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Recommended Reads - Non Fiction

Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas by Neven Maguire  

Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas by Neven Maguire
Published by Gill Books in 2017

Packed with all the classics you need for the big day, like Neven's famous buttermilk turkey, perfect roast potatoes and traditional Christmas desserts, you'll also find lots of inspiration for the whole festive season: from a Snowman Cake to make with the kids and St Stephen's Day leftovers, right through to a festive New Year's Eve dinner.

"In addition, you'll find lots of fun ideas for edible gifts, party food and all the little extras that help make Christmas as special as it can be". – a Clare County Library staff member

     
Home for Christmas by Alice Taylor  

Home for Christmas by Alice Taylor
Published by Brandon in 2017

In this book Alice Taylor looks back over her past Christmases and prepares for this year’s celebrations. She tells how the Christmas foods were made when she was a child, using the bastable and the range, and how she prepares them now.

"Covering everything from picking the perfect tree to the very crucial puddings and pies, Alice takes us through the preparations for Christmas in her own intimate way". – a Clare County Library staff member

   


I am, I am, I am: seventeen brushes with death by Maggie O'Farrell.   I am, I am, I am: seventeen brushes with death by Maggie O'Farrell.
Published by Tinder Press in 2017

This memoir recounts the 17 times when award winning novelist O’Farrell has narrowly escaped death. There are episodes of near drowning, of life-threatening miscarriages, of encephalitis. There are close shaves with a murderer, with turbulent planes and a knife-point robbery in Chile.

‘Written as a series of self-contained essays, although essentially a book about death, this book is moving and life-affirming and reminds us all of how precious life is.’ – a Clare County Library staff member

     
Nothing to envy : real lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick  

Nothing to envy : real lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
Published by Granta in 2010

The title of this book comes from a song North Korean children are taught, “We have nothing to envy in the world” – in a country where there is no internet access and all radio and television broadcasts are government sponsored.

In Nothing to Envy, journalist Demick interviews six defectors from North Korea - a couple of teenaged lovers, an idealistic woman doctor, a homeless boy, a model factory worker who loved Kim Il Sung more than her own family and her rebellious daughter.

‘At a time when North Korea is back in the international spotlight, this book provides an eye-opening account of the lives of ordinary people under its repressive regime.’ – a Clare County Library staff member

     
Letters of My Life by Mary O’Rourke   Letters of My Life by Mary O’Rourke
Published by Gill in 2016

On the eve of her 80th birthday, Mary O'Rourke has sat down to write a letter to twenty people past and present, close and distant, living and deceased. Every letter is heartfelt; every letter offers gratitude for the difference the recipient made to Mary's life.

‘I found this a very entertaining read. It was a great book to dip into and read a few letters at a time. Mary has a unique way of telling a story with great humour and as most of the people she writes to are in or were in the public domain, the book appeals to the reader all the more.’ - a Clare County Library staff member

 
The age of anger: a history of the present by Pankaj Mishra  

The age of anger: a history of the present by Pankaj Mishra
Published by Allen Lane in 2016

How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world?from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present.

‘I listened to this book on Radio 4 Book of the Week. It was terrific and compelling listening. Current affairs straddling politics and the new world order of social media, informed by historical developments since the French and American revolutions.’ - a Clare County Library staff member

 
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