Books

Book review: June

ON a hot afternoon in June, 1969, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, as part of a country tour, arrives in the northern village of Slootdorp.

More

Children’s books

Lottie Lipton lives very happily in the British Museum with her father who works there, and her elderly eccentric Great Uncle, Professor Bertram West.

More

FIRST THOUGHTS: A lament so clotted with rage and desperation

IN an unnamed place and unspecified time, a man and his wife exist in pieces following the death of their son.

More
Eamon Casey and Michael Cleary

Book review: Handbook of the Irish Revival

The Handbook of the Irish Revival contains violent material and covers a period when theatre was never so exciting because history itself was excited, writes Thomas McCarthy.

More

Book review: Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling

BERNARD HINAULT was one of the greatest cyclists of all time and is the last Frenchman to have won the Tour de France.

More

Book review: All That I Leave Behind

From an editing career in Harper Collins to best-selling debut author, mother of three Alison Walsh tells Sue Leonard that the path to success in writing can be a long road working from the bottom up.

More

Book review: Last Bus to Pewterhole Cross

George Harding left school at an early age but never lost his love of poetry. Following his retirement from a successful bicycle business, he went to university and got back on the literary saddle, he tells Colette Sheridan.

More

Book review: Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France

During WWII tiny French villages were used to help Jewish children escape the Holocaust. Caroline Moorehead, who discovered the little known story, spoke to Richard Fitzpatrick.

More

Book review: The Not-Dead And The Saved And Other Stories

KATE CLANCHY won the BBC National Short Story award for the title story of her debut collection, and it typifies the themes that run through these other 15 stories.

More

Book review: The House At The Edge Of The World

WHEN twins Morwenna and Corwin Venton were 18, their father John fell off a Devon cliff while stumbling home from the pub. 

More

Book review: The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend

SARA is 28 and works in a bookshop in Sweden.

More

Book review: The Killing Lessons

SAUL BLACK’S serial killer yarn is plotted with the precision of a Swiss watch and ticks along until its explosive finale.

More

Book review: A Year Of Marvellous Ways

IF the name Sarah Winman rings a bell, it will be because of her phenomenally successful debut, When God Was A Rabbit, published in 2010. 

More

Book review: Reunion

REUNION tells the story of Hans Schwarz, a lonely Jewish boy, and the friendship he forms with an equally lonely new arrival at their exclusive Stuttgart high school, Konradin von Hohenfels.

More

Children’s books

Alfie In The Bath
by Debi Gliori
(Bloomsbury, €13.85)

More

Book review: Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories

Jeremy Hutchinson is one of those people who changed the world they were born into. Dan Buckley on a sparkling career and a wonderful man still going strong at 100.

More

Book review: The Night Stages

The Canadian novelist Jane Urquhart has spent so much time in Ireland, particularly Kerry, that she has based her latest book — The Night Stages — here. She spoke to Sue Leonard about her more than enjoyable journey.

More

Book review: Asap Science: Answers To The World’s Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors & Unexplained Phenomena

WITH almost four million subscribers to its YouTube channel and several millions of views every month, Mitchell Moffit and Grey Brown are essentially social media celebrities who have created a wacky, yet wildly successful online platform to explain everyday science.

More

Book review: The Mark and the Void

READERS may well have found the novel that captures the spirit of Ireland’s post-Celtic Tiger recession in Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void, set in Dublin two years after “the collapse of Lehman Brothers finally ignited the bonfire that was the Irish economy”.

More

Book review: The Book of Aron

Narrator Aron is a wild young Jewish boy in the Warsaw ghettos. 

More

Book review: The Parrots

THREE years after Vogue’s editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman made her debut with the publication of Can We Still Be Friends? her second serving of fiction has arrived. 

More

Book review: Afternoon Tea At The Sunflower Cafe

FOR 20 years Connie Diamond has been playing second fiddle to her husband, Jimmy, his career — and his desire for other women.

More

Children’s books

The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin (Bloomsbury €13.85)

More

Book review: When The Doves Disappeared

Sofi Oksanen writes in Finnish and getting her work translated into English was difficult at first but now she has the kind of sales publishers crave. She explained all to Tony Clayton-Lea on one of her regular visits to Ireland.

