THE late Maeve Binchy has topped the bestseller list in the final week before Christmas with her final book.
It makes it a bittersweet Christmas for her many fans since this is likely to be the last time Maeve will be at number one. She died at the end of July and the book 'A Week in Winter' was published posthumously. At 6,402 copies sold in the past week, it is selling more than twice as fast as the next fiction book in the top 10, Ross O'Carroll-Kelly's 'The Shelbourne Ultimatum'.
'A Week in Winter' is a series of interlinked stories revealing what goes on in a west of Ireland hotel among a group of people on an out-of-season break.
It's Binchy at her best, full of humour, sparkling dialogue and telling observation.
Second on the chart in the Nielsen Bookscan figures for Ireland is the latest in the 'Wimpy Kid' series, a huge hit with children around the world. In third place is the annual ' Guinness World Records'.
'Jamie's 15-Minute Meals' is this year's must-have cookery book, and is at number four in Ireland – although it's number one in the UK having finally passed JK Rowling's 'A Casual Vacancy' last week.
It's not a surprise that Jamie's latest is also the bestselling cookbook in Ireland – but it is surprising that neither Rachel Allen or Catherine Fulvio, who both have new books out, have made the top 10.
'Irish Mammies' rounds out the top five, while Ross always makes the list and he's at number six, roysh? At number seven is Mary O'Rourke, whose memoir 'Just Mary' is so popular that publishers have rushed out a reprint for Christmas.
One of the big surprises is 'Calm The Soul', the book of prayer from the Poor Clares in Galway which is at number eight. At number nine is the only sports book to make the list, the story of rugby legend John 'The Bull' Hayes. And sneaking in at number 10 is Tolkien's ' The Hobbit', thanks to the film's release in a blaze of publicity.