The Librarian’s Cellar Book Recommendations: The Jewel by Neil Hegarty

The Jewel is a painting that hangs in a Dublin gallery. A vibrant work of art with a fascinating story, unfolding through a complex narrative that begins with a rather morbid and haunting decision by its creator – a long deceased female artist.

The novel weaves in and out of the lives of three very different, but equally troubled characters. A lonely curator, a disillusioned artist turned forger and thief, and an expert in art theft tasked with recovering the painting. A common thread to each of these lives is their sense of disillusionment. The same emotion that perhaps, drove this victorian artist to act as she did. As this gripping story unwinds, in all its complexity, three lives become intrinsically linked to The Jewel, and fleetingly, to each other. Vivid and original storytelling, beautifully written.

The Jewel by Neil Hegarty | Head of Zeus Ltd | 2019

 

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Caroline Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Author of the novel, LADY BETH, she is the screenwriter/director of FRAMED (2018). Caroline has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She curates for literature and film events, is a former Librarian and holds a Teaching qualification in Adult and Community Education. 

 

The Librarian’s Cellar Book Recommendations: My Dark Vanessa

Compelling, yet deeply unsettling! Author, Kate Elizabeth Russell has created a riveting page-turner that depicts an unflinching account of the grooming and manipulation of an underaged girl by an adult male in a role of trust and power. And of the consequences for both of them.The psychologies of both characters are fascinating. This one will linger.

My thanks to Netgalley and Publishers (4th Estate) for the opportunity to read this book, which is due for publication in March 2020.

 

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Caroline Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Author of the novel, LADY BETH, she is the screenwriter/director of FRAMED (2018). Caroline has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She curates for literature and film events, is a former Librarian and holds a Teaching qualification in Adult and Community Education. 

 

The Librarian’s Cellar Book Recommendations 2020: Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has done it again. Has written a page-turner filled with devious and broken characters that we hate to love – but love anyway! A compelling read with all the clever twists that we have come to expect from this very accomplished storyteller.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books for the opportunity to read ‘Our Little Cruelties’. Publication date is March 20th, 2020.

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Caroline Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Author of the novel, LADY BETH, she is the screenwriter/director of FRAMED (2018). Caroline has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She curates for literature and film events, is a former Librarian and holds a qualification in Adult and Community Education. 

The Librarian’s Cellar 2020 Book Recommendations: Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain

Starting the new year with a plan to keep a ‘Book Diary’ listing all I manage to read this year, though I will only, as ever, blog about the titles I have enjoyed.

First up is ‘Six Wicked Reasons’, another great read from Jo Spain, queen of the ‘whodunnit’! You might think you know who killed Frazer, and some say he had it coming. All of his children are suspects, but the narrative twists and turns so craftily that you only think you know – until the rather satisfying end!

Thanks to Netgalley and Quercus Books for the opportunity to read this latest title from a very accomplished crime author, which is due for release on January 16th, 2020.

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Caroline Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Author of the novel, LADY BETH, she is the screenwriter/director of FRAMED (2018). Caroline has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She curates for literature and film events, is a former Librarian and holds a qualification in Adult and Community Education. 



			

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of the Week: Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession

The core of ‘Leonard and Hungry Paul’ concerns the friendship between two men, both single, one recently bereaved, the other living with his parents as his sister’s upcoming wedding plans unfold. The supporting characters speak from the pages, they are so well developed, and the drama is so quiet and familiar, were it not for the beautiful writing from Hession, this novel might otherwise seem a little mundane in it’s depiction of everyday life. However, this novel is themed on human connection and kindness and is a gorgeous read. Clever, gentle prose concerning clever, gentle characters. No spoilers, but well into the second half, there is a wonderful conversation between Hungry Paul and his sister Grace that should be compulsive reading! It takes place in the bathroom as HP is cleaning his teeth, and his words spill out so gently, and with such wisdom and clarity, it took my breath away. Such a refreshing, unique novel. I loved it!

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: Inside Out by Demi Moore

I have always admired Demi Moore for her achievements, and was aware that her early life had not been easy. However, in ‘Inside Out’, Demi’s honesty is at times shocking and heart breaking. Behind the glamour, the fame and the money, she relates a very human story of vulnerability, strength, struggle, addiction, magnificent ups and devastating downs, but I never got a sense that her writing was coming from a place of bitterness. It is of course, her story, and therefore, her side of the story, and she is candid in her descriptions of her experiences of family relationships, as well as her much publicised marriages. I can only imagine that some parts, particularly those concerning her parents, were not easy to share. Many women, and men, of high achievement start from a rock-bottom place. Demi is a survivor, and a great talent. Fair play to her. A worthy read.

Book of The Week: I CONFESS by Alex Barclay

On the remote Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland, Edie and Johnny invite a group of old schoolfriends to reunite for a birthday and also to showcase the former convent school they have renovated into a luxury resort. However, as a storm builds outside, and the power goes out, dark events that marred all of their childhoods threaten to resurface… and there is a killer amongst them.

I CONFESS is an intricate whodunnit, layered with flashbacks and disturbing reveals. Because of the ensemble of characters, and the jumping back and forth between past and present, it did take some concentration in the first part of the novel to get a sense of everyone involved, but ultimately, the plot is a good one. An atmospheric thriller.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, Harper Collins, for the opportunity to read the ARC.

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: The Hiding Game by Louise Phillips

Heather Baxter is an attorney who by day, defends a young girl accused of killing an infant boy in her charge, and by night, is tormented as she tries to make sense of her mother’s unsolved murder, many years earlier. Through her journey of discovery, Heather uncovers several links between the two cases, often in terrible danger as she moves ever closer to a cruel and ruthless killer. A thoroughly enjoyable thriller combining exciting courtroom drama with unsettling secrets, mystery and intrigue!

The HIDING GAME is released on September 5th. Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books Ireland for the opportunity to read this ARC.

The Librarian’s Cellar: Book of The Week – All That Glitters by Thomas Maier

‘ALL THAT GLITTERS Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and the Rivalry Inside America’s Richest Media Empire’, by Thomas Maier, is an appropriate title for quite a complex book that may prove to be a useful addition to the study of American media, politics and pop culture. The author delves into the Condé Nast empire run by S. I. Newhouse Jr. and creative guru and influencer Alex Liberman. Perhaps the most interesting element of the book is how it examines the contribution of Anna Wintour and Tina Brown, both British women who worked their way to the top of this male-dominated American industry, and how they challenged the rules set down by that male establishment. It is also a sobering study of the power of magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair before the onset of social media. I received this ARC copy from Net Galley with thanks also to Skyhorse Publishing. Publication Date September 2019

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: THIRTEEN by Steve Cavanagh

If you like courtroom dramas, you will enjoy THIRTEEN.

 

“It’s the murder trial of the century. And Joshua Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house – and to be sure the wrong man goes down for the crime. Because this time, the killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury. But there’s someone on his tail. Former-conman-turned-criminal-defense-attorney Eddie Flynn doesn’t believe that his movie-star client killed two people. He suspects that the real killer is closer than they think – but who would guess just how close?” 

 

The author has created a clever premise that zips along with a well-crafted plot. Take a flawed hero, a suitably manipulative villain. Add some nicely paced curveballs, a touch of Hollywood, place the killer on the jury and presto – a fun read with twisty bits galore!

 

Thirteen | Steve Cavanagh | Orion | 2018