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#BlackLivesMatter may not be trending anymore, but that doesn't mean that the problem has disappeared. It's important that as a predominantly white society we continue to actively work towards learning and improving, to strive for better equality. In order to gain a finer understanding of the perspective of Black people, or people of colour (POC), why not read books through their narrative?

Romance and chick-lit books are always fun to read. If ever you're craving a bit of light escapism to distract you from this slightly worrying reality we're all living through at the moment, then romance is the way to go. We've compiled a list of fun romance books, perfect for easy reading, all featuring characters who are Black/POC, to help you diversify your shelves. Because at the end of the day, everyone deserves a happily ever after, no matter the colour of your skin.

You Had Me at Hola

Award Winning author Alexis Daria brings readers an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas—perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin and Ugly Betty.

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling, Jasmine, finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she lands a coveted, starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents.

Naturally though, rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

The Sun Is Also A Star

So much more than a teen love story.

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

This hilarious best-seller is quite frankly, a treat, which perfectly illustrates the age-old relationship trope, when opposites attract.

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost-but not quite-dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”. She’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

That's when she enlists Red to help her out; the tattooed handyman and artist — not to mention he drives a motorcycle!

Now That I've Found You

This is a YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places. It features romantic tension, Hollywood scandal and a fun-filled chase all around New York — what's not to love?

Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress— her retired grandma, Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway.  Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma — and herself.

The Marriage Game

This entertaining rom-com featuring a high stakes wager between an aspiring entrepreneur and a ruthless CEO, is wonderfully scattered with references of Indian culture.

After her life falls apart, Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco to start a new business above her father's restaurant. But what she doesn’t know, is that her worrisome father has set her up on a dating site and arranged a series of blind dates, just for her — leaving Layla completely in the dark, until the first one comes knocking on her door…

CEO, Sam Mehta, is in search of a quiet new office, when he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he's forced to share his space with the owner's beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

Real Men Knit

After the death of his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, Jesse and his brothers struggle over what to do with her Harlem knitting store. Jesse wants to keep the store open; his brothers want to shut it down.

Jesse makes an impassioned plea to Kerry Fuller, his childhood friend who has had a crush on him her entire life, to help him figure out the knitty-gritty of how to run the business. The more time they spend together, the more the chemistry builds. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe this relationship will exist longer than one can knit one, purl one. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her—after all, real men knit.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a sweet YA romance, is the story of Lara Jean. She's never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.

But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh.

As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

The Worst Best Man

Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé's infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother.

If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them.

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Sophie Hinchcliffe, the cleaning legend herself, is bringing out a Memoir, titled This is Me, all about the woman behind Mrs. Hinch. The social media sensation took to Instagram this morning to reveal the book’s cover, including a behind-the-scenes video of how they created Sophie’s stunning cover-shot.

“Soooo, a slightly different morning post from me today guys… I’ve noticed some of you have spotted it already. I can now share my Memoir front cover with you all! I have everything crossed and I just hope you like it,” Sophie prefaced before the big reveal.

In the black-and-white video, Sophie is seen wearing a gorgeous, dusky-grey ball-gown dress. In the montage of clips, she’s fixing her makeup, draped across a velvet couch and of course, dancing and playing with her adorable dog, Henry, all while the emotional song, This Is Me, plays in the background.

“Well guys, here we are! What an absolute whirlwind of a journey this has been so far,” Sophie wrote.

“It's often felt like a fairy tale but it hasn't always been easy, and I'm going to let you in on the highs and the lows as well as my biggest fears and my darkest challenges. Because this book right here, is me.”

“This is me: Soph – the wife, the mother and the person behind Mrs Hinch. So let's do this! Put your Hinch Lists to one side, get comfy and join me on the sofa with a cuppa. Welcome to my world. This is my story.”

Mrs. Hinch’s adoring fans were eager to share their pride and admiration for their cleaning guru. “That’s brought a tear to my eye… I love you all so much, so proud of you and what you have achieved,” one fan wrote. Another gushed, “Can someone explain to me why I am welling up with pride for you! Got mine on pre-order. Well done!”.

This is me is being published by Penguin and will be out on October 1. You can pre-order your copy here.

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While we may not be jetting off to exotic places this Summer, at least we have more time to dedicate to our never-ending reading lists.

