Breaking Point, Edel Coffey ( HARDBACK, 20 JAN 22)

£14.99

Breaking Point is raw, compelling, and ground-breaking; Coffey puts the life of working mothers under a microscope. To say I loved it is an understatement, I expect it will be a huge success.' Liz Nugent'

A gripping, compulsive pageturner about what we expect from women, especially mothers. It's going to be a massive hit.' Marian Keyes

One mistake could cost her everything.

Susannah has two beautiful daughters, a high-flying medical career, a successful husband and an enviable life. Her hair is glossy, her clothes are expensive; she truly has it all. But when - on the hottest day of the year - her strict morning routine is disrupted, Susannah finds herself running on autopilot.

It is hours before she realises she has made a devastating mistake. Her baby, Louise, is still in the backseat of the car and it is too late to save her. As the press close in around her, Susannah is put on trial for negligence.

It is plain to see that this is not a trial, it's a witch hunt. But what will the court say?Readers love Breaking Point:'A genuine contender for best book I have read this year.' *****

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Thin Places, Kerri Ni Dochartaigh (paperback Jan 2022)

£9.99

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING - HIGHLY COMMENDED'

Remarkable' Robert Macfarlane'Beautiful' Amy Liptrot'Powerful, unflinching . . .

Part hymn to nature, part Troubles memoir' Guardian Kerri ni Dochartaigh was born in Derry at the very height of the Troubles. One parent was Catholic, the other Protestant. In the space of a year Kerri's family were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window.

For families like hers, terror was in the very fabric of the city. In Thin Places, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, and how we are again allowing our borders to become hard and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim and rejoice in our landscape, and to remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map.

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Ulysses: A Reader’s Odyssey ( Daniel Mulhall, Pb Jan 2022)

£13.99

Marking the centenary of Ireland’s – and possibly the world’s – most famous novel, this joyful introductory guide opens up Ulysses to a whole new readership, offering insight into the literary, historical and cultural elements at play in James Joyce’s masterwork.

Both eloquent and erudite, this book is an initiation into the wonders of Joyce’s writing and of the world that inspired it, written by Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States and an advocate for Irish literature around the world.

One hundred years on from that novel’s first publication, Ulysses: A Reader’s Odyssey takes us on a journey through one of the twentieth century’s greatest works of fiction. Exploring the eighteen chapters of the novel and using the famous structuring principle of Homer’s Odyssey as our guide, Daniel Mulhall releases Ulysses from its reputation of impenetrability, and shows us the pleasure it can offer us as readers.

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Acts of Desperation, Megan Nolan ( paperback Jan 2022)

£8.99

She's twenty-three and in love with love. He's older, and the most beautiful man she's ever seen. The affair is quickly consuming.

But this relationship is unpredictable, and behind his perfect looks is a mean streak. She's intent on winning him over, but neither is living up to the other's ideals. He keeps emailing his thin, glamorous ex, and she's starting to give in to secret, shameful cravings of her own.

The search for a fix is frantic, and taking a dangerous turn... We're all looking to get what we want - but do we know what we need?
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The Devil’s Advocate Steve Cavanagh ( paperback Jan 2022)

£8.99

DON WINSLOW : HE'S WON EVERY TRIAL. BECAUSE HE'S BEHIND EVERY MURDER. Ambitious District Attorney Randal Korn lives to watch prisoners executed. Even if they are not guilty.

An innocent man, Andy Dubois, faces the death penalty for the murder of young girl. Korn has already fixed things to make sure he wins a fast conviction. The one thing Korn didn't count on was Eddie Flynn.

Slick, street smart and cunning, the former con artist turned New York lawyer has only seven days to save an innocent man against a corrupt system and find the real killer. In a week the Judge will read the verdict, but will Eddie be alive to hear it?

This is the 3rd book in the Eddie Flynn series, following 'Thirteen' and ' Fifty Fifty' although it works as a standalone story.

