/The Best of Irish

The Best Irish Books from the Gutter Bookshop

Our booksellers have picked out their favourite Irish books and writing, so do have a browse of our Irish picks online and in our bookshops and remember – if you prefer, you can order online here and pick them up from either of our stores using the ‘click and collect’ option at checkout and you won’t have to pay any postage! Can’t see the books your looking for? Use our Book Search option in the dropdown menu above to let us know what you want, and we’ll come back to you with the price and an expected delivery time.

*UPDATE ON SATURDAY 28TH MARCH 2020*

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown in Ireland we are no longer able to pack and send online orders until 12th April (or until the lockdown is lifted). If you do wish to place an order, please be aware that it will not be posted until the lockdown ends. Click & Collect parcels will not be available until the lockdown ends. Both shops are fully closed during this period. Thank you for your support and understanding, and love to you and your friends and families at this difficult time. Bob (Owner).

  • The Glossie Influencer Awards are fast approaching and Ali Jones is hell-bent on a win and breaking through 10,000 followers on Instagram. But when Ali inadvertantly leads people to believe she's pregnant, she quickly realises that playing the 'Mummy-Influencer' card could be her ticket to Insta-success. And she's not going to let a small detail like a fake pregnancy get in her way. Even if the reappearance of Tinder Sam, who seems determined to take his role of 'baby' daddy seriously, makes things a little more complicated ... Elsewhere on Insta, Shelly Devine, Ireland's biggest influencer (and Ali's idol) is also guarding secrets from her followers, and her husband ... Both Ali and Shelly have decisions to make but as the night of the Glossies draws near, will they realise what's important before they lose what matters most? ISBN 9781529343397
  • LARGE PAPERBACK From the Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter's search to understand her mother's hidden truths. This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O'Dell, as told by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London's West End. Katherine's life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings. But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine's past, or the world's damage. As Norah uncovers her mother's secrets, she acquires a few of her own. Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime. Actress is about a daughter's search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad. Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives. A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd. ISBN 9781787332072
  • When we experience trauma, loss or grief the pain can feel as if it will last forever. We begin to wonder if our old selves - the ones who felt hope and happiness and joy - are lost to us. And our emotions can lead us into damaging behaviours that compound our problems. Dr Harry Barry acknowledges there is no magic wand that will take our pain away completely, but he uses his clinical experience, combined with cognitive behavioural therapy, to show that emotional healing is always possible. You can put yourself back together with the simple exercises and straightforward advice that have helped countless others. Emotional Healing is a practical, compassionate companion for anyone who feels that their emotional wounds are preventing them from fully embracing life. Learn to feel like yourself again. Publication date: 23rd April 2020 ISBN 9781409188582
  • From the prize-winning author of To Be a Machine - meet the men and women preparing for the end of the world In the remote mountains of Scotland, in high-tech bunkers in South Dakota and in the lush valleys of New Zealand, small groups of determined men and women are getting ready. They are environmentalists who fear the ravages of climate change; billionaire entrepreneurs dreaming of life on Mars; and right-wing conspiracists yearning for a lost American idyll. One thing unites them: their certainty that we are only years away from the end of civilization as we know it. Not unconcerned himself by the possibility of the end of days, Mark O'Connell set out to meet them. Publication date: 16th April 2020 ISBN 9781783786374
  • Meet Charlie Savage. Charlie is a middle-aged Dubliner with an indefatigable wife, an exasperated daughter, a drinking buddy who's realised that he's been a woman all along ... Compiled here for the first time is a whole year's worth of Roddy Doyle's hilarious series for the Irish Independent. Giving a unique voice to the everyday, he draws a portrait of a man - funny, loyal, somewhat bewildered - trying to keep pace with the modern world (if his knees don't give out first). ISBN 9781784709570