With so many exciting titles being released each and every day, from such incredible authors, it really was a struggle to whittle it down. However, somehow we managed to figure out our top 10 reads, which we can’t wait to dive into — along with our book of the month: The Bird in the Bamboo Cage.  

  1. Midnight Sun 

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella's side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward's version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward's eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

  1. The Midnight Library

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time, Matt Haig.

  1. Finding Freedom

The first, epic and true story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s life together, finally revealing why they chose to pursue a more independent path and the reasons behind their unprecedented decision to step away from their royal lives, from two top royal reporters who have been behind the scenes since the couple first met. 

Finding Freedom is complete with full colour photographs from Harry and Meghan’s courtship, wedding, Archie’s milestones, and many more unforgettable moments.

  1. Hell in the Heartland

On December 30, 1999, in rural Oklahoma, 16-year-old Ashley Freeman and her best friend, Lauria Bible, were having a sleepover. The next morning, the Freeman family trailer was in flames and both girls were missing.

While rumours of drug debts, revenge, and police collusion abounded in the years that followed, the case remained unsolved and the girls were never found.

In 2015, crime writer Jax Miller, who had been haunted by the case, decided to travel to Oklahoma to find out what really happened on that winter night in 1999, and why the story was still simmering more than fifteen years later. What she found was more than she could have ever bargained for. These forgotten towns were wild, lawless, and home to some very dark secrets.

  1. Death Sets Sail

The final novel in the number-one bestselling, award-winning Murder Most Unladylike series.

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are in Egypt, where they are taking a cruise along the Nile. They are hoping to see some ancient temples and a mummy or two; what they get, instead, is murder. Daisy and Hazel leap into action and begin to investigate their most difficult case yet. But there is danger all around, and only one of the Detective Society will make it home alive…

  1. The Liar’s Daughter

Joe McKee – pillar of the Derry community – is dead. As arrangements are made for the traditional Irish wake, friends and family are left reeling at how cancer could have taken this much-loved man so soon. But grief is the last thing that Joe's daughter Ciara and step-daughter Heidi feel. For they knew the real Joe – the man who was supposed to protect them and did anything but.

 As the mourners gather, the police do too, with doubt being cast over whether Joe's death was due to natural causes. Because the lies that Joe told won't be taken to the grave after all – and the truth gives his daughters the best possible motive for killing him.

The Liar's Daughter is a dark, powerful and twisty psychological thriller that will keep you glued to the pages.

  1. The Pull of the Stars

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders—Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

  1. The Friendship List

Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humour, heartache and regrettable tattoos.

  1. Jump: One Girl’s Search For Meaning

The point of all this has nothing to do with finding yourself. It’s about what you can do to lose what you don’t need.

Daniella is 26, a highly successful radio presenter, model and influencer, but panic is building in her head and chest, the internal state of affairs she has been trying to ignore finally spilling over into something undeniably physical. She is frozen, petrified, looks to her boyfriend and says, ‘I don’t know who or where I am.’ This day changed Daniella’s life. It derailed almost everything she had worked to achieve and set her on a new path. 

Jump is the story of what happened when Daniella quit her job to backpack around the world for two years, and how freedom from the trappings of what society considers success leads to true contentment, strength and authenticity.

  1. Utopia Avenue

Utopia Avenue are the strangest British band you've never heard of. Emerging from London's psychedelic scene in 1967. Fronted by folksinger Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet and blues bassist Dean Moss, Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief and blazing journey. From the clubs of Soho and draughty ballrooms to Top of the Pops and the cusp of chart success, to glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome and a fateful American fortnight in the autumn of 1968.

David Mitchell's new novel tells a story about Utopia Avenue; of fame's Faustian pact and stardom's wobbly ladder.

 

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British mummy-vlogger and social media sensation, Louise Pentland, has written a new book all about her experiences with motherhood, and it’s out now! 

Louise started her blog, Sprinkle of Glitter, in 2009, and shortly afterwards created a YouTube channel of the same name. Nowadays Louise’s channels cover topics such as plus-size fashion, motherhood and family-life, garnering an audience of 2.3 million subscribers. You can also be sure to catch her on Instagram, regularly taking the cutest photos of her two adorable daughters, and all the adventures they get up to together. 

Her latest book, MumLife, is a real deep dive into the ups and downs Louise has had to face over the years — and let’s just say there’s been a few! From a traumatic birth with her first daughter, to single motherhood, to finding love again and having a second child, Louise's parenting journey has been full of surprises.

