It’s Irish Book Week (October 17-24) which means it’s time to celebrate our favourite Irish authors and local bookshops. With a second lockdown looming, use this as an opportunity to order online or over the phone from your favourite independent bookshops. Now is the time to support them – our cities and towns would be much less colourful without them. A good book is the perfect antidote to feelings of worry, anxiety and loneliness that many of us may face over the coming weeks, so curl up with a new read (plus tea, chocolate and a cosy blanket) and get lost in a brilliant novel …
Some independent bookshops to visit are:
Raven Books, Blackrock
Dubray Books (multiple locations)
The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Dublin 2 and Dalkey
Books Upstairs, Dublin 2
Books On The Green, Sandymount
The Company of Books, Ranelagh
Hampton Books, Donnybrook
Chapters Bookstore, Dublin 1
MoLi shop, Museum of Literature Ireland, Dublin 2
Manor Books, Malahide
The Skerries Bookshop, Skerries, Co Dublin
Village Bookshop, Greystones
Halfway Up The Stairs, Greystones (specialising in children’s books)
Bridge Street Books, Wicklow
Woodbine Books, Kilcullen, Co Kildare
The Maynooth Bookshop, Co Kildare
Just Books, Mullingar
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway
Kenny’s Bookshop, Galway
Kinsale Bookshop, Co Cork
Bantry Bookshop, Co Cork
O’Mahony’s Booksellers, Limerick
The Book Centre, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny
Tertulia Books, Westport
Antonia’s Bookstore, Trim, Co Meath
Sheelagh na Gig bookshop, Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary
Books at One, Louisburgh, Co Mayo
Woulfe’s Bookshop, Listowel, Co Kerry
If your favourite independent bookshop isn’t included in this list please email us on [email protected], we’d be happy to update it.
And if you’re wondering what to read, below three GLOSS editors recommend some books they’ve recently enjoyed …
Sarah Halliwell, Beauty Editor
I finally got round to reading Deborah Orr’s Motherwell – a bleak but often black-humoured reflection on a deeply complicated mother/daughter relationship. Anyone who knows a narcissist will gasp in recognition. And I’ve just finished This Happy by Niamh Campbell, another young Irish writer with a mastery of snappy dialogue and an acid tone, telling a compelling story of damaged youth – definitely one to watch. A reflection on an affair between a 23-year old and an older married man, it leaps off the page with some startlingly good writing and piercing insights. “How much would you surrender for love?” asks Alannah, the “complicated girl” at its core. I’m also (long after everyone else) reading Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. It’s poetic and extraordinary from the very first page, and I’m trying to read it slowly and savour each line.
Síomha Connolly, Digital Editor
Some of my favourite books of all time are by Irish authors. In recent years I’ve enjoyed Sally Rooney’s novels (like the rest of the world) and Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times. I’ve just started reading Strange Hotel by Eimear Mcbride. Her way of writing is unusual to say the least, but her previous novel, The Lesser Bohemians, is one of my favourite books so I was interested to read her latest work. Strange Hotel follows a 30-something woman as she visits different hotels around the world. It’s not as gripping as I’d hoped, and it’s quite a claustrophobic read (she spends most of her time alone with her own thoughts inside anonymous hotel rooms) so perhaps not the best choice as we head into another lockdown, but there is something very interesting about her storytelling. I recently read Louise O’Neill’s After The Silence which is the ultimate page turner – perfect if you’re looking for a distraction at this time, though you will probably get through it faster than you planned so that you can find out the ending!
Penny McCormick, Deputy Editor
This month I’ve read two memoirs. The Baroness by Hannah Rothschild details her quest to find out more about her rebellious relation Pannonica – known as Nica. She’s a fascinating character who abandoned her children, husband and trust fund, after being mesmerised by Thelonius Monk’s music (especially Round Midnight). She moved to New York in the 1950s and was an odd addition to Monk’s entourage, whom she cared for until his death. Another riveting read was Gavanndra Hodge’s The Consequences of Love – a moving account of her sister Candy’s sudden death while on holiday, when she was nine. Hodge’s father was a drug dealer and her mother an alcoholic. I think this is one of the best books I’ve read about grief, loss and relationships (top of that list is Joan Didion’s A Year of Magical Thinking).
Somewhat lighter … I’ve just started Dolly Alderton’s debut novel Ghosts, which is just the pick-me-up I’ve needed this week, now that lockdown 2.0 has started. Funny, relatable and socially astute, it more than cements Alderton’s reputation as the Nora Ephron of her generation. It’s about food writer Nina Dean, who when using a dating app for the first time meets Max. On their first date he tells her he wants to marry her … I can see a screen version of this novel in the pipeline …
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