Books Of The Month – March

I’m delighted this month that the two choices head and shoulders out of everything I could have chosen are both Irish and, I think, both brilliant. I’ll keep it simple.
They are:

John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a monster of a novel and the story of one man’s life starting in 1945 and reflecting the entire history of post-war Ireland, what it was like to grow up gay in it, and how so much has changed by the time we finish out in 2015.

Sara Baume’s A Line Made By Walking is a similar and yet different beast to her first novel Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither. Just as beautiful in language, just as hypnotic in the internal monologue of an outsider and their life, and something that will deserve just as much acclaim as her first.
To join in just come into the club itself…

Books Of The Month – February

This month, two different books, both coming hugely recommended from me and both with their own love it/hate it reviews in already…

Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes is the real deal.

I’m telling you nothing shy of it starting as a fairly conventional love triangle. Girl meets man in bar, they hit it off, turns out he’s her new boss and then girl meets the bosses wife and becomes her friend! I know that might sound a bit soap-operaesque but then the whole venture takes a sharp right hand turn and it all becomes genuinely compelling after that.

I was sure I had the shape of this nailed about a third of the way through the book, so did my wife, we were both very, VERY wrong. This is a tightly written, genuinely rattling, clever and water-cooler conversation generating thriller that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is just wonderful.

It’s a novel (important word that) about an author whose normally monosyllabic dying grandfather starts to tell him a genuinely extraordinary family story spanning almost the whole 20th century in the last days of his life. Yes, I’m a little slow sometimes(!) so, reading it cold, I only started to question whether it might be at least partially based on Chabon’s own experiences about a third of the way through. It is. Sort of…

It’s beautiful to read in places, richly detailed, thrilling in places and elegantly ornate in others. If you liked Kavalier & Clay (and if you didn’t, what’s wrong with you?) then there are definitely plot, location and themes here that run along in parallel with it. For me it’s going to be hard to beat as a thoroughly brilliant and highly enjoyable read in 2017.
Dubray Books have set up a discount code – buy either on their website using the code RICKFEB17 and you get 10% off.

Who’s in?

Books Of The Month – January

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 –


Michael Chabon – 2017

Event number one for me of 2017 isn’t an official ROSBC one but nonetheless I still think you should rock up if only for two reasons.

(1) He’s Michael Chabon.

(2) There will be advance copies of his new novel Moonglow on sale at the event and it’s an absolute cracker…


You can get your ticket in advance from the Dubray Books website while they still last. Wouldn’t leave it too long if I were you.