Home/Staff Picks

As an independent bookshop, our booksellers like to uncover new and interesting books that you might not see everywhere else, so have a browse of our very own staff pick selections with accompanying reviews and maybe you’ll find your next great read right here! And remember – we offer Free Postage in ROI on orders over €30 – just choose the Free Postage option at checkout.

  • Sometimes only a poem will do. These poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice offer comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realization - I'm not the only one who feels like this. ISBN 9781846149542
  • Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she must say yes. It doesn't matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year's Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan's free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay. As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family's assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, dance with Cesar at the Audubon Ballroom, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. 9781529304886
  • A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Amanda and Clay head to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a holiday: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented for the week. But with a late-night knock on the door, the spell is broken. Ruth and G.H., an older couple who claim to own the home, have arrived there in a panic. These strangers say that a sudden power outage has swept the city, and - with nowhere else to turn - they have come to the country in search of shelter. But with the TV and internet down, and no phone service, the facts are unknowable. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple - and vice versa? What has happened back in New York? Is the holiday home, isolated from civilisation, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another? An impossibly compelling literary thriller about the world we live in now, Rumaan Alam's novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis - and how the most terrifying situations are never far from reality. ISBN 9781526633095
  • Six romances, one revolution, the story of the century. One epic novel... 'That night Stasia took an oath, swearing to learn the recipe by heart and destroy the paper. And when she was lying in her bed again, recalling the taste with all her senses, she was sure that this secret recipe could heal wounds, avert catastrophes, and bring people happiness. But she was wrong.' At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian Empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste. Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia's is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century. Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections. Great characters and greater relationships come and go and come again; the world shakes, and shakes some more, and the reader rejoices to have found at last one of those glorious old books in which you can live and learn, be lost and found, and make indelible new friends. ISBN 9781913348298
  • "I’m reading all of P.D. James’s Adam Dalgliesh crime thrillers at the minute but this short spin-off novel about Cordelia Gray, a 22 year-old private detective, drawn into the apparent suicide of a 22 year-old Cambridge student is great fun – thrilling, darkly humourous & full of acute observations about human life, it’s well worth a read even if you can’t guess ‘whodunnit’..." Bob. Meet Cordelia Gray: twenty-two, tough, intelligent and now sole inheritor of the Pryde Detective Agency. Her first assignment finds her hired by Sir Ronald Callender to investigate the death of his son Mark, a young Cambridge student found hanged in mysterious circumstances. Required to delve into the hidden secrets of the Callender family, Cordelia soon realises it is not a case of suicide, and that the truth is entirely more sinister. ISBN 9780571355709
  • Set in Derry, Northern Ireland in the 1990s, Derry Girls is a candid, one-of-a-kind comedy about what it's like to be a teenage girl living amongst conflict. It's a time of armed police in armoured Land Rovers and British Army check points. But it's also the time of Murder She Wrote, The Cranberries, Salt-N-Pepa, Doc Martens and The X Files. And while The Troubles may hang over her hometown, Erin has troubles of her own, like the fact that the boy she's in love with (actually in LOVE with) doesn't know she exists. Or that her Ma and Aunt Sarah make her include her weirdo cousin Orla in everything she does. Or that head teacher Sister Michael refuses to acknowledge Erin as a literary genius. Not to mention the fact that her second best friend has ALMOST had sex, whereas Erin's never even kissed anyone yet. These are Erin's Troubles. Described by the Guardian as 'daft, profane and absolutely brilliant', by the New Statesman as 'pitch-perfect' and by i-D as 'the greatest show on British (and Irish) TV', Derry Girls has dazzled audiences for two series, with Channel 4's biggest UK comedy launch since 2004 and the biggest television series in Northern Ireland since modern records began. Now, this autumn, comes the first official tie-in. In the manner of the very best TV comedy books, Erin's Diary is a hilarious 'in world' publication that extends the laugh-out-loud humour of Derry Girls onto the page. With Erin's inner take on everything that has happened so far, this book will both dive deeper into the events we have seen unfold on the screen and unveil brand new stories and never-before-revealed details about characters. Complete with newspaper clippings, doodles, poetry, school reports, handwritten notes from her friends, and much much more, Erin's Diary is as warm, funny and brilliantly observed as the TV; a must-have for fans this Christmas. ISBN 9781841884394
  • When Gilbert wakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees - immediately and inexplicably - for Tokyo, where he meets a fellow lost soul: Yosa, a young Japanese student clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide. Together, Gilbert and Yosa set off on a pilgrimage to see the pine islands of Matsushima, one looking for the perfect end to his life, the other for a fresh start. Playful and profound, The Pine Islands is a beautiful tale of friendship, transformation and acceptance in modern Japan. SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2019. ISBN 9781788160926
