Books

Book review: Do It Like A Woman... And Change The World

Caroline Criado-Perez

Portobello Books, €16.99; ebook, €13.15

Review: Katie Wright

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Childrens’ books: I need a wee!

I Need A Wee! by Sue Hendra (Simon and Schuster; €8.80) Alan the bear whoops with glee when he whooshes down the big helter-skelter.

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Heat of betrayal: Always on the move

When Douglas Kennedy’s half-drunk father called him “a loser” he emptied his bank account and returned to Ireland where he had studied at Trinity. He’s been more or less travelling since. He explains all to Declan Burke. 

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Beginner’s Pluck: Tim McCormick

Tim taught in India with the VSO after college, then moved to London to study accountancy. Back in Dublin, he joined the National Irish Investment Bank, where he remained until 1990.

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Wolf Winter won’t easily be erased from the reader’s mind

SET in Swedish Lapland in the winter of 1717, in a time and place so remote as to seem unearthly, Wolf Winter creeps up on the reader stealthily, like a silent fall of snow.

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Sweetland: One man up against a world that won’t stop changing

SWEETLAND opens with ghostly voices heard against the wail of the foghorn by Moses Sweetland, a fisherman stranded at sea overnight in the fog. The voices belong to a boatload of dying Sri Lankan migrants, set adrift without food or water in the North Atlantic by unscrupulous people-traffickers.

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A Buzz in the Meadow: A charming manifesto that will leave the reader buzzing

In his second book, Dave Goulson takes us to France in what is part autobiography, part tract, and a rousing read on insects, pets, and pandas, writes Tommy Barker.

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Book review: At The Water’s Edge

At The Water’s Edge

Sara Gruen

Two Roads, €25.50; ebook, €9.49

Review: Heather Doughty

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FIRST THOUGHTS: Laub’s latest novel translated into English

Diary of the Fall

Michel Laub (translated by Margaret Jull Costa)

Vintage, £8.99; Kindle: £4.35

Review:

Billy O’Callaghan

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Book review: The Cellar

Minette Walters

Hammer, €19.50; ebook, €10.99

Review: Phil Robinson

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A new life revealed for Doreen Finn

Doreen Finn came to writing because one of her teachers challenged her to write a novel. She spoke to Sue Leonard about how that unexpected challenge was a revelation and how it has changed her life.    

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Children’s books

Once there was a little girl called Emily Brown and an old grey rabbit called Stanley.

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SJ Watson I presume? Shining a light on a star of domestic noir

SJ Watson’s second novel Second Life deals with all of the layers that makes up an individual. He spoke to Declan Burke about his first domestic noir thriller.    

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First Thoughts: Massimo Carlotto’s Cocaine

THREE themed short stories by three acclaimed Italian crime/thriller writers – what could go wrong?

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Beginner’s Pluck: Maria Murphy

In her early 20s Maria was in a folk group, and she started writing lyrics, and some poetry. But it wasn’t until 2004, when she joined a creative writing group that she started taking writing seriously.

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Book review: Writing from the Frontier

DESRIBED by himself as ‘poor, friendless and joyless’ Anthony Trollope arrived in Ireland in 1841 to work as clerk to an Irish surveyor at a salary of £100 a year.

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Book review: Hunters In The Dark

Lawrence Osborne’s new novel has much in common with its predecessor, The Ballad Of A Small Player, as a tale of ghosts and gamblers adrift on the edges of South East Asia.

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Book review: Fetale

AT JUST over 90 pages Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale is a magnificent example of French noir stretched into the realms of art.

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Book review: Ladybird by Design

The iconic children’s publisher is 100 years old, and Marjorie Brennan wistfully remembers its colourful, moral stories, its fairy tales and its idyllic world of happy families, science and history.

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Book review: Tanglewood

Dermot Bolger talks to Tony Clayton-Lea about his new book Tanglewood and how he believes that the introduction of free secondary education in the late 1960s was at the root of the 1980s burst of Irish creativity.

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Book review: The Mountain Story

ON his 18th birthday, Wilfred Truly, better known to everyone he’s ever met as Wolf, takes the tramcar up a southern California mountain with the intention of hiking off trail and leaping to his death from Angel Peak. 

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Book review: Clasp

THE story of how Doireann Ní Ghríofa started writing poetry six years ago is bizarre but also somewhat fitting for this warm, dreamy and gentle writer who was awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary 2014-2015 by Ireland Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.

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Book review: This House Is Not For Sale

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any Nigerian writer who ends up in the United States is still reeling from the after-affects of their vivid childhood. And EC Osondu is no exception.

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Book review: On Some Faraway Beach

FANS of U2 will probably know the story of how Larry Mullen and later Bono had to repeatedly court Brian Eno to convince him to work with them on changing their sound.

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Book review: The Killing Of Bobbi Lomax

We’re into the action from page one in Cal Moriarty’s thriller The Killing Of Bobbi Lomax, as cynical detective Marty Sinclair and his partner Al Alvarez rush to the scene of a bombing.

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Book review: Mockingbird Songs

RJ Ellory puts you deep in the heart of Texas in his new crime thriller Mockingbird Songs — a simple backstory is dealt with quickly enough to put you straight into the main plot.

