Best new Irish and international books for autumn and beyond

It's a busy time for publishing, so we select 20 of the best new fiction and non-fiction titles, from Graham Norton, Caitlin Moran and others
Best new Irish and international books for autumn and beyond

Home Stretch, Graham Norton 

Bandon’s favourite son Norton seems to write books as effortlessly as he handles the celebrity guests on his TV couch. In his third novel, set in a small Irish town and New York in the 1980s, a catastrophic accident on the eve of a wedding reverberates through the lives of those left behind. Norton brings his storytelling skills to bear as he builds to the inevitable reckoning. Out Sept 29.

A Ghost in the Throat, Doireann Ní Ghriofa 

This prose debut from Cork-based writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a beguiling blend of memoir, essay, history and poetry in which she probes a connection across the centuries with another writer and mother, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, author of the famous 18th century lament Caoineadh Airt Ui Laoghaire. A raw and haunting read that lingers long in the mind.

Summerwater, Sarah Moss


Moss, an English writer recently transplanted to Ireland, hits the target in this presciently claustrophobic tale of holidaymakers watching and waiting as they are cooped up in their Scottish holiday cabins due to inclement weather. Moss builds the tension masterfullly, as readers wait for the axe to fall.

Jack, Marilynne Robinson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American author returns with the final instalment of the Gilead quartet, which focuses on the Presbyterian minister’s prodigal son Jack Boughton and his relationship with a black high-school teacher. Also a timely look at racial tensions in post-war America. Out Sept 29.

Inside Story, Martin Amis 

A new book from the former enfant terrible of fiction no longer has the literary world on tenterhooks but there is bound to be plenty to chew on in this autobiographical novel, inspired by his friendship with the late Christopher Hitchens among others. Out Sept 24.

The Sentinel, Lee Child and Andrew Child


This is the 25th Jack Reacher novel but it is more notable for being the first where Lee Child (nee Grant) shares writing duties with his brother Andrew. The siblings don’t deviate far from the phenomenally successful template, as Reacher arrives in a small town which is in the throes of a cyber attack. Will he, once again, save the day? Out Oct 27.

The Glorious Guinness Girls, Emily Hourican

Inspired by real events, this novel delves into the nearest thing Ireland had to an aristocracy, the Guinness dynasty. It follows the lives of Aileen, Maureen and Oonagh, granddaughters of the first Earl of Iveagh, who become embroiled in scandals, love affairs and tragedies, as the action moves from the turmoil of the War of Independence to the glamour of London high society. Out Sept 17.

That Old Country Music, Kevin Barry

No-one delights in rooting around the nooks and crannies of the small-town Irish psyche quite like the inimitable Barry. His customary wit and ear for dialogue are present and correct in this much-anticipated collection of short stories, his first since Dark Lies the Island, eight years ago. Out Oct 22.

The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman 

The much-loved Pointless presenter (and, incidentally, brother of Suede bassist Mat) turns to crime in this accomplished debut novel which follows the adventures of four friends in a peaceful retirement village who meet up once a week to discuss cold cases, until they find themselves investigating one in the here and now.

Snow, John Banville 

Previously appearing under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, this is the first of Banville’s detective novel to be published under his own name. Set in the 1950s, it has all the classic ingredients — a body in the library, a family with plenty of secrets and a detective from Dublin who must unravel it all. Out Oct 1.

Daddy, Emma Cline

Cline’s debut novel The Girls, inspired by Charles Manson and the Family, made quite a splash and now she’s back with a short story collection, each one centred on a father figure.

Troubled Blood, Robert Galbraith 

JK Rowling returns in her crime-writing guise, with the fifth instalment of the popular Cormoran Strike detective series. This time around, the brooding private eye takes on a cold case in Cornwall.

The Fire of Joy: Roughly 80 Poems to Get by Heart and Say Aloud, Clive James

The much-missed Australian writer and critic brought joy to many in print and on screen, while in later life, his poetry came to the fore. This book, finished just before his death last year, features 80 poems with accompanying commentaries. These are poems he would recite when, in the last months of his life, his vision was impaired and he was unable to read. Out Oct 1.

Mordew, Alex Pheby

This beautifully produced book from the small but mighty Galley Beggar Press is an absorbing and inventive addition to the fantasy genre. The first in a planned trilogy, slum-dwelling protagonist Nathan navigates life under a terrifying overlord in the unremittingly bleak city of the title.

Betty, Tiffany McDaniel

A lyrical and at times heartbreaking tale of a young girl raised in the foothills of the Appalachians who finds a release from a cruel and impoverished upbringing in the healing power of nature and writing.

And five non-fiction books you shouldn't miss

More Than A Woman, Caitlin Moran 

In her follow-up to the hugely successful How to Be A Woman, Moran, is, as ever, relatable and funny on the challenges faced by women in midlife. However, she also delves deeper, writing movingly of the anguish her family faced as her daughter struggled with an eating disorder.

Dear Reader: The Comfort of Joy of Books, Cathy Rentzenbrink 

Rentzenbrink once again displays her gift for intimate and incisive memoir in this beautifully written and currently resonant ode to reading and stories, exploring how books can keep us afloat in times of tragedy and adversity. Out Sept 17.

The Gospel of the Eels, Patrik Svensson


Swedish writer Svensson has been garnering rave reviews for this magical mixture of memoir and nature writing, which tracks the slippery story of one of the world’s most mysterious fish, while also examining his relationship with his father.

Beyond the Tape, Dr Marie Cassidy

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the appetite for true-crime stories, this memoir from Ireland’s first female State pathologist was acquired after a six-way bidding war. It promises to be a fascinating read, detailing some of the well-known cases Dr Cassidy worked on, as well as her personal journey. Out Oct 2.

Ok, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea, Patrick Freyne

If anyone is going to be an Irish David Sedaris, Freyne perhaps has the best claim. The  Irish Times features writer makes it look effortless, but there’s a knack to his particular brand of humour and observational commentary which he also brings to this collection of essays and musings on life in general. Out Sept 17.

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