 

'Addictive, unpredictable and timely' WILL DEAN'Gripping, twisty and smart' JANE FALLON'THE beach read of the summer of 2021' ADRIAN MCKINTY'Like a binge-worthy boxset in book form' PHILIPPA PERRY'This is Steve Cavanagh's best yet' JO SPAIN

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The Raptures, Jan Carson ( hardback Jan 2022)

£14.99

When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences. It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks' reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other.

As others fall ill, questions about what - or who - is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Isolated and afraid, she prays for help.

Elsewhere in the village, tempers simmer, panic escalates and long-buried secrets threaten to emerge. Bursting with Carson's trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community - and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl.

As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option available. Darkly funny, highly inventive and deeply moving, The Raptures is an unmissable novel of 2022.
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Life Without Children : Stories, by Roddy Doyle ( hardback October 2021)

£14.99

A brilliantly warm, witty and moving portrait of our pandemic lives, told in ten heart-rending short stories. Love and marriage. Children and family. Death and grief.

Life touches everyone the same. But living under lockdown, it changes us alone. In these ten, beautifully moving short stories mostly written over the last year, Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle paints a collective portrait of our strange times.

A man abroad wanders the stag-and-hen-strewn streets of Newcastle, as news of the virus at home asks him to question his next move. An exhausted nurse struggles to let go, having lost a much-loved patient in isolation. A middle-aged son, barred from his mother's funeral, wakes to an oncoming hangover of regret.

Told with Doyle's signature warmth, wit and extraordinary eye for the richness that underpins the quiet of our lives, Life Without Children cuts to the heart of how we are all navigating loss, loneliness, and the shifting of history underneath our feet. 
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April in Spain, John Banville ( hardback October 2021)

£14.99

The sumptuous, propulsive, sun-kissed follow up to the bestselling Snow, from the Booker Prize winning author' He wanted to know who she was, and why he was convinced he had some unremembered connection with her. It was as simple as that. But he knew it wasn't. It wasn't simple at all.'

When Dublin pathologist Quirke glimpses a familiar face while on holiday with his wife, it's hard, at first, to tell whether his imagination is just running away with him. Could she really be who he thinks she is, and have a connection with a crime that nearly brought ruin to an Irish political dynasty? Unable to ignore his instincts, Quirke makes a call back home and Detective St John Strafford is soon dispatched to Spain. But he's not the only one on route: as a terrifying hitman hunts down his prey, they are all set for a brutal showdown.

Praise for Snow: 'Superb ... crime fiction for the connoisseur.' The Times

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Alyssa, JG Cully ( paperback, August 2021)

£11.99

An ‘urban fantasy’, also great for teens / YA 

 

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The Milkman’s Dilemma, Robin Shields (paperback Nov 2020)

£7.99

The Milkman's Dilemma is based mainly in Belfast and also in Liverpool, where Clodagh and her husband had 'escaped' to in order to discover a different life to Belfast. However, Clodagh finds herself back in the family home after a misunderstanding with her husband. The visit home brings about many happy memories and stories from the past, and from Clodagh's upbringing. Written with traditional Belfast colloquialisms and sayings, the story brings to life what living in Belfast, in a big family is like, along with the humour that goes with it. Clodagh's imagination, fuelled by the support of her family makes for some very interesting theories, which make the book even funnier. A laugh-out-loud, feel good story with an unexpected twist at the end.
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The New Girl, Sinead Moriarty ( hardback, August 2021)

£11.99

At school, Ruby is the odd one out. Although Denise and Clara are her friends, they are each other's best friend and she is the 'other' friend. So when new girl Safa, a refugee who has just arrived in Ireland from Syria, joins the class, she is put sitting beside Ruby.

Safa and Ruby realise that their lives are very different. But as they get to know each other they soon discover that they have more in common than they might think. A timely and heart-warming story of friendship from one of Ireland's best-loved storytellers.

'A story about friendship, hope and courage ... I loved it and couldn't put it down!' Christy Lefteri, The Beekeeper of Aleppo
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Dinner Party : A Tragedy, Sarah Gilmartin ( HB, Sept 2021)

£16.99

** This is one of the most astute, enjoyable books I've read this year so far!** Linda 

Kate has taught herself to be careful, to be meticulous. To mark the anniversary of a death in the family, she plans a dinner party - from the fancy table settings to the perfect Baked Alaska waiting in the freezer. Yet by the end of the night, old tensions have flared, the guests have fled, and Kate is spinning out of control.

