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
IN A BASEMENT studio just outside Paris, Gaspard Winckler, a master forger, has just murdered Anatole Madera, the crooked head of a group of international art dealers, and his patron.
Rachel Joyce’s debut The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was an exploration of a quiet, old-fashioned type of Englishness, as the eponymous protagonist walked from Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed to ’save’ a dying ex-colleague.More
DURING the Nazi occupation of Europe, some cities were more unfortunate than others.
Theo Dorgan’s new poetry collection, Nine Bright Shiners, utilises nautical metaphor to remember nine dead friends and loved-ones, says Thomas McCarthy.
Chu’s First Day at School
by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
These Brothers Grimm stories topics are common to mankind’s experience of life: they unite us all. Mary Leland on a new anthology.
Amy was “an OK actress” and later a social worker and a psychotherapist before realising that her childhood love of reading and her parents’ jobs as journalists were clues to her true calling. She spoke to Sue Leonard.
We Need New Names
Alfie in the Garden by Debi Gliori (Bloomsbury; €15.10 HB).More
Now That I’ve Found You
Hachette Books Ireland, €14.99; ebook, 6.32.
Review: Sue Leonard
Irish authors have taken pieces in the National Gallery as inspiration for prose and poetry, writes Peter Murray
Translated by Stephen Snyder
Mulholland Books/Hodder, €13.40, ebook €6.49
Review: Tony Clayton-Lea
Van Morisson’s incantations and repetitions, admonitions, yearnings and folk-music prove that people walked this earth yearning for a heaven elsewhere. Thomas McCarthy on a selection of Morisson’s lyrics.More
Nora Ephron had effortless style and her steeliness was as impressive as her slick observations. Marjorie Brennan is charmed by a collection of her impressive work.More
Miss Carter’s War
Bloomsbury, €15.99; ebook, €10.07
Review: Bridie Pritchard
The Monogram Murders
Harper Collins, €11.50
Review: Sarah Scoffin
The Cat, The Dog, Little Red, The Exploding Eggs, etc
by Diane and Chrystyan Fox
(Words and Pictures, €15.10 HB)
A powerful new book on the life of Derek Mahon sent Thomas McCarthy back to Mahon’s four key works, The Yaddo Letter, The Hudson Letter, The Yellow Book and Harbour Lights.More