Source: Instagram
Source: instagram.com/louisepentland

 

Discussing the realities most working mums face, plus the impact of maternal mental health, Louise is on a mission to make other mums feel less alone, and very much heard. She beautifully reveals her own imperfect but perfect route to motherhood, as well as the loss of her mum so early in her life, how it shaped her and the mother she became.

Reflective and uplifting, with her signature wit, MumLife will share Louise's ups and downs and the honest truth, from someone who's been there and experienced it all.

“Thought it’d be a cute little Mummy Memoir but it turned out to be so much deeper than I thought it would. I’m glad. There are happy, funny bits (the whole chapter on dating as a #singlemum lol) to balance it out but I’m glad the tough stuff is in there- that’s life isn’t it? Ups and down, happy and sad. That’s what makes us human,” Louise wrote on Instagram.

If you’re not a mum though, don’t worry — Louise has assured us that MumLife is for anyone who loves her online content, which she lovingly refers to as ‘MummyContent’. MumLife is published by Bonnier, and you can pick up a copy here.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major anxiety for millions around the world. Our mental health will take a serious hit due to self-isolation and social distancing, but one thing that will help is reading.

Studies have found that reading has a positive impact on your mental health. Natalie Phillips, who is an English scholar, teamed up with Stanford neurobiologists and radiologists to look at the benefits reading has on our mental health.

They found that reading increases the blood flow to certain parts of the brain. They asked participants to read a chapter of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park– both leisurely and analytically- as the participants read their brain was scanned by an MRI machine.

The team found that reading “requires the coordination of multiple complex cognitive functions”, meaning reading exercises underworked parts of your brain.

I would never have thought reading an old copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby would keep my anxious thoughts away, but it did. Reading is one of the things that has helped ease my symptoms the most.

Pick up a book and dive into a new world, meet new characters and learn about their lives. Reading is a great way to push the anxiety away. It eases your mind when it is full of doubt and fear.

It is the perfect form of escapism. Pop into your local bookshop or order a book online; whether it’s a classic like Wuthering Heights or the latest Sally Rooney novel.

It may not work for everyone, but something as simple as channelling your inner Matilda may keep those dreaded symptoms at bay.

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The Harry Potter books are one of the most iconic series of all time. Bookworms from all around the world adore the wizarding world and we can see why.

The books transport you to a magical and mysterious world that helps you forget about your worries and fears.

Reading is one of the best forms of escapism, no matter what age you are.

However, we did not realise that reading certain books actually made us better human beings. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, J.K Rowling's tales about Harry, Ron and Hermione can actually help children to understand the social stigmatism of minority groups. 

The research focused on how people view stigmatised members of  society, which led them to discover that people who have read the Harry Potter books had a better understand of disenfranchised people. 

Yes, Harry Potter has the power to influence people’s world views and their perception of minority groups in a positive way, no matter who they are. Muggles and all!

So, if you haven't picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone then we suggest you do.

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The summer will come to an end in a few weeks so it is time to make the most of all the free time and embrace your cultural side. The National Library of Ireland have an immense amount of events happening throughout August and you can’t miss out.

Check out the full programme below:

Guided tour: ‘Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats’

Thursday, August 1 at 1pm

Explore the life and works of one of the great poets of the twentieth century at the NLI’s award-winning Yeats exhibition.

Free admission. All welcome. Booking not required. Group tours may be booked at: learning@nli.ie.

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Guided tour: ‘Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again’ exhibition

Tuesday, August 6, 13, 20, 27 at 1pm

Gain insight into the archival material on display, the work of one of Ireland’s best loved poets and the context and structure of the exhibition on this guided tour.

Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green (entry via Westmoreland Street)

Free admission. Booking required via Eventbrite or email heaneyexhibition@nli.ie.

Guided tour: ‘Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again’ exhibition

Saturday, August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 1pm

Gain insight into the archival material on display, the work of one of Ireland’s best loved poets and the context and structure of the exhibition on this guided tour.

Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green (entry via Westmoreland Street)

Free admission. Booking required via Eventbrite or email heaneyexhibition@nli.ie.

Guided tour: ‘A Modern Eye: Helen Hooker O'Malley's Ireland’

Thursday, August 15 at 1pm

Understand an outsider’s fascination with Irish people and Irish life at this free tour of the NLI’s latest exhibition at the National Photographic Archive, Temple Bar.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. All welcome. Booking not required.