  • Hector and Bolivar set sail from their South American fishing village on what they believe to be a routine expedition. But then a devastating storm casts them adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With no means of contacting the outside world and no sign of rescue, their only hope lies with one another. Both men must confront the truth about themselves, and the regrets that they have spent a lifetime trying to forget, if they are to survive. Part gripping story of resilience, part fearless existential parable, Beyond the Sea is a meditation on what it means to be human, in a world that pushes us to the brink. ISBN 9781786077608
  • Michael, a retired Irish engineer, has lived away from Ireland for most of his life and now resides alone in Bilbao after the death of his girlfriend, Catherine. Each day he listens to two versions of the same piece of music before walking the same route to visit Richard Serra's enormous permanent installation, The Matter of Time, in the Guggenheim Museum. Over the course of 45 minutes before he leaves his apartment, Michael reflects on past projects and how they have endured, the landscape of his adolescence, and his relationship with Catherine, which acts as the marker by which he judges the passing of time. Over the course of the narrative, certain fascinations crop up: electricity, porcelain, the bogland of his youth, a short story by Robert Walser, and a five-year period of prolonged mental agitation spent in Leipzig with Catherine. This `sabbatical', caused by the stress of his job and the suicide of a former colleague, splits his career as an engineer into two distinct parts. A Sabbatical in Leipzig is intensely realistic, mapped out like Michael's intricate drawings. With a clear voice and precise, structured thoughts, we are brought from an empty landscape to envision the creation of structures in cities across Europe, from London to Leipzig and Bilbao. This narrator has left the void of his world in rural Ireland to build new environments elsewhere, yet remains connected to his homeland. Duncan's second novel stands alone as a substantial and compelling work of literary fiction. ISBN 9781843517764
  • Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man takes a job driving a haulage lorry through France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger - his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails. With a week on the road together, man and girl must attempt to restore themselves and each other, and to repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As the pair journey down the motorways and through the service stations of France, a devastating picture reveals itself: a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations. Publication date: 30th April 2020 ISBN 9781781620533
  • It's late one night at the Spanish port of Algeciras and two fading Irish gangsters are waiting on the boat from Tangier. A lover has been lost, a daughter has gone missing, their world has come asunder - can it be put together again?Night Boat to Tangier is a novel drenched in sex and death and narcotics, in sudden violence and old magic. But above all, it is a book obsessed with the mysteries of love. A tragicomic masterwork from the award-winning Kevin Barry, Night Boat to Tangier is a work of melancholy beauty, wit and lyrical brilliance. Publication date:2nd April 2020 ISBN 9781782116202
  • Naoise Dolan explodes onto the scene with Exciting Times, a slyly humorous and scorchingly smart modern love story about three cynics in Hong Kong. When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents' money, it's called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she's not sure what to call it, but it involves: - a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children; - Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room; - Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks; - money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections. Exciting times ensue. Publication date: 14th April 2020 ISBN 9781474613453
  • In today's economy, where one-job careers are increasingly a thing of the past, workplace benefits are increasingly hard to come by, and the achievement of major life goals - like buying a house or starting a family - often depends on your ability to save, it's more important than ever that we understand how to get the absolute most from our money. In How to Be Good with Money, author, TV host and financial planner Eoin McGee shares his complete programme for financial well-being. This book is for anyone wondering how best to spend their money, how best to get out of debt and start saving for the things that really matter to them, and how to look after their financial future and retire early. ISBN 9780717186709
  • I step forward, breathing fast. Movement. I force myself to take another step. I think about all of it, all of the deaths and all of the accidents and all of the pain. And I know what I need to do. ONE WINDOW. It's March 2018, and the country is covered in snow. Roads are impassable, shops are running out of food, and official advice is to stay indoors. Marianne lives on her own and works from home, so this isn't a problem. Until she wakes one morning in her house in the middle of nowhere and finds footprints trailing all across her garden. Half-asleep, she is at first curious. Then she realises the footprints stop at her bedroom window, and curiosity gives way to unease. Who was looking in at her, while she was asleep? THREE LIES. As the big freeze worsens and the stalker begins to leave disturbing mementoes, Marianne's thoughts go back two decades to the schoolyard outburst that tore her childhood apart. Old feuds resurface, and the mystery of her mother's death is pulled back into focus. Marianne begins to see patterns - is there a link between her stalker and the true crime story she's been obsessively researching, or does the answer lie closer to home? 24 DAYS. In the end, 24 days is all it takes for everything to come crashing down. ISBN 9781781997666