But all we have is ourselves, her father once said, all we have is family. Set between the 1990s and the present day, from a farmhouse in Carlow to Trinity College, Dublin, Dinner Party is a dark, sharply observed debut that thrillingly unravels into family secrets and tragedy. As the past catches up with the present, Kate learns why, despite everything, we can't help returning home.

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The Battle for Perfect ( 3) Helena Duggan ( paperback 2019)

£7.99

Who is the evil genius plotting revenge in the town that used to be Perfect? Things are quiet in the town that used to be Perfect until Violet receives a strange note and she catches Tom sneaking about. When Violet and Boy follow Tom they uncover a lot more trouble brewing. Town is about to be taken over by a huge zombie army.

Can Violet and Boy save themselves and their friends? It's a matter of life or death! A reissue of the highly charged finale to the bestselling series that began with A Place Called Perfect. Fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton will love this quirky, creepy and unforgettable adventure series.
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The Letters of John McGahern ( hardback, Sept 2021)

£30.00

 I am no good at letters. John McGahern, 1963

John McGahern is consistently hailed as one of the finest Irish writers since James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. This volume collects some of the witty, profound and unfailingly brilliant letters that he exchanged with family, friends and literary luminaries - such as Seamus Heaney, Sophia Hillen, Colm Toibin and Paul Muldoon - over the course of a well-travelled life. It is one of the major contributions to the study of Irish and British literature of the past thirty years, acting not just as a crucial insight into the life and works of a much-revered writer - but also a history of post-war Irish literature and its close ties to British and American literary life.

'One of the greatest writers of our era.' Hilary Mantel' McGahern brings us that tonic gift of the best fiction, the sense of truth - the sense of transparency that permits us to see imaginary lives more clearly than we see our own.' John Updike

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Art of Falling, Danielle McLaughlin (paperback, Sept 2021)

£8.99

A gripping novel and a sharp, entertaining examination of the nature of art and its power to inspire and corrupt' Roddy Doyle

Nessa McCormack's marriage is coming back together again after her husband's affair. She is excited to be in charge of a retrospective art exhibit for one of Ireland's most beloved and enigmatic artists, the late sculptor Robert Locke. But the arrival of two outsiders imperils both her personal and professional worlds: a chance encounter with an old friend threatens to expose a betrayal Nessa thought she had long put behind her, and at work, an odd woman comes forward claiming to be the true creator of Robert Locke's most famous work, The Chalk Sculpture.

As Nessa finds the past intruding on the present, she must decide whether she can continue to live a lie - or whether she's ready to face the consequences once everything is out in the open. In this gripping debut, Danielle McLaughlin reveals profound truths about love, power, and the secrets that rule us.

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Iron Annie, Luke Cassidy ( hardback Sept 2021)

£14.99

The energy, the voice, the language, the characters, all real, raw and utterly convincing' Fiona Scarlett, author of Boys Don't Cry'

Aoife knows everyone in Dundalk's underworld. Too well, in some cases.

But when she meets Annie, a beautiful whirlwind of a woman, and brings her to the Town, she finds that she doesn't know nearly enough about her. Annie is magnetic and wild and Aoife's desire to learn more quickly becomes a need, and then an obsession - to know this dangerous woman, to love her, to keep her. So when Aoife's friend and collaborator the Rat King asks her to help him dispose of ten kilos of cocaine, swiped from a rival, she brings Annie along for a road trip through a Britain that she only knows as a place to be suspicious of.

