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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 Winter. 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!

SINEAD AND RICK’S MUST READS - WINTER SELECTION

The Art Of The Glimpse by Sinead Gleeson

The Art Of The Glimpse by Sinead Gleeson

If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the person in your life whom you know is an avid reader, but yet you’re not sure what they’ve already read, then this is the ideal choice.

‘The Art Of The Glimpse’, contains a wide-ranging and varied selection of stories from some of the most recognised names in Irish literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and it is a fitting testament to the enormous breadth of writing talent our country has produced over the years. Writers represented include acclaimed authors from our past such as James Joyce, Brendan Behan and Samuel Beckett, as well as stories from some of our best contemporary Irish authors such as Sally Rooney, Anne Enright, Kevin Barry and Roddy Doyle, who are also represented along with dozens more from both our past and present.

Whilst the collection sparkles with new stars of current Irish writing right alongside those loved for decades, it is the breadth of talent on display here which is truly amazing, and ‘The Art Of The Glimpse’ also includes voices from groups who have been mostly overlooked in the past, such as the travelling community.

Finally, if you’re looking for yet another reason as to why it’s the perfect present - at 744 pages, it should not only keep that reader you love occupied for Christmas, but for a lot of the start of 2021 too!

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Champagne Football by Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan

Champagne Football by Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan

As a football lover, I found ‘Champagne Football’ to be a fascinating, yet dispiriting, look inside the complete and utter mismanagement of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) that brought the organisation to its knees.

In this revealing and damning expose, journalists Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan reveal how the board of the FAI allowed John Delaney to run the Association as his own fiefdom. The unbelievable revelations of Delaney’s own personal spending, compensations, together with the many other excesses that went on is infuriating. It is even more shocking when you realise that while the beautiful game was in tatters, and the FAI was going down the tubes, Delaney et al swigged champagne and flew around the world attending games and pretending to ‘represent’ Irish Football.

‘Champagne Football’ will have you shaking your head in disbelief at the shenanigans that went on behind closed doors at one of Ireland’s top sporting organisations. It is astonishing and is a well-researched, accessible, page-turning story that pulls back the curtain on the FAI’s horrendous mismanagement by a greedy dictator. I could not put it down.

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That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry

That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry

Hallelujah- the extraordinary Kevin Barry is back- only a year after his most recent novel with a cracking new collection of short stories.

The cast of characters who appear in his new book of short stories will probably be familiar to you if you’ve read Kevin Barry’s writing before. We meet people from (mostly) rural Ireland who are living in a state of desperation, and we’re also introduced to characters who are new to the country and abandoned; along with people who are yearning for love, or who are seeking out the songs of dying ancient Sean-nós singers and we meet a famous poet losing his mind in a mental hospital in 1960s Ballinasloe. As for the very first story in the collection, ‘The Coast Of Leitrim’, I had a little weep at the end. That’s how good he is.

The stories burn brightly and are all told with the most extraordinary sweeps of style that make him one of the finest living Irish writers. Unmissable stuff.

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A Light That Never Goes Out by Keelin Shanley

A Light That Never Goes Out by Keelin Shanley

One of Ireland’s best loved and most respected journalists Keelin Shanley passed away earlier this year at the young age of only fifty-one from stage four breast cancer.

As Keelin was nearing the end, she wanted to leave a record of her life behind. The result is this wonderful and moving memoir, in which she has done just that, and also so much more.

The book begins with Keelin tracing her remarkable career as an investigative journalist, she then talks movingly about her relentless battle with cancer, and takes us through her last few years as a news anchor. Throughout her inspirational account, Keelin’s incredible spirit, charm, wry humour and intelligence shine through right to the end.

There is not an ounce of self-pity or regret here, instead Keelin accepts her fate with courage and grace as she shows us that she is not only a career woman, but also a mum, wife, daughter, sister and friend. She reminds us who she is and leaves behind something very special for her loved ones to hold on to and cherish. This is a stunning memoir by an extraordinary woman.

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Here’s The Story by Mary McAleese

Here’s The Story by Mary McAleese

Sometimes when you go to read the memoir of someone who is prominent in public life, the early parts where they talk about their childhood can be dull and perfunctory – I’m very happy to report that this is definitely not the case with this.

Former President Mary McAleese grew up in Ardoyne in Belfast (not “The” Ardoyne she’s at pains to add) in the 50s and 60s. Her descriptions are vivid and paint a Northern Ireland that might be unfamiliar to you – one from before the start of The Troubles when living close to your neighbours of a different religion and being friends with them wasn’t as unthinkable as it seemed to become later.

The book also covers all of the well-known stuff too. Mary talks in great detail about what it was like to be a law professor in Dublin in her 20s, about her (hugely influential) work behind the scenes in the early days of the peace process, and she also brings us through her 14 year presidency, culminating in the visit of Queen Elizabeth and her post-Presidency clashes with the Catholic Church.

Very, very readable, illuminating and told with warmth, wit, and style.

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With Hope in Your Heart by Martina Cox

With Hope in Your Heart by Martina Cox

If you’re looking for an example of resilience, then look no further than this incredible story.

Martina Cox embodies resilience. In 2018, her husband Sean travelled to Anfield to watch his favourite football team, Liverpool play. He never made it to the match, and in a split second his life changed forever. On his way to the game, Sean was viciously attacked and left with a severe brain injury.

In this book, Martina walks us through the next eighteen months of their lives as they tried to cope with the mountains they had to climb. This is ultimately a story of hope, courage and determination, and about never taking no for an answer. It’s also about a community of people from Ireland and Liverpool, who came together to help one man and his family to piece their shattered lives back together. All in all, ‘With Hope in Your Heart’ is a wonderful testament to the power of unconditional love and never giving up hope.

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The Dictionary Of Hiberno-English (Ed. Dr. Terence Patrick Dolan)

The Dictionary Of Hiberno-English (Ed. Dr. Terence Patrick Dolan)

The late Dr. Terence Patrick Nolan passed away in 2019, so it’s brilliant to see that this latest third edition of his original 1998 classic is out again, after nearly a decade out of print.

I remember as a kid feeling incredulous when I was taught that we used English differently to, well, the English, and then becoming more and more fascinated as to how and why this happened, so this is right up my street.

This is a perfect for anyone in your life who’s interested in Irish trivia – it reveals the meaning behind some of our most commonly used Irish phrases – such as exactly what “Ask Me Swiss” means in Dublin, whether or not the American “so long” comes from Slán, and also talks about why Kilkenny’s hurling team are called The Cats (bored Hessian soldiers in 1798, look it up!), and where making a “hames” of something comes from.

Instead of any one of the hundreds of diddly-eye books aimed at tourists (remember them?), send this to your Irish-American cousins for Christmas, and open up their world!

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What is Beautiful in the Sky by Michael Harding

What is Beautiful in the Sky by Michael Harding

I’m delighted to include the new book from Michael Harding as one of my Winter Must Reads as he is exactly the type of writer we need right now for the times we find ourselves in.

In ‘What is Beautiful in the Sky’, Michael shows us the great solace to be found in nature, the beauty of the little things in life and the importance of taking time out to just be. In his own inimitable way, and with disarming honesty and insight, he shows us that that while the world around us is spinning out of control, the important things in life have not changed. In our strange new world, Michael reminds us that we can still live with hope and that everything is beautiful in the sky.

Reading this book in the middle of this never-ending pandemic was a perfect escape, and Michael’s words are so soothing and reassuring. It’s like being spoken to in soft tones by a wise elder. A gentle, reassuring and soothing read for these troubling times, ‘What is Beautiful in the Sky’ acts a like a balm for our frazzled lives.

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