  • I kept clear of Dog Cullen. Till the summer we turned seventeen, the summer the dolphin came to Carrig Cove . . . Donegal, 1976. When a dolphin takes up residence in Carrig Cove, Emer and her best friend, Fee, feel like they have an instant connection with it. Then Dog Cullen and his sidekick, Kit, turn up, and the four friends begin to sneak out at midnight to go down to the beach, daring each other to swim closer and closer to the creature . . . But the fame and fortune the dolphin brings to their small village builds resentment amongst their neighbours across the bay, and the summer days get longer and hotter . . . There is something wild and intense in the air. Love feels fierce, old hatreds fester, and suddenly everything feels worth fighting for. ISBN 9780571355594
  • One explosive family reunion. A lifetime of secrets revealed. When four feisty women from the same family get together at a family reunion, anything can happen... Marie-Claire, betrayed by her partner Marc, plans to teach him a lesson he will never forget. She travels home from Toronto to Ireland, to the house of the Four Winds, for her great-aunt Reverend Mother Brigid's eightieth birthday celebrations. It will be a long-awaited reunion for three generations of family, bringing together her mother, Keelin, and grandmother, Imelda - who have never quite got along And then all hell breaks loose. Bitter, jealous Imelda makes a shocking revelation that forces them all to confront their pasts, admit mistakes, and face the truths that have shaped their lives. With four fierce, opinionated women in one family, will they ever be able to forgive the past and share a future? And what of Marc? It's never too late to make amends...or is it? Spanning generations and covering seismic shifts in the lives of women, The Liberation of Brigid Dunne is a compelling, thought-provoking, important and highly emotional novel from a trailblazing author in women's fiction. ISBN 9781471151170
  • Following the collapse of Ireland's Celtic Tiger economy, social activist Ruairi McKiernan questions whether he should join the mounting number of emigrants searching for greater opportunity elsewhere. McKiernan embarks on a hitchhiking odyssey with no money, no itinerary and no idea where he might end up each night. His mission: to give voice to those emerging from one of the most painful periods of economic and social turmoil in Ireland's history. Engaging, provocative and sincere, Hitching for Hope is a testimony to the spirit of Ireland. It is an inspirational manifesto for hope and healing in troubled times. ISBN 9781603589574
  • Discover the thrilling life of Bram Stoker, the man who created Dracula. 1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man and impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded and desired actress of her generation, outspoken and generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker. Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager's devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen. This exceptional novel explores the complexities of love that stands dangerously outside social convention, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time. ISBN 9781787300859
  • It is 1940 and the bombs are falling thick and fast on London. The royal family must do all they can to assure the British public of their solidarity. But what of the two young princesses - Elizabeth and Margaret? How can they be kept safe without jeopardizing morale in the capital?Meanwhile Celia Nashe is delighted when she finally gets her long-awaited transfer to MI5. But whatever she was expecting of her mission for the war effort, it wasn't this. A crumbling castle in remote, rural Ireland, playing nursemaid to two pampered young girls. But her posting soon turns out to be very far from tame. Questions are being asked by the locals about the identities of Celia's secret charges. And when a dead body turns up at the castle gates, it will take every effort to uncover the truth, and to stop it from coming to light. ISBN 9780241305317
  • Katie, Maeve and Evelyn - friends forever, united by their childhood games and their dreams of escaping the tiny Irish town of Glenbruff. Outspoken, unpredictable and intoxicating, Evelyn is the undisputed leader of the trio. That is, until the beautiful, bold Pamela Cooney arrives from Dublin and changes Glenbruff forever... Told from Katie's witty, quirky perspective, Frances Macken's debut beautifully captures life in a small town and the power of yearning for something bigger. Filled with unforgettable characters and crackling dialogue, You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here takes a keen-eyed look at the complexities of female friendship, the corrosive power of jealousy and guilt, and the way that life can quietly erode our dreams unless we're willing to fight for them. ISBN 9781786077660
