In this episode Stephanie takes on two novels by Jane Harper featuring Australian Federal Agent Aaron Falk. In the first book “The Dry” Falk returns to his hometown for the funeral of a childhood friend while in the second novel “Force of Nature” he investigates the disappearance of a woman after a company team-building exercise goes awry. Push play to see what Stephanie thought.
A quarter century of episodes and we hadn’t done a short story collection but this is remedied as Claire explores “How to Pronounce Knife” by Canadian poet and short story writer Souvankham Thammavongsa. Her tales reflect her identity as a Laos refugee and immigrant examining feelings of foreignness and loneliness. Listen to the episode to discover more.
Historical fiction is the genre of choice for this week’s podcast which is great because it’s one of Stephanie’s favourites. Kate Mosse’s “The Burning Chamber” has all you could ask for; betrayal, divided loyalties, spies, murder, sedition, persecution but best of all this 16th Century set opus has some really great characters. Give a listen and find out more.
On this instalment of the podcast Claire picks two non-fiction titles that focus on Irish nature and wildlife. Dara McAnulty, a 14 year old who writes with the skill of someone much older, shares his thoughts about and observations on the natural world in “Diary of a Young Naturalist”. Sunday Times nature columnist Jane Powers’ “An Irish Nature Year” is a book you can dip in and out of throughout the seasons.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Claire has decided to highlight two novels by Irish writers. The first, “This is Happiness” by Niall Williams, is one of the most joyfully Irish books she has read in a long time. The second is “Leonard and Hungry Paul” by Rónán Hession. Both books portray a simpler, slower way of life with characters that wouldn’t be out of place in each others’ locales.
For the week that’s in it, and that week is Seachtain na Gaeilge, Stephanie decides to take on two Irish non-fiction titles. The books in question, “The Place We Call Home” by John Creedon and “Thirty Two Words for Field” by Manchán Magan, have a shared passion for the roots of names and their attendant folklore.
On our special Valentine’s episode Claire gives her take on the original and thought provoking “Love and Other Thought Experiments” by Sophie Ward. She also offers a frank assessment of “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” which sees a fictional Hollywood icon being interviewed by a staffer from a top selling glossy magazine.
This week Stephanie follows up on a recommendation from Jessica, one of Clonmel library’s book club members. “The Salt Path” tells the story of Raynor Winn and her husband moth, a couple who are rendered homeless just when a tragic medical diagnosis is revealed. They decide a 630 mile walk from Somerset to Dorset is the best remedy.