Exceptional writing in 2018’s Irish Book Awards shortlists
TRULY it was a red letter day on Thursday when the GPO provided the august backdrop for the launch of the 2018 Irish Book Awards shortlists. The frisson of teaming up with our new sponsor An Post — headed up by CEO David Mcredmond (himself a former bookseller and devoted bibliophile) — and learning who had made the cut in the 16 categories across Irish writing was palpable as an eclectic mix of writers from Diarmaid Ferriter, John Boyne and Rosemary Smith to Cecelia Ahern, Robert Ballagh and the Happy Pear twins enjoyed wine and canapes in this historic setting.
To support its sponsorship, An Post has unveiled #Readerswanted, a national campaign that celebrates the value and joy of reading and encourages everyone to pick up more books, more often. To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website https://www.irishbookawards.irish/vote2018/. You’ll also be in with a chance of winning a €100 book token.
Keelin Shanley will preside over the gala awards ceremony (while her colleague Evelyn O’rourke chaperones the Green Room antics) which takes place on Tuesday, November 27 at the Clayton Hotel, and an hourlong programme of the highlights will be shown later in the week on RTE One.
As long-time partners in this illustrious Irish literary event, the Sunday Independent is delighted about this dynamic new chapter in the awards’ history and is very proud that our own Declan Lynch has been nominated for his gripping tale of gambling addiction, Tony 10. So, let’s not keep you in suspense any more. Here are the shorlists for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2018:
The Journal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year
Lighthouses of Ireland: An Illustrated Guide to the Sentinels that Guard our Coastline — Roger O’reilly (The Collins Press) The Great Irish Weather Book — Joanna Donnelly, illustrator Fuchsia Macaree (Gill Books)
Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals — Rob Maguire, illus. Aga Grandowicz (Little Island Books) People on the Pier — Betty Stenson and Marian Therese Keyes (New Island Books)
Humanology — Professor Luke O’neill (Gill Books) Blazing A Trail — Irish Women Who IN THE RUNNING: (above from left; Cecelia Ahern; Joanna Donnelly; Andrea Mara; An Post CEO David Mcredmond and host Keelin Shanley. (Left) Holly White and (right) Niall Breslin
Changed the World — Sarah Webb, illus. Lauren O’neill (The O’brien Press)
National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)
The First Christmas Jumper (And the Sheep Who Changed Everything) — Ryan Tubridy, illus. Chris Judge (Walker Books) The Magic Moment — Niall Breslin, illus. Sheena Dempsey (Gill Books) The President’s Cat — Peter Donnelly (Gill Books) Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth — Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books) The Pooka Party — Shona Shirley Macdonald (The O’brien Press) I Say Ooh, You Say Aah — John Kane (Templar Press)
National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)
Tin — Padraig Kenny (Chicken House) The Trouble with Perfect — Helena Duggan (Usborne Publishing) Secret Science: The Amazing World Beyond Your Eyes — Dara O Briain, illus. Dan Brammall (Scholastic) The Storm Keeper’s Island — Catherine Doyle (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) Blazing A Trail: Irish Women Who Changed the World — Sarah Webb, illus. Lauren O’neill (The O’brien Press) The Dog Who Lost His Bark — Eoin Colfer illus P J Lynch (Walker Books)
Dept 51@Eason Teen/young Adult Book of the Year
Doctor Who: Twelve Angels Weeping — Dave Rudden (BBC Children’s Books) The Surface Breaks — Louise O’neill (Scholastic) The Wren Hunt — Mary Watson (Bloomsbury) The Weight of a Thousand Feathers — Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury) Spare and Found Parts — Sarah Maria Griffin (Titan Books) Dark Wood Dark Water — Tina Callaghan (Poolbeg)
Eason Book Club Novel of the Year
Milkman — Anna Burns (Faber & Faber) From a Low and Quiet Sea — Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland) A Ladder to the Sky — John Boyne (Doubleday) Normal People — Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber) Travelling in a Strange Land — David Park (Bloomsbury Publishing) Future Popes of Ireland — Darragh Martin (Fourth Estate)
Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year
The Importance of Being Aisling — Emer Mclysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books) Letters to My Daughters — Emma Hannigan (Hachette Books Ireland) Grace After Henry — Eithne Shorthall (Corvus) Our Secrets and Lies — Sinead Moriarty (Penguin Ireland) A Keeper — Graham Norton (Coronet) Dancing with the Tsars — Ross O’carroll-kelly (Penguin Ireland)
Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year
Skin Deep — Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland) A House of Ghosts — W C Ryan (Bonnier Zaffre) The Confession — Jo Spain (Quercus) One Click — Andrea Mara (Poolbeg) The Ruin — Dervla Mctiernan (Sphere) Thirteen — Steve Cavanagh (Orion)
Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year
The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow — Danny Denton (Granta Books) This Hostel Life — Melatu Uche Okorie (Skein Press) Notes to Self — Emilie Pine (Tramp Press) The Lost Letters of William Woolf — Helen Cullen (Michael Joseph) Promising Young Women — Caroline