Tuesday, 13 December 2011

January 2012 Reads

The cold eye of heaven by Christine Dwyer Hickey

Farley is an elderly Irishman, frail in body but sharp as a tack. Waking in the middle of the night, he finds himself lying paralyzed on the cold bathroom floor and so his mind begins to move back into his past. Decade by decade, Farley unravels the warp and weft of his life, recalling loves, losses and betrayals with the darkly comic wit of a true Dubliner. For this is also Dublin's story, the city Farley has seen through poverty and prosperity, boom and bust - each the other's constant companion throughout his seventy-five years. Epic in scope, rich in detail, and shot through with black humour, "The Cold Eye of Heaven" is a bitter-sweet paean to Dublin and a unique meditation on the life of one of its citizens.
Winner of the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year, 2011.

Solace by Belinda McKeon

As tender as it is heartbreaking, this is a brilliant debut from an exciting new voice in Irish fiction. Mark Casey has left home, the rural Irish community where his family has farmed the same land for generations, to study for a doctorate in Dublin, a vibrant, contemporary city full of possibility. To his father, Tom, who needs help baling the hay and ploughing the fields, Mark's pursuit isn't work at all, and indeed Mark finds himself whiling away his time with pubs and parties. His is a life without focus or responsibility, until he meets Joanne Lynch, a trainee solicitor whom he finds irresistible. Joanne too has a past to escape from and for a brief time she and Mark share the chaos and rapture of a new love affair, until the lightning strike of tragedy changes everything. "Solace" is a work to be admired for its spare, intense lyricism, its range, and its deeply compassionate portrayal of life as it is lived now.
Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Sunday Independent Best Newcomer of the Year Award for 2011 and shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award for 2011.

December Reads

Grace Williams says it loud by Emma Henderson
The doctors said no more could be done and advised Grace's parents to put her away. On her first day at the Briar Mental Institute, Grace, aged eleven, meets Daniel. Debonair Daniel, an epileptic who can type with his feet, sees a different Grace: someone to share secrets and canoodle with, someone to fight for. A deeply affecting, spirit-soaring story of love against the odds.  Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, 2011.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This is the first volume of the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, and focuses on the 40 year-old mystery of young Harriet Vanger's disappearance from a family gathering on the island owned by the powerful Vanger Corporation. Henrik Vanger believes that a member of his family is responsible for the murder of his niece, and hires Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist recently convicted, to investigate. Then enters Lisbeth Salander on the scene, the socially inept but genius computer hacker. The author cleverly interweaves the investigation of Harriet's disappearance with Blomkvist's attempt to clear his own name.