Staff Picks: fiction, sci fi, and thrillers
Published on 5th December 2022
We’ve drawn together a selection of books enjoyed by our colleagues in Dublin City Libraries this year.
If you don’t have a library card, contact your local library and they will help you to join; see here for more information on library membership. Or contact us at [email protected]. We’re always happy to help. Happy Christmas and happy reading to all of you from all of us here in Dublin City Libraries.
- Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout: a poignant novel about a divorced couple stuck together during lockdown.
- Less is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer: follow up to the award winning Less, our protagonist returns for an unforgettable road trip across America.
- The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn: a beautifully-written debut novel that follows the lives of three children growing up on the south coast of England as the Second World War approaches.
- Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfeld: Miri thinks she has got her wife back when Leah finally returns after a deep sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear though that Leah may have come back wrong – gorgeous and unnerving.
- The Young Accomplice by Benjamin Wood: a masterful and suspenseful novel touching on themes of innocence and wrongdoing.
- Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver: Demon's story begins with his traumatic birth to a single mother in the Appalachian mountains – a complex, powerful and beautifully written story.
Some favourites from Irish writers
- Nora: A Love Story of Nora Barnacle and James Joyce by Nuala O’Connor: The One Dublin One Book choice for 2022, Nora is a fictionalised account of the life of literature’s greatest muse, a story told with passion, emotion and authenticity.
- Trespasses by Louise Kennedy: an affair between a young Catholic woman and a married Protestant barrister drives this brilliant debut set in 1975 Belfast – a beautiful and devastating piece of work.
- Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan: a tale of loyalty and betrayal, of isolation, transgression and forgiveness, a beautiful and powerful piece of writing.
- The Raptures by Jan Carson: When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences – a compulsive and gripping read.
- Duffy and Son by Damien Owens: a heart-warming tale from one of Ireland’s most gifted comic writers.
- Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan: an exquisite winter tale of courage and its cost, set in Catholic Ireland, a remarkable book.
- Dance Move by Wendy Erskine: in these stories, Erskine's characters' wishes and hopes often fall short of their grasp – funny, heart-breaking and brilliant.
Books in Translation
- The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter, translated from French by Frank Wynne: winner of the International Dublin Literary Award 2022, a remarkable novel that spans three generations across 70 years, a tale of immigration, of loss and identity.
- 1000 Coils of Fear by Olivia Wenzel, translated from German by Priscilla Lane: a confident debut, tender and bold.
Crime and thrillers
- Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone: A woman wakes up to discover her new husband is missing and sets out on a wild race of power, politics, and revenge – intelligent, timely and layered with suspense.
- City on Fire by Don Winslow: set in Providence New York in 1986, this is the first in a new trilogy about an Irish crime syndicate.
- Bad Actors by Mick Herron: book 8 of the Slough House series, this is a pitch-perfect spy thriller.
- The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. Maclean: an intricately plotted historical thriller, fast-paced and intriguing.
- The Furies by John Connolly: another compelling and unsettling Charlie Parker novel.
- The Belladonna Maze by Sinéad Crowley: a story of old secrets and forbidden passion, spine-tingling and atmospheric.
Sci Fi and Fantasy
- The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean: hidden across England and Scotland live six old Book Eater families, the last of their kind – a creepy, immersive and deftly-plotted fantasy horror.
- The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings: a dystopian tale about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her absent mother, set in a world in which magic is real and single women are closely monitored in case they are shown to be witches.
- Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James: in this stunning follow-up to Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the author draws on a rich tradition of African mythology, fantasy and history to imagine a mythic world.