Help for last minute book buyers

We see you rushing around the shops looking wild eyed. There will always be last minute gifts to get, or maybe you feel someone needs their haul supplemented. Giving a book is always a good plan and here are some ideas.

For Teens who just won’t read

Life is busy and social media and sports can soak up lying around reading time. 

But if this powerful and gripping novel pops up in their stocking you may see them engrossed reading over the holidays yet.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. 

The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. 

Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. 

For exhausted folk who want to disappear into a good story

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Based on the short and tragic life of the 16th-century Florentine princess Lucrezia de’ Medici this book captures the beauty and barbarity of Renaissance Italy. 

If you have ever wondered what it was like to live in Italy five hundred years ago now you know. Maggie has certainly done her research. 

The language may be a tad flowery for some but O’Farrell is an excellent writer and pulls the reader expertly into another world.

For those who feel strongly about Donald Trump

Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman

During the Trump presidency, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times established herself as a leading Trump-commentator but also sort of built up a friendship with him. She got insight into his complicated personality that no other journalist got to see and in her book gives us an engaging account of his story and how he rose from real estate mogul and television personality to president.

For people who are constantly on their phone

Stolen Focus – Why you can’t pay attention by Johann Hari’s

If you are worried that you cannot concentrate as well as you could in the past. After reading this book you might reconsider all the hours you spend on your mobile.

Johann Hari believes that the big tech companies have deliberately designed their products to addict and distract people. It makes for uncomfortable reading but it may just convince you to limit your screen time. 

For those looking for a good memoir

Bono- Surrender

Surrender is a good read. It combines the strange and wonderful rise to one of the most well known bands in the world but also of the life of a normal lad from Dublin. He is honest about his feelings, it is easy to read, and it’s interesting to hear about the music scene of the 80’s and 90’s.

For short story lovers

Dance Move – by Wendy Erskine

Wendy is from Belfast, she seems like great fun and has a great eye for how weird human beings can be. Her short stories a few years ago Sweet Home won a load of prizes and her intriguing new collection of short stories Dance Move, came out this year and is just as good.

For the cook in your life

Everyday Cook by Donal Skehan

This is the Howth native’s tenth cookbook but, amazingly, he has not run out of accessible and tasty recipes yet. Lots of delicious veg recipes and plenty for the meat lovers too.

If you are searching for some new 15/30 minute meals using just one pot/pan/tray this is a good one to have on the kitchen shelf.

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