Guided tour: ‘The National Library's History & Heritage’

Saturday, August 17 at 1pm

Explore the National Library's rich architectural history and heritage on this free tour which includes a visit to its iconic Victorian reading room.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. All welcome. Booking not required.

Turas treoraithe: Stair agus Oidhreacht na Leabharlainne Náisiúnta

Monday, August 19 at 1pm

Tá fáilte romhat bheith i gcomhluadar Niamh Ní Riain ar thuras stair agus oidhreacht na Leabharlainne Náisiúnta.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. All welcome. Booking not required.

Research Workshop: Using the National Library

Monday, August 19 at 3pm

Receive advice and guidance on researching the rich and varied collections of the National Library. Suitable for first-time Library users. Places limited. Booking required.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. All welcome. Booking not required.

Heritage Week talk: Past & Present- Digital Collections at the NLI

Tuesday, August 20 at 1pm

Join Maria Ryan for a lunchtime talk and learn how the NLI protects and makes available Ireland’s digital heritage through digitisation, web archiving and born digital collecting.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. Booking not required.

Heritage Week Readings and Performance: Helen Hooker O'Malley's Ireland

Wednesday, August 21 at 1.05pm

Celebrate the work of American artist, Helen Hooker O'Malley with music and poetry readings and take in the exhibition of her photography presents an outsider’s fascination with Irish people and Irish life.

National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Free. Booking not required.

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Turas treoraithe: Taispeántas Yeats

Wednesday, August 21 at 6pm

Tá fáilte romhat bheith le Niamh Ní Riain ar thuras treoraithe, trí Ghaeilge, saor in aisce don taispeántas  'Yeats: The Life & Works of William Butler Yeats'.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. Booking not required.

Heritage Week Tour: ‘Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again’

Thursday, August 22 at 11am

Take in a special National Heritage Week tour of our exhibition, Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again and share in the story of one of Ireland’s greatest writers and most-loved figures.

Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green (entry via Westmoreland Street)

Free admission. Booking required via Eventbrite or email heaneyexhibition@nli.ie.

Heritage Week Talk: ‘Cooking the Books’

Thursday, August 22 at 1pm

Explore the recipe and cookery books held in the NLI’s collections with a display of some items in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

National Library of Ireland, 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638.

Free admission. Booking not required.

Lecture: ‘Heaney on the Border’

Friday, August 23 at 1pm

Join Roy Foster for a lecture on the development of Heaney's poem, 'Station Island' and its companion pieces, and the ways in which it is anticipatory of the writer's later life.

Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green (entry via Westmoreland Street)

Free. Booking required via Eventbrite or email heaneyexhibition@nli.ie.

Book club: Electric Light  by Seamus Heaney

Friday, August 30 at 1pm

Join in the discussion of this month's poetry collection Electric Light.

Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green (entry via Westmoreland Street)

Free. Booking required via Eventbrite or email heaneyexhibition@nli.ie.

More information available at www.nli.ie.

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All of Ireland mourned the loss of beloved Irish author Emma Hannigan in March of this year. 

Following a cancer battle of over a decade, Emma sadly passed away, but not before she released her twelfth novel Letters to my Daughters which was one of the bestselling books of the year.   

The writer and mum-of-two was met with an outpouring of love and support as she revealed her cancer diagnosis devastatingly left her little time to live. But she was determined to channel every good moment she had into helping others – with her efforts and everyone coming together, over €100,000 was donated to breast cancer research. She was an inspiration to all around her. 

And as it turns out, Emma left us one final gift: her final novel 'The Gift of Friends,' to be published in Spring 2019. 

Emma always said that writing was her way of escaping from the reality of living with her cancer diagnosis, especially during the many hours she spent undergoing treatment. True to form, in the final months of her life, and despite the limitations of her illness, Emma continued to write. The first draft of a new novel was delivered to her editors, Ciara Doorley and Sherise Hobbs and in January; Emma emailed the acknowledgements for the book just days before she passed away.

Today, September 25th, on Emma's birthday, her family and publishers are delighted to announce that her last novel will be released on 28th February 2019.  

Emma's family said they were thrilled to share her final gift with the world on, fittingly, the special day of her birthday. 