So when Annie decides she doesn't want to return to Ireland, Aoife makes a decision that changes everything. Gritty and yet tender, tragic and yet hopeful, Iron Annie is a breakneck journey that crackles with energy, warmth and heart, and marks the arrival of a fresh and vibrant new voice in literary fiction. 'Full of wonder, grit, insight, sadness and joy' Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart

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Checkout 19, Claire-Louise Bennett ( hardback, 19 August 2021)

£14.99

*A 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK IN THE GUARDIAN, DAILY MAIL, DAILY TELEGRAPH, IRISH TIMES CULTURE AND NEW STATESMAN*'

We read in order to come to life.'With fierce imagination, a woman revisits the moments that shape her life; from crushes on teachers to navigating relationships in a fast-paced world; from overhearing her grandmothers' peculiar stories to nurturing her own personal freedom and a boundless love of literature. Fusing fantasy with lived experience, Checkout 19 is a vivid and mesmerising journey through the small traumas and triumphs that define us - as readers, as writers, as human beings.

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Blank Pages, Bernard MacLaverty ( hardback, August 2021)

£14.99

The extraordinary new story collection from one of Ireland's greatest writers and bestselling author of Midwinter Break. Bernard MacLaverty is a consummately gifted short-story writer and novelist whose work - like that of John McGahern, William Trevor, Edna O'Brien or Colm Toibin - is deceptively simple on the surface, but carries a turbulent undertow. Everywhere, the dark currents of violence, persecution and regret pull at his subject matter: family love, the making of art, Catholicism, the Troubles and, latterly, ageing.

Blank Pages is a collection of twelve extraordinary new stories that show the emotional range of a master. 'Blackthorns', for instance, tells of a poor out-of-work Catholic man who falls gravely ill in the sectarian Northern Ireland of 1942 but is brought back from the brink by an unlikely saviour. The most recently written story here is the harrowing but transcendent 'The End of Days', which imagines the last moments in the life of painter Egon Schiele, watching his wife dying of Spanish flu - the world's worst pandemic, until now.

Much of what MacLaverty writes is an amalgam of sadness and joy, of circumlocution and directness. He never wastes words but neither does he ever forget to make them sing. Each story he writes creates a universe.
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The Devil’s Advocate, Steve Cavanagh ( hardback Aug 2021)

£12.99

Steve Cavanagh, Belfast's greatest crime writer ...... 

They call him the King of Death Row. 
Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair. But the murders are just beginning.

The Devil's Advocate makes your palms sweat and your blood run cold; the terrific trial scenes out-Grisham John Grisham.' The Times 

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The Settlement, Ruth Kirby Smith ( paperback July 2021)

£9.99

Written by a N Irish author who attended Methody, and QUB, this is a page-turning drama set in a turbulent period of Irish history ( was there ever a non turbulent period?!) Most copies should be signed.  

Returning to Ireland from Boston in 1984 for her grandmother’s funeral to the (fictional) village of Lindara, County Armagh, Olivia is appalled when a man she has never seen before spits at Sarah’s coffin. The mystery is gradually revealed through the grandmother’s journal ... in those pages are the agonies of spurned love, a hastily contrived rebound marriage, but also humour. This is Sarah’s story, recounting the momentous events leading up to the partition of Ireland but from the point of view of the anti-Home Rulers of the north, a perspective which has attracted less attention in fiction.

Although ideologically not completely attuned to the beliefs of her husband and community, Sarah finds herself caught up in gun-running. 

Kirby-Smith evokes the widening fissures in what was to become a border community, the fear of reprisals and the harbouring of resentment through generations which mirrors Ulster’s more recent Troubles. Occasionally the narrative risks turning into a retelling of history – but what a history – until the characters reassert themselves. This novel is neatly plotted, and secrets hidden for decades are deftly revealed and satisfyingly resolved.

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The Weight of Love, Hilary Fannin ( paperback, March 2021)

£8.99

Robin and Ruth meet in the staff room of an East London school.

Robin, desperate for a real connection, instantly falls in love. Ruth, recently bereaved and fragile, is tentative. When Robin introduces Ruth to his childhood friend, Joseph, a tortured and talented artist, their attraction is instant.

Powerless, Robin watches on as the girl he loves and his best friend begin a passionate and turbulent affair. Dublin 2017. Robin and Ruth are married and have a son, Sid, who is about to emigrate to Berlin.