  • Men to Avoid in Art and Life pairs classical fine art with modern captions that epitomize the spirit of mansplaining. This hilarious book perfectly captures those relatable moments when a man explains to a woman a subject about which he knows considerably less than she does. Situations include men sharing keen insight on the female anatomy, an eloquent defense of catcalling, or offering sage advice about horseback riding to the woman who owns the horse. * These less qualified men of antiquity dish out mediocrity as if it's pure genius * For the women who have endured overbearing men over the centuries * Written with hilariously painful accuracy"Now, when you're riding a horse, you need to make sure to keep a good grip on the reins." "These are my horses."Through cringe-induced empathy, this timeless gift book of shared experiences unites women across history in one of the most powerful forms of resistance: laughter. * Started as a Twitter thread and quickly gained widespread popularity. * A great pick for a birthday or Galentine gift for a friend who needs a funny pick-me-up * Makes a perfect gift for women and feminists with a wry sense of humor, millennials, anyone who loves memes and Internet humor, as well as history and art buffs. * Add it to the shelf with books like Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, Milk and Vine: Inspirational Quotes from Classic Vines by Emily Beck, and Awards For Good Boys: Tales Of Dating, Double Standards, And Doom by Shelby Lorman. ISBN 9781797202839
  • New Selected Poems includes the key poems of Eavan Boland's career to date, from New Territory (1967) to Domestic Violence (2007), concluding with a selection of new poems. Developing her work through more than a dozen collections, Boland continues to find new dimensions in language, in history and in the body subject to passion and to time. Her critical writing, her poetry and her example have made an emancipating difference to writing in Ireland. As she remarked in an interview in 2000, 'women are now writing the Irish poem across a very big register of new tones, new subjects, new approaches...I think I was one of the poets who became convinced of the need for change.' A new collection from Eavan Boland, a pioneering figure in Irish poetry who has been credited with inspiring a generation. This will be her final collection, following her passing in April 2020. ISBN 9781784109141
  • Following a run of New Year's concerts at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland, with no design yet heeding signs, including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat. In February, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger's words, "Anything is possible: after all, it's the year of the monkey." For Patti Smith - inveterately curious, always exploring, tracking thoughts, writing the year evolves as one of reckoning with the changes in life's gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America. Smith melds the Western landscape with her own dreamscape. Taking us from Southern California to the Arizona desert; to a Kentucky farm as the amanuensis of a friend in crisis; to the hospital room of a valued mentor; and by turns to remembered and imagined places - this haunting memoir blends fact and fiction with poetic mastery. The unexpected happens; grief and disillusionment. But as Patti Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope of a better world. Riveting, elegant, often humorous, illustrated by Smith's signature Polaroids, Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times. ISBN 9781526614766
  • "When Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh takes a well-deserved holiday to visit his Aunt in the beautiful writers’ retreat of Monksmere, the last thing he wants to do is solve a murder… luckily for us, he doesn’t get the relaxing break he’d hoped for! I love P.D. James’s crime novels – clever & astute with a wry humour, this is my favourite one… I think…" Bob. Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh has been looking forward to a quiet holiday at his aunt's cottage on Monksmere Head, one of the furthest-flung spots on the remote Suffolk coast. With nothing to do other than enjoy long windswept walks, tea in front of a crackling wood fire and hot-buttered toast, Dalgliesh is relishing the thought of a well-earned break. However, all hope of peace is soon shattered by murder. The mutilated body of a local crime writer, Maurice Seaton, floats ashore in a dinghy, dragging Adam Dalgliesh into a new and macabre investigation. ISBN 9780571350797
  • "Set in Chicago in the early 80s, and in Paris in 2015, this powerful and heart-wrenching novel looks at how the AIDS crisis destroyed the lives of so many young gay men, and how the echoes of those devastating years continue to echo down the years. A novel of love, friendship, grief and family, and yes, it will make you cry – but it’s worth it…" Bob. In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup: bringing an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDs epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, he finds his partner is infected, and that he might even have the virus himself. The only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona's stories unfold in incredibly moving and sometimes surprising ways, as both struggle to find goodness in the face of disaster. ISBN 9780708899120
  • Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder. For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets. AN OBSERVER, GUARDIAN, TELEGRAPH, TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES and BOOKTRUST BOOK OF THE YEAR. Great fro Ages 9-99! / ISBN 9781782691754
  • Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. The Beatles learn to be brilliant in an hour and a half. An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. A US Senator begins a speech that will last for 25 hours. The horrors of war are frozen at the click of a camera. A woman designs a ten-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister lives out the same four minutes over a lifetime. And a prince attempts to stop time in its tracks. Timekeepers is a book about our obsession with time and our desire to measure it, control it, sell it, film it, perform it, immortalise it and make it meaningful. It has two simple intentions: to tell some illuminating stories, and to ask whether we have all gone completely nuts. ISBN 9781782113218
