I’m a big fan of books, and I’m incredibly proud of being Irish. Naturally, this makes me a huge fan of Irish authors. There’s no better day to celebrate my love of some of the scribes from the Emerald Isle.
My Mam was a huge Cathy Kelly fan when I was growing up, and there was always a book of hers lying on the bedside locker. Cathy Kelly’s Just Between Us is one of the first adult books I ever remember reading, and from there I fell in love with Cathy’s work. It got to the point where I was buying her books to pass on to my Mam, which happened last year with It Happened in Paris.
Martia Conlon McKenna
I was a huge history nerd in primary school (up until my Junior Cert, and a nightmare teacher who took some of the love of the subject from me) and I loved pretty much any reading on the topic I could find. I was particularly interested in Irish history, and the Famine series from Marita Conlon McKenna was my favourite as a child. My teacher in fourth class read us Under the Hawthorn Tree and I loved it, racing to the local library to get a copy of the second and third parts of the trilogy for myself.
Sarah Webb’s work holds a pretty special place in my heart – her book Always the Bridesmaid was the first adult book I ever read. I was nine when it first came out, but I think I pushed on to when I was 11 before I picked it up. My lasting memory from the book was that it was the first place I heard of a flavoured condom, and was so confused as to why it would be important.
Claire’s books were eye openers to me as I grew up – Emily from Good Girl’s Don’t was the first homosexual character I’d ever met, and introduced the 12 year old me to the idea of homosexuality. I also loved Being Her Sister, which was an eye opener for me, someone who never had a sister but desperately wanted one.
Louise O Neill
2015 was most definitely Louise’s year. If Only Ever Yours sky rocketed her to the top of the best seller lists, then Asking For It glued her there. Asking For It has been lauded as one of the best books from last year, with accolades coming in left, right and centre. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, but it’s also one of the toughest. If you haven’t read it yet, go get a copy.
I loved Ruth’s book Forget when I was younger, and then went in search of her other works too. One of them, Somewhere in Between, had twins as the main characters. I love twins in novels and I was absolutely beside myself reading them. Ruth will be bringing out a new book in July, which she has told me is a little different to her pervious work, but really do you think that’s going to deter me?