Theirs is a marriage haunted by the ghost of Joseph and as the distance between them grows, Robin makes a choice that could have potentially devastating consequences. The Weight of Love is a beautiful exploration of how we manage life when the notes and beats of our existence, so carefully arranged, begin to slip off the stave. An intimate and moving account of the intricacies of marriage and the myriad ways in which we can love and be loved.

'Delicate, powerful, hypnotic' DONAL RYAN'

Fannin's novel is already likely to be a serious contender for one of the books of the year' SUNDAY TIMES

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Here Is The Beehive, Sarah Crossan ( paperback July 2021)

£8.99

What would you do if you lost someone the world never knew was yours? For three years, Ana has been consumed by an affair with Connor, a client at her law firm. Their love has been consigned to hotel rooms and dark corners of pubs, their relationship kept hidden from the world. So the morning that Ana's company receives a call to say that Connor is dead, her secret grief has nowhere to go.

Desperate for an outlet, Ana seeks out the shadowy figure who has always stood just beyond her reach - Connor's wife Rebecca...

'Utterly gripping' RODDY DOYLE'

One of Paul and I's favourites - really engrossing read - Linda 

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Pure Gold, John Patrick McHugh ( hardback, June 24th 2021)

£12.99

'Ireland produces writers the way some countries produce footballers, and the latest is John Patrick McHugh' Sunday Times 'One of the most exciting writers working in Ireland today' SALLY ROONEY, author of Normal People 

You had to scrap for love. In this stunning debut short story collection exploring betrayal and longing on an imagined island off the west coast of Ireland, John Patrick McHugh takes us deep into a community of individuals who are lost, yearning, and self-deceiving.

We see two boys set fires while their worlds fall apart, follow a couple driving out to the hills in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, watch a widow seek a stranger's help to bury her grief, see a horse crash a house party. Whether falling in love or turning on one another the residents here are united by a quest for connection in the treacherous waters of small-town boredom. In stories that are bitterly funny, profoundly moving and crackling with wild energy, McHugh embeds us in the fragile moments on which a life can twist and turn.

Pure Gold heralds the arrival of a thrilling new literary voice.

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Awaken Your Power Within, Gerry Hussey ( 13 May 2021, paperback)

£14.99

Gerry Hussey is Ireland's leading health and performance coach and founder of the incredible movement Soul Space. Here in his first book, Awaken Your Power Within, he brings us on an open, honest and mind-blowing human encounter that takes us inside the heart and mind of a young boy who dared to ask deeper questions about the mind and soul. With amazing insights, life lessons, and powerful meditations Awaken Your Power Within unlocks the truths about how we experience the world and shows us how we can break free from unconscious, self-limiting beliefs, habits, emotions and thinking patterns to reshape and reclaim our inner world, enabling us to live as our truest and most powerful self.

From letting go of the fear of not being enough, to overcoming the dis-ease of distraction, to opening up to a deeper level of consciousness, Awaken Your Power Within is a powerful guide for all ages, one which takes us on a path of discovery to a deeper understanding of who we truly are and the limitless possibilities of which we are all capable. 'You are an infinite being with infinite potential. All you need to do is open yourself to a new consciousness, a true vision of who you really are and awaken to the power within' Gerry Hussey
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The Troubles With Us, Allie O’Neill ( hardback 24th June 2021)

£14.99

A hilarious memoir about growing up in Northern Ireland in the 90s towards the end of the Troubles and a brilliantly propelling narrative of the extraordinary background story of her mother. Her mother's vivid personality and witty colloquialisms dominate the book and help to give a social history of life in Belfast from the 1950s onwards. Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O'Neill has seen it all - burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist and a classmate playing hide and seek with her dad's prosthetic hand (blown off making a device for the IRA).

Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They're too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl - booze, boys and Boyzone - to worry about the violence on their doorstep. Besides, the odd coffee jar bomb is nothing compared to the drama about to explode in Alix's personal life.

Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother's unorthodox family - a loving yet eccentric band of misfits - behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it's through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women. Warm, embarrassing and full of love and insight, The Troubles with Us is a hilarious and moving account of the madness and mundanities of life in Northern Ireland during the thirty-year conflict.

