Off strong year with 28 award nom­i­na­tions

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BOOKS -

Fan­ning’s in­deli­ble mem­oir — as well as the On­side Non-fic­tion Book of the Year. The short­list for the lat­ter cat­e­gory sees well-re­ceived bio­graph­i­cal works such as Lynne Ruane’s Peo­ple Like Me (Gill), Robert Bal­lagh’s A Re­luc­tant Mem­oir (Head of Zeus), and broad­caster Matt Cooper’s Michael O’leary (Pen­guin). Diar­maid Fer­riter re­turns with On The Edge (Pro­file), a his­tory of is­land so­ci­ety, while Cli­mate Jus­tice (Blooms­bury) sees Mary Robin­son tackle the great­est is­sue fac­ing mankind. It’s great to see the en­vi­ron­ment also make it into the Na­tional Book To­kens Chil­dren’s Book Of The Year (Ju­nior) cat­e­gory with Here We Are ( Harpercollins), Oliver Jef­fers’ poignant love let­ter to Earth.

A rel­a­tively new cat­e­gory, the Ire­land AM Pop­u­lar Non- Fic­tion Book of the Year, has a be­mus­ing va­ri­ety of sub­ject mat­ter. Two fa- vourites stand out — Tony 10 (Gill) De­clan Lynch’s sweaty telling of for­mer post­man Tony O’reilly who gam­bled jaw-drop­ping amounts of other peo­ple’s money, and John Con­nell’s un­stop­pable pas­toral mem­oir, The Cow Book (Granta). Jen­nifer Rock’s The Skin Nerd (Ha­chette) and Mar­i­anne Power’s Help Me! (Pi­cador) deal with health and well­be­ing in new ways.

Coun­try & western star Nathan Carter is in the mix with Born For The Road (Pen­guin Ire­land), as is “Danc­ing Des Cahill” with Play It Again, Des (Sport Me­dia).

Race­car driver Rose­mary Smith ( Driven, Harpercollins), Wex­ford hurl­ing in­sti­tu­tion Davy Fitzger- ald ( At All Costs, Gill), boxer Andy Lee ( Fighter, Gill), and Ty­rone foot­baller Sean Ca­vanagh ( The Ob­ses­sion, Black and White) all have bi­ogra­phies in the Bord Gais En­ergy Sports Book of the Year. Cora Staunton’s Game Changer (Transworld) dis­tin­guishes it­self by be­ing the first au­to­bi­og­ra­phy by a fe­male GAA star. Paul Rouse’s The Hurlers (Pen­guin) delves into the his­tory of the game.

Fi­nally, Luise Ghab­hanach Ni Dh­u­faigh: Cean­nro­dai (Comhar), Celia de Freine’s bi­og­ra­phy of the Ir­ish-lan­guage pi­o­neer that is short­listed for the first Love Le­ab­har Gaeilge Ir­ish Lan­guage Book Of The Year cat­e­gory.

Non-fic­tion ti­tles fea­ture in eight of the cat­e­gories in this year’s An Post Ir­ish Books Awards short­lists, writes Hi­lary A White

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