More

Book review: The Story Of Science: From The Writings Of Aristotle To The Big Bang Theory

SCIENCE is everywhere. But the science most of us encounter in our everyday lives — in newspaper reports and political rhetoric, for instance — bears very little resemblance to the real thing, and says very little of the theory, meaning, and importance (or lack thereof) behind it.

More

Book review: Techbitch

DO you know your Bit.ly from your Feedly? Periscope from your Flickr? Ever think you might need to be dragged into the world of apps and technology silently kicking and screaming?

More

Book review: No Book But The World

THE title comes from Rousseau’s edict on education, Let there be no book but the world. 

More

Book review: In the Night of Time

ANTONIO Muñoz Molina is one of Spain’s leading contemporary novelists. 

More

Book review: Rickshaw

RICKSHAW drivers occupy a ubiquitous presence on the streets of the West End. But most Londoners never even give them a moment’s thought.

More

Book review: The Forgotten Spy

HISTORY is littered with stories of famous spies — from Mata Hari to Philby, Maclean, Burgess and Blunt. 

More

Book review: Silver Bullets

DETECTIVE Edgar ‘Lefty’ Mendieta, the main player in Elmer Mendoza’s English-language debut, likes ‘an impossible case’. 

More

Children’s books

Richard Scarry’s Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! (Harper Collins €8.80) is ready to delight a new generation of youngsters.

More

Book review: Natural Capital: Valuing The Planet

Putting a value on things we take for granted may save humanity argues Dieter Helm. Noel Baker is impressed by his powerful, commonsense arguments.

More

Book review: Dealing with China: An insider unmasks the new economic superpower

Hank Paulson is the ultimate insider. He worked with Nixon, was US treasury secretary, but hit the jackpot working for Goldman Sachs in China. Gerard Howlin discusses a career built on, among other things, charm.

More

Book review: Grey

WHEN Fifty Shades Of Grey came out, I chose not to review it. And then it exploded — and everyone read it, even my mum.

More

Book review: How Music Got Free: What Happens When An Entire Generation Commits The Same Crime?

STEPHEN WITT is a self-confessed downloading addict, who claims he hasn’t paid for music since the turn of the millennium.

More

Book review: Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling And Other Forgotten Sports

FUCHSPRELLEN is the inspiration for Edward Brooke-Hitching’s first book. 

More

Book review: Hand Reached Down to Guide Me

ON the morning I was to be married for the second time, I found myself going to my knees in the shower and praying: that my ex-husband would find love again ...” 

More

Book review: Judges

OVER the past decade UK-based MacLehose Press has earned deserved plaudits for its dedication to translating the most compelling foreign-language literature for an English-language audience.

More

Book review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

THERE is a place in northern Myanmar, close to the Chinese border, that can’t be found on any map, even if you have access to the latest hi-tech GPS systems. 

More

Children’s books

A Tower Of Giraffes – Animal Bunches by Anna Wright (Words and Pictures, €15.10 HB). 

More

Book reviews: All Over Ireland and Tales from the Emerald Isle and Other Green Shores

Billy O’Callaghan looks at two collections of short stories, one uneven and the other a series of enduring, almost timeless classics.

More

Book review: Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Addiction

Dreamland is the story of a town’s collapse in America’s mid west and its battle for recovery and redemption. Cormac O’Keeffe on the grip catastrophic drug addiction — legal and illegal — had on Portsmouth in Ohio.

More

Book review: The Festival of Insignificance

MILAN Kundera’s first novel in 14 years is a short, amusing, and thought-provoking meditation on the nature of insignificance. 

More

Book review: Poseidon’s Wake

THERE has always been a strain of science fiction concerned with exploring the human condition via journeys to faraway places. 

More

Book review: Our Souls At Night

KENT HARUF’S final novel, Our Souls at Night, completed before he died in November last year, is a beautifully poignant swansong for this much-loved American writer.

More

Book review: The Saffron Road: A Journey With Buddha’s Daughters

THIS is an expansive exploration of Buddhism and the plight of Buddhist nuns across the globe.

More

Book review: The Naked Surgeon: The Power And Peril Of Transparency In Medicine

SAMER NASHEF is fascinated by the power of numbers to foster transparency in medicine.

