Look no further than these Irish authors when doing your Christmas shopping this year.
Ireland has a rich literary history. No matter the genre, there's a host of novels by Irish authors that are incredible. Whether you love non-fiction writing, or a classic love story, we have a novel for you. Or, if you have a friend and you know what kinds of books they like, but you're not sure what to pick up, we've got you covered there too!
Here's a list of some of our top Irish novels that would make a great gift for Christmas this year.
Idol, Louise O'Neill
Louise O'Neill's most ambitious novel yet tackles the world of influencers, both the highs and the lows. When wellness guru Samantha is hit with sexual assault allegations from her best friend, she will stop at nothing to disprove the accusation, no matter what it costs. As always O'Neill has sharp observations about the modern world that's lived through our phones, and the differences between reality and social media.
Forever Home, Graham Norton
The latest from Graham Norton follows divorced teacher Catherine, who comes across a second-chance at love, only for her peers to turn against them both. Expect small town politics, much like in his previous novels Holding, A Keeper, and Home Stretch.
Again, Rachel - Marian Keyes
For anyone who has followed the Walsh sisters since Marian Keyes wrote Watermelon in 1995, the release of Again, Rachel will come as nothing short of thrilling. Rachel is back living in Ireland, with a new job, new man, and new life. She's happy, until her ex-husband re-enters her life, and makes her question everything that made them split up to begin with. As someone who loved Rachel's Holiday, the first Keyes novel I ever read, it was a breath of fresh air revisiting the Walsh sisters again.
Anyone who loves romance, comedy, and stories with real heart with love this. Plus if you want to gift your loved one more than one book, you could get them the whole series.
The Raptures - Jan Carson
One of my favourite books of the year was Jan Carson's The Raptures. Set in Ballybrack, a class of school children one by one fall ill from a mysterious plague and die, all except one Hannah Adger, who is visited by each of her class mates once they've passed on. Soon the town falls into panic, desperate for a cure, but time is quickly running out. Carson brings the same incredible thoughtfulness and comments to The Raptures as she did to The Firestarters - well worth a read.
Run Time - Catherine Ryan Howard
Catherine Ryan Howard is back once again with a new novel, and if you're at all familiar with her work, you'll know it's another psychological thriller. Adele Rafferty is thrilled when she's asked to star in an Irish film following a public breakdown on a previous set. What starts as her next big break soon turns into a nightmare as Adele arrives into a filming set with a skeleton crew where strange things keep happening, pushing her to breaking point once more.
Glass Houses - Melanie Murphy
Melanie Murphy proves once again her writing capabilities with her second fiction novel. The YouTuber has had to deal with the classic accusations she only received her book deals because of her platform, but Glass Houses shows once again she has beautiful writing skills, able to weave a compelling story of two sisters who don't know how to communicate with one another, but desperately need to. Glass Houses is full of heart and a great read to enter the New Year with.
One of the most original novels of the last few years, Ghost in the Throat weaves two powerful stories together in stunning prose. The world of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill a 1700th-century noblewoman who on discovering her husband Airt Uí Laoghaire has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes one of the country's greatest poems, reaches across to the engulfing world of a present-day mother wading through motherhood and dodging tragedies. Teaching us that the past is all around and that by finding one's own voice there's the capacity to free another.
Twelve Thousand Days, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
In this memoir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne recounts the days she spent with her late husband, Bo. This book is emotionally poignant and will strike a chord with anyone who has ever lost someone. Ní Dhuibhne's prose is sharp and beautiful all at once, as she jumps back and forward in time, from when she first met her husband, to his final days.
Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan
This novella is short and sweet, set in 1985, and deals with the issues of mother and baby homes and Magdalen Laundries in Ireland. Bill Furlong is a family man and coal merchant, busy in the lead up to Christmas. He normally stays out of people's business, but when he meets a young girl who's escaped from a convent, he finds himself unable to shake the collective guilt of allowing these institutions to run. In only 110 pages, Keegan brilliantly portrays a difficult period in Irish history.
Skin Deep, Liz Nugent
The absolute master of this genre, Liz Nugent knows how to produce a great thriller with plenty of twists and turns. When Delia Russel escapes a crime scene in France, she begins to dwell on her mysterious and complicated life, and all the steps that led her to this moment. Nugent has a knack for writing truly horrible characters, and Delia must be one of the worst.
How To Fall In Love, Cecelia Ahern
Christine meets Adam on the Ha'penny Bridge one night, horrified to see he's about to jump. She quickly takes responsibility for him, insisting she can prove life is worth living before his next birthday. But the more Adam falls back in love with life, the more Christine begins to feel for him. Cecelia Ahern is one of Ireland's best romance novelists, and this one won't let down the romantic in your life.
Web of Lies, Aoife Gallagher
In her debut non-fiction book, analyst Aoife Gallagher patiently unpicks the murky world of misinformation and online extremism that she has been researching for years. A terrifying, necessary and supremely important book that places a special emphasis on the Irish experience, showing us that we are not removed from the damaging impacts that have played out across the Atlantic. An absolute lifebuoy of a book that you want to fling across to people in your life (just in case).
Acts of Desperation, Megan Nolan
Nolan has long been grouped amongst the Trinity alumni set of authors who have risen to fame in recent years, but her debut novel Acts of Desperation has proved her to be in a class of her own. A gut-punch of a book which follows the choices made by a young woman in love and the tailspin of longing that ensues after the relationship ends.
Three Castles Burning: A History of Dublin in Twelve Streets, Donal Fallon
Inspired by the success of his impeccable Three Castles Burning podcast, historian Donal Fallon has turned his hand to the written word. Inspired by activists, workers, architects, poets, migrants, artists and merchants who once lived and worked in the city, Fallon traces their stories along twelve iconic Dublin streets.
Last Ones Left Alive, Sarah Davis Goff
If you love dystopian fiction, like The Handmaid's Tale, or The Hunger Games, then Tramp Press' Sarah Davis Goff's novel Last Ones Left Alive is perfect. This is a zombie apocalypse novel set in Ireland, following Orpen as she tries to save her guardian from a zombie bite. It's always a pleasure reading this kind of story set in our fair country.
As you can see, we have tons of suggestions no matter your favourite genre. And if you're wondering where to buy these novels, you can find some lovely bookshops to stop by HERE.
Header image via Instagram/cathryanhoward & /grahnorton