;
ebook, €7.99

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Revival

Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton, €18.99;
email, €11.99

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The Art Of Asking

Amanda Palmer
Piatkus, €20.85;
ebook, €8.99

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Children’s books

An Gabhar A Raibh An-Ocras Go Deo Air,
by Maire Ni Chualain
(Futa Fata; €9.95 HB; as Gaeilge) 

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An inspector calls in gripping Neapolitan thriller

Naples is a city used to terror. The Camorra run amok through its streets; drugs, violence and even murder are facts of life.

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Exploring the depths of the soul

IT’S A LONG way from the Arctic that Cormac James was reared. Born and raised in Ballincollig in Cork — when he was still Cormac McCarthy — Cormac James has lived in Montpellier in France for the past 12 years.

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Men Explain Things To Me And Other Essays

Rebecca Solnit
Granta, €18.75; ebook, £10.38

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Inside story on the Kingdom

Breda Joy has written a celebration of Kerry. Donal Hickey on a fine contribution to the county’s rich heritage.

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A fresh look at Byron

Fiona MacCarthy deserves huge credit for uncovering so much new and illuminating information on Lord Byron, she has revised her biography as her subject has become more, rather than less, relevant says Marjorie Brennan.

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The Murdstone Trilogy

Mal Peet
David Fickling Books, €17.99;
ebook, £7.79

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Emma

Alexander McCall Smith
The Borough Press, £18.99;
ebook, £6.64

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Children’s books

The Girl Who Walked on Air
by Emma Carroll
(Faber& Faber; €8.80). 

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Archer honoured by ‘most literate race’

There’s no short cut to writing a bestseller.

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Irish Country Houses book: Getting to the heart of the rise and fall of Ireland’s high society

Kya deLongchamps revels in a book which uses fascinating visual material from Irish mansions to illustrate life at that time and the dynastic tales behind the scenes

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Book shines light on the world’s most spectacular gardens

THERE’S one thing that we gardeners love at this time of the year, apart from gardening, and that’s sitting in the armchair and leafing through seed catalogues, gardening magazines and gardening books.

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New food bible a sublime guide to growing, cooking and preparing your own food

Kitty Scully takes a closer look at Michael Kelly’s ‘Grow Cook Eat’ which is packed with everything you need to know about how to grow, harvest and cook your own vegetables as well as celebrity chef recipes too.

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Thinking outside of that box: Dermot Bannon gets off the telly and into print

ALL of the dramas have been taken out of home improvement, in architect Dermot Bannon’s book, Love Your Home.

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Timely guide to Dublin design

Tommy Barker looks at a new Gandon Editions book on Dublin’s top modern builds by young Cork architect, Séan Antóin O Muirí.

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The high art of Anouska Hempel

Rose Martin looks at a new book on the life’s work of the self-taught and New Zealand-born creator of the boutique hotel concept.

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A brave new world on mid-century design

Carol O’Callaghan reviews a new volume on mid-century design.

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Science behind good writing

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Steven Pinker
Allen Lane; £20

 

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Funny Girl

Nick Hornby
Viking, €27.50;
ebook, €15.99

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Caird — a bishop and a leader

Donald Caird
Church of Ireland Bishop, Gaelic Churchman, A Life
The Columba Press, €19.99

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The Naming Of The Shrew

A Curious History Of Latin Names
John Wright
Bloomsbury £14.99
ebook £6.69

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Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography

Meryle Secrest
Fig Tree, £25;
ebook, £13.99

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The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

Rachel Joyce
Transworld E15.99
Kindle: E5.93

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All alone in the world: three life stories of loss and displacement

Orphans
Hadrien Laroche
Translated by Jan Steyn and Caite Dolan-Leach
Dalkey Archive, €15.75

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The King’s Sister

Anne O’Brien
Mira Books, €12.99;
ebook, £4.75

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Children’s Books

Gregory’s Grumpy Day,
by Nicola Call
(Bloomsbury; €6.30) 

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Persistence pays

It was an itch that would not go away and in the end Mary Costello could not help becoming a writer, a very good one at that. She spoke to Sue Leonard about her debut novel has come garlanded with high praise.

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The importance of being Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s greatest contribution to our culture is not his writing but the invention of celebrity. JP O’Malley is not entirely convinced.

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A collection with a hard heart

CANADIAN Margaret Atwood is one of the most acclaimed and prolific authors of the past 30-plus years, a woman of towering intellect and imagination. 

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Will the destructive ‘human age’ be the end of all eras?

THE ‘Human Age’ is the name Ackerman gives to the geological present, not because we are living in it, but because of the impact we’re having on the world.

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Book: Carsick

John Waters
Corsair, €19.40;
ebook, €12.99

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Book: The Collapse: The Accidental Opening Of The Berlin Wall

Mary Elise Sarotte
Basic Books, €27.50;
ebook, €15.24

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Book: The Book Of Gold Leaves

Mirza Waheed
Penguin, €18.75;
ebook. €10.99

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Book: F

By Daniel Kehlmann
Quercus, €18.75; ebook, £6.99

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Children’s books

Sunita’s Baby Sister by Nicola Call (Bloomsbury; €6.30). The byline to this oh so useful book could be ‘Jealousy’. 

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Stalin’s staying power

Joseph Stalin was violent and ruthless from an early age, and his criminality, his talents as an organiser and a manipulator, and his over-weening ambition, facilitated his later rise to power, says Geoffrey Roberts. 

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A thought-provoking meditation

Us      
David Nicholls        
Hodder & Stoughton 17.99        

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Small-town stories, big laughs

Local newspapers are a rich archive of outrageous and hilariously banal stories, so Ronan Casey has lovingly collected them into one volume, says Richard Fitzpatrick.

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Ireland couldn’t stomach war, so it went hungry at home

Ireland During the Second World War
Bryce Evans
University of Manchester Press, €85

 

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Children’s Books: How The Library (Not The Prince) Saved Rapunzel

How The Library (Not The Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown (Frances Lincoln; €15.10 HB). 

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Book: Consumed

David Cronenberg
Fourth Estate, €15.99;
ebook, €15.98

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Book: Gray Mountain

John Grisham
Hodder & Stoughton, €19.99;
ebook, €13.99

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Book: Rising Ground: A Search For The Spirit Of Place

Travel writer Philip Marsden has spent years describing his journeys across Europe and Africa, but his latest book focuses on his home county, Cornwall, inspired by a family decision to renovate an old farmhouse.

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Book: The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History

Billed as “essential reading for anyone who wants to know what makes a great leader”, this study of the great leader will do nothing to stem the belief that London’s mayor sees himself as a future prime minister.

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