It's a story of mothers and daughters, the fallout from things left unsaid and the lengths a girl will go to for fake tan.
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Holding Her Breath, Eimear Ryan ( large pb, June 2021)

£12.99

A young woman comes of age in the shadow of her family's tragic past

When Beth Crowe starts university, she is shadowed by the ghost of her potential as a competitive swimmer. Free to create a fresh identity for herself, she finds herself among people who adore the poetry of her grandfather, Benjamin Crowe, who died tragically before she was born. She embarks on a secret relationship - and on a quest to discover the truth about Benjamin and his widow, her beloved grandmother Lydia.

The quest brings her into an archive that no scholar has ever seen, and to a person who knows things about her family that nobody else knows. Holding Her Breath is a razor-sharp, moving and seriously entertaining novel about complicated love stories, ambition and grief - and a young woman coming fully into her powers. __________'A beautiful coming-of-age story told with impressive skill and lightness of touch .

. . I absolutely loved it' LOUISE O'NEILL' Precise, sure, engaging, and a joy to read' RODDY DOYLE'

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The Butchers, Ruth Gilligan (paperback June 2021)

£8.99

*WINNER of the 2021 RSL Ondaatje Prize***'

I binged it like a Netflix show... It's stunning' Luke Kennard, author of The Transition

A photograph is hung on a gallery wall for the very first time since it was taken two decades before. It shows a slaughter house in rural Ireland, a painting of the Virgin Mary on the wall, a meat hook suspended from the ceiling - and, from its sharp point, the lifeless body of a man hanging by his feet.

The story of who he is and how he got there casts back into Irish folklore, of widows cursing the land and of the men who slaughter its cattle by hand. But modern Ireland is distrustful of ancient traditions, and as the BSE crisis in England presents get-rich opportunities in Ireland, few care about The Butchers, the eight men who roam the country, slaughtering the cows of those who still have faith in the old ways. Few care, that is, except for Fionn, the husband of a dying woman who still believes; their son Davey, who has fallen in love with the youngest of the Butchers; Gra, the lonely wife of one of the eight; and her 12-year-old daughter, Una, a girl who will grow up to carry a knife like her father, and who will be the one finally to avenge the man in the photograph.

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Last Days in Cleaver Square, Patrick McGrath (hardback, May 2021)

£16.99

Powerful...compelling and profoundly moving' Irish Times'

Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger - his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails.

With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As they journey south, down the motorways, through the service stations, a devastating picture reveals itself: a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations. 

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Collar and Elbow, Ruadhan MacFadden ( PB, June 2021)

£18.00

Collar and Elbow was once the national wrestling style of Ireland. Taking a firm grip on each other’s jackets, competitors would engage in intricate, lightning-fast battles of “footsparring” in which they would attempt to trip, throw, or otherwise send each other crashing to the ground.

This book explores the history of Collar and Elbow, its staggering popularity, its strategies and techniques, how it fit into wider sporting and combative contexts, and examines the causes behind the style’s precipitous disappearance. Given the modern resurgence of interest in grappling sports such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, might it now be possible to spark a revival of the tradition that was once known worldwide as “the Irish method” of wrestling?

About the author

Ruadhán MacFadden is an independent researcher in cultural anthropology, focusing on the history and traditions of folk wrestling styles around the world. He is a member of the special advisory group of UNESCO ICM, in which he represents the traditional Irish wrestling style of Collar and Elbow. Ruadhán has more than a decade of experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has trained and taught grappling in over a dozen countries.

 

Please note this is not an instock item, so allow time for order to arrive. 

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Our Wild World, Eanna Ni Lamhna (large paperback, March 2021)

£15.99

Wildlife expert Eanna Ni Lamhna takes us on a tour of all things to do with our wonderful natural world: from a celebration of our fascinating birds and bees, and their powers of migration and pollination, to the thorny challenges of our time, such as climate change, sustainability and our carbon footprint. Her mantra is that learning about our wild world is not just for young children or David Attenborough fans, it is a lifelong necessary knowledge for our survival - and we need to open our eyes and our minds to the challenges that face us and our world into the future. The key is to find the balance between our needs and wants and the future of our precious planet and all its inhabitants.

