Galway Authors & their Book Recommendations

Galway Authors & their Book Recommendations

Each year, World Book Day rolls around to remind us of the joy of reading. In honour of the occasion, we’ve gathered together a handful of Galway’s best loved authors to gain an insight into what they’ve been loving over lockdown. Whether you’re a fan or fiction or adore a memoir, you’ll find some reliable recommendations to add to your reading list right here.


Described by the Irish Times as the Godfather of the modern Irish crime novel, Ken Bruen certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to writing. With a fair share of awards under his belt and a long list of well-received books in his back catalogue, it’s next to impossible to put down one of Bruen’s titles. Ken’s been enjoying Lisa Sandlin’s classic noir The Do-Right, which tells the tale of a parolee trying to start over, culminating in surprise, excitement and karmic justice. The protagonist, Delpha Wade, is described by Ken as “a female heroine for our times”, so you already know it’s worth a read. Bruen has also been reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, a memoir that he has declared wondrous. According to Ken, “it makes you want to soar.” That just about says it all, doesn’t it?


Winner of the 2017 White Review Short Story Prize and author of Show Them a Good Time, Nicole Flattery’s reputation for exquisite storytelling certainly precedes her. When Nicole’s not working on her new book (eep!), she’s been finding solace in the written word, which includes Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker and Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. The closest thing Nicole’s found to a good gossip over drinks with an old friend is Diana Athill’s memoir Stet: An Editor’s Life, which recounts tales from a lifetime spent in the world of publishing. Honourable mention goes to Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie, a book which allows you to connect with each and every character on multiple levels, whether you like it or not.

If you want to find out more about the extremely talented and very lovely Nicole Flattery, take a look at the chats we had a while back right HERE.

World Book Day


Galway-based author of YA fiction, Catherine Doyle has an exceptional flair for the written word that has brought her great acclaim since her name first hit the shelves with her award-winning debut, The Storm Keeper’s Island back in 2018. Author of the Blood for Blood trilogy, we’ve got huge admiration for Catherine. For those interested in 17th century Norwegian history, The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave will certainly draw you in, while Alex Michaelides’ The Silent Patient is a “pacy psychological thriller, full of twists and turns”, according to Catherine. Also recommending something we all need right about now, Catherine tells us we’ve got to read The Book of Hopes, edited by Katherine Rundell. It’s made up of contributions from over 100 children’s writers and illustrators dedicated to the incredible souls working in hospitals around the world during this time.

To find out more about the immensely talented Catherine Doyle, take a little peek at our chats with the woman herself just a little over a year ago HERE.


A. M. Shine is a writer of horror fiction, and a Galway native. His forthcoming novel, The Watchers, is inspired by Irish folklore and superstition, and marks his departure from the gothic influences that defined his earlier books. Having recommended three books for three particular reasons, we definitely trust Shine’s literary guidance. Describing The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton as the perfect distraction, this author promises that we’ll be hooked right from the opening paragraph, while Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter is a slow-burning horror, with a fitting focus on isolation that will make being housebound in Galway seem like a blessing; at least here we have daylight, and the occasional bit of sunshine. Last but not least, Shine assures us that Alma Katsu’s The Hunger will take us on a journey farther than five kilometres.


Eimear McBride’s writing career began in 2013 with the release of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which received critical acclaim and a number of awards including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. With the likes of Lesser Bohemians and Strange Hotel making up her catalogue, it’s no wonder Eimear is one of the West’s most acclaimed authors. Among her recommendations is Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, a novella from which McBride drew much inspiration for Strange Hotel and Garth Green Knowles’ Cleanness. This tale centres around themes of foreignness, obligation, and desire as it follows an American teacher on his journey of discovery and subsequent loss of love. Finally, McBride describes Bina: A Novel in Warnings by Anakana Schofield as “brilliant for the soul, especially in a difficult time”.

If you want to find out more about Eimear McBride, take a look at our interview right HERE.

If you feel like adding one of these books to your shelves, you can order yourself a copy from Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Kennys Bookshop, Dubray Books or Easons. Alternatively, check out BorrowBox to digitally rent from your local library.

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