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Children’s books

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph (Harper Collins €8.80) tells of Penguin and his brand new kite. 

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Book review: History of a Suicide

by Jill Bialosky
Granta, €26.85; ebook, €16.10
THEY say blues music is not made to get you into blue humour but to get you out of it. 

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Book review: The Defence

In the real world Steve Cavanagh is a Belfast lawyer who explained to Declan Burke how an exceptional advocate can convince a jury black is actually white.

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Book review: The Green Road

Anne Enright’s latest novel The Green Road is set on that great Irish battleground — the family. She spoke to Caroline O’Doherty about the institution and all its foibles — and trying to be an inspiring teacher.

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Book review: Billie Holiday: The Musician & The Myth

By John Szwed
Cornerstone, €29.50; ebook €14.99

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Book review: A Song Of Shadows

By John Connolly
Hodder and Staughton

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Book review: Lock No. 1

Georges Simenon (translated by David Coward)
Penguin Classics, €10.50; ebook, €6.49

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Book review: All I Know Now: Wonderings And Reflections On Growing Up Gracefully

By Carrie Hope Fletcher
Sphere, €16.99; ebook 9.49
Okay, it’s official: YouTubers are taking over the world. 

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Book review: Pond

By Claire-Louise Bennett
The Stinging Fly Press; €12.99
AN unnamed woman lives on the edge of a coastal village in the west of Ireland. 

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Children’s books

All Aboard The Dinosaur Express
by Timothy Knapman and Ed Eaves
(Bloomsbury €8.80.)

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The Girl on The Train is a one-way ticket to success for Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins is glad she took a gamble with The Girl On The Train, writes Tony Clayton-Lea

This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Book review: The Night Game

Frank Golden

Salmon, €12

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Book review: Wilful Disregard a Novel about Love

Lena Andersson (translated by Sarah Death)

Picador, €19.50; ebook, €10.20

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Book review: Alfred Hitchcock

Peter Ackroyd is one of the most productive and elegant biographers writing in English today but is often accused of not uncovering anything new about his subjects. That doesn’t matter, he tells Tony Clayton-Lea

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The Bear Whispers To Me

Chang Ying-Tai (translated by Darryl Sterk)

Balestier Press, €15.35; Kindle, €12.55

 

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Book review: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematorium

Caitlin Doughty Canongate,€20.55; ebook, €13.64

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Book review: Villa America

American author Liza Klaussmann speaks to Sue Leonard about the toll the creative process can take on the imagination, particularly when writing fiction about factual characters 

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Book review: The Science Of Happiness

Stefan Klein Scribe Publications, £12.99; ebook, €18.68

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Book review: Disclaimer

Disclaimer

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Children’s books

Who Is King? By Beverley Naidoo and Piet GrobIer (Frances Lincoln €18.90). 

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Book review: The Lives of Women

Christine Dwyer Hickey is a woman in a hurry — she fears she might run out of time before she gets to write all the books she wants to. She spoke to Sue Leonard about her race against time and her latest book.

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Book review: How Corrupt is Britain?

DAVID WHYTE opens his edited collection, How Corrupt is Britain?, by arguing that “the idea that British institutions are fair and democratic is one of the foundation stones of our self-imagined national heritage”.

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Book review: The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation

New Scienist stalwart Fred Pearce’s new book is a richly-exemplified and controversial defense of invasive species. 

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Book review: Outline

“I had come to believe more and more in the virtues of passivity,” claims the narrator of Rachel Cusk’s Outline, “and of living a life as unmarked by self-will as possible.”

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Book review: The Wolf Border

TENSION runs under the narrative of this fine novel like a river under a cave. 

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Book review: Inside The O’Briens

Following the success of the big-screen adaptation of Lisa Genova’s debut novel, Still Alice — an exploration of Alzheimer’s disease — the Harvard-educated neuroscientist’s fourth novel, Inside The O’Briens, cements her reputation. 

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Book review: The Salmon Who Dared To Leap Higher

Novels designed to appeal to both adults and children are doomed because simplistic language disinterests the former group, or contextual complexities confuse the latter. 

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Book review: Station Eleven

ON A SNOWY winter’s evening in Toronto, a famous actor named Arthur Leander dies on stage during a performance of King Lear. 

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Children’s books

One Thousand Things by Anna Koveceses
(Frances Lincoln €16.35 HB)
This big colourful book is the perfect introduction to the world of words for pre-school youngsters. 

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Children’s Books

You Can’t Take An Elephant On The Bus, by Patricia Cleveland (Bloomsbury; €8.80) Elephant yearns to travel, but trying to board the bus is a definite no! 

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Book Review: The Lost Child

THIS latest work of fiction by the West Indies-born writer and Yale professor is as much a personal journey of discovery as it is a literary gem.

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Book Review: Adeline: A Novel Of Virginia Woolf

SPANNING 1925 to 1941, this richly imagined novel of Virginia Woolf delves deep into her psyche, drawing perhaps too heavily on the biography written by Hermione Lee, which lends it enormous accuracy.