But who wants spiders in their house? And what use are wasps anyway? Should we be worried by genetic engineering and windfarms? Biodiversity - what did it ever do for us? Does it mean the end of the world if the whales become extinct? Are global warming and climate change the same thing? What happened to the hole in the ozone layer? Is veganism the answer to sustainable food? What is carbon sequestration - just fancy words for trees? And why are carbon sinks so important? Is the mobile phone taking over our lives for good or for evil? How does a virus become a pandemic, and why? It's witty, down to earth and irreverant, yet covers so much important information - Linda 

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Mother Mother, Annie Macmanus ( hardback May 2021)

£16.99

A brilliant book...that explores the brutal legacy of addiction and the consequences of a deep grief left to stagnate' SARA COX'

One Saturday morning, TJ McConnell wakes up to find his mother, Mary, gone. He doesn't know where - or why - but he's the only one who can help find her. Mary grew up longing for information about the mother she never knew. Her brother could barely remember her, and their father numbed his pain with drink. Now aged thirty-seven, Mary has lived in the same house her whole life. She's never left Belfast.

TJ, who's about to turn eighteen, is itching to see more of the world. But when his mother disappears, TJ begins to realise what he's been taking for granted. MOTHER MOTHER takes us down the challenging road of Mary's life while following TJ's increasingly desperate search for her, as he begins to discover what has led her to this point.

This is a story about family, grief, addiction and motherhood, and it asks an important question - if you spend your life giving everything to the ones you love, do you risk losing yourself along the way?

'Brave and occasionally heartbreaking... Macmanus' debut novel is assured, evocative and, like her characters, full of gentle strength' Jan Carson'

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Moving About The Place, Evelyn Conlon ( paperback, May 2021)

£12.99

This collection of eleven stories by one of Ireland's best writers is a compelling exploration of what comes from moving about the place. In these stories, Evelyn Conlon vividly imagines her characters all over the world: Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Italy, Monaco, in a house with two drills of vegetables in Skerries. A couple spend their lives wandering around the equator because of a lie they told during anti-apartheid days; one person holds out in a border-straddling tree; a woman from Hiroshima makes the decision to get pregnant; an Irishwoman attempts to assassinate Mussolini, another fights for women's suffrage in Australia.

Brilliantly written, witty, and full of the sharp observation for which Conlon is well known, Moving About the Place brings together some of the best of her recent work, along with brand-new stories, including a novella, to show how borders, movement and history change and transform people's lives.

'A genuinely exploratory writer ... her work is excitingly original.' The Times'

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Tennis Lessons, Susannah Dickey ( paperback April 2021)

£8.99

 For readers who want to laugh and cry: the brave, beautiful, sometimes brutal story of a young misfit and her rocky road to womanhood, stopping at each year along the way. 'I loved Tennis Lessons so much' ELIZABETH DAY

 You're strange and wrong. You've known it from the beginning.

This is the voice that rings in your ears. Because you never say the right thing. You're a disappointment to everyone.

You're a far cry from beautiful - and your thoughts are ugly too. You seem bound to fail, bound to break. But you know what it is to laugh with your best friend, to feel the first tentative tingles of attraction, to take exquisite pleasure in the affront of your unruly body.

You just need to find your place. From dead pets and crashed cars to family traumas and misguided love affairs, Susannah Dickey's revitalizing debut novel plunges us into the private world of one young woman as she navigates her rocky way to adulthood. 'Brilliant .

