Sunday, December 20, 2009

EILEEN BATERSBY reveals her favourite 25 works of fiction of 2009

EILEEN BATERSBY , Literary Correspondent, reveals her favourite 25 works of fiction of 2009 - well 26 actually - as well as her favourite non-fiction

Serena by Ron Rash

The year is 1929, and newly-weds George and Serena Pemberton arrive from Boston in the North Carolina mountains to create a timber empire. Serena is new to the mountains - but she soon shows herself the equal of any worker, overseeing crews, hunting rattlesnakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Yet she also learns that she will never bear a child.

Serena's discovery will set in motion a course of events that will change the lives of everyone in this remote community. As the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel, this riveting story of love, passion and revenge moves toward its shocking reckoning.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cathedral by the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

Set in Barcelona during the Middle Ages, this novel explores issues such as class, race, the crusades and medieval trade. It reminds me of Emberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, it evokes the atmosphere of medieval Barcelona in a vivid way.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

top 10 books of the last ten years

The Irish Times did a review of the ten most signifigant books of the last 10 years yesterday, which includes some really great reads such as No Logo by Naomi Klein, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Boom and bust books

Books about boom and bust seem to be this years big sellers according to the Irish Times.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Author signing: Malahide Diamond Card Event

Michael Murphy, author of "At Five in the Afternoon" will be signing his book in Village Books on Wednesday 18th of November at 7. All welcome to come along and meet Michael and join us for a glass of prosecco.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Top 10 Crime November 2009

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest- Stieg Larsson
2. Nine Dragons- Michael Connelly
3. Genesis- Karen Slaughter
4. Evil at Heart- Chelsea Cain
5. First Family- David Baldacci
6. Too Close to Home-Linwood Barclay
7. Good People- Marcus Sakey
8. Child 44- Tom Rob Smith
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. The Girl who Played with Fire

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Late Nights on Air- Elizabeth Hay

Late Nights on Air is set in the Canadian wilderness in the 1970s. This a really excellent character driven novel. Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in the Canadian North. There, in Yellowknife, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real woman, Dido Paris, is both a surprise and even more than he imagined. Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric, utterly loveable characters, all transplants from elsewhere, who form an unlikely group at the station.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crime Fiction October 2009

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

The girl who kicked the hornet nest- Stieg Larsson

The girl who kicked the hornets nest, is the third part in Stieg Larsson's millenium trilogy. It continues the story of Lisbeth Salandar and Mikael Blomkvist and their battle with a secret group within the Swedish governement.

I really enjoyed the girl with the hornet's nest, however I thought it was a bit long winded and would have benifited from a good edit.

I recently found this website devoted to all things Stieg Larsson, its worth a look!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Top 10 New Crime Fiction

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
– Stieg Larsson

2. Nine Dragons
– Michael Connelly

3. Genesis
– Karen Slaughter

4. Evil At Heart
– Chelsea Cain

5. First Family
– David Baldacci

6. Too Close To Home
– Linwood Barclay

7. Good People
– Marcus Sakey

8. Child 44
– Tom Rob Smith

9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
– Stieg Larsson

10.The Girl Who Played With Fire
– Stieg Larsson

Top 10 New Fiction

1. One Day
– David Nicholls

2. Small Wars
– Sadie Jones

3. The Help
– Kathryn Stockett

4. Ordinary Thunderstorms
– William Boyde

5. Burnt Out Town Of Miracles
– Roy Jacobsen

6. Wolf Hall
– Hilary Mantel

7. Late Nights On Air
– Elizabeth Hay

8. Brooklyn
– Colm Toibin

9. A Week In December
– Sebastian Faulks

10.Love And Summer
– William Trevor

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson

The third part of the Millenium Trilogy came out on the 1st of October, "The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest". This book continues the story of Salandar and Blomkvist.

Here is a link to a review in the Irish Times, which also examines the ongoing legal case about the rights to the trilogy.
Larsson's common law spouse Eva is in conflict with other family members over Stieg's estate as he died without a will. Here is her website

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Small Wars by Sadie Jones

Small Wars is easily as good as Sadie Jones' first novel The Outcast. Both books capture the stifling and oppressive atmostphere of 1950s Britain.

