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Our pick of the best books for grown-ups to give or receive this Christmas 2020. So, have a browse and discover some great new reads. And remember – there’s no postage to pay in ROI if you spend over €30 or collect your order. Just choose the ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Click & Collect’ option at checkout!

  • Patrick Freyne has tried a lot of stupid ideas in his life. Now, in his scintillating debut, he is here to tell you about them: like the time (aged 5) he opened a gate and let a horse out of its field, just to see what would happen; or the time (aged 19) he jumped out of a plane for charity, even though he didn't much care about the charity and was sure he'd end up dead; or the time (aged old enough to know better) he used a magazine as a funnel for fuel when the petrol cap on his band's van broke. He has also learned a few things: about the power of group song; about the beauty of physically caring for another human being; about childlessness; about losing friends far too young. Life as seen through the eyes of Patrick Freyne is stranger, funnier and a lot more interesting than life as we generally know it. Like David Sedaris or Nora Ephron, he creates an environment all his own - fundamentally comic, sometimes moving, always deeply humane. 'Patrick Freyne is a comic genius' Marian Keyes 'Clever, lovely and great, great fun' Roddy Doyle ISBN 9781844884889
  • The Irish language has thirty-two words for field. Among them are: Geamhar - a field of corn-grass Tuar - a field for cattle at night Reidhlean - a field for games or dancing Cathairin - 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. ISBN 9780717187973
  • Nessa Crowley's murderer has been protected by silence for ten years. Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth. On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella's wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley's lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder. The killer couldn't have escaped Inisrun, but no-one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever. Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsella's carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry's guilt and Keelin's complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa. In this bold, brilliant, disturbing new novel Louise O'Neill shows that deadly secrets are devastating to those who hold them close. ISBN 9781784298906
  • An anthology of the very best Irish short stories, selected by Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations. There have been many anthologies of the short story as it developed in Ireland, but never a collection like this. The Art of the Glimpse is a radical revision of the canon of the Irish story, uniting classic works with neglected writers and marginalised voices - women, LGBT writers, Traveller folk-tales, lost 19th-century voices and the first wave of 'new Irish' writers from elsewhere now making a life in Ireland. Sinéad Gleeson brings together stories ranging from the sublime to the downright bizarre, from classics to the new generation of writers, and from well known names to previously unpublished talent. The collection paints a tremendous spectrum of experience: the story of a prank come good by Bram Stoker; Sally Rooney on the love languages of the new generation; Donal Ryan on the pains of ageing; Edna O'Brien on political entanglements; James Joyce on losing a loved one; and the internal monologue of a coma sufferer by Marian Keyes. List of contributing authors: Samuel Beckett, Sally Rooney, Melatu Uche Okirie, William Trevor, Marian Keyes, Kevin Barry, Edna O'Brien, Claire-Louise Bennett, Sheridan Le Fanu, Danielle McLaughlin, Mairtin O Cathain, Frances Molloy, Blindboy Boatclub, Elizabeth Bowen, Frank O'Connor, Chiamaka Emyi-Amadi, John McGahern, Anne Enright, Mike McCormack, Maeve Brennan, Oein de Bhairduin, Eimear McBride, Sean O Faolain, Cathy Sweeney. Orders will be supplied with a Free Ltd Edition Tote Bag! ISBN 9781788548809
  • A true original. In this stunningly unusual prose debut, Doireann Ni Ghriofa sculpts essay and autofiction to explore inner life and the deep connection felt between two writers centuries apart. In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem. In the present day, a young mother narrowly avoids tragedy. On encountering the poem, she becomes obsessed with its parallels with her own life, and sets out to track down the rest of the story. A devastating and timeless tale about one woman freeing her voice by reaching into the past and finding another's. ISBN 9781916434264
  • Over the course of fifteen years, John Delaney ran the Football Association of Ireland as his own personal fiefdom. He had his critics, but his power was never seriously challenged until last year, when Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan published a sequence of stories in the Sunday Times containing damaging revelations about his personal compensation and the parlous financial situation of the FAI. Delaney's reputation as a great financial manager was left in tatters. He resigned under pressure, and the FAI was left hoping for a massive bail-out from the Irish taxpayer. In Champagne Football, Tighe and Rowan dig deep into the story of Delaney's career and of the FAI's slide into ruin. They show how he surrounded himself with people whose personal loyalty he could count on, and a board that failed to notice that the association's finances were shot. They detail Delaney's skilful cultivation of opinion-formers outside the FAI. And they document the culture of excess that Delaney presided over and benefited from, to the detriment of the organization he led. Champagne Football is a gripping, sometimes darkly hilarious and often enraging piece of reporting by the award-winning journalists who finally pulled back the curtain on the FAI's mismanagement. ISBN 9781844884933
