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Fact Not Fiction: Bookmark Your New Non-Fiction Favourites


Diving into a new book is one of life’s greatest pleasures, even more so when you uncover a tantalising non-fiction read. Which means there’s no better time to bookmark your reading list as the An Post Irish Book Awards has unveiled its 2020 shortlist – which includes a host of must-read nonfiction. 

Read on to uncover some of the books you should add to your Autumn/Winter collection. Tune into virtual An Post Irish Book Awards show on Wednesday 25th November at 7:30pm on RTE.ie/Culture to find out who wins.

Real Life Stories

With a penchant for embracing challenges with gusto, comedian and broadcaster, Tommy Tiernan’s account of ‘Winging It’ in his chat-show (in which he interviewed guests ‘blind’) offers fans of his decades-long career an insight into the engaging connection he forged with a host of guests across the series.  One of six books in the running for this year’s Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award, it’s joined on the shortlist by superstar TV Vet, Noel Fitzpatrick’s account of his career dedicated to working with much-loved animals in Being the Supervet: How Animals Saved My Life.  

Keelin Shanley’s moving and inspirational post-houmous memoir, A Light That Never Goes Out, offers the many fans of the late broadcaster an insight into her acclaimed career and courageous approach to living with cancer. Elsewhere in this category, Dara McAnulty and Luke O’Neill offer their unique view on the natural world and science in Diary of a Young Naturalist and Never Mind the B*ll*cks: Here’s the Science, and a gripping read is offered in A Guarded Life, by Majella Moynihan with Aoife Kelleher.  

Insight & Inspiration

A storied line-up of writers feature on the Non-Fiction Book of the Year Shortlist, with Dr Marie Cassidy (Beyond the Tape) and former President, Mary McAleese, (Here’s the Story) amongst the well-known names who have penned gripping accounts of their remarkable careers. Psychologist Niamh Fitzpatrick shares her story of navigating through grief and turmoil in Tell me the Truth About Loss, while poet and writer, Doireann Ni Ghriofa blends lyrical prose and genres in the highly original, A Ghost in the The Throat. A gripping read is offered in The Arms Crisis of 1970: The Plot That Never Was by Michael Heney, while Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell sees the writer set out to understand the perspective of people preparing for disaster.

For anyone who wants to add a worthy addition to their coffee table or book shelves, look no further than the Best Irish Published Book of the Year shortlist, which includes the evocative portraits and stories from the start of life amidst Covid-19 captured by photographer, Ruth Medjber in Twilight Together. Manchán Magan considers the meaning of our different descriptions for field in the Irish language in Thirty-Two Words for Field, while An Irish Nature Year takes centre-stage in the new work by Jane Powers, with illustrations by Robert Vaughan.

Historical snapshots are given a new lease of life in the beautifully rendered Old Ireland in Colour by Anne Buckley, while acclaimed broadcaster, Ray D’Arcy, offers a view of listener’s lives in a collection of 150 short stories gathered from the listenership of his RTÉ Radio One show in A Page from my Life. While Doireann Ní Ghríofa rounds out the list with her lyrical new work, A Ghost in the Throat.
#ReadersWanted
Don't forget to watch the An Post Irish Book Awards Virtual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 25th November at 7:30pm on RTE.ie/Culture. 

For more reading recommendations – and to share your favourite non-fiction read – follow the conversation across social using #ReadersWanted.