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.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
BILLED as a book that’ll appeal to Mean Girls fans, I was expecting good things from Weightless.More
The title tells you all you need: our heroine — Pearl, naturally — runs a successful Whitstable restaurant.More
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.More
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.More
WHAT a conundrum. What a bother. What a pickle and a palaver. Frankly, we need to talk about Kazuo.More
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.More
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?More
IN an author’s note to his 2013 novel, The Humans, Matt Haig said it was partly a metaphor for his mental illness.More
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.More
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.More
Critically acclaimed author, Joseph Connolly, presents a dystopian vision of a future in which celebrity and scandal become entwined.More
Breadline Britain: The Rise Of Mass Poverty
Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack
Oneworld Publications, €14.99;
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.
Stephen Sandford Irish Academic Press, €24.95
AMONG the great battles of World War I none was more sorrowful than Gallipoli.
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
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.
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.
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.
Atlantic Books, £14.99; ebook, £5.99
Sri Lanka conjures up images of white beaches and blissful backpacker adventures.
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.
AS THE title suggests, this is a psychological thriller based on a woman’s shadow life.
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.
by Ann Morgan
Harvill Secker, £16.99;
Quite a Good Time to Be Born: A Memoir: 1935-1975
Harvill Secker, €27.00
Walter de la Mare (with a new introduction by Philip Pullman)
Princeton University Press, £16.99; Kindle, £12.34
Cameron’s Coup: How The Tories Took Britain To The Brink
Polly Toynbee and David Walker
Guardian Faber Publishing, €14.99;
Time and Time Again
Bantam Press: €16.99;
The Hog, The Shrew And The Hullabaloo
by Julia Copus and Eunyoung Seo
(Faber and Faber; €8.80)
Paula Hawkins tells Sue Leonard that the success of The Girl on The Train will allow her quit journalism.More
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.More
Paul Vigna and Michael Casey
Bodley Head, €22.35;
Etta And Otto And Russell And James
Simon & Schuster, €29.50;
A Spool of Blue Thread
Chatto & Windus, €15.99; ebook, €12.99
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)
Real secret of Bletchley were the girls who worked there, writes Hannah Stephenson.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
Declan Burke takes a look at some recent additions to the increasingly popular casebook of Scandinavian crime novels.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
The RTÉ television audience voted TK Whitaker “Irishman of the 20th Century” in 2001.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
As subject matter goes, the life of Sophia Duleep Singh offers the potential for about a dozen biographies.More
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
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.More
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.More
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.More
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’.More
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.More
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.More
New mystery from the pen of international bestselling novelist Diane Chamberlain. High school counsellor Riley MacPherson has a lot on her plate.More
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.More
Wanted, Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar
The Bike Escape
Black Wreath The Stolen Life of James Lovett
‘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.More
The defining events in Eugene O’Neill’s life took place before he was born. <B>Liam Heylin </b>on an unblinking biography.More
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.More
A Man Of Good Hope
Jonathan Cape, €28.99;
A Delicate Wildness: The Life and Loves of David Thomson 1914-1988
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.More
by Jill Barklem
(Harper Collins; €8.99 HB)
Andrew Melsom on a collection remembering Irish soldiers’ often heroic roles in World War IMore
SUSAN HILL’s long and diverse career will surely always be defined by The Woman in Black.More
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.More
Margaret Atwood interrogates the myths around the idea of being a writer. Val Nolan is impressed by her conclusions.More
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.More
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.More
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.More
After Helen is a moving look at love, loss and the challenges of parenthood.More
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.More
Light-fingered Larry, by Jan Fearnley (Egmont; €8.80)
Larry uses his slithery tentacles to steal things, which he stores in his undersea den.
Richard Fitzpatrick reveals some books that are certain to cause a stir this spring.More
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.More
Tinder Press, €15.99; ebook, €9.99More
Here’s some newly released books that will appeal to the young book worm.More
The Collins Press, €12.99More
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.More
The Woman who Stole My Life
Penguin/Michael Joseph: €14.99; ebook, €8.92More
See what book Ted Walsh, Anne Enright, Peter Sheridan, Theo Dorgan and Gary Cooke think should be in your Christmas stocking.More
Another year, another sack of books.More
The invention of printing meant we needed glasses and they led to changes we can hardly comprehend. Richard Fitzpatrick on history’s game changers.
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.More
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.More
Some Luck is the first volume of Pulitzer-prizewinning novelist Jane Smiley’s new trilogy The Last Hundred Years.More
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.More
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.More
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.
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.
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.More
Harvill Secker, £12.99;
Translated by Howard Goldblatt
Hamish Hamilton, £18.99;
New Selected Poems 1988-2013
Faber Hardback, €13.52;
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
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.More
How 500 million commuters survive the daily journey to work
Head of Zeus; £16.99
Honest Publishing, £13.99
Rainbow in the Cloud
The Wit and Wisdom of Maya Angelou
An Gabhar A Raibh An-Ocras Go Deo Air,
by Maire Ni Chualain
(Futa Fata; €9.95 HB; as Gaeilge)
Naples is a city used to terror. The Camorra run amok through its streets; drugs, violence and even murder are facts of life.More
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.
Breda Joy has written a celebration of Kerry. Donal Hickey on a fine contribution to the county’s rich heritage.
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.
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
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.
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.More
ALL of the dramas have been taken out of home improvement, in architect Dermot Bannon’s book, Love Your Home.More
Tommy Barker looks at a new Gandon Editions book on Dublin’s top modern builds by young Cork architect, Séan Antóin O Muirí.
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.
Carol O’Callaghan reviews a new volume on mid-century design.
The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Allen Lane; £20
Church of Ireland Bishop, Gaelic Churchman, A Life
The Columba Press, €19.99
A Curious History Of Latin Names
Translated by Jan Steyn and Caite Dolan-Leach
Dalkey Archive, €15.75
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.More
Oscar Wilde’s greatest contribution to our culture is not his writing but the invention of celebrity. JP O’Malley is not entirely convinced.More
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.
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.
Mary Elise Sarotte
Basic Books, €27.50;
Sunita’s Baby Sister by Nicola Call (Bloomsbury; €6.30). The byline to this oh so useful book could be ‘Jealousy’.More
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.More
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.
Ireland During the Second World War
University of Manchester Press, €85
How The Library (Not The Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown (Frances Lincoln; €15.10 HB).More
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.More
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.More