. . stays in the mind long after reading' IRISH TIMES'A beautifully written and psychologically incisive bildungsroman...the arrival of a young writer to watch' OBSERVER

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Look! It’s a Woman Writer! Edited By Eilis Ni Dhuibhne (paperback, April 2021)

£25.00

This is a scholarly and yet intensely readable book. It takes female writers who were largely born in the 1950's and asks each one to reflect on her experience of being published, read and taken seriously as a writer in Ireland. The vast majority of these women do so, against a backdrop of raising families, holding down 'proper' jobs and generally swimming against the tide of what is expected from them. I found it inspiring, and humbling. In the words of Mark Twain, many of us might say "I'm writing  a novel" to which his sharp reply was "Neither am I".  These pioneers demonstrated through sheer will and dedication , to actually follow through. Some are more personal, some more academic, but an essential read for anyone interested in gender studies, writing in Ireland and creative endeavour.
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Snowflake, Louise Nealon ( hardback May 2021)

£12.99

Tender, laugh-out-loud funny, and deeply moving' Louise O'Neill, author of After the Silence

Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.

This world is Debbie's normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve's eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy's drinking gets worse.

Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety. A startling, honest, laugh and cry novel about growing up and leaving home, only to find that you've taken it with you, Snowflake is a novel for a generation, and for everyone who's taken those first, terrifying steps towards adulthood.

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Shannon Country, Paul Clements ( large paperback, Sept 2020)

£14.99

In August 1939 the Irish travel writer Richard Hayward set out on a road trip to explore the Shannon region just two weeks before the Second World War broke out. His evocative account of that trip, Where the River Shannon Flows, became a bestseller. The book, still sought after by lovers of the river, captures an Ireland of small shops and barefoot street urchins that has long since disappeared.

Eighty years on, inspired by his work, Paul Clements retraces Hayward's journey along the river, following - if not strictly in his footsteps - then within the spirit of his trip. From the Shannon Pot in Cavan, 344 kilometres south to the Shannon estuary, his meandering odyssey takes him by car, on foot, and by bike and boat, discovering how the riverscape has changed but is still powerful in symbolism. While he recreates Hayward's trip, Clements also paints a compelling portrait of twenty-first century Ireland, mingling travel and anecdote with an eye for the natural world.

He sails to remote islands, spends times in rural backwaters and secluded riverside villages where the pub is the hub, and attempts a quest for the Shannon connection behind the title of Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds.  On a quixotic journey by foot, boat, bike and car, Paul Clements produces an intimate portrait of the hidden countryside, its people, topography and wildlife, creating a collective memory map, looking at what has been lost and what has changed. Beyond the motorways and cities, you can still catch the pulse of an older, quieter Ireland of hay meadows and bogs, uninhabited islands and remote towpaths. This is the country of the River Shannon that runs through literature, art, cultural history and mythology with a riptide pull on our imagination.

* signed copies available * 

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Thirty Two Words for Field, Manchan Magan (hardback)

£18.99

Geamhar – a field of corn-grass

Tuar – a field for cattle at night

Réidhleán – a field for games or dancing

Cathairín – a field with a fairy-dwelling in it

The richness of a language closely tied to the natural landscape offered our ancestors a more magical way of seeing the world. Before we cast old words aside, let us consider the sublime beauty and profound oddness of the ancient tongue that has been spoken on this island for almost 3,000 years.

In Thirty-Two Words for Field, Manchán Magan meditates on these words – and the nuances of a way of life that is disappearing with them.

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Ireland’s Wild Plants, Niall Mac Coitir (paperback)

£14.99

Ireland's wild plants have been part of our culture and folklore from the earliest times, featuring in the Brehon Laws, early Irish poetry and herbal medicine. Plants are described in seasonal order and different aspects are examined: their roles in magical protection, charms and spells, emblems in children's games, Irish place names and folklore. This beautifully illustrated and comprehensive compilation of natural history, mythology and folklore will entertain and enlighten all interested in the wild plants of Ireland.
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Ireland’s Trees, Niall Mac Coitir (paperback)

£14.99

Name the five Great Trees of Ireland? What trees are most often found beside holy wells or cemeteries? Which tree gave the Red Branch Knights of Ulster their name? Ireland was once so heavily wooded it was said a squirrel could travel from Cork to Killarney without touching the ground. So it is no surprise that, in ancient Ireland, mythology and folklore were a part of the people's general knowledge about trees. Many of the myths and legends and much of the folklore associated with native trees persists to this day and are gathered together in this book. A detailed and fascinating book. 
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