Tour de force or pulp fiction? You decide
Book lovers have been invited to vote for the best Irish book of the past decade in a major new competition.
The Bord Gais Irish Book Awards is organising an online public vote to find readers' favourite title. The book must be by an Irish writer and it must have been published since 2000.
A shortlist of 50 books was announced yesterday and includes many of the best and most popular books by Irish authors over the past 10 years.
The list features literary writers like John Banville, Edna O'Brien and Sebastian Barry, popular fiction writers like Cathy Kelly and Cecelia Ahern, and personalities like Bill Cullen, many of whom were at the launch.
Although mostly fiction, the list includes non-fiction titles like 'The Pope's Children' by David McWilliams, Eamon Dunphy's book on Roy Keane and Diarmaid Ferriter's book on de Valera. It also includes children's books. Over the coming six weeks, the shortlisted titles will be promoted in bookshops and libraries.
The public will then be invited to vote at www.bookofthedecade.ie, where the shortlist can be viewed. The result will be announced at the end of May. The shortlist will lead to lots of arguments: there's no Nuala O'Faolain, Neil Jordan or Dermot Bolger. There's also no poetry, not even by big names Paul Durcan or Michael Longley.