Wednesday 25 April 2018

Joe Duffy's book focused on children of the Rebellion is the biggest Irish book of the year

Compelling account of the children killed in the Rebellion was biggest Irish book of the year, writes John Spain

SUCCESS: Joe Duffy with Amy Hanna, at the launch of his book Children of the Rising at the GPO, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
SUCCESS: Joe Duffy with Amy Hanna, at the launch of his book Children of the Rising at the GPO, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron

John Spain

Broadcaster Joe Duffy's bestselling book about the 40 children who died during the 1916 Rising was the highest-earning Irish book of 2015, taking in over €500,000 in sales.

And a literary novel by Anne Enright, a sports memoir by former Donegal GAA football manager Jim McGuinness and a children's book by retired Waterford primary teacher John Burke and his daughter Fatti were among the other high-earning Irish books of the year.

Figures just released by Nielsen Bookscan give total sales in Ireland in the year up to last Saturday, December 26, and therefore include the important Christmas period.

The bestselling book in Ireland in 2015 was The Girl on the Train by British journalist Paula Hawkins, which sold 60,077 copies worth €962,668. Dubbed the Gone Girl of 2015, the thriller tells the story of troubling things seen in the backs of houses by a young woman on a train on her daily commute to work.

The book also made the most money, at close to €1m.

In second place in the ranking of books that took in the most money in 2015 was Children of the Rising by Joe Duffy, which sold 25,418 copies worth €506,371.

In third place was Grandpa's Great Escape by British funny man turned children's author David Walliams, which sold 43,269 copies worth €484,229.

In fourth place was Irelandopedia: A Compendium of Maps, Facts and Knowledge by John and Fatti Burke, which sold 22,684 copies worth €462,333.

In fifth place was the bestselling sports book of the year, Until Victory Always: A Memoir by Jim McGuinness with Keith Duggan, which sold 22,537 copies worth €457,537.

The sixth-highest-earning book this year was The Green Road by Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright, which sold 27,013 copies worth €435,784 - an outstanding performance for a literary novel.

Enright's novel left the big-name popular fiction writers far behind. Cecelia Ahern's The Marble Collector sold 9,488 copies worth €119,509.

In seventh place was another children's book, the latest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Old School, by American author Jeff Kinney, which sold 32,088 copies worth €407,034.

In eighth place was the second bestselling sports book, Henry Shefflin's Autobiography, which sold 18,016 copies worth €371,428. In ninth place was Guinness World Records 2016 selling 21,800 copies worth €351,322. Tenth was The Happy Pear Cookbook by David and Stephen Flynn from Greystones, Co Wicklow, which sold 16,276 copies worth €329,701, making it the biggest-selling cookbook in Ireland this year.

Not included in the top 10 for 2015 is a book that does very well every year, the official Driver Theory Test book from Prometric, which sold 19,257 worth €343,843.

Sunday Independent

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