This year the BBC and Libraries NI present the biggest ever Book Week NI from 18-24 October 2021, celebrating and promoting the pleasures and benefits of reading. Reading for pleasure has so many incredible benefits, allowing us to escape from the stresses of daily life and improve our overall health and wellbeing.
The theme for this year’s Book Week NI is ‘Read All About It!’ and will focus on a new genre each day of the week. You can catch up with the work of some great Northern Ireland authors via our Summer Postcard Series, which featured eight authors narrating their short stories. You can watch the videos below, and learn about the other amazing books they have written.
Discover the fantastic novels written by Lucy Caldwell here, including her new book, These Days, which will be published in March 2022! Lucy recently won the BBC National Short Story Award 2021 for her story ‘All the People Were Mean and Bad’.
One of Darran’s most recent books, Imaginary Cities, is a piece of creative non-fiction roaming through space, time and possibility, mapping cities of sound, melancholia and the afterlife, where time runs backwards or which float among the clouds.
Darran recommends: One of my favourite books from Northern Ireland is ‘Miracle Fruit’ (Lagan Press, 2010) by Moyra Donaldson. All of her poetry collections are superb but I was mesmerised by this particular one. It has the feel of a cabinet of curiosities, Grand Guignol theatre or what they used to call a freak show. She reanimates these strange poignant characters from history like the Pig-faced Woman and the Great Irish Giant, gives them voices and honours them. I love her curiosity, her eye for the arcane, but above all her empathy and how, by illuminating scenes from centuries ago, she shows us that we are not all that different now.
Myra is the author of a magical children’s series ‘Rita’, as well as other books for children and young adults. Myra works in both English and Irish, and her books have been translated into 7 languages worldwide.
Myra recommends: Paddy Donnelly’s ‘Vanishing Lake’ picture book which is bursting with both curiosity about the natural world and whimsical flights of imaginative fancy. Based on a real-world place (Loughareema near Ballycastle), featuring a determined young girl and an adorable grandfather-granddaughter relationship, this visually stunning book is jam-packed with adventure and warmth.
We love Wendy’s short story collection Dance Move which offers revealing snapshots into the domestic lives and chance encounters of ordinary people – laying bare all the joy, humour, tragedy and farce that lie therein.
Dara is the teenage writer of critically acclaimed ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and is the youngest ever major literary prize winner in UK history!
Shannon Yee’s talented writing features in many great collections such as Belfast Stories and Queer Love.
Shannon recommends: Postcard Stories by Jan Carson.
Paul’s debut novel ‘The Good Son’ won the Polari First Novel Prize and the McCrea Literary Award, while being shortlisted for many others. Paul has written and edited a wide range of wonderful material, most recently he was editor of ‘The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices‘.
A must-read by Jan Carson is her short story collection ‘Last Resort’ where she explores complex family dynamics, ageing, immigration, gender politics, the decline of the Church and the legacy of the Troubles.
Jan recommends: The Emperor of Ice Cream by Brian Moore recently reissued by Turnpike Books.