  • For over 300 years, Japan closed itself to outsiders, developing a remarkable and unique culture. During its period of isolation, the inhabitants of the city of Edo, later known as Tokyo, relied on its public bells to tell the time. In her remarkable book, Anna Sherman tells of her search for the bells of Edo, exploring the city of Tokyo and its inhabitants and the individual and particular relationship of Japanese culture - and the Japanese language - to time, tradition, memory, impermanence and history. Through Sherman's journeys around the city and her friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, The Bells of Old Tokyo presents a series of hauntingly memorable voices in the labyrinth that is the metropolis of the Japanese capital: An aristocrat plays in the sea of ashes left by the Allied firebombing of 1945. A scientist builds the most accurate clock in the world, a clock that will not lose a second in five billion years. A sculptor eats his father's ashes while the head of the house of Tokugawa reflects on the destruction of his grandfather's city ('A lost thing is lost. To chase it leads to darkness')... The result is a book that not only engages with the striking otherness of Japanese culture like no other, but that also marks the arrival of a dazzling new writer as she presents an absorbing and alluring meditation on life through an exploration of a great city and its people. ISBN 9781529000498
  • Fast girls cool their heels on a slow night in a small town; a bewildered man steps off a country bus in search of his identity; lonesome hillwalkers take to the high reaches in search of a saving embrace. These are just three of the scenarios played out in Kevin Barry’s wonderfully imagined and riotously entertaining stories. Throw in a lust-deranged poultry farmer, a gigantic taxi driver stricken with chilling visions, a jaded air hostess and a stressed-out genie, and you have a stunning, provocative and richly comic collection from a writer of unique gifts. There Are Little Kingdoms chronicles life in the towns and cities of a changing land, where a strange new music sounds, where there are many uncertainties and absurdities, but where still there’s laughter in the dark – it echoes as compassion. This is a place where everything is changing, and where everything remains the same. ISBN 9780955015298
  • The Kelleher's beachfront holiday house creaks under a weight of secrets. A place where cocktails follow morning mass and children eavesdrop, it is home to matriarch Alice, who would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, decades before. As summer arrives and the women in Alice's family descend on the shore, it soon becomes clear that these mothers and daughters have been deeply hurt by the people they love the most. But as this fierce, irrational love burns ever brighter, anger builds and painful secrets are unearthed. ISBN 9780857894984
  • "An interesting starting point, when you know who the perpetrator is from the very beginning. But do you? He has certainly served his time but was he punishing himself for a different reason? You can always make your mind up for yourself?..." Ann ISBN 9781785656477
  • "You do not have to be a Salinger fan to read this! I URGE you to read this memoir. It really isn't about responding to Salinger's letters although there are some salacious details about him which is interesting of itself as did she betray him? It's really about a young women navigating her way through young adulthood, and abusive relationship and New York with no money." Sinead ISBN 9781408833971
  • "The best crime thriller I've read in ages! There's no gruesome body count or rampaging serial killer, just brilliant suspenseful writing and a gripping plot. If you're looking for real page-turner from a tented Irish writer, this is the books for you!" Bob ISBN 9781444796537
  • Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in twenty-first-century society, with devastating consequences: every major disease in the developed world - Alzheimer's, cancer, obesity, diabetes - has very strong causal links to deficient sleep. In this book, the first of its kind written by a scientific expert, Professor Matthew Walker explores twenty years of cutting-edge research to solve the mystery of why sleep matters. Looking at creatures from across the animal kingdom as well as major human studies, Why We Sleep delves into everything from what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, transforming our appreciation of the extraordinary phenomenon that safeguards our existence. 'A top sleep scientist argues that sleep is more important for our health than diet or exercise' The Times. ISBN 9780141983769
  • "A young, grief-stricken soldier is nursed back to health by a quirky old woman. Soothed by the nearby river - and sloe gin - the two companions create a new life together. Reading this felt like discovering a modern fairy tale - one that ambles along beautifully at its own pace. Winman’s writing is vivid and bursts with life. She creates a fantastical world of magic and hope. If you are feeling down or world weary, this is the book to read." Rebekah ISBN 9780755390939
  • "This book is an exploration of two people's experience of the same relationship being markedly different. It's a completely addictive read, it's about the breakdown of a long and ostensibly happy marriage infused with so much wit and insight." Sinead Kate is smart, successful and adept at making people feel at home: her husband Adam, her children, the guests of the hotel chain she works for. But her own foundations are about to be knocked away - for while Kate has been building a life, Adam's attention has been elsewhere. Who is the woman he's been emailing? And whose number keeps showing up on his phone? Kate tries to hold things together for her daughters, but what can she say, now Adam won't be coming home? As Kate searches for answers, she is forced to reassess her family, her future, and the man she thought she knew . ISBN 9780330544696
  • 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a lesbian best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: he's a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Women's Studies major to trade, Paul transforms his body at will in a series of adventures that take him from Iowa City to Boystown to Provincetown and finally to San Francisco - a journey through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure. Andrea Lawlor's debut novel offers a speculative history of early 90s identity politics during the heyday of ACT UP and Queer Nation. Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections. ISBN 9781529007671
Go to Top