My Best Books Of 2017


     It’s been a while, sorry all. I’ve been cheating on this blog with social media, and reading, and a new job… Glad to finally put together the books from 2017 that I think you should read, and a short review of each. Ready? Barry McKinley – A Ton Of Malice What a surprise this was. Set in late 70s grimy London with an Irish expat narrator winding his way through drink, drugs, friends, loneliness and all that come with it. Gorgeously, really beautifully written in places, deserves to have a much bigger audience that it’s already had. Roddy Doyle […]

Something Gold, Something New…

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I have a new job. As announced today this Sunday October 15th marks my last ever show on RTE 2FM after 16 years here. Before you all start gnashing teeth and weeping uncontrollably (I can hear you already from here, I really can) this is brilliant, exciting news. I’m moving on to be a central part of RTE’s continuing development of our long-standing digital radio channels and I’m going to be back live on the radio 5 days a week in the afternoons playing music I genuinely like and love, this time as part of the first ever live weekday […]

Capsule Book Reviews – October 2017

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In case it looks like I’ve spent most of my time since my last update reading books, I have. Most of them in the two weeks I was away on holidays. So, we have everything here from the brilliant to the deplorable. Best to get cracking. Andy Weir – Artemis (out on Nov 14th) If, like me, you loved The Martian then you’ll be on familiar ground here. Set in the first human colony on the moon it starts with Jazz, a twenty-something porter who does a little smuggling on the side and ends up in the middle of a […]

New Short Book Reviews – August 2017


   The shorter I make them, the more people comment on how much they enjoy them. That’s what reading Twitter all day does for you… 🙂 Nonetheless… Some are brand new, some already out, all read by me in the last few weeks.   June Caldwell – Room Little Darker God what a breath of fresh air to read a collection short stories by an Irish author that, in places, literally blow you away and are frequently like nothing else you’ve read in years! Part dark sexuality, part speculative fiction, all wonderfully original. Yes, not for those with dicky tickers […]

They Drag Me Back In…


  So, as always, the four weeks of my year in which nothing happens are up and stuff starts rattling along again 🙂 If you’re interested, I’m one of the performers again at this year’s Words On The Street. All readings are free (you do them on a sort of circuit around a load of locations close to each other) just make sure to get there early. More at – I’m also conducting my first ROSBC public author interview of the Autumn with the impossibly talented Sarah Crossan. Her new book Moonrise is just brilliant. Come along- I’m also launching […]

ROSBC Books Of The Month – August 2017


It’s now officially three years since our first ROSBC Book Of The Month (we would only pick one every month back then). It seems like both a lot longer and a lot shorter, like most good relationships. It was Liz Nugent’s Unravelling Oliver, I’ve just saved you twenty minutes Googling trying to find out what it was. This month we have two more exceptional books by women authors – one Irish, one English. First up is Sarah Winman’s beautiful Tin Man. As I said in my blog review a while back it’s of my favourite books of 2017 by a […]