Upcoming Irish book releases January 2020

If you need new books to add to your reading, look no further than our selection of some of the best upcoming Irish book releases happening this January.

A new year always means new books to read and enjoy. We will get exciting new titles both by well-known authors as well as new and rising ones. We take a closer look at the upcoming Irish book releases by homegrown authors happening this January.

Marita Conlon-McKenna, The Hungry Road (published by Transworld Ireland)

Her brilliant children’s historical novel Under the Hawthorn Tree, a recreation of the Great Irish Famine is considered a classic and loved by many. Now, the award-winning Irish novelist is turning her attention to the definitive adult viewpoint of those hard times with her new novel The Hungry Road.

Hunger, disease and death can be found everywhere during Ireland’s Great Famine, even in Skibbereen, West Cork. Mary Sullivan’s dreams of a better future are shattered in 1845 when a strange blight destroys their potato crop. She must use every ounce of courage and strength left in her to protect her family in a fight for survival. Dr Dan Donovan is Medical Officer to the Skibbereen Union. The arrival of ‘the hunger’ soon brings starving men, women and children into the town desperate for help. His wife Henrietta tries her best to support him. But soon her friends and then her own family falls victim to fever. Meanwhile, Parish priest Reverend John Fitzpatrick has his faith tested by the suffering and hardship he sees all around him.

Published: 9 January 2020

Eoin Colfer, Highfire (published by Jo Fletcher Books)

Returning to adult fiction, Eoin Colfer, known for his Young Adult series Artemis Fowl, spins a twisty, funny fantasy that is part thriller, part action movie.

Vern is an ancient dragon, possibly the last of his species. He is drinking away his days, wallowing in self-pity and loneliness, yearning for his old life as Lord Highfire. But his quiet existence in the Louisiana Bayou ends when he hires 15-year-old Everett “Squib” Moreau as his new assistant. Squib’s tasks mainly consist of delivering Vern’s vodka and internet purchases, and as the two develop a friendship, Regence Hooke, a crooked cop with big plans, sets his sights on them, hoping to use Vern to expand his criminal influence. But Vern hasn’t survived this long without picking up a few dirty tricks of his own. 

Colfer’s unique and catchy narrative voice suits the characters and the setting perfectly, capturing Vern’s world-weary nature, Squib’s youthful adaptability, and Hooke’s malicious cunning.

Published: 28 January 2020

Jo Spain, Six Wicked Reasons (published by Quercus)

The most clever and gripping murder-mystery in 2020, Six Wicked Reasons, comes from the international bestseller Jo Spain. It is a compelling story of a dysfunctional family with a recently departed mother, a narcissistic cruel father with six children who all have a reason to murder him.

In June 2008,  21-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family, but his mother in particular. Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, Wexford, but Adam’s reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit. And, as the tension builds, it’s apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.

Published: 16 January 2020

Rob Doyle, Threshold (published by Bloomsbury)

The narrator of Rob Doyle’s Threshold has spent the last two decades traveling, writing, and imbibing drugs and literature in equal measure, funded by brief periods of employment in Dublin. Now, stranded between reckless youth and middle age, his travels to far-flung places have acquired new purpose: to aid the contemporary artist’s search for universal truth. 

Following Doyle from Buddhism to the brink of madness, Threshold immerses us in the club-drug communalism of the Berlin underworld, the graves of myth-chasing artists in Paris, and the shattering and world-rebuilding revelations brought on by the psychedelic DMT.

Doyle exists in a lineage of writer-characters, exploring forms between theory and autobiography that are both insightful and provocative, Threshold is a darkly funny, genuinely optimistic celebration of perception and desire, of what is here and what is beyond our comprehension.

Published: 23 January 2020

Roz Purcell, No Fuss Vegan (published by Penguin Ireland)

After she quit modeling and launched her hugely popular food blog Natural Born Feeder, Roz Purcell started creating her own recipes. In No Fuss Vegan, Roz will show you how to introduce more plant-based recipes into your life. 

Whether you’re a committed vegan or just looking to cut down on meat and dairy for whatever reason, she will inspire you to try out her tasty and nourishing plant-based meals, snacks and desserts. This cookbook is packed with over 100 vegan recipes that are designed to help boost your mood, energy and overall health.

Published: 2 January 2020

Billy O’Callaghan, The Boatman and other Stories (published by Jonathan Cape)

In these twelve carefully crafted stories, Billy O’Callaghan explores the strength and resilience of the human heart in the face of grief, trauma and lost love. The stories span a century and two continents – from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an aeroplane bound for Taipei.

Three gunshots on the Irish border define the course of a young man’s life; a writer clings fast to a star-crossed affair with a woman who has never been fully in his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; a pair of newly-weds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.

His densely layered tales reveal the quiet heroism and gentle dignity of ordinary life.

Published: 9 January 2020

Are you looking forward to any of these upcoming Irish book releases in January? Are there any other books you really want to read this month? Let us know in the comments below.

Jacqueline Russe
Jacqueline Russe

Jacqueline is a German journalist and editor for Babylon Radio who likes comics, manga and video games. She is a state-certified translator for both English and German, currently working on her Bachelor's in Technical Translation.

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