Our Favourite Fiction of the Year

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bookcover: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard FlanaganObviously one of the major perks of working in a library is you have access to thousands of fantastic books everyday. And in Dublin City Public Libraries we really do love our books! Here are just a few goodies from our shelves that we enjoyed reading this year and would like to recommend to you.

Watch this space in January for more book recommendations when it will be the turn of the book lovers who attend one of our many book clubs.

Winning the Man Booker Prize seems a sure fire way of catapulting a book into the most borrowed list. The winner of the Man Booker Prize this year The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan is no different and is highly sought after.

"A powerful and compelling read about Dr Dorrigo Evans, his life, loves and the harrowing time spent in a Japanese POW camp as leader of a group of Australian soldiers tasked with building a section of the Thailand-Burma Railway aka Death Railway. A deserved winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize."

Bookcover: Unravelling Oliver by Liz NugentUnravelling Oliver, the winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Crime Fiction Book of the year was popular among librarians too. Liz Nugent's debut novel has been garnering excited reviews since its publication this March. It's a page-turner of a thriller - one to keep you reading long into the night!

"I thought Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent was a great read. It was a thriller but with an unusual angle and the Irish context made it even more gripping. It kept me engaged from start to finish."

"Unravelling Oliver was the one for me. Very good read."




Through the Woods'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.' If you would like to read something a bit different why not try a graphic novel? Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, a collection of five spooky tales will appeal to fans of twisted fairytales, The Grimm Tales and Neil Gaiman. This is the print debut for award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll who made her name online with tales like the excellent "His Face All Red".

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
"An original and imaginative story that uses all the power of the medium."

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
"It's a real yarn, almost like Dickens in its episodic style and page turning quality. It also has a really refreshing message!"

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt and How to be Both by Ali Smith.
"All three of these books look at paintings, painting and painters; at how art can transform our reality (ies). And all of them have what Donna Tartt describes as "heft" in a work of art - depth and density of feeling and the sense of a fully realised world."

bookcover: How to build a girl by Caitlin MoranBig Brother by Lionel Shriver
"The author explores uncomfortable subjects with an objective inner voice. She tells the story of a man addicted to food and the rippled effect it had on those close to him. The reader shares a challenging journey made bearable by Shriver’s narrative quick-paced style."

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
"Semiautobiographical story of a young girl growing up to be a writer."

The Undertaking by Audrey Magee ("great debut by Irish author")
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes ("at 891 pages long, but it's thrillling from page 1 right to the end")

My favourite book of 2014 was An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood
"It took a while of wracking the brain but I reckon the book I most enjoyed reading in 2014 was the adult novel "the Killer next door" by Alex Marwood. This author is a journalist and therefore can be relied upon to use impeccable English. The story races along and the book is peopled with memorable and some extremely likeable characters. She writes with great compassion and has a clear view of what's going on in Society."

The Commandant of Lubizec, a novel of the Holocaust and Operation Reinhard by Patrick Hicks
"This is a novel of the Holocaust which focuses on a less well-known facet of the genocide:  Operation Rheinhardt.  It is written concisely, documentary-style and is extremely well-researched.  Excellent."

The Girl who came home, a novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor


Bookcover: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt bookcover: The Blazing World by Siri HustvedtBookcover: How to be both by Ali Smithbookcover: Big Brother by Lionel Shriverbookcover: The Undertaking by Audrey Mageebookcover: The Farm by Tom Rob Smith bookcover: Burial Rites by Hannah Kentbookcover: I am Pilgraim by Terry HayesBookcover: An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris Bookcover: The Killer Next Door by Alex MarwoodThe Commandant of Lubizec by Patrick HicksThe Girl who came home by Hazel Gaynor


...and lastly, not published in 2014 but can't resist including a bit of vintage!

The Painted Veil and Cakes and Ales by W Somerset Maugham
"I had seen the film of The Painted Veil and thought it would be painful to have to read the book but the book is a hymn to writing. Maugham has a wonderful ageless style. Shortly afterwards , I read Of cakes and Ales which was an entirely different read. This time he appeals to the reader’s sense of humour as he picks holes in the world of the English snob – it’s very enjoyable!"

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