  • Old Ireland in Colour brings to life the rich history of Ireland and the Irish through the colour restoration of these stunning images of all walks of Irish life throughout nineteenth and twentieth century. From the chaos of the Civil War to the simple beauty of the islands; from legendary revolutionaries to modest fisherfolk, every image has been exquisitely transformed and every page bursting with life. Using a combination of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology and his own historical research, John Breslin has meticulously colourised these pictures with breath-taking attention to detail and authenticity. With over 250 photographs from all four provinces, and accompanied by fascinating captions by historian Sarah-Anne Buckley, Old Ireland in Colour breathes new life into the scenes we thought we knew, and brings our ancestors back to life before our eyes. ISBN 9781785373701
  • Why the moon travels by Oein DeBharduin is a collection of haunting folktales, a retelling of stories from the Traveller oral tradition in lyrical prose and beautifully illustrated by artist Leanne McDonagh. The book will be the first of its kind published in Ireland that captures several aspects of the rich Traveller culture, expression and intricate understandings. Published 9th September 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9781916493506
  • In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it's too late? 'Smart, compassionate, warm, moving and so VERY funny. I smiled a million times. This book will make a lot of people very, very happy' Marian Keyes. 'Robert Galbraith meets Tom Sharpe. Plot driven with great characters, I'm doing actual lols on every page. I don't ever want to finish this book!' Philippa Perry. ISBN 9780241425459
  • In his fascinating and thought-provoking new book, Professor Luke O'Neill, one of the leading voices of authority during the COVID-19 pandemic, grapples with life's biggest questions and tells us what science has to say about them:Do we have control over our lives?Can we escape working in bullshit jobs?Must we vaccinate our children?Are men and women's brains different?Will we destroy the planet?Covering topics from global pandemics to gender, addiction to euthanasia, Luke's trademark easy wit and clever pop-culture references deconstruct the science to make complex questions accessible. Arriving at science's definitive answers to some of the most controversial topics human beings have to grapple with, Never Mind the B#ll*ocks is a celebration of science and hard facts in a time of fake news and sometimes unhelpful groupthink. ISBN 9780717186396
  • As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadesfuhrer Otto Freiherr von Wachter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author's grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for 'mass murder'. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wachter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps before making his way to Rome and being taken in by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the 'ratline' he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after having lunch with an 'old comrade' whom he suspected of having been recruited by the Americans. In THE RATLINE Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a Nazi fugitive, the love between Wachter and his wife Charlotte, who continued to write regularly to each other while he was on the run, and a fascinating insight into life in Rome and among American and Soviet spies active at the start of the Cold War. Using modern medical expertise, the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wachter's youngest child, who believes his father was a good man - what was Wachter doing while in hiding, and what exactly caused his death? Dublin Festival of History 2020 Event - Sunday 4th October 7pm. Watch Philippe Sands in conversation with Robert Gerwarth. Booking required HERE. ISBN 9781474608138
  • Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he's going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan. A new relationship couldn't have come at a better time - her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold. Everywhere she turns, she is reminded of time passing and opportunities dwindling. Friendships are fading, ex-boyfriends are moving on and, worse, everyone's moving to the suburbs. There's no solace to be found in her family, with a mum who's caught in a baffling mid-life makeover and a beloved dad who is vanishing in slow-motion into dementia. Dolly Alderton's debut novel is funny and tender, filled with whip-smart observations about relationships, family, memory, and how we live now. ISBN 9780241465332