More

Book review: The House Of Hidden Mothers

ACTRESS and writer Meera Syal has set the literary bar high for herself. Her first novel Anita And Me is now a national curriculum set text, her second, Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, was made into a BBC drama.

More

Children’s books

Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies (Simon and Schuster €8.80)
Little Syd loves to visit his grandpa’s house at the end of the garden. 

More

Book review: Tender

Tender, a novel about being a gay man in unwelcoming 1970s Ireland, was published just after the marriage equality amendment was passed. That was purely coincidental, Belinda McKeon assures Caroline O’Doherty.

More

Book review: The Negotiator: A Memoir

George Mitchell’s life and career epitomise the American dream but it was his perception and patience that made it a great success, discovers Ryle T Dwyer.

More

Book review: The Life Of Saul Bellow: To Fame And Fortune, 1915-64

Leader’s account of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist weighs in at 812 pages, and this is only Part One, taking us up to the third of Bellow’s five marriages, writing of Humboldt’s Gift, and a secure position at the very summit of American letters.

More

Book review: Finders Keepers

With more than 50 novels under his belt, it’s admirable King still writes his own books, unlike some big authors whose names have been turned into brands.

More

Book review: The Framing of Harry Gleeson

THE hanging of an innocent man is of course the most cogent argument of all against the death penalty.

More

Book review: Mrs Engels

“NO-ONE understands men better than the women they don’t marry,” declares Lizzie Burns, the eponymous narrator of Gavin McCrea’s debut novel Mrs Engels.

More

Book review: The Turning Point

The Sunday Times bestselling author returns with a tale about finding love in unexpected circumstances.

More

Book review: Tiger Milk

TIGER Milk is made by mixing cheap Mariacron brandy and maracuja juice with milk from the school cafeteria in a wide-mouthed container of chocolate Müller milk. 

More

Children’s books

Murray The Horse by Gavin Puckett, illustrated by Frank Rodgers (Faber €7.55)
This handy little book of rhyme tells the story of a young horse called Murray, who dreams of becoming a world-renowned champion especially as his parents “won trophies and medals galore”. 

More

Kya deLongchamps reviews a new book on Wartski the jeweller

Wartski: The First 150 Years, really is something of a jewel. Author Geoffrey Munn is a familiar face on the BBC’s Antique Roadshow, where he tenderly unveils precious jewellery and object d’art brought to the wobbling tables every season.

More

Book review: My Life It’s A Long Story

Willie Nelson, at 82, has written an autobiography and Billy O’Callaghan finds it full of music, humour, thoughtfulness and insight culled from lessons learned the painful way — and surprisingly confessional.

More

Book review: The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney has rattled the cage with her debut novel, The Glorious Heresies, an authentic portrayal of Cork City’s underclass, says Sue Leonard.

More

Book review: Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians

MEMOIRS by naturalists who became enthused by some aspect of wildlife when they were children and whose enthusiasm survives a lifetime are relatively common these days. 

More

Book review: The Residence: Inside The Private World Of The White House

BUTLERS, plumbers, doormen, florists, the executive pastry chef: these are just some of the hundreds of people that work at the White House for the President of the USA.

More

Book review: Your Father Sends His Love

THREE years ago Stuart Evers wrote his first collection of short tales, Ten Stories About Smoking.

More

Book review: Romancing Ireland

WHEN entertainer Richard Hayward died in a car accident, aged 72, it was front-page news in the Irish daily newspapers, not just in his hometown, Belfast. 

More

Book review: Data-ism: Inside The Big Data Revolution

IT is a long time since that old chestnut about computer geeks inheriting the earth began doing the rounds but, as this book points out, it’s maths nerds who are the real stars.

More

Book review: Disappeared

THE normal standards of right and wrong did not apply to his parishioners,” observes Fr Jack Fee early on in Anthony J Quinn’s Disappeared, “only what was necessary or unnecessary for survival.”

More

Children’s books

Bears Don’t Read
by Emma Chichester Clark
(Harper Collins €8.80 ) 

More

Book review: The Ballroom Cafe

High court reporter Ann O’Loughlin sees us at our most distressed moments and is particularly passionate about the plight of children put up for forced adoption, a thread in her first novel. She explains all to Sue Leonard.