 

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Book Review: The Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Arguing

THE key to any good novel is to perfect your main character into someone the reader feels they have got to know. And Melissa Kite hits the nail on the head on that front.

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FIRST THOUGHTS: Vargas Llosa fails to reach the heights of past

FOR the first three quarters of this 325-page novel, Peruvian master, Mario Vargas Llosa seems to be spinning, in alternating chapters, two quite separate — albeit thematically similar — yarns.

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BEGINNER’S PLUCK: Carole Gurnett

As a child, Carole wrote long diary entries and letters to anyone who would reply, and as a teenager she wrote short stories. Some were published, and others shortlisted in competitions. 

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Book Review: Last Night on Earth

JAY has been raised by his mother on a diet of ‘gods, monsters, lambs, virgins and fillums, fillums, fillums.’

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Book Review: The Moth Snowstorm Nature and Joy

What is the economic value of birdsong, butterflies spring wild flowers, or a rising trout? These are some questions posed in a riveting new book on nature, writes Dick Warner.

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Book Review: Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake

A FEW years ago, the writer Sarah Webb was staying in a yurt on Cape Clear Island, off the west Cork coast.

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Author profile: Life in the fast lane for Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh’s new novel, A Decent Ride, follows swaggering taxi driver ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson around Edinburgh. It’s another tale of hard-living in Scotland, even as Welsh mixes with celebrities in the US, writes Richard Fitzpatrick.           

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The Four Books

Like many of Lianke’s works, The Four Books is unavailable in his native China; unsurprising, given its subject is the murderous stupidity of the 1958-61 ‘Great Leap Forward’ — its massive, avoidable death toll still obfuscated by rulers.

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A Place Called Winter

Notes From An Exhibition author Patrick Gale’s first historical novel opens rather unnervingly with his protagonist Harry Cane being strapped into a bath.

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Author profile: Steve Cavanagh

AS a lawyer, Steve has conducted several high profile cases. In 2010, representing a factory worker, he won the largest award for damages in race discrimination in Northern Ireland’s legal history.

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What Becomes of Us: A voice to the voiceless

Reimagining the role of Irish women in the 1916 Rising opened several doors for Henrietta McKervey and helped her to develop her writing which has won her numerous prizes, writes Sue Leonard.            

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If you imagine you really know what you’re eating think again

 Joanna Blythman has taken a look at what we eat and how the food industry is often so misleading. Her conclusions killed Richard Fitzpatrick’s appetite    

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Deadly Intent: Thriller set on the Beara peninsula

ONE of the reasons Irish crime writing took so long to develop as a body of work is Ireland lacked the kind of large, anonymous urban settings where crime fiction tends to thrive. 

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Forgetting: Myths,Perils And Compensations

Forgetting is an odd thing: Everyone does it, but by definition cannot discuss it in much detail. Dutch psychologist and ‘memory scholar’ Draaisma makes a game attempt to explore this paradox from numerous viewpoints.

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Children’s books

THOSE PESKY RABBITS by Ciara Flood (Templar €8. 80)

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Seven madmen get author’s seal of approval in magical Argentina

IMAGINE Dostoevsky and Flann O’Brien had an adventure and you got to hear about it second-hand from Haruki Murakami. That is what it is like to read Roberto Arlt’s 1929 novel Los Siete Locos — or, as it is presented here, The Seven Madmen — a rollicking and prescient dive through the anxieties of an urban Argentina on the cusp of transformation.

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In the ‘enchanted’ dungeon there is nothing to do but wait

IN the belly of an old prison is a dungeon, an ‘enchanted place’, that houses Death Row inmates, and it is here that York waits out his final months before the lethal injection is administered.

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Book review: Red Notice How I Became Putin’s No. 1 Enemy

LET’S do a security sweep of the room! No men dressed in black suits speaking into microphones up their sleeves? Check. No femme fatales dressed in silk reaching for their stilettos? Check. 

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Book review: Glimpses of Ireland’s Past

THE work of the Ordnance Survey in Ireland between 1824 and 1842 was both immense and controversial. 

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Book review: Soil

We all know we can be our own worst enemies, but in terms of the characters in Soil, that’s a severe understatement.

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Book review: Morning Sea

The Mediterranean, 2010. As rebels battle loyalists, Farid and his mother flee the wreckage of Tripoli for the coast, pinning their hopes on a trafficker’s rusting boat and the perilous crossing to Italy.

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Book review: The Martini Shot and other short stories

ALL you ever wanted to know about being on the set of a fledging American TV crimes series but were afraid to ask probably wouldn’t even cut it as a subtitle, but that is effectively what the main story in this new book is about.

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Book review: The Shut Eye

The Shut Eye
Belinda Bauer
Bantam Press, €19.50,
ebook €10.99

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Book review: Making Nice

Matt Sumell
Harvill Secker, €19.50;
ebook, €10.99

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Book review: The Lost and the Blind

The Lost and the Blind
Declan Burke
Severn House, €28.99; ebook, €18.19

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Children’s Books

All The Wild Wonders. Poems Of Our Earth
Edited by Wendy Cooling.
Illustrated by Piet Grobler (Frances Lincoln; €16.35 HB). 

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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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