Sinéad & Rick’s Must Reads
ABOUT SINÉAD & RICK
Bestselling novelist Sinéad Moriarty and popular RTE broadcaster and book club curator Rick O’Shea have teamed up with Eason to share their personal book choices and why you should be reading their latest ‘must reads’ for the seasons ahead.
All their selected titles are available to order online and in-store with our new click-and-collect option.
As an author of 13 outstanding novels, and as a winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year, Sinéad knows a thing or two about books! She is also back with her brand new bestseller ‘Our Secrets And Lies’, which is available to buy here. Check out Sinéad’s latest must reads!
The well-known broadcaster Rick O’Shea runs the largest book club in Ireland which boasts over 16,000 members, and is a proud and passionate book advocate. Check out his latest must reads!
I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish this fantastic book. It’s a jaw dropping and extraordinary memoir of Tara Westover’s childhood growing up as the youngest of seven children born to Mormon fundamentalist parents in Idaho.
Somehow, Tara’s spirit is never broken despite the violent and volatile world she grows up in. Tara falls through a huge crack in society – her father never registered her birth and she was given no education. It is shocking to think that she didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was 17. Yet, through her sheer grit and determination, a decade later she ends up with a PhD from Cambridge University.
I was in awe of how Tara overcame the huge adversities of her childhood. This is really a story about her resilience. You will not be able to put this book down.
Catherine Gray started drinking at 12. Later, working in the UK magazine industry for titles like Cosmopolitan, she spent most of her spare time at boozy lunches, evening drinks and crawling out of clubs at 4am. It almost killed her. Here she tells that story but also looks at things like how TV subtly promotes alcohol to us without us paying much attention and why everyone thinks you’re a killjoy if you don’t drink. It even considers the benefits of the “sober movement” and how much better her life has been since she gave it all up.
Every now and then I come across a book that makes me look at my life differently – this is one of them. It could come off as preachy or po-faced but it doesn’t, just asks “on balance are we better or worse off with booze in our lives?” It’s a question worth asking.
Having really enjoyed Celeste Ng’s first novel , Everything I Never Told You, I was looking forward to reading her second novel. It didn’t disappoint. She has a gift of creating interesting, quirky characters that you really care about.
This novel takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio where everything is planned and there are strict rules that residents must follow. The Richardson family are pillars of this society – except for Izzy their nonconforming youngest child.
Into this stifling, oppressive environment come free-spirited photographer, Mia Warren, and her fifteen-year-old daughter, Pearl.
This novel will lull you into a sense of comfort and then smack you awake with its many twists and turns. As with her debut novel, this author constantly kept me on my toes, wondering what was going to happen next.
The brilliant The Cow Book is the true story of John Connell – a young man unexpectedly back on the family farm for a year having left for Australia and Canada to make a life for himself as a writer and filmmaker. It’s a truthful, beautiful description of how hard everyday life on a 21st century small Irish dairy farm can be, mercifully free of clichés, and incredibly moving at times.
I was a kid brought up surrounded by vast housing estates in Dublin who only ever saw a cow on the way to Wexford for my Summer holidays. I didn’t let that put me off and neither should you – The Cow Book opens windows to stories that we all should see and that, as consumers, we’re all a part of in the end.
Mary Lynn Bracht is an American author of Korean descent. In 2002 Bracht visited her mother’s childhood village where she learned about the ‘Comfort Women’ who were captured during the second World War and set up in brothels for the Japanese military.
In her novel, Bracht doesn’t hold back and she shocks you with her searing exploration of this shameful chapter in history.
When Hana sacrifices herself to save her little sister Emi, and is captured by Japanese soldiers, you feel very afraid for her. But nothing can prepare you for what is to come.
Switching timeline and point of view, between Hana in 1943 and Emi as an old woman today, this novel will move you to tears as you find out what happens to the two sisters.
Cathal Flood is a hulking old man and Olympic-level hoarder living in a decaying old mansion in London, Maud Drennan the poorly-paid care worker sent in to try and fight her way through the mountains of forgotten rubbish and try to convince him he needs help. She figures out all is now what it seems and attacks the problem the only way she knows how – with humour and the advice of a series of ghostly saints that follow her every step.
Jess Kidd writes the most amazing, readable, leftfield people (I loved her first book “Himself”) and The Hoarder ends up being part twisty detective hunt, part creepy gothic ghost story, full of the most wonderful bruised and broken characters that you won’t come across every day. For me I breezed through it (rare enough!) and it’ll keep you gripped to the end. Thoroughly enjoyable.
This is an intensely honest and at times, almost painful to read memoir by Irish novelist Julia Kelly. Julia writes with a complete lack of sentimentality about her partner, successful Irish artist Charlie Whisker’s disintegration into a world of confusion, distress and amnesia as Alzheimer’s takes control of his once sharp and brilliant mind. This book doesn’t shy away from the devastating affect that this disease has on their relationship and on their young daughter.
Julia doesn’t hide any of the pain or destruction that the breakdown of her once beloved Charlie has on her life. She is open about the guilt, pain, heartbreak, anger and depression that go hand in hand when you are dealing with the disintegration of a loved one.
We are taken back to the day they met and walked though their initial love story, through the happier times and into the darkness at it descends. A beautifully written, achingly honest memoir that stayed with me long after I finished it.
One of the most talked about Irish debuts in years, and rightly so. Frances is a 21-year-old college student in Dublin, Bobbi is her best friend and ex-girlfriend. At a poetry event they’re spotted by a well-known photographer Melissa and, later, meet her husband Nick, a moderately famous actor.
The book charts the following months where Frances and Nick grow closer and embark on an affair while her relationship with Bobbi grows more distant. There’s an amazing world of post-crash Irish writing in the last few years and Conversations With Friends is among the very best of it. It’s also a bang up to date take on that most readable of things – a good old-fashioned novel about middle-class people having affairs. I even welled up at the end. It’s a book you shouldn’t miss.