Bestselling novelist Sinéad Moriarty and popular RTE broadcaster and Book Club curator Rick O’Shea have teamed up with Eason to share their Must Reads for Spring. With a new year, comes a whole new set of books in the literary world, switch off and read with Sinead and Rick’s brilliant recommendations - we’re loving these books and think you will too!
All Must Reads are available to order online and in-store with our new click-and-collect option. Also, be sure to check out our #EasonMustReads on our Eason social channels!
As an author of 14 outstanding novels, and as a winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year, Sinead knows a thing or two about books. Check out Sinead’s latest must reads!
The well-known broadcaster Rick O’Shea runs the largest book club in Ireland which boasts over 25,000 members, and is a proud and passionate book advocate. Check out his latest must reads!
You may have already heard about ‘American Dirt’ as it’s a novel that’s caused quite a lot of controversy since it was published. As a work of fiction, I found it to be a fast paced, exhilarating book that left my heart racing.
It tells the story of Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca as they are forced to flee for their lives from a violent drug lord. We follow their passage as they travel the treacherous and dangerous migrant path from Mexico to the US border where they attempt to journey towards a new life of safety and refuge. Along the way Lydia and Luca meet, and befriend, a colourful cast of fellow migrants. Together, they help each other as they face many dangers and horrors along the way. All in all, Jeanine Cummins has written a riveting and captivating book that I simply could not put down.
Set against the backdrop of the world of theatre and acting, Anne Enright’s new novel tells the fictional story of one of the great Irish legends of stage - Katherine O’Dell.
Throughout her career, Kathleen has performed all the great roles, and has played in all the great theatres of Ireland and the UK, eventually landing a leading part in a Hollywood movie. Trailing in her wake is her daughter Norah. She grew up surrounded by wild parties in the house, then followed her mother on the road, and has now made her own life and is coming to terms with their past.
A new Anne Enright novel is always an event these days and with good reason. As with all her previous work her writing here is just beautiful in a way few other contemporary novelists come close to. She observes, dissects, teases out the differences between private and public, mother and daughter, then and now, while filling the rest of the book with the most real and compelling characters from the mid-20th century Dublin of that world. I think you’ll love it.
In the quiet, leafy suburb of Oak Knoll, life is full of book clubs and get-togethers until the arrival of a new neighbour throws everything out of sync. Widowed, African-American mother Valerie is happily raising her bright and brilliant teenage son Xavier. Life is calm and peaceful until the brash, local businessman Brad Whiteman moves in next door with his wife Julia and her daughters, Juniper and Lilly. Soon, Xavier and Juniper are secretly dating, knowing Brad would not approve. But they could never imagine that their innocent relationship will rip everyone’s lives wide open.
What I loved about this book is that it really makes you think about how much racism still simmers beneath the surface, even in ‘nice’ middle class communities. Valerie and Xavier’s story broke my heart. This book stayed with me long after I’d finished it.
The new novel from the author of ‘Let the World Spin’ and ‘Transatlantic’ is both beautiful and unique. It is based on the true stories of two men - one Israeli, the other Palestinian, both of whom have had daughters die violent deaths in the conflict. They themselves both fought or were imprisoned at different times, but then ultimately met and came together through an organisation of ex-combatants who believe that the only way forward is together.
However, the book is also about so much more than that.
Part fiction, part non-fiction, both historical and bang up to date, ‘Apeirogon’ is a story told in 1001 chapters (some as short as a single line). In form, scope, and breadth, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read and is a beautiful portrayal of how hope can be forged from terrible loss. I can easily see this being up for all the major awards in 2020. It is magnificent.
Full of black humour, ‘Big Girl, Small Town’ is set in a small town in Northern Ireland. It tells the story of Majella, who lives with her bitter, alcoholic mother, and who also works in the local chip shop. Majella has a hard, mundane life, but working in the chipper gives her a much-needed structure, and also helps her to keep her anxiety under control. As the novel progresses, and we meet the cast of colourful locals who make up Majella’s small world, we are gradually sucked in to the claustrophobic, curtain twitching, never changing world in which she lives.
This smashing debut novel has been widely described as ‘Derry Girls’ meets ‘Milkman’. Majella is one of those memorable and loveable characters that slowly but surely gets under your skin and stays there. What I really loved about it was the detail of Majella’s life, her town and the characters that live in it. You will find yourself developing a real attachment to this small community and all who live in it.
Vern is a dragon, but not like the dragons you’ve read about before. Well, he used to be, just a very, very long time ago. Now, just like the rest of us, he’s trying to get along and live his life peacefully, which in his case involves hiding out in a remote swamp, drinking crates of vodka, swearing at people who annoy him, and watching Flashdance. Well, you would have issues too if you were the last of your kind.
You might know Eoin Colfer already from the globally bestselling children’s series ‘Artemis Fowl’ (the movie is out later this year), but this new book is definitely one for the adults, even if like me you don’t normally read fantasy. It’s the most out and out fun I’ve had reading a book this year.
‘Dear Edward’ was inspired by the true story of a boy that was the sole survivor of a plane crash. Edward Adler and his parents and brother are flying from New York to LA when their plane crashes. Edward is the only survivor. Now known as ‘miracle boy’, he finds himself becoming the centre of attention. Everyone wants a piece of him. But this poor young boy is grieving the death of his family and trying to figure out how to go on without them. Slowly, the kindness of people around him show Edward the way. This is a wonderful novel which is heart-breaking, but which is also full of hope, kindness and compassion.
Oona Lockhart is an 18 year old kid in 1982 about to celebrate turning 19 at the stroke of midnight. The clock strikes, and she instead turns… 51, and finds herself in her own future, in her own house, in a life she hasn’t lived. Yet.
Every year at midnight she jumps again, ends up somewhere in her own life, and finds a note that she has written to herself from her previous year. The notes tell her some of what to expect, but not enough to stop her from making the mistakes that need to happen.
This novel brings to life a wonderful idea that ultimately ends up saying a lot about how we live our own lives. Oona is at the centre of her amazing situation and as the story progresses, you’ll find yourself rooting for her to make sense of her life, and for everything to fall into some sort of disjointed place.
Huge fun, and a great holiday read!