Monday 24 June 2019

Exceptional writing in 2018's Irish Book Awards shortlists

A brand new headline sponsor added to the excitement of the unveiling of the shortlists for this year's An Post Irish Book Awards. Literary Editor Madeleine Keane reports

Emilie Pine
Emilie Pine
Cecelia Ahern. Photo: Patrick Bolger
Happy Pear: David and Stephen Flynn
Sean and Fionnuala Cavanagh
Host Keelin Shanley
Diarmaid Ferriter and Sunday Independent Literary Editor Madeline Keaned
Des Cahill and Rosemary Smith
Holly White
Joanna Donnelly
Andrea Mara
Dave Rudden
An Post CEO David McRedmond

Truly it was a red letter day on Thursday when the GPO provided the august backdrop for the launch of the 2018 Irish Book Awards shortlists. The frisson of teaming up with our new sponsor An Post­ - headed up by CEO David McRedmond (himself a former bookseller and devoted bibliophile) - and learning who had made the cut in the 16 categories across Irish writing was palpable as an eclectic mix of writers from Diarmaid Ferriter, John Boyne and Rosemary Smith to Cecelia Ahern, Robert Ballagh and the Happy Pear twins enjoyed wine and canapes in this historic setting.

To support its sponsorship, An Post has unveiled #ReadersWanted, a national campaign that celebrates the value and joy of reading and encourages everyone to pick up more books, more often. To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website You'll also be in with a chance of winning a €100 book token.

Keelin Shanley will preside over the gala awards ceremony (while her colleague Evelyn O'Rourke chaperones the Green Room antics) which takes place on Tuesday, November 27 at the Clayton Hotel, and an hour-long programme of the highlights will be shown later in the week on RTE One.

As long-time partners in this illustrious Irish literary event, the Sunday Independent is delighted about this dynamic new chapter in the awards' history and is very proud that our own Declan Lynch has been nominated for his gripping tale of gambling addiction, Tony 10. So, let's not keep you in suspense any more. Here are the shorlists for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2018:

The Best Irish Published Book of the Year

* Lighthouses of Ireland: An Illustrated Guide to the Sentinels that Guard our Coastline - Roger O'Reilly (The Collins Press)

* The Great Irish Weather Book - Joanna Donnelly, illustrator Fuchsia MacAree (Gill Books)

* Dr Hibernica Finch's Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals - Rob Maguire, illus. Aga Grandowicz (Little Island Books)

* People on the Pier - Betty Stenson and Marian Therese Keyes (New Island Books)

* Humanology - Professor Luke O'Neill (Gill Books)

* Blazing A Trail - Irish Women Who Changed the World - Sarah Webb, illus. Lauren O'Neill (The O'Brien Press)

National Book Tokens Children's Book of the Year (Junior)

* The First Christmas Jumper (And the Sheep Who Changed Everything) - Ryan Tubridy, illus. Chris Judge (Walker Books)

* The Magic Moment - Niall Breslin, illus. Sheena Dempsey (Gill Books)

* The President's Cat - Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)

* Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth - Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children's Books)

* The Pooka Party - Shona Shirley Macdonald (The O'Brien Press)

* I Say Ooh, You Say Aah - John Kane (Templar Press)

National Book Tokens Children's Book of the Year (Senior)

* Tin - Padraig Kenny (Chicken House)

* The Trouble with Perfect - Helena Duggan (Usborne Publishing)

* Secret Science: The Amazing World Beyond Your Eyes - Dara O Briain, illus. Dan Brammall (Scholastic)

* The Storm Keeper's Island - Catherine Doyle (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

* Blazing A Trail: Irish Women Who Changed the World - Sarah Webb, illus. Lauren O'Neill (The O'Brien Press)

* The Dog Who Lost His Bark - Eoin Colfer illus P J Lynch (Walker Books)

Dept 51@Eason Teen/Young Adult Book of the Year

* Doctor Who: Twelve Angels Weeping - Dave Rudden (BBC Children's Books)

* The Surface Breaks - Louise O'Neill (Scholastic)

* The Wren Hunt - Mary Watson (Bloomsbury)

* The Weight of a Thousand Feathers - Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)

* Spare and Found Parts - Sarah Maria Griffin (Titan Books)

* Dark Wood Dark Water - Tina Callaghan (Poolbeg)

Eason Book Club Novel of the Year

* Milkman - Anna Burns (Faber & Faber)

* From a Low and Quiet Sea - Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)

* A Ladder to the Sky - John Boyne (Doubleday)

* Normal People - Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)

* Travelling in a Strange Land - David Park (Bloomsbury Publishing)

* Future Popes of Ireland - Darragh Martin (Fourth Estate)

Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year

* The Importance of Being Aisling - Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books)

