Staff Recommendations for Ireland Reads

Staff Recommendations for Ireland Reads

Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading on Thursday, February 25th.

Meath Libraries has teamed up with libraries nationwide, publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the campaign, which is part of the government’s Keep Well initiative and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment.

The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, Thursday, February 25th. A new website has been set up where people can pledge to read on the day and see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far.

Ireland Reads Logo

Not sure what to read? No problem!
The Ireland Reads website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country, including Meath.

A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and the website will offer a suitable book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – a couch to 5k for books! Check it out!

We've also compiled a list of books below that our staff have read, loved and would recommend to readers.  If you have a favourite book that you would like to recommend to others then why not send us a Book Review - maybe others might enjoy your favourites too!

Recommended by Shauna from Trim library

After you'd gone

After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell

Adult fiction book

If you need a good cry this is the book for you, a book of love and loss by Irish writer Maggie O’Farrell.

See on Encore


The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler The ugly five

Children's picture book

A beautifully illustrated book for children inspired by five real life ugly safari animals with a warm fuzzy ending!

See on Encore


Recommended by Susanne from Dunboyne Library

TransatlanticTransatlantic by Colum McCann

Adult fiction book

A  beautifully written and moving novel based on actual events that gradually knit together across the centuries as the book progresses. The story of three iconic crossings of The Atlantic by aviators Jack Alcock and Arthur Brown, abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Senator George Mitchell are connected by a series of incredible women whose personal stories are caught up in this gem of a read.

See on Encore or read an ebook on BorrowBox


Recommended by Jenny from Ashbourne LibraryBonus time

Bonus Time by Brian Pennie

Adult non fiction book

Bonus Time is an autobiography by Brian Pennie which details how he began using drugs in his teenage years and eventually became addicted to heroin. He got clean after 15 years and got his life back – he is now living in what he calls “bonus time”. It’s a hopeful, inspiring book and an excellent illustration of human resilience.

See on Encore or listen to an audiobook on BorrowBox


Recommended by Dympna from Oldcastle Library

The colour purpleThe Colour Purple by Alice Walker

Adult fiction book

It gives a great insight into how coloured women were treated in America in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Shows how one can rise above all the injustices in life and  aspire to achieve better things.

See on Encore or listen to an audiobook on BorrowBox


Recommended by Emilie from Kells Library

Beyond the Tape: The Life and Many Deaths of a State Pathologist by Dr Marie CassidyBeyond the tape

Adult non fiction book

Fascinating read about her life and work. Very few I think could cope with all the grisliness and pressure of absolute perfection she has to deal with in her daily life.

See on Encore


Recommended by Ursula from Ashbourne Library

Education of an idealistEducation of an Idealist by Samantha Power

Adult non fiction book

Charts this Irish immigrants journey from Dublin to Washington to become a journalist, war correspondent, diplomat, wife and mother whilst representing the US in the United Nations during the Obama years.  An inspirational woman whose passion for human rights and dignity never waivers against a backdrop of US global politics.

See on Encore, reserve an e-book or listen to an audiobook on Borrowbox


Recommended by Geraldine from Trim Library

The pull of the starsThe Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

It tells the story about the experiences of the medics and patients in a Dublin Maternity Hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic. At that time posters displayed around the city displayed many health warnings that we are all too familiar with today: "Stay out of public places", "See only those persons one needs to see", "refrain from shaking hands".

The tone of the book is uncannily familiar to how we are living our lives today and serves as a reminder that society does get through pandemics and life will go on.

See on Encore, reserve an e-book or listen to an audiobook on Borrowbox


Recommended by David from Duleek Library

Stolen, escape from SyriaStolen: Escape from Syria by Louise Monaghan

Adult non fiction book

It is a true story of an Irish Mother’s crusade to rescue her kidnapped daughter from her abusive ex-husband in war torn Syria after he had snatched their child from her home in Cyprus.

See on Encore


Recommended by Joanna from Navan Library

Bridge of Clay by Markus ZusakBridge of Clay

Adult fiction book

This is a story of five young boys living on their own, their family history and everyday struggles. In this book unspoken things are as important as the storyline and give us experience of human ways with all their joy and pain.

See on Encore, read an e-book or listen to an audiobook on BorrowBox


Recommended by Ciara from Trim Library

Queen of Coin and whispersQueen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

Young Adult fiction book

'Queen of Coin & Whispers #1' was an unusual choice for me but I saw how well it was being perceived online so I saw the copy on our YA shelves and checked it out to myself; and I am so glad I did. Written by Helen Corcoran, an Irish YA/ fantasy writer- It's based in the world of romantic royalty, queens and spymasters who must decide between power, duty and their country.

An excellent LGBTQIA+ novel for any fantasy or science- fiction lover in your life. A full 5* from me!


See on Encore or listen to an audiobook on BorrowBox



Recommended by Bernie from Trim LibraryThe Adversary

The Adversary by Emmanual Carrere

Adult non fiction book

This is a Non fiction title about a French Man who deceives his family and loved ones. I would recommend this as its a fascinating read (and did I mention it's a true story) that will make the reader appreciate how lucky they are and think for a moment. Do we really know the people we live with?

See on Encore


Recommended by Lorraine from Oldcastle Library

Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Children's fiction book

This story made me laugh and cry as I read about Anne Shirley’s adventures and misadventures and how people reacted around her. It is a beautiful story which covers the power of love, family, forgiveness, truth, and imagination.  I admired Anne’s wonderful imagination, her unwavering attitude and how she was always true to herself.

See on Encore or read an e-book or listen to an audiobook on BorrowBox


Recommended by Amanda from Trim LibraryRichard Nixon the life

Richard Nixon-The Life by John A Farrell

Adult non fiction book

The impeachment of a US President is currently in the news. This isn’t the first time in recent years that a US President has been impeached. Since the 1970’s two presidents have been impeached – Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Nixon’s impeachment and subsequent resignation have been widely written about. John A Farrell has written the most complete biography of Nixon. He writes about Nixon from his early years working in his father’s gas station, his navy career and his time in Congress and the White House. The book paints a picture of Nixon’s psychology and draws on this picture to explain his behaviour when dealing with Watergate. This is one of the few books that looks at Nixon’s life after his resignation and how he set about rehabilitating his reputation. 

See on Encore


Recommended by Maedhbh from Navan Library

Kiss goodnight, SamKiss Good Night, Sam by Amy Hest, ill. By Anita Jeram

Children's picture book

Absolutely gorgeous snugly, cuddly bedtime story for little ones. The story is beautifully illustrated with a soft, warm colour palette by Anita Jeram (of Guess how much I love you fame)

See on Encore


Recommended by Geraldine from Navan Library

Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor

Adult fiction bookStar of the Sea

Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor is one of my favourite books; an historical novel set during the Irish famine it brilliantly captures the mood of the era without being maudlin.  At its heart there is a compelling love story and the two central characters of Pius Mulvey and Mary Duane will stay with you long after the final pages. Redemption Falls is the name of the equally brilliant following novel.

See on Encore or read an e-book on BorrowBox


Recommended by Helen from Trim Library

I am pilgrimI am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Adult fiction book

This was a brilliant read, it spoiled me for other books for ages afterwards, I highly recommend it. (I did so a few years ago and people loved it)

It’s a debut novel by Terry Hayes a former screenwriter and journalist, full of espionage fast suspenseful thriller. I couldn’t leave it down. It’s a big read but don’t let that put you off, it is a treat waiting for you.

See on Encore, read an e-book or listen to an audiobook on BorrowBox