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Your Stay at Home Reading List

There’s no denying it; this year really is like no other and we’ve gone through huge transitions as a society. Reading is the perfect form of escapism. As proud sponsors of the Irish Book Awards, here at An Post, we can't recommend these five homegrown titles enough...

1. Naoise Dolan: Exciting Times

Sharp as a tack and wildly entertaining, the debut novel by 27-year-old Dolan is well worth a read. Set in Hong Kong – where the author spent time a few years back teaching English – Exciting Times is the story of Ava, a twentysomething who leaves Ireland for the same reason. Upon arrival in the Far East, she meets and is attracted to two very different characters, English banker Julian, and Hong Kong lawyer Edith. Ava's cynical outlook as she navigates this exciting situation allows Dolan to explore and dissect pre-conceived ideas around love and commitment, in her signature dry and witty style.

2. Daniella Moyles: Jump 

If poignant, affecting memoirs are more your thing, be sure to pick up a copy of Jump by Daniella Moyles. A few years back, the successful radio presenter and model had something of a ‘moment’ while stuck in traffic on the M50. Overwhelmed by panic and a sense she no longer knew who she was, Moyles decided to quit her job and backpack around the world for two years – as you do! Jump is the story of those travels and how they’ve shaped her life journey since returning to Ireland. Hint: She's currently studying to be psychotherapist and has founded a successful holistic and wellness business.

3. Cauvery Madhavan: The Tainted  

Sometimes, a heady, historical romance is just what the holiday doctor ordered, and The Tainted by Cauvery Madhavan certainly doesn’t disappoint. Predominantly set in 1920s India, the book is inspired by the real-life mutiny of the Connaught Rangers, who got word of the violence being carried out at home by the infamous Black & Tans. Against this political backdrop, Madhavan (who was born in India and lives in Ireland) sets a love story, between Michael Nolan – a member of the Royal Irish Kildare Rangers – and Anglo-Indian maid, Rose. Enthralling and informative, you won’t want to put The Tainted down.

4. Hilary Fannin: The Weight of Love  

Though this is Fannin’s debut novel, she’s been writing plays and contributing columns for years. A decision later in life to return to college (M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity) finally spawned The Weight of Love, a critically-acclaimed exploration of relationships and the pursuit of happiness. Set over the course of 23 years, the novel follows the lives of Ruth and Robin, a married couple for whom sparks didn’t initially fly. In fact, Ruth and Robin’s friend Joseph had a relationship back in 1995, a fact that still haunts the couple’s present-day relationship. Exquisitely written, beautiful and at times heart-breaking, The Weight of Love is the perfect lazy-day read.

5. Emily Hourican: The Outsider  

Finally, for those who prefer their stories a little darker, a tense psychological thriller! The Outsider is Belfast-born, Dublin-based Emily Hourican’s fourth novel, and follows the intertwined relationship between two Irish families who meet on holiday in Portugal. Rife with tension, this dark family drama switches viewpoints regularly, offering a rich portrayal of two very different couples swept up in the trappings of the Celtic Tiger.

Like what you see? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and let us know what you make of these Irish reads – or tell us your favourites – using #ReadersWanted.
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