Donal Ryan

My 2020 Booker Wish List

Another year, another Booker Prize longlist in the offing although this year has been far from normal both in the book world and beyond with titles bouncing around the publishing schedules like tennis balls thanks to the pandemic. I’d half expected a postponement of the longlist announcement but the Booker brigade seem to be sticking …

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Books of the Year 2018: Part Two

Spring, which seems so far away now, was a particularly good reading time for me hence this bumper post. March began with Donal Ryan’s From a Low and Quiet Sea, a carefully crafted, moving novella which explores love, loss and connection through the stories of three very different men, bringing them neatly together at its …

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My 2018 Man Booker Wish List

Almost time for the 2018 Man Booker judges to announce their longlist to readers, not to mention publishers, waiting with bated breath to see if their favourites are amongst the chosen few. This year’s a special one. As I’m sure you all know, It’s the prize’s fiftieth anniversary which has been celebrated with a string …

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From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan: Love, loss and connection

I’ve a somewhat chequered history with Donal Ryan’s writing. While I enjoyed The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December I couldn’t work up the ecstatic enthusiasm so many other readers were voicing. Then I read All We Shall Know which made it on to my 2016 books of the year list. It’s early days, …

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Books of the Year 2016: Part Four

This final books of the year post leapfrogs from August to October. Not sure what happened in September but I suspect it may have something to do with riding the Central European railways for several weeks. October’s reading made up for it starting with Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, to which I had been looking forward a …

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All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan: Redemption in spades

I ended my review of Donal Ryan’s last novel, The Thing About December, by quoting Litlove’s idea that the higher your expectations for a book, the greater your disappointment when they’re not met. Both Ryan’s novels had been praised to the skies and although there was much to admire in his second, those raised expectations …

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