  • In this rapturous third collection, we encounter a ragbag of West of Ireland characters, many on the cusp between love and catastrophe, heartbreak and epiphany, resignation and hope. These stories show an Ireland in a condition of great flux but also as a place where older rhythms, and an older magic, somehow persist. Since his landmark debut collection, There Are Little Kingdoms in 2007, and its award-winning sequel in 2012, Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry has been acclaimed as one of the world's most accomplished and gifted short-story writers. Barry's lyric intensity, the vitality of his comedy, and the darkness of his vision recall the work of masters of the genre like Flannery O'Connor and William Trevor, but he has forged a style which is patently his own. ISBN 9781782116219
  • “For over thirty years, bodies have been my business. The lucky ones have died peacefully in their own bed, surrounded by loved ones. But, life, or should I say death, is not always like that. This is your opportunity to duck under the police tape with me. Walk carefully in my footprints and follow me into the scene but don’t touch anything, just look. Remember Locard’s principle, every contact leaves a trace . . .” Marie Cassidy was Ireland’s State Pathologist from 2004 until 2018. During that time, she was involved in many high-profile cases, including the Stardust exhumation and the deaths of Siobhan Kearney, Rachel O’Reilly, Robert Holohan and Tom O’Gorman. In Beyond the Tape, she invites us into the world of forensic pathology, and shares her remarkable personal journey, from working-class Glasgow to becoming Ireland’s head pathologist. A fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of real-life forensics, the intricate processes central to solving modern crime, and the stories from behind the crime tape. ISBN 9781529352573
  • Is it possible to be young, progressive and a Catholic? Ellen Coyne is about to find out ... 'You know, this isn't a Catholic country anymore,' someone proudly declared in a Dublin pub where Ellen Coyne was celebrating the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. About to turn 30, like many her age, Ellen had left the Church a long time ago, but she had never stopped believing in and talking to God. Now, she suddenly realised she wasn't quite ready for this statement to be true, however much of a contradiction it seemed to present with some of her most strongly held views. Abandoning the Church had been an act of protest, a form of punishment. However, she began to wonder: who had really lost the most? Why should those who did the damage to the Church get to keep it and all its good bits, like going to Mass for the ritual and the community, having a clear guide for living a better life, and the comfort of believing it's not the end when somebody dies?But how could she ally herself to an institution she doesn't entirely agree with? In her first book, Ellen tries to figure out how much she really wants to go back to the Church, and if it is even the right thing to do. A stunningly intelligent and thoughtful debut work of non-fiction. Published 30th October 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9780717188949
  • Shame and longing can flow through generations, but the secrets of the heart will not be buried for ever. It is 1987 and a small Irish community is preparing for a wedding. The day before the ceremony a group of young friends, including bride and groom, drive out to the beach. There is an accident. Three survive, but three are killed. The lives of the families are shattered and the rifts between them are felt throughout the small town. Connor is one of the survivors. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame of having been the driver. He leaves the only place he knows for another life, taking his secrets with him. Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, he makes a home - of sorts - for himself in New York. The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life. But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to confront his past. Graham Norton's powerful and timely novel of emigration and return demonstrates his keen understanding of the power of stigma and secrecy - with devastating results. Published 1st October 2020 - Pre-order Now! ISBN 9781473665170
  • A decade ago, Caitlin Moran thought she had it all figured out. Her instant bestseller How to Be a Woman was a game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy, and the general 'hoo-ha' of becoming a woman. Back then, she firmly believed 'the difficult bit' was over, and her forties were going to be a doddle. If only she had known: when middle age arrives, a whole new bunch of tough questions need answering. Why isn't there such a thing as a 'Mum Bod'? How did sex get boring? What are men really thinking? Where did all that stuff in the kitchen drawers come from? Can feminists have Botox? Why has wine turned against you? How can you tell the difference between a Teenage Micro-Breakdown, and The Real Thing? Has feminism gone too far? And, as always, WHO'S LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN? Now with ageing parents, teenage daughters, a bigger bum and a To-Do list without end, Caitlin Moran is back with More Than A Woman: a guide to growing older, a manifesto for change, and a celebration of all those middle-aged women who keep the world turning. ISBN 9781529102765
  • In 1973, twenty-year-old Moll Gladney takes a morning bus from her rural home and disappears. Bewildered and distraught, Paddy and Kit must confront an unbearable prospect: that they will never see their daughter again. Five years later, Moll returns. What - and who - she brings with her will change the course of her family's life forever. Beautiful and devastating, this exploration of loss, alienation and the redemptive power of love reaffirms Donal Ryan as one of the most talented and empathetic writers at work today. ISBN 9781781620410
