The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

It doesn’t seem quite right doing a literary mixtape for a book that I loved so much. Because I should be telling you why I loved it, and urging you to read it. Read this review and also this one – they sum up why it’s ace. Now off you go and read it.

5/5 Magnificent. Continue reading

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

When you’re twenty-one years old, you think you’ve got relationships down – you’re not as susceptible to shallow or fleeting infatuations (or rather, you accept infatuations for what they are – shallow and fleeting); you’ve probably had you’re heart-broken; you ‘know what you want’ and ‘commitment’ seems a reasonable proposition. But actually, there’s still a lot to learn on the relationship front. A lot. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney demonstrates exactly that.

Frances is 21 – a university student, aspiring writer, idealistic, and aloof. Her best-friend Bobbi, is charismatic, opinionated and beautiful. Once lovers, the two women now perform poetry together. They’re discovered by Melissa, an established writer in her mid-30s, and are quickly drawn into Melissa’s world, impressed by her sophistication, her beautiful home and her handsome actor husband, Nick. Continue reading

A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume

I’ve never suffered from depression but some people around me have. Although I’ve tried my best to understand how they’re feeling, I’ve never known the depth and darkness of that place. For 320 pages, Sara Baume’s novel,  A Line Made by Walking, showed me that place.

Struggling to cope with life, 25-year-old artist, Frankie, retreats to her family’s rural house, vacant since her beloved grandmother’s death three years earlier. Surrounded by open space, Frankie slowly falls apart –

…I tried to explain that I had no explanation, that I just spent rather a lot of time trying not to cry; that trying-not-to-cry had become my normal state. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Year of Wonders to The Muse

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It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up!

We begin the chain with an international best-selling debut that thrilled fans of historical fiction (and everyone else) when it was published in 2001 – Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Continue reading

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

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Louise O’Neill’s novel, Asking For It, is hard-hitting, frightening and all-too-real.

The story opens with a conversation between a group of teenage girls – they’re discussing school, exams, boyfriends and parties – the usual stuff, however it quickly reveals the pecking order among the girls and it’s eighteen year old Emma, who’s on top. Continue reading

Sample Saturday – a girl, a painting, and a murder

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Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

This week, the three samples I’ve selected are the three books on the Baileys Prize 2016 shortlist that I haven’t read (yet). Continue reading

In the mood for Irish misery porn? Yes, always.

Last week, my Goodreads buddy, David, remarked on my reference to ‘Irish misery porn’ – I don’t think I coined that phrase (although a quick search suggests that the most frequent use of the phrase is on this blog…hmmm) but for the purposes of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’ll claim it as my own.

Irish misery porn refers to those particular types of stories that involve bleak childhoods, mams full of woe (usually with husbands that spend the money on pints of Guinness rather than pints of milk) and relentless rain. I love them.

irish-misery-porn Continue reading