More

Book review: Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble

Anthony Beevor has written another history of another decisive WWII battle — the last throw of the dice for the Nazis, the Battle of the Bulge. Richard Fitzpatrick enjoyed it.

More

Book review: The Followers

If you’re looking for a summer read with brains, this is the perfect book.

More

Book review: The Girl Missing From the Window

AT FIRST glance, Paul O’Reilly’s debut collection of short stories seems issue-driven. 

More

Book review: Death Wears A Beauty Mask & Other Stories

THE facts speak for themselves, and they are very, very impressive: Over 50 novels published, million of copies sold, four-book contracts for over $60m. 

More

Book review: All My Puny Sorrows

YOLI is dying to keep her sister Elf alive. It is a full-time job for this author going through a second divorce, a middle-aged mother of teenagers seeking to finally write a novel for grown-ups after a series of Young Adult “rodeo romances”.

More

Book review: Dancing With The Enemy: My Family’s Holocaust Secret

Raised as Roman Catholic, Paul Glaser is shocked to discover a suitcase with his name on it, during a visit to Auschwitz, and he uncovers his father’s Jewish roots and learns about his estranged Aunt Rosie during World War II.

More

Book review: World Gone By

The latest novel from the American crime writer Dennis Lehane concludes a trilogy spanning the years from the end of the First World War to the start of the Second.

More

Children’s books

Dino-Daddy by Mark Sperring ( Bloomsbury €8.80)

More

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

Caroline Criado-Perez

Portobello Books, €16.99; ebook, €13.15

Review: Katie Wright

More

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.

More

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. 

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

Book review: At The Water’s Edge

At The Water’s Edge

Sara Gruen

Two Roads, €25.50; ebook, €9.49

Review: Heather Doughty

More

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

More

Book review: The Cellar

Minette Walters

Hammer, €19.50; ebook, €10.99

Review: Phil Robinson

More

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.    

More

Children’s books

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

More

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.    

More

First Thoughts: Massimo Carlotto’s Cocaine

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

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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. 

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

Children’s books

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

More

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. 

More

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.

More

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.

More

Book review: Billie Holiday: The Musician & The Myth

By John Szwed
Cornerstone, €29.50; ebook €14.99

More

Book review: A Song Of Shadows

By John Connolly
Hodder and Staughton

More

Book review: Lock No. 1

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

More

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. 

More

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. 

More

Children’s books

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

More

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

More

Book review: The Night Game

Frank Golden

Salmon, €12

More

Book review: Wilful Disregard a Novel about Love

Lena Andersson (translated by Sarah Death)

Picador, €19.50; ebook, €10.20

More

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

More

The Bear Whispers To Me

Chang Ying-Tai (translated by Darryl Sterk)

Balestier Press, €15.35; Kindle, €12.55

 

More

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

Caitlin Doughty Canongate,€20.55; ebook, €13.64

More

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 

More

Book review: The Science Of Happiness

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

More

Book review: Disclaimer

Disclaimer

More

Children’s books

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

More

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.

More

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”.

More

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. 

More

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.”

More

Book review: The Wolf Border

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

More

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. 

More

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. 

More

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. 

More

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. 

More

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! 

More

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.

More

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.

 

More

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.

More

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.

More

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. 

More

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.’

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.           

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.            

More

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    

More

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. 

More

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.

More

Children’s books

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

More

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.

More

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.

More

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. 

More

Book review: Glimpses of Ireland’s Past

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

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

Book review: The Shut Eye

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

More

Book review: Making Nice

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

More

Book review: The Lost and the Blind

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

More

Children’s Books

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

More

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.

More

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.

More

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. 

More

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.

More

Book review: Weightless

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

More

Book review: The Whitstable Pearl Mystery

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

More

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. 

More

Children’s books

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

More

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.

More

Book review: The Buried Giant

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

More

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.

More

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?

More

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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

Book review: Style

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

More

Children’s books

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

More

Book review: Weightless

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

More

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

More

Book review: A Killing Winter

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

More

Book review: The Heart of Man

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

More

Book review: The Fishermen

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

More

Book review: All Our Names

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

More

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. 

More