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. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for the perfect gift, or are treating yourself to a page-turning new read, these great titles are the perfect books to sink into during the chilly months ahead! 

All Must Reads are available to order online and in-store. Also, be sure to check out our #EasonMustReads on our Eason social channels!

About Sinéad & Rick

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!

Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan

Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan

‘Life Sentences’ is the story of Billy O’Callaghan’s extended family – a story that spans a century of life in Ireland, starting just after the famine.

The book opens with sixteen-year old Nancy, the sole survivor of her family after the famine, who leaves her home on the Island of Cape Clear to go and find work on the mainland in Cork.

Nancy finds a job in a big house in Cork City where she falls for a charming rogue who destroys her life. Her story is heart-breaking, but Nancy’s courage and grit drive her on through the hardships that she and her two children face.
The tale is wonderfully brought to life through O’Callaghan’s beautiful prose, which transports you back in time, and makes you feel deeply for each of his characters.

Life Sentences is a book about an Ireland of poverty, judgement and the ruthless control of the Catholic Church. It is also a novel about family, famine, courage, love, loss and surviving in a society that treated women appallingly.
Ultimately though, it is a story of how human endurance can overcome the most adverse situations, and how love and family survive.

A captivating book, beautifully written and I could not put it down.

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Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro’s first novel since winning the Nobel is a fantastic reminder of how his stories can frequently be universal whilst also having one foot firmly in the future. Set a few years from now in a country that could be the UK, America, or even Canada, but that feels just a little bit Japanese, the Klara of the title is an "Artificial Friend", a sophisticated robot, who is in a department store waiting to be bought by someone. Each of the robots in the store sit and smile, and then wait in the hope that they will be selected. One day Klara is finally chosen and taken home by Josie, a young girl who has bought Klara for reasons and needs that initially seem straightforward, but which turn out to be far more complex.

Told entirely from Klara’s point of view, this amazing novel is about the future just around the corner, what that could mean for everyone, but it is also about what it means to love. It’s a beautiful piece of speculative fiction with a simply incredible ending that just broke my heart.

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The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Fasten your seatbelt because this book is a fast paced, page turning, psychological drama that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last line of the book.

The narrator, Blythe, was raised by a distant and dysfunctional mother with no maternal instinct. When she is expecting her first child, Blythe is worried that she, like her mother, will not take to motherhood.

She vows to be different, to be a great mother to her daughter. But when Violet is born, Blythe struggles to bond with her and feels huge guilt. Then as Violet grows up, strange things begin to happen, Blythe wonders whether the issue is with her or whether it there is something wrong with her child.
Until the very last page, we are left wondering whether Blythe is being paranoid or if there is in fact something unsettling about Violet.

‘The Push’ is chilling and at times uncomfortably tense, but it’s also an extremely thought provoking and a heart-racing page turner.

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The Sunken Road by Ciarán McMenamin

The Sunken Road by Ciarán McMenamin

This is a cracking second novel following on from Ciaran McMenamin’s impressive debut ‘Skintown’. ‘Skintown’ was set in the Troubles in 1990s Fermanagh, and here the author returns to the border counties setting, but this time moves to a more historical setting between the First World War, up until 1922, just after the partition takes place.

‘The Sunken Road’ is the story of two friends from opposite sides of the religious divide - Catholic Francie, and his best friend Archie, who is Protestant, and of what happens to the two young men when they both enrol in the British army in World War I.

Partly about the hell of friends who are caught up in a senseless war, partly about the chaotic first 18 months after the creation of the border, part chase, part heist, and also part love story, this is one that won me over very quickly - even though I thought I’d read enough set in similar historical settings over recent years.

It’s taut, full of great characters and dialogue, and has a fantastic climax. I loved it.

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The Smash Up by Ali Benjamin

The Smash Up by Ali Benjamin

The debut novel from Ali Benjamin takes place during the week of Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing, where the main character, Ethan, feels his wife Zo is slipping away from him because of her new and all-consuming passion for activism. Zo is so passionate about the #MeToo cause that she completely neglects her husband and daughter.

Lonely Ethan starts to look to his daughter’s babysitter for comfort and attention. Just as the reader thinks life couldn’t get any more complicated, Randy, Ethan’s ex-business partner, is accused of misbehaviour in a #MeToo accusation and begs Ethan to help him cover it up.

Covering the #MeToo movement, the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, parenthood, materialism, imposter syndrome, aging and the rise of middle class, female activism, ‘The Smash Up’ is a razor-sharp satire of contemporary life, and although it’s set in small town America, it could be anywhere.

All in all, it’s a very modern, clever, witty and thought-provoking read and the many contemporary issues raised within it would make a brilliant choice for book clubs.

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We Are Not In The World by Conor O’Callaghan

We Are Not In The World by Conor O’Callaghan

This is another brilliant second novel from an Irish author, but this time one that I’ve been in love with for over a year. Like so many books, it was originally due to be published in 2020, but then moved due to this year due to Covid. 2020s loss is 2021s gain.

The book starts with Paddy easing his container truck out of a ferry entering France with one small item of unregistered cargo on board – his recently returned twentysomething daughter. We follow Paddy and his daughter on their journey south through the country, and witness their unusual relationship, while at the same time there are flashbacks to Paddy’s relationship with a married woman, his childhood and how he came to be on his first ever job driving a truck.

‘We Are Not In The World’ is gorgeously written, painfully believable and unlike anything else you’ll read this year, I guarantee it. Again, I’m afraid, this one is going to break your heart..but I promise it’s worth it.

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The Godmothers by Monica McInerney

The Godmothers by Monica McInerney

‘The Godmothers’ is the eagerly awaited twelfth novel by Australian author Monica McInerney, who lives in Dublin.

Set in Australia, Ireland, Scotland and England, it is the story of Eliza Miller, the only daughter of a troubled, single mother whose young life is made richer by her wonderful Godmothers.

Just before her eighteenth birthday, Eliza’s life changes forever, and it is her Godmothers who swoop in to support her. However, thirteen years later, a damaged Eliza is living a small, controlled life, avoiding any close relationships and focusing on her career, until one of her Godmothers comes to her aid with an invitation Eliza can’t refuse.

Two weeks later, Eliza finds herself in Scotland and begins to question her Godmothers about her past, and about the mysterious identity of her father. But sometimes finding out the truth is a lot more painful that you anticipated.

If you’re feeling fed up and looking to be transported elsewhere, then the perfect antidote is to curl up and lose yourself in this warm hug of a book about family, friendship, secrets and lies.

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Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

This is a debut and a half – two young people meet at a party in London, both are black British, both ended up on scholarships in private schools, both are trying to find their feet as creatives: he’s a photographer, she’s a dancer. The book follows their developing relationship against the huge backdrop of race, stereotype, talent, and uniqueness. Azumah Nelson’s writing is so intensely vivid that it is frequently hard to believe this is a debut. His astonishing writing genuinely had me sold 10 pages in - whether it’s taking us through club nights, a slowly smouldering start to a possible love between two young people, or into the uncertainty of police harassment and the background threat of violence as a young black man in London. It’s already been described as “an ode to being a full human being in a society that does not see you that way” - I couldn’t put it better myself.

This is wildly impressive from a major new talent.

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Sinéad & Rick's Must Reads - previous selection