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Sinead and Rick's Autumn Must Reads

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 Autumn. Wherever your time off takes you this year, 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!

About Sinéad & Rick

Sinéad Moriarty

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!

Rick O'Shea

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!


Overcoming by Vicky Phelan

I’m a big admirer of Vicky Phelan, who went to hell and back to expose the Cervical Check scandal. I have always thought she was brave and courageous. But after reading this autobiography I am in awe of her.

In ‘Overcoming’, Vicky takes you through her life, which has been full of tragedy, uphill battles, illness, pain and challenges from a very young age.

It’s hard to say too much without giving away her story, but let me just say that you will be blown away by this woman’s courage, grit and determination.

Before she got cancer, she had already overcome so much adversity. It’s a wonder how she is still standing, never mind fighting court cases and saving lives with her determination to get justice for all the women who have been affected by the cervical scandal.

I read this in one sitting. It will move you to tears many times over.

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Skin by E.M. Reapy

In ‘Skin’, E.M. Reapy starts with her main protagonist Natalie, in Bali, as she escapes from both a bad relationship and a job she doesn’t belong in. As so many before her have, she chooses to try and get lost on the far side of the world on a circuitous route to, well, we’re not sure where or what.

As we follow Natalie through brief relationships and passing friendships by way of New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and Holland, we gradually come to the realisation that what she’s actually trying to escape is mainly her own body and just how uncomfortable she is with it. She sees herself as being unattractive when she’s not, comfort eats obsessively, and then slowly attempts to come to terms with how she feels about who she is. She’s an amazing character.

I loved ‘Skin’ because it allowed me to get inside the head of a complex, conflicted character and get a visceral feel for parts of the world I've never been to.

This novel firmly establishes E.M. Reapy as one of contemporary Irish writing’s brightest stars.

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Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Set in New York, the novel is about Toby Fleishman, a hepatologist in his forties who is undergoing a bitter divorce from his wife, Rachel.  Meanwhile, successful talent agent Rachel has abandoned Toby and their two kids and vanished to a yoga retreat.
As the book unfolds, we realise that there is a lot more to Rachel’s vanishing than Toby realises. At first we feel sympathy for Toby, but then Rachel’s story comes through, and we see her side of this messy, complicated marriage.
Witty, quirky and thought provoking, this is a cracking read that packs a serious punch. The author’s observations on marriage, mid-life crisis, parenting and being socially ambitious are utterly brilliant. 
This is a really smart and insightful debut by a serious new talent. If you’re a fan of Maria Semple of Jonathan Franzen, then this is definitely one for you.
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Girl by Edna O'Brien

‘Girl’ is Edna O’Brien’s eighteenth novel and not, as a few people have mistakenly asked me when I’ve been talking about it, anything to do with her Country Girls trilogy. It’s main character. Maryam, is one of the schoolgirls kidnapped en masse by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria in 2014.
You’ll remember the international outrage at the time, but here she tells the story of one ordinary victim who is captured, enslaved, sexually assaulted and then also what happens when eventually she manages to make her way back home.
‘Girl’ is a book about Boko Haram and Nigeria, but, of course, it’s a book that can be read all too easily as a parable of history and home. As only the most skilful writers can do, Edna O’Brien has put a face on the horrific reality of a global story that we all were aware of, but probably found hard to imagine in reality. Compelling.
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Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane

This is a beautifully told story of two families, the Gleesons and the Stanhopes, who live next door to each other in a suburban town outside New York.

While they appear similar, the lives behind each family’s front door is very different. Their children, Kate and Peter, are best friends who are just beginning to fall in love with each other, when one night, a tragedy happens that rips their lives apart. We then follow these two families on a 40-year journey through their fractured lives.

Mary Beth Keane writes characters that are incredibly empathetic, genuine and broken. You really feel for all the individuals in the book and become completely invested in their lives.

This is a novel about life – good and bad. It’s also about family, alcoholism, friendship, forgiveness, mental illness, love and tragedy. A kind of modern-day Romeo and Juliet, ‘Ask Again Yes’ is one of those quiet books that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

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This is Happiness by Niall Williams

Faha is a tiny village in the west of Ireland where it’s rained, well, forever. Except one day, it stops just as 17-year-old Noel is back in the village having made a bad hand of trying to become a priest. At the same time, Christy arrives in the village bringing the epoch-changing phenomenon of rural electrification and maybe looking to revisit part of his own distant past and set some things right. Faha will never be the same small spot on the map again.

One way or another I won’t do this immaculate, beautiful, very funny book justice. If you’ve read my Must Reads reviews for long enough you’ll know how it’s all too easy to turn my head with exquisite, unique imagery and incredible writing – ‘This Is Happiness’ is jam-packed with all this, and also so much more. I loved it.

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The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

I absolutely loved this book, which was inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of the people of Russia with the publication of ‘Doctor Zhivago’.
At the height of the Cold War, two exceptional women, who are working as secretaries, are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and become spies. Their mission is to smuggle the manuscript of ‘Doctor Zhivago’ out of Russia, where no one will publish it, and bring it to the west for publication. 
Alongside the story of these two fantastic female spies, we also have the incredible love story between the author, Boris Pasternak, and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was the inspiration for Zhivago's unforgettable heroine, Lara.
‘The Secrets We Kept’ has everything – intrigue, tension, love, passion, grief, loss, politics, and much more. It is an astonishing debut novel which transported me back in time and kept me utterly gripped.
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I Love The Bones Of You by Christopher Eccleston

If you admire and respect the actor Christopher Eccleston as much as I do, then this memoir will reinforce those feelings all the more.

Within it, he unpicks his complex relationship with his father both while he is growing up in working class Salford, and then in later life as his father slides into dementia. He also reveals his feelings about what it means to be working class in the industry he has made his life in and then, unexpectedly, how body dysmorphia has dogged him all his life. I cried more than once reading this, maybe because I saw a little of me reflected in him.

This book is honest, unflinching and uncompromising, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it, just like the author’s on screen performances.

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