Set in Cyprus, during a period of conflict with the British Empire, the story revolves around Hal Treherne a professional soldier and his wife Clara.
The conflict between the EKOA cypriot terrorists and the British soliders escalates, resulting in bloody skirmishs.

Hal is changed by action and the relationship between Hal and Clara becomes difficult and strained, if I write any more I will give away the plot.....a must read!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Micro Scooters - Exclusive to Village Books

Village Books presents the Micro Scooter, the perfect gift for any occasion, back to school, birthdays or Christmas. Designed to promote perfect balance and coordination in young children, the Mini-Micro and Maxi-Mircro scooters are exclusively sold in Village Books.

Mini-Micro Scooter
Blue or Pink

Maxi-Micro Scooter
Black or Purple

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Malahide Calendar 2010

The Malahide Calendar 2010 is now on sale in Village Books, Malahide.

The photos are taken by Cian Farrell and is printed by OC Digital.

All images are available for purchase at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Top 10 Crime September 2009

Top 10 Crime September 2009

1. Or She Dies by Greg Hurwitz

2. Genesis by Karin Slaughter

3. Good People by Marcus Sakey

4. Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain

5. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

6. Silent Man by Alex Berenson

7. The Amateur Spy by Dan Fesperman

8. Trust Me by Jeff Abbott

9. The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner

10. The Girl who played with Fire

Booker 2009 Shortlist

The Booker Prize 2009 shortlist was released yesterday. Unfortunately all the Irish authors didnt make the shortlist, but some interesting titles remain. I like the look of the Coetze book and Wolf Hall, I will try to read and review them in the next few weeks. Here is the list:

The Children's Book by A.S Byatt

Summertime by J.M. Coetze

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Irish Times review of Colum McCann's "Let the Great World spin"

The Irish Times have a very positive review of Colum McCann's new novel "Let the Great World Spin"

Set in New York in the 1970s and revolves around Philipe Petits tightrope walk between the twin towers of The World Trade Center.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Company by Robert Littell

The Company by Robert Littell

If you are the kind of person who wishes they were a spy during the Cold War (which I do) you will love this book. Beginning in the 1940s, The Company traces the history and development of the CIA, taking in events such as the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Watergate and the Soviet invasion of Afganistan.

Told through the eyes of four friends from Yale who rise through the ranks of the CIA and KGB. Stories of defections and the CIA attempt to assassinate Castro using the Italian Mafia had me riveted.

This is faction of the best kind, weaving rumours and conspiracy theories about the CIA with actual events.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Twilight Saga

The Twilight Saga
Throw-away chick lit or a literary darling?

I would tend to agree with the former. However, I could never part with my Twilight books. Intriguing and addictive, The Twilight Saga will engross the most selective of readers.

Meyer depicts a story of forbidden love that exists between Bella Swan, the awkward new girl in town, and the mysterious Edward Cullen.

The Cullen family stands apart from the rest of the villagers in Washington’s rainy town of Forks in beauty, style and appetite. Although integrated in society, they live a life of ancient secrecy. The Cullen’s are a family of vampires yet; they made the difficult decision to live as vegetarians, choosing to feast on the blood of animals over the succulent taste of human prey.

But as a powerful longing draws Edward and Bella together, danger grows ever more explosive.

We journey with Bella through the 4 books, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, as she falls irrevocably in love with Edward.

Each book is packed with obstacles that threaten their relationship, be they the physical constraints between fragile human and immortal vampire or the jealousy that develops in Jacob, Bella’s confidante and Edward’s foe. Jacob is too a descendant of an ancient clan, a natural enemy to the Cullen’s way of ‘life’.

The Twilight Saga is ultimately Fantasy – Chick Lit, it’s easy to read and not too taxing on the mind. However, with its fascinating characters and intense plot lines, it is extremely difficult not to be sucked into Bella’s world.


It is addictive; before you’ve finished Twilight, you will be down the shop to pick up the other 3! Probably best to clear a few days in the schedule before you begin, that way you can get though the Saga without being disturbed or having to take too much time away from the delectable Edward Cullen!