  • Between life and death there is a library... When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren't always what she imagined they'd be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live? ISBN 9781786892720/strong>
  • Sinead Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie. But she can't go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. Sinead needs them both. As You Were is about intimate histories, institutional failures, the kindness of strangers, and the darkly present past of modern Ireland. It is about women's stories and women's struggles. It is about seizing the moment to be free. Wildly funny, desperately tragic, inventive and irrepressible, As You Were introduces a brilliant voice in Irish fiction with a book that is absolutely of our times. 'A truly original voice. Raw, urgent and uncompromising about the lengths we go to to conceal hurt, deception, psychic pain... A brilliant portrayal of the kindness of strangers, the kinship of women and the heartbreak of married love' - Mary Costello. *Publication moved to August 2020 - Pre-order Now* ISBN 9781787301641
  • If there's one word to describe Aisling, it's 'organised', and with this little book her creators Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen are providing Aislings everywhere with the perfect tool to stay on top of things. Each month kicks off with an Aisling-tastic inspirational quote, with each week clearly laid out so you can tell at a glance how many baby showers you have or when your car tax is due. There's also a space to out write the month's attainable goal. Do you want to take up Zumba? Or learn 'Maniac 2000' on the tin whistle? Get out your Good Pen and write it down. It's all about being intentional. And then once you achieve your goals you get to tick them off, which is really the only reason to make a list in the first place. Once you get into the habit of using it,you won't be able to imagine your life without it, sort of like how ludicrous the world would be without smartphones or Dolmio Stir In!It's the essential diary for every Aisling - plan your weeks, prioritise goals and never forget another birthday! Published 9th October 2020 - Pre-order Now. ISBN 9780717190188
  • "A beautiful and hopeful book for when life isn't what you expect it to be. In March 2017, Niamh Fitzpatrick's life fell apart overnight. Her beloved sister Dara was killed in a helicopter crash. Soon afterwards, Niamh's marriage disintegrated, and she feared she would lose her house, beside her remaining family. Life as she knew it had ended and the cumulative loss, in terms of impact, was staggering. A psychologist for many years, Niamh guides clients on their journey to overcome the worst of times in their lives. She had to draw on this skillset herself, first to survive and then, in time, begin to thrive after such significant loss. Tell Me the Truth About Loss documents a psychologist's journey through loss, grief and the hardest of times, finding hope along the way. ISBN 9780717183845
  • The long-awaited return from the author of the multi-million copy bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. An instant classic that has been hailed as one of the finest works of fiction of the twenty-first century. Fifteen years later, it is finally time to enter the House and meet Piranesi... May your Paths be safe, your Floors unbroken and may the House fill your eyes with Beauty. "What a world Susanna Clarke conjures into being, what a tick-tock-tick-tock of reveals, what a pure protagonist, what a morally squalid supporting cast, what beauty, tension and restraint, and what a pitch-perfect ending. Piranesi is an exquisite puzzle-box far, far bigger on the inside than it is on the outside" DAVID MITCHELL. 'Piranesi is a gorgeous, spellbinding mystery that gently unravels page by page. Precisely the sort of book that I love wordlessly handing to someone so they can have the pleasure of uncovering its secrets for themselves. This book is a treasure, washed up upon a forgotten shore, waiting to be discovered' ERIN MORGENSTERN ISBN 9781526622426
  • When a young Mary McAleese told a priest that she planned to become a lawyer, the priest dismissed the idea: she knew no one in the law, and she was female. The reality of what she went on to achieve - despite those obstacles, and despite a sectarian attack that forced her family to flee their home - is even more improbable. In this luminous memoir, Mary McAleese traces that astonishing arc: from the tight streets of north Belfast, to a professorship in Dublin while still in her twenties, behind-the-scenes work on the peace process, and two triumphant terms as President of Ireland. She writes of her encounters with prime ministers, popes and royalty with the same easy candour and intimacy with which she describes her childhood. And her account of the latest act in her remarkable career - quietly pursuing a doctorate, and loudly opposing the misogyny of the Catholic Church - is inspiring. Here's the Story is warm, witty, often surprising and relentlessly fascinating: an extraordinarily intimate memoir by one of the most remarkable public figures of our time. ISBN 9781844884704
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