"Today is Emma’s birthday. It’s hard to believe that six months have already passed since she left us. We miss her love, her ever-generous spirit and, of course, her wicked sense of humour. We’ve always felt that Emma wrote so that a part of her would always be with us. So we are very happy to tell you that Emma left us one last gift, her final book."

"The Gift of Friends is a story of joy and friendship, love and light. As Emma said, “When it comes down to the wire, all that matters is love … I will be there in your hearts and you will be in mine.” We hope you open your hearts and enjoy this very special book. Love and Light."

Emma’s editors, Ciara Doorley of Hachette Books Ireland and Sherise Hobbs of Headline Publishing Group say the book is filled with the writer's trademark warm characters and skilful storytelling; a story, as with all the others, that she poured her heart and soul into. They described it as a "life-affirming story that celebrates the power of female friendship."

We can't wait to read it. 

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Autumn time is here which means we can finally curl up with a book and a cup of tea without feeling guilty. Gone are the days when we felt bad for not making the most of every ounce of sunshine. The chilly weather has finally arrived and we must admit we are feeling pretty happy about it.

September brings cooler weather, darker evenings, but fear not bookworms, it also brings a ton of new releases that you must add to your to-be-read lists.

These three books are going to be keeping me company on early morning commutes and during cozy evenings at home.

If you’re struggling to find a September read then look no further than these perfect tales.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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My love for Hazel Gaynor’s work knows no bounds so it’s safe to say I was overjoyed to hear about this book. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is a must-read for those of you who love a little mystery. In 1838, the lighthouse keepers daughter Grace Darling realises the people on board a small ship may not survive a brutal storm. The young woman takes matters into her own hands and rescues the passengers with the help of her father. Her heroic act is celebrated throughout the country.

In 1938, Soon-to-be teenage mum Matilda Emmerson is sent away in disgrace from her home to New England. She has no choice but to stay with her reclusive relative Harriet Flaherty, who is a lighthouse keeper. Matilda discovers a discarded portrait that opens a window to a secret that will change her life forever.  

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is published by Harper Collins and available to buy here.

Normal People by Sally Rooney:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This book has been one of the most highly-anticipated books of the year so far. Book lovers are bound to adore the work of the Conversations With Friends author. Her debut novel was a mass success so there’s no doubt this tale will fly off the shelves. 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.

Normal People is published by Faber and Faber and is available to buy here.

Help Me! by Marianne Power:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I’m sure most young women in her twenties have at least one self-help book on their bookshelf. We can’t help but read them with the hope that a book can magically solve all of our problems, but do they really work? One woman put that question to the test and tested the plethora of self-help books that don the shelves of bookshops.

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.

Help Me! by Marianne Power is published by Pan MacMillan and is available to buy here.

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Happy Book Lovers Day, fellow bookworms. It’s one of the greatest days of the year where we can gush about our literary loves even more than we usually do.

There are so many things I wanted to write about for this week’s book piece, from my all time favourite books to reasons why you should read more.

However, I decided to pen a love letter to the literary world and talk about why being a bookworm is one of the most wonderful things.

Without further ado, here are The Perks of Being a Bookworm:

Sense of comfort:

Nothing warms my heart more than curling up in my room, switching my fairy lights on and reading a book. There’s something so soothing about taking a break from the world and diving into a different place, meeting new people and learning about their lives all from the comfort of your own reading zone, whether that’s your bedroom, a local cafe or your neighbourhood library. Reading offers the greatest sense of comfort and helps you escape the dull realities of everyday life.

Visiting bookshops:

Bookshops are a safe haven for so many people. They offer a sense of serenity from the hectic hustle and bustle of the city. I could easily spend hours scouring the shelves in dinky little bookshops. The peace and tranquility the stores offer also help me when I’m feeling anxious. They act as a safe place when the city can seem a tad daunting. They may be my favourite place to visit, but I’m afraid I can’t say the same for my bank account because I never fail to leave without purchasing at least one book, it’s impossible.

The perfect company:

It’s sad but true, people are feeling lonelier than ever before. Loneliness is affecting so many people all around the world for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s something as simple as not having enough time to socialise or a deeper reason like anxiety preventing you from leaving the house. Luckily, books can be a huge comfort if you are feeling pretty lonesome. You could delve into a timeless classic like Frankenstein and learn about Victor Frankenstein and his complicated mind, or perhaps unwind with the beautiful words of Rupi Kaur’s poetry in Milk and Honey.