For those new to the fantasy genre, The Twilight Saga is a great introduction.
For those who love a love story, ‘never was there a story of such woe’!
For those who want an action packed read where werewolves take on vampires and vampires take on vampires, sink your teeth into The Twilight Saga.

By Sadashini

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Club - Our first official meeting (eventually!)

So it took us long enough but finally the book club managed to set a date and get together to discuss 'The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao'.
Over lots of nibbles and a few glasses of wine we sat and dissected Junot Diaz's Pulitzer wining novel. Overall the feedback was very favourable as most had thoroughly enjoy the book, citing both Oscar himself and Lola his sister as favourite characters. Many also showed a great interest in the historic elements of the footnotes in the book, which deepen the readers understanding of the history and folklore of the Domincan Republic, including the most dreadful of curses, the fuku, which plagues Oscar's family.
These footnotes however, also caused some of us some problems, as they were deemed a major distraction to most of the girls. I myself had no problems with them and found them enlightening as I knew absolutely nothing about the history of the country and its dictator Trujillo.
One of the girls also complained about the level of spanish in the book, the novel is peppered with spanish slang words and she felt she could make out their meaning due to the context but wished she understood the direct translation. I think that I had not forseen this problem , when I suggested the book to the group, as I loved all of the spanish slang because I could understand it (I studied the language at college). In hindsight I can understand why a few of the girls said it took from their enjoyment of the novel.
Yet overall we all totally agreed that it is well worth a read. It's a very engaging story that sucks you in, with characters you really care about and a great plot that spans generations and countries, 'The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao' was for the most part a hit with the book club!
Our next title has already been decided upon by Orna. We will be reading 'American Wife' by Curtis Sittenfeld. This book is reviewed elsewhere in the blog and looks great, I can't wait to get my teeth in to it. I'm off to Village Books to pick up my copy now!!

Friends like these by Danny Wallace

Danny Wallace is about to turn thirty and his life has become a cliche. Recently married and living in a smart new area of town, he's swapped pints down the pub for lattes and brunch. For the first time in his life, he's feeling, well ...grown-up.

But some thing's not right. Some thing's missing. Until he finds an old address book containing just twelve names.

His best mates as a kid. Where are they now? Who are they now? And how are they coping with being grown-up too?And so begins a journey from A-Z, tracking down and meeting his old gang. He travels from Berlin to Tokyo, from Sydney to LA.

Part-comedy, part-travelogue, part-memoir, "Friends Like These" is the story of what can happen when you track down your past, and of where the friendships you thought you'd outgrown can take you today...

This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. I loved every minute of and found myself laughing out loud while reading it (even in the most inappropriate of places!)
Danny has a great comedic style of writing and I loved the inclusion of snapshots of all of the people that he reconnects with and the pages from his 'Our News' copy from when he was about six. I particularly loved the episode in which to get revenge for a prank that happened twelve years before, Danny ends up in Los Angeles dressed as a giant rabbit called "Mangriff the Beast Warrior", off-the-wall hilarious stuff, a must read for anyone who likes a good laugh!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

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Genesis by Karin Slaughter: Review

This is the sequel to Fractured. This series is set in Atlanta and revolves around the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Special Agent Will Trent is an intense, intuitive and dyslexic cop, works with his partner Faith Mitchell.

A beaten injured woman wanders into a road and is hit by a car. Nearby an underground torture chamber is discovered by Trent and Mitchell. This is just the start of a grisly murder hunt.

Karin Slaughter writes in a gripping and fast paced style, I find myself still reading her books in the middle….because I can’t stop.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: review

Mikael Blomkist is an investigative journalist who is employed by a wealthy businessman Henrik Vanger to investigate a family mystery. Blomkist is assisted in the investigation by Lisbeth Salander who is a bit of a livewire and a computer hacker.

Blomkist and Salander search for Henrik Vangers great-niece Harriet who disappeared 40 years before. Henrik is convinced that Harriet was murdered by a family member.

As well as a gripping story, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo explores issues such as industrial corruption, incest and the influence of the Nazis in Sweden.