  • Dave's made a BIG mistake. What's Roxy going to do about it? The riveting new novel from No. 1 bestselling author Sheila O'Flanagan. Perfect for readers of Marian Keyes and Amanda Prowse. Roxy's marriage has always been rock solid. After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple. Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour. Suddenly Roxy isn't sure about anything - her past, the business she's taken over from her dad, or what her family's future might be. She's spent so long caring about everyone else that she's forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make. Whether it's with Dave, or without him, it's time for Roxy to start living for herself... ISBN 9781472254757
  • YOUR PHONE RINGS. A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD. TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILD. YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM'S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD. IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON'T HAPPEN:YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED. VICTIM. SURVIVOR. ABDUCTOR. CRIMINAL. YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE. YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN. ISBN 9781409189602
  • After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Then when a young Indian girl crosses their path, the possibility of lasting happiness seems within reach, if only they can survive. ISBN 9780571340224
  • In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin takes three of Ireland's greatest writers - Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce - and examines their earliest influences: their fathers. With his inimitable wit and sensitivity, Toibin introduces us to Wilde Senior, the philandering doctor whose libel case prefigured that of his son; the elder Yeats, an impoverished artist who never finished a painting; and to John Stanislaus Joyce, the hard-drinking, storytelling father of James, who couldn't feed his own family. This is an illuminating study of how each of these men cast a long shadow not only over the lives of their famous sons, but over the works for which they are celebrated and cherished. ISBN 9780241354421
  • Arnold Thomas Fanning had his first experience of depression during adolescence, following the death of his mother. Some ten years later, an up-and-coming playwright, he was overcome by mania and delusions. Thus began a terrible period in which he was often suicidal, increasingly disconnected from family and friends, sometimes in trouble with the law, and homeless in London. Drawing on his own memories, the recollections of people who knew him when he was at his worst, and medical and police records, Arnold Thomas Fanning has produced a beautifully written, devastatingly intense account of madness - and recovery, to the point where he has not had any serious illness for over a decade and has become an acclaimed playwright. Fanning conveys the consciousness of a person living with mania, psychosis and severe depression with a startling precision and intimacy. Mind on Fire is the gripping, sometimes harrowing, and ultimately uplifting testament of a person who has visited hellish regions of the mind. 'Arnold Thomas Fanning offers the most vivid and unflinching window into the mind of someone who is in the throes of madness ... It was like nothing I'd read before' Rick Edwards'Mind on Fire is a truly powerful, arresting, haunting account. Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2019 ISBN 9780241982853
  • What can one person do? At a time of division and upheaval, Samantha Power offers an urgent response to this question - and calls for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives.The Education of an Idealist combines gripping storytelling, vivid character portraits and deep political insight, tracing Power's journey from Irish immigrant to war correspondent and presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected Senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama's human rights adviser, and in 2013 took one of the world's most powerful diplomatic positions, becoming the youngest ever US Ambassador to the United Nations.A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Power transports us from her early years in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia into the White House Situation Room and the arena of high-stakes diplomacy. The Education of an Idealist lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, and reminds that in the face of great challenges there is always something each of us can do to advance the cause of human dignity. Honest, inspiring and evocatively written, Power's memoir is an unforgettable account of the world-changing power of idealism - and of one person's fierce determination to make a difference. ISBN 9780008274917
X