programming of the Dublin Book Festival; Women of Wicklow; the winners of Polari; Buy the book

Adam King’s “virtual hug” captured the hearts of many after appearing on The Late Late Toy Show, becoming a symbol of hope in difficult times and now the inspiration for a book, writes Jennifer O’Connell in The Irish Times Magazine this Saturday. Twenty years after her father Paddy published Being Irish, Marie Claire Logue poses the question of Irish identity to a new group of Irish people. We publish a selection in Weekend Review.

Books reviewed are Roddy Doyle on The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present by Paul McCartney, edited by Paul Muldoon; Sarah Gilmartin on Mario Vargas Llosa’s Harsh Times; Declan Burke on Best New Mystery Novel; Oliver Farry on 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: a memoir by Ai Weiwei, translated by Allan H Barr; Tony Clayton-Lea on Best New Music Books; Niamh Donnelly on Putting the Rabbit in the Hat by Brian Cox; Des Traynors on Rob Doyle’s autobibliography; Anthony Roche on The Young HG Wells: Changing the World by Claire Tomalin; and Seán Hewitt on The Poems, 1961-2020 by Derek Mahon and Autumn Skies: Writers on Poems by Derek Mahon, edited by Peter Fallon.

If you buy a copy of The Irish Times from Eason this weekend, you can also buy Snow by John Banville for € 4.99, saving € 6.


The Dublin Book Festival offers a range of in-person and online events for book lovers from November 8-15.

After 18 months of online events, the Dublin Book Festival is delighted to host a variety of live events at venues across Dublin including the Smock Alley Theater, Heritage Center, Dublin Harbor, Botanic Gardens national and more. They will also be broadcasting live events throughout the weekend from the Smock Alley Theater, making the festival accessible to everyone in Ireland and abroad.

Among those attending DBF 2021 will be: President Michael D. Higgins, Emma Donoghue, Luke O’Neill, Sarah Winman, Richard Chambers, Steve Garrigan, Rosaleen McDonagh, Eoin Colfer, Ann Ingle, Roddy Doyle, Lisa Harding, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Hugo Hamilton, Liz McManus, Mary O’Donnell, Michael Smith, Caitríona Lally, Turtle Bunbury, Jo Kerrigan, Brendan MacEvilly, Vanda Symon, Awais Khan, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, Sam Blake, Diarmaid Ferriter, Jacqui Hurley and Éanna Ní Lamhna, Hilary Dully, Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid, Marie Coleman, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, Cathal Póirtéir, Benjamín Labatut, Rick O’Shea, Bryan Fanning, Melatu Uche Okorie, Neil Hegarty, Paul McVeigh, Paddy Woodworth, Mark Henry, Aoife Barry, Martin Kit Fryattworth, Mark Henry, Aoife Barry, Martin Kit Fryatt , Fiona Leigh, James Hudson, Declan Murphy, Manchán Magan and JR Thorp. To book tickets and for more details on the program, visit


This weekend, Wicklow Arts and Heritage celebrates the lives of two very different women in a light show starring Lauren O’Neill commissioned portraits of Averil Deverell and Kate Tyrell at The Cove in Greystones and Arklow Harbor on Friday November 5 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. followed on Saturday by a Conversation Event with Dr Sinead McCoole, a Brehon Court Workshop and at 8 p.m. at the Whale Theater in Greystones, the Breaking Ground Salon hosted by journalist and host Dearbhail McDonald. The Salon will combine lively conversations and performances by poets and musicians. Poets Jane Clarke and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill will read alongside cellist Lioba Petrie and soprano Catherine Redding. Speakers include retired historian and judge Liz Goldthorpe; President of the Bar Council Maura McNally; and lawyer and president of AkiDwA Ashimedua Okonkwo. Sea swimmer and author Ruth Fitzmaurice and Karen Weekes, who are training to become the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, will also discuss women and our connection to the sea. Tickets from The Whale Theater here.

Give a gift that’s a little different and give something back this Christmas! Lights on the Horizon is a beautiful limited edition hardcover edition of poetry, prose and photography, created during lockdown by over 20 Irish writers, photographers and publishing professionals. All proceeds go to frontline workers through the Mater Foundation and the NHS Northern Ireland. A perfect Christmas present for a loved one, friend, healthcare professional or someone who has been there for you for the past 18 months. It’s also a great way to recognize your staff and colleagues. Learn more at


Mohsin Zaidi and Diana Souhami won the 2021 Polari Awards, the UK’s only awards celebrating literature that explores the LGBTQ + experience.

Zaidi becomes the 11th winner of the Polari Book First Prize for his memoir A Dutiful Boy (Square Peg), triumphing over the works of authors such as Kevin Maxwell, Paul Mendez and Booker winner Douglas Stewart. Diana Souhami won the Polari Global Award for Non-Beginner Talent for her biography No Modernism without Lesbians (Head of Zeus).

Rachel Drury

Buy the Book is a new Irish business for authors to sell their books directly to their readers, created by author Rachel Drury earlier this year as an alternative to Amazon and Book Depository.

“It’s bookstore with a difference,” explains Rachel. “The author is responsible for selling his own book and shipping it directly to his client. When a customer buys a book from us, they are directly supporting our Irish authors.

There are additional benefits for authors who join Buy Book. It is also a growing community of authors where authors meet, discuss ideas and support each other in the sale and marketing of their books. There are monthly calls for members and workshops for authors to attend.

“It’s important to sell your book, but it’s also important to feel supported in this process and to have fun along the way. I was passionate about setting up a community of authors as much as about the marketplace ”

Buy the Book will focus on the upcoming Christmas market for those looking for an alternative Irish market to shop locally this Christmas and directly support Irish writers. Christmas gifts will be available and customers will also be able to request a signed copy of the book directly from the author on the new website.

To learn more, visit


Newsdle ( is the leading news-based rated reader for students and teachers of Spanish and French, launched by The Chairman’s Bao Ltd. last month. The founder, Sean McGibney, is second generation Irish and serves on the board of directors of Leeds Irish Health and Homes.

The platform, available on the website and mobile app, adds to an existing product for the study of Mandarin Chinese (President’s Bao) at which more than 350 schools and universities and 150,000 students worldwide already trust. Three news-based lessons will be published daily in each language and each lesson will be supported by reading and listening comprehension quizzes to test comprehension. For schools and universities there is also an interactive Classroom portal.

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