The author Stieg Larsson has a fascinating background; he was one of the world’s leading experts on right-wing extremist and Nazi organisations. He died suddenly after delivering three manuscripts to his publisher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is part one of the trilogy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day is the story of a relationship told over thirty years. Emma and Dexter had a fling on the night of their graduation from the University of Edinburgh. They keep in touch over the years and their letters form part of the narrative. Their relationship becomes a warm friendship and following divorces and failed relationships they get together when they are in their late 30s.

The book is set in London and reflects the popular culture and trends of the 1980s and 90s sometimes cringingly so. It reminds me of The Timetravellers Wife.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

The American Wife is a surprising book. I was about half way through the book before I realised that the main character Alice Blackwell is loosely based on Laura Bush. This disturbed me because I was really identifying and admiring Alice but I hate George Bush.

Despite this, its really good read, focusing on Alice’s relationship with her husband, American politics and the changing role of women in society.

By Orna

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wing-ed Things and Sisters with Issues

The Behaviour of Moths is one of those books that you come across now and again that feels truly unique, unlike anything you've read before, and even more enjoyable for that reason.

It's the story of two sisters, told from the perspective of Ginny - one of the sisters who is in her later years - as she rambles aimlessly and alone around her crumbling deserted gothic mansion. Her sister Vivi has been long gone, for more than 40 years, and the reasons for this departure are revealed torturously slowly through flashbacks and very furtive reveals from Ginny as she relects on her life and family.

Throughout the story the motif of moths, an academic speciality of Ginny's, illustrates the various peaks and valleys of the sisters' relationships and emotions.

Alternately claustrophic and spacious, haunting and subtle, menacing and gentle, this novel is dripping with atmosphere. It's dark, grim, at times gruesome but always intriguing and through it all, remarkably addictive and strangely beautiful.

I simply loved every single word of this novel and would urge anyone to pick it up and read it, it's immensely engrossing and satisfying and one of my favourite reads so far this year.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eileen Battersby's review of "Peace" by Richard Bausch

Eileen Battersby's review in today's Irish Times is about Richard Bausch's book "Peace"
Battersby gives the book a very favourable review, stating that American fiction is "Outstanding, judging by the publication of work as superb as this edgy short novel by the gifted and still seriously unsung Richard Bausch"
"Peace" is a classic war story set in Italy, it is both funny and critical.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Recommended Crime- July 09

Gone Tomorrow- Lee Child

Long Lost- Harlan Coben

Trust Me- Jeff Abbott

Nobody Move- Denis Johnson

City of the Sun- David Levien

Swan Peak- James Lee Burke

Wicked Prey- John Sandford

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Stieg Larsson

RyanTubridy's Summer Reads

The Tubridy Show Summer Reads were chosen by Morning Ireland's Aine Lawlor, Actor Eamon Morrissey and Author Niamh Greene

they choose...

Brooklyn - Colm Toibin
Ulysses and Us - Declan Kiberd
Judging Dev - Diarmuid Ferriter
The Polish Officer - Alan Furst
Zoo Station - David Downing
Liberty - Lucy Moore
Downriver - John Hart
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
Heart and Soul - Maeve Binchy
The Scret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
Missing You Already - Pauline McLynn
The Believers - Zoe Heller

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Grass is Singing - Doris Lessing. Reviewed by Audrey Cole

I enjoyed it very much, she drew the characters brilliantly, the decline of Mary was interesting and very sad, likewise Dick, none of his aspirations or dreams worked, so his decline was equally sad. The scheming of Moses was clever and well thought out, the way he made Mary so dependant on him. The desolation of the farm reminded me of Ireland after the war, I remember the bleakness of it, and the poverty.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Top 10 New Fiction for July 2009

July 09 Top 10 New Fiction

1. Burnt Out Town of Miracles- Roy Jacobsen

2.The Help- Kathryn Stockett

3. Sweeping Up Glass- Carolyn Wall

4. American Rust- Philip Meyer

5. The Garden of Last Days- Andre Dubus

6. Man Gone Down- Michael Thomas

7. Home- Marilynne Robinson

8. A Fraction of the Whole- Steve Toltz

9. Go With Me- Castle Freeman

10. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wa0- Junot Diaz