* Letters to My Daughters - Emma Hannigan (Hachette Books Ireland)

* Grace After Henry - Eithne Shorthall (Corvus)

* Our Secrets and Lies - Sinead Moriarty (Penguin Ireland)

* A Keeper - Graham Norton (Coronet)

* Dancing with the Tsars - Ross O'Carroll-Kelly (Penguin Ireland)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

* Skin Deep - Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)

* A House of Ghosts - W C Ryan (Bonnier Zaffre)

* The Confession - Jo Spain (Quercus)

* One Click - Andrea Mara (Poolbeg)

* The Ruin - Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)

* Thirteen - Steve Cavanagh (Orion)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

* The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow - Danny Denton (Granta Books)

* This Hostel Life - Melatu Uche Okorie (Skein Press)

* Notes to Self - Emilie Pine (Tramp Press)

* The Lost Letters of William Woolf - Helen Cullen (Michael Joseph)

* Promising Young Women - Caroline O'Donoghue (Virago)

* Mind on Fire - Arnold Thomas Fanning (Penguin Ireland)

Onside Non-Fiction Book of the Year

* Notes to Self - Emilie Pine (Tramp Press)

* People Like Me - Lynn Ruane (Gill Books)

* Michael O'Leary - Matt Cooper (Penguin Ireland)

* Climate Justice - Mary Robinson (Bloomsbury Publishing)

* On The Edge - Diarmaid Ferriter (Profile Books)

* A Reluctant Memoir - Robert Ballagh (Head of Zeus)

Ireland AM Popular Non- Fiction Book of the Year

* Tony 10 - Declan Lynch and Tony O'Reilly (Gill Books)

* Help Me! - Marianne Power (Picador)

* The Skin Nerd - Jennifer Rock (Hachette Books Ireland)

* The Cow Book - John Connell (Granta Books)

* Play it Again, Des - Des Cahill and Mary Hannigan (Sport Media)

* Born for the Road: My Story So Far - Nathan Carter (Penguin Ireland)

EUROSPAR Cookbook of the Year

* The Currabinny Cookbook - James Kavanagh and William Murray (Penguin Ireland)

* Vegan-ish - Holly White (Gill Books)

* The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness - David and Stephen Flynn (Penguin Ireland)

* Donal's Meals in Minutes - Donal Skehan (Hodder & Stoughton)

* How to Eat a Peach - Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley)

* Neven Maguire's Home Economics for Life - Neven Maguire (Gill Books)

Bord Gais Energy Sports Book of the Year

* The Hurlers - Paul Rouse (Penguin Ireland)

* At All Costs - Davy Fitzgerald with Vincent Hogan (Gill Books)

* Fighter - Andy Lee with Niall Kelly (Gill Books)

* Sean Cavanagh: The Obsession - Sean Cavanagh with Damian Lawlor (Black & White Publishing)

* Driven - Rosemary Smith with Ann Ingle (HarperCollins)

* Game Changer - Cora Staunton with Mary White (Transworld Ireland)

RTE Radio One's The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners' Choice Award

* Ladder to the Sky - John Boyne (Doubleday)

* The Stolen Girls - Patricia Gibney (Bookouture)

* The President is Missing - Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Century)

* Ruin - Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)

* Skin Deep - Liz Nugent (Penguin)

* The Woman in the Window - A J Finn (HarperCollins)

Listowel Writers' Week Irish Poem of the Year

* Kintsugi - Shannon Kuta Kelly (Poetry Ireland Review)

* Birthday - Brian Kirk (After the Fall Salmon Poetry)

* Inglis & Co Ltd - Erin Halliday (Poetry Ireland Review)

* The Snail - John W. Sexton (SurVision Magazine) Short Story of the Year

* How to Build a Space Rocket - Roisin O'Donnell (from The Broken Spiral ed by R M Clarke)

* Prime - Caoilinn Hughes (from Granta, March 2018)

* The Mother - Deirdre Sullivan (The Dublin Review, December 2017)

* Pollyfilla - Mia Gallagher (from Shift - New Island Books)

* Gooseen - Nuala O'Connor (from Granta, June 2018)

* The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up by the Floor and Who Met Lots of Other Women Down There Too - Cecelia Ahern (from Roar - HarperCollins)

The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

* Tuatha De Danann - Diarmuid Johnson (Leabhar Breac)

* Fuascailt an Iriseora - Michelle Nic Phaidin (Cois Life)

* Tain Bo Cuailnge - Darach O Scolai (Leabhar Breac)

* Teach an Gheafta - Cathal O Searcaigh (Leabhar Breac)

* Lamh, Lamh Eile - Alan Titley (Clo lar - Chonnacht)

* Luise Ghabhanach Ni Dhufaigh: Ceannrodai - Celia De Freine (Leabhair Comhar)

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