5 Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Running out of time, and stumped as to what to get as a christmas gift?
Looking to avoid reactions to presents like this:
leslie-knope-trash-present

Let Ballyroan Reads guide you. These are all 2016 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Winners, so should be available in your local bookshop (so hopefully making them easy to get in a rush a few minutes before closing on Christmas Eve!)

For the little ones…
Winner of The Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year Award (Senior):
knights-of-the-borrowed-dark
The first book in a new series about an orphan boy who discovers he is part of a secret army that protects the world from a race of shadowy monsters.

Grey placed his finger in the middle of the shadow.
‘What’s this?’ he asked.
Denizen frowned. ‘It’s a shadow.’
‘No, it isn’t,’ Grey said. ‘It’s a door.’

Denizen Hardwick doesn’t believe in magic – until he’s ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight.

That kind of thing can really change your perspective.

Now Denizen is about to discover that there’s a world beyond the one he knows. A world of living darkness where an unseen enemy awaits.

Fortunately for humanity, between us and the shadows stand the Knights of the Borrowed Dark.

Unfortunately for Denizen, he’s one of them . . .
[You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here]

For those who love crime…
Winner of The Books Are My Bag Crime Fiction Book of the Year Award:
trespasser-tana-french-1
‘Contains the most tense and serpentine interrogation scenes outside of John Le Carré’ – Guardian

This is the case she imagined. Precision-cut and savage, lithe and momentous.

Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She’s partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that’s going well – but the rest of her working life isn’t. Antoinette doesn’t play well with others, and there’s a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers’ tiff. All she and her partner have to do is track down Lover Boy and bring him in. Then it’ll be back to business as usual, watching from a distance as the real detectives go up against the psychopaths. Except when Antoinette takes a good look at the victim’s face, she realises she’s seen her somewhere before. And suddenly the conviction that there’s a different answer takes her