January can tend to be a quiet month in books released (at least until mid-month – I already have two crackers chosen for February!) so this year I’ve decided to go with two choices from a while back and both from vastly differing ends of the scale…
If you’ve never read Kevin Barry you are missing, as I described him in my own review for this book, pretty much, the most nakedly talented writer Ireland has today. Beatlebone is the most fantastic work of whatiffery – John Lennon comes to Ireland in 1978 to try to escape from crushing fame, the expectation of the world and, conversely, the domesticity of New York fatherhood by trying to get to an island he bought and let lapse into abandonment off the west coast in the late 60s. His foil, driver, spirit guide, aide-de-camp and the one tasked with both getting him there and hiding him from the pursuing press is local man Cornelius O’Grady.
Book two comes about for two reasons. The first one is that, as part of a discussion in the club a while back, someone said we didn’t often feature writers like, for instance, Cecelia Ahern. That person was bloody right. The second reason is that we’re delighted to be doing our first ever live author interview event with her in early 2017. Keep your eyes on the bookclub FB page for details being announced in early January.
Lyrebird is getting some of the best reviews of what has already been a stellar career for her – a documentary film crew and their sound guy Solomon find a young woman living alone in West Cork with an extraordinary talent for mimicry, just like a Lyrebird. They make her the subject of their story and end up taking her back with them to the city with consequences that no-one could have expected.
As always, to join in, come and pull up a chair –