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books to read

The untimely passing of Irish author Emma Hannigan broke the hearts of the nation but the talented writer’s spirit will forever live on in the pages of her stories.

In 2007, Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer and her eleven-year battle with cancer began. In February 2018, Emma shared that her team of dedicated doctors had exhausted all avenues in terms of her treatment.

Emma tragically passed away on February 28, 2018, and on her one year anniversary, Hachette Ireland published her final novel and it comes as no surprise to see it soar through the bestsellers list.

The final novel from the beloved and inspiring Emma Hannigan is a life-affirming, uplifting story that celebrates the strength and joys of female friendship.

Kingfisher Road- a leafy, peaceful in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10? Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have a perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems… In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret and each is nursing their own private heartache.

But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?

If there is one book you are going to purchase this month then make it The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan. The heartwarming and eye-opening tale will teach you so many valuable lessons that you’ll hold close to your heart for many years after you finish Emma’s final book.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Breast Cancer Ireland and Emma’s family are launching a new drive to continue Emma’s legacy of raising funds to support research efforts. Her dad, Philip Hannigan said: “Emma was very clear that every effort should be made to support ongoing research into breast cancer so that no other family would have to suffer a loss like this.”

Breast Cancer Ireland raises significant funding for research into breast cancer as well as promoting education and awareness on the importance of breast health amongst women of all ages.

To make a €4 donation text CURE to 50300 or go to www.breastcancerireland.com.

Feature Image: Hachette Ireland

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Self-help books have been growing in popularity over the past decade and we can’t help but wonder do they actually work?

The shelves of bookstores are now jampacked with titles about the best ways to improve your life; from diets that will make you happier to ways to cut out toxic people from your life.

It’s safe to say there isn’t a lack of advice out there, but do these books stay true to their promise?

Illustration: Lisk Feng

When it comes to Love For Imperfect Things, the answer is yes.

The second novel by Zen Buddhist Haemin Sunim is the one book you just need to add to your to-read list in 2019.

The uplifting and beautifully-illustrated book is full of nuggets of wisdom that you’ll carry with you long after you’ve finished reading.

You know that feeling when you curl up on the sofa with a cup of warm tea after a long, draining day at work? That’s the feeling you get when you read Love For Imperfect Things.

It lifts you up with positive yet honest advice that is actually easy to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Each chapter is full of reassuring tales and pages of encouraging quotes that will help you through each day.

Love For Imperfect Things was my companion on dull train journeys to the office for the past week and I found that even reading a mere 10 pages helped boost my spirits on rainy mornings and gloomy evenings.

The words of Haemin Sunim were comforting and heartwarming. The stories he shares are personal which help you accept the advice he shares far easier than your average self-help book.

Love For Imperfect Things shares realistic advice that will truly help you accept the person you are instead of pressuring yourself to be the perfect, flawless person the world expects you to be.

The book doesn’t force you to take up eccentric hobbies or to try obscene diets, it simply encourages you to be kind to yourself. Something we can all admit we neglect at the best of times.

Illustration: Lisk Feng

It is a book you will turn to in times of doubt, worry and fear. It will give you the guidance and reassurance you desperately need on the good and bad days.

Love For Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim is published by Penguin Life. Treat yourself to a copy for €12.99 from all good bookstores.

Feature Image: Haemin Sunim Instagram

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These dark, gloomy evenings are really draining and we have to admit we never have the energy to go out once we clock off from work.

This winter we’ve been making the most of our book collections and have spent many evenings curled up by the fire with nothing but a good book for company.

The list of benefits associated with reading is never-ending, but our favourite one is simple- the escapism.

Distracting your mind for a few chapters where you can escape to different worlds and meet new people all from the comfort of your sofa is so tranquil.

We decided to support our fellow ladies by putting together a list our favourite books by female authors.

We’re sure you’ll love these books just as much as we do.