Characters like Bridget Jones,Tracy Beaker, Matilda Wormwood and Katniss Everdeen quickly became part of my world throughout some of the dullest times in my life, and you’ll certainly feel comforted by the characters amongst the pages of whatever book you pick up.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers" – Charles William Eliot.

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I wandered into one of my favourite bookstores on Friday and within minutes I had three books in my arms. I continued to scour the shelves despite the stack of books I was ready to buy.

It’s impossible for me to leave a bookshop empty handed. I am the ultimate bookworm and can’t just browse through the shelves.

There’s always a new release that catches my eye or a classic tale that I’ve been meaning to read forever.

I easily could’ve spent a small fortune in that bookshop because there are dozens of incredible new stories out at the moment.

If you’re on the hunt for a new read then look no further. I’ll be splurging on the following books this month and you should too. They’re just too good to leave on the shelves.

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conoghan:

I think it’s important to remember that anyone can read YA books. We should never underestimate these tales just because they’re aimed at young adults. In my opinion, the genre is one of the strongest and most moving. Some of my favourite books hail from the YA section and will continue to do so for many years to come. I spotted The Weight of a Thousand Feathers in store thanks to the striking cover, but what really peaked my interest was the question the book explores- what lengths will we go to for the people we love?

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig:

I have oodles of respect for author Matt Haig and his ability to discuss mental health disorders in such an honest way. His book Reasons To Stay Alive holds a very special place in my heart, so I was thrilled to see his latest release sitting on the best-sellers shelf this week. Notes on a Nervous Planet focuses on how to be happy on a planet that makes us feel alone, anxious and nervous. Matt Haig looks into the public’s desire to constantly be connected to the digital world and the impact it is having on our mental health.

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay:

My best friend purchased this book at the end of our trip to Scotland and flew through it by the time we touched down in Dublin airport. I’m a Grey’s Anatomy addict, so anything medical related fascinates me (I blame McSteamy and McDreamy) so this book soared to the top of my books to-buy list. Adam Kay gives readers a brutally honest look at life as a junior doctor and what life is really like on and off the hospital ward.

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There’s nothing we love more than lounging around in the sun with a good book. Summer is the perfect time to climb out of your reading slump, and we’ve got a heap of recommendations for you.

These books will spark your love for reading and introduce you to an array of stories, a variety of characters and take you to plenty of places, all from the comfort of your sofa.

Eason has teamed up with best-selling author Sinéad Moriarty and broadcaster and book enthusiast Rick O’Shea to share their must-have books of the summer with you.

The Must Read series is every bookworm’s dream that features a wide range of genres from chilling thrillers and nail-biting ‘whodunnits’ to moving tales of parenthood and family.

This summer, ‘Sinéad and Rick’s Must Reads’ features a wide range of funny, emotional and thought-provoking titles, including:

I Still Dream by James Smythe

A rattling thriller and a story of love, family and loss which is also full of questions about what tech knows about us, where it’s going, and the terrible consequences that it all might have one day in the near future.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

A wonderfully assured debut novel about falling in love, thinking that person is ‘the one’ and then starting to doubt the relationship you were once so sure of.

The Orchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes

A beautifully written story of two very different siblings from a rich family whose lives head in different directions after the economic crash of 2008. Nothing short of brilliant!

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

A brave, uncompromising and deeply affecting novel that questions what it’s like to be a Muslim in today’s modern world, and which also is a moving meditation on the tensions between religion and secularism.

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

A beautifully crafted, bitter-sweet story about regret, empty nest syndrome, loneliness within a relationship and seeking purpose and fulfilment in life. Kick back and lose yourself in this gem of a novel.

Cornflakes for Dinner by Aidan Comerford

A funny, moving and ultimately, life-affirming book about the challenges of parenting two daughters with autism. Full of life, laughter, warmth and love, this wonderful book will pull at your heartstrings and make you laugh and cry.

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

London, 1940. Emmy Lake mistakenly thinks she’s been hired as a War Correspondent, but the job turns out to be working as a typist for the intimidating advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Funny, charming and warm, reading this book feels like you are being covered in a cosy blanket.

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

A brilliant ‘whodunnit’ set in the lavish background of Nantucket in the summer. With a beautiful setting, a wealthy family, a huge wedding, secrets, lies, covert affairs, and a dead body, this book is the perfect summer read.

 

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