Today is World Book Day! Here at Galway Now we love nothing more than exploring our local bookstore and tucking into a good page turner. At GNHQ, we love to swap book suggestions with each other so this World Book Day, we are sharing some of our recent team favourites with our readers. From fact to fiction, here is a list of recommended reads from our team that are sure to keep you enthralled, entertained and inspired.
Patricia’s Book Of The Month
‘Finding Peace’ by Sister Stan
In this compilation of writings, Sister Stan poses the question “Where do you find peace in your daily life?” to 80 contributors across Irish society including Vicky Phelan, Tommy Tiernan, Johnny Sexton and John and Pat Hume. Compiled during the Covid-19 pandemic, the material is diverse and wide-ranging and is a testament to an inner life that needs to be sustained especially during times of crisis.
Why we loved it: It was interesting to read how the pandemic and subsequent lock down had given those featured time to think about what they appreciated most in life. I loved the mixture of well-known individuals and people that I hadn’t heard of before, this provided a rich mixture of different life experiences and thoughts. This book is a lovely mindful read that is perfect before a good night’s sleep.
Maria’s Book of the Month
‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernadine Evaristo
From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl Woman Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through modern Great Britain and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope.
Why we loved it: I loved how each of the stories were linked to each other and how brief and easy to read each chapter was. It touches different political matters, while still being a beautiful book. It is a very easy read, with many characters from very different age groups and backgrounds and it shows how their lives have been influenced by their beliefs and morals. The book is really centred on self-growth and the path of life from your origin to what you achieve with what you are given.
Trish’s Book of the Month
‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Legendary fictional film actress, Evelyn Hugo reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerising journey through the splendour of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means and what it costs to face the truth.
Why we loved it: I enjoyed the way the book was split into seven parts, recounting each of Evelyn’s seven marriages and how they shaped her life. It becomes quickly apparent that the plot is less about a series of failed Hollywood marriages but a beautifully written love story between two women who had to overcome problematic old Hollywood biases, forcing them to hide their relationship from the public for decades. It is packed with emotive twists and turns that transport you into each scene. An easy to read novel that I devoured in a couple of sittings.
Aisling’s Book of the Month
‘Beautiful world, where are you’ by Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney’s latest novel focuses on four people and their friendships and relationships with each other. A novelist, Alice, moves to a small town in rural Ireland after a mental breakdown. Here she meets Felix on a dating app, Alice asks Felix to travel to Rome with her. Alice`s best friend Eileen is living in Dublin. After her long term relationship ends she begins flirting with Simon again, someone she has known since childhood. The characters work through both their romantic relationships and friendships with each other while also worrying about the state of the world around them.
Why we loved it: I loved reading about general everyday worries and problems one might have in this generation while also getting to know characters that are working through complicated relationships, trying to find what’s worth living for. Sally Rooney creates amazingly flawed characters that feel real and watching them grow and interact with each other is so enjoyable.
Erin’s Book Of The Month
‘H is for Hawk‘ by Helen MacDonald
This memoir is one woman’s story of wrestling with and understanding grief after the death of her father through the taming of a goshawk called Mabel. H is for Hawk is a thrilling, delicate and intimate read which explores the death and rebirth of the protagonist, ourselves and the natural world.
Why we loved it: This book is beautifully written. I loved the historical aspects, and felt that it was a great way to learn about my own understanding of existence, emotional resilience and the natural world. In particular I enjoyed the relationship explored between humans and animals, showing how both can learn from each other. This book also plays on the senses and at many points I felt as though I was walking with the hawk among the high grass. Even though H is for Hawk deals with heavy subject matter, it is a healing and inspirational read.
Áine’s Book Of The Month
‘The Great Alone’ by Kristin Hannah
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Why we loved it: I love this book because it was the perfect mix between inspiring, heart-breaking and a beautiful read. Set to the beautiful backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness you learn about a very real way of life that people live while encountering strong and inspiring characters. This story is packed with action, emotion and will have you gripped until the very end.