1: Ritual for Every Day by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips (Hutchinson)

We all feel that desire a calmer, more spacious way of living, but we’re often unsure exactly how to step off the crazy treadmill of day-to-day routines and responsibilities. Nadia and Katia have learned through years of practice that simple rituals can help you press the pause button on the pace of modern life. In Rituals for Every Day, they share their easy-to-follow advice, step-by-step. Let the riyals bring you back to yourself.

2: Thanks, Penneys! by Valerie Loftus (Mercier)

Have you ever been in Penneys on a Saturday and felt like you were in a scene from The Hunger Games? Have you ever gone in just to get a pair of tights and come out with fake tan, a pair of glittery platforms and some fluffy pyjamas? Have you ever spent hours there trying to root out a pair of knickers that doesn’t have ‘NETFLIX AND CHILL’ written on the bum? If so, then this is the book for you. From the chaos of changing rooms to the questionable delights of the lingerie section. Thanks, Penneys! is a love letter to an Irish institution that is an integral part of all our lives.

3: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (Andrew Mcmeel Publishing)

Rupi Kaur’s second book is divided into five sections reflecting the life cycle of a flower, with chapters titled: Wilting, Falling, Rooting, Rising, and Blooming. It focuses on themes of love and loss, trauma and abuse, healing, femininity and the body. Wilting touches on the subject of heartbreak and loss. Falling focuses on depressive feelings following the loss of an important relationship. Rooting explores topics of female infanticide, immigration and borders. Blooming addresses the joy Kaur finally found coming to love and accept her roots, herself, and the world around her. She also comes to realize her mission in this world: equality and love for all genders, races and backgrounds.

4: I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice (Vintage Publishing)

Ruth's tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker husband, Simon, who has Motor Neurone Disease and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth's other 'tribe' are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water, just for kicks. 'The Tragic Wives' Swimming Club', as they jokingly call themselves, meet to cope with the extreme challenges life puts in their way, not to mention the monster waves rolling over the horizon. An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.   
 

5: And Life Lights Up by Alice Taylor (O'Brien Press Ltd)

Let Alice Taylor encourage you to live in the now, to really live your experiences and to treasure the special moments in your life. With Alice as a guide, explore the steps and ways to live a conscious life and focus on the goodness of the world around us. Alice's beautiful and captivating writing is an act of mindfulness in itself, and she shares her favourite moments in life, encouraging us to ponder our own. Alice also inspires the reader to be attentive to the here and now and embrace moments as they arise. A beautiful and enchanting book by a bestselling and celebrated author. 

6: Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams (Hodder and Stoughton)

Full of spirit and un-self-conscious enthusiasm, Ice Cream for Breakfast: Child-Like Solutions to Bullsh*t Adult Problems is the permission slip all too-grown-up-for-their-own-good-but-secretly-scared-of-adulting adults need to locate their inner-child nestled deep within so that we might all relax enough to laugh harder, wonder more, and marvel at magic on the daily.

7: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Edbury Publishing)

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.

8: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (Harper Collins Publishers)

The author of the bestselling 40 Ways to Look at Winston Churchill has produced a work that is "a cross between the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love." The Happiness Project describes one person's year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.   

9: Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber and Faber)

Normal People follows the lives of Connell and Marianne, who come from the same town but are part of very different worlds.

When they start studying at Trinity College they develop such a strong bond that carries on into the future. Normal People looks at the hearty theme of how love can change a person. It opens readers’ eyes to the massive impact love and a relationship can have on a person. Plus, can you ever go wrong with a love story set in Dublin? We are so ready to dive into the pages of Sally Rooney’s second fictional triumph.

10: Help Me! by Marianne Power (Pan Macmillan)

Marianne Power spent one year of her life practising the advice from self-help books to see if they really do what they say on the cover. The books promise to make us better people. They vow to transform us into upbeat, organised souls who go for jogs at 7 am in the morning and always have perfectly ironed clothes, but Marianne realises that maybe the help they’re offering isn’t as beneficial as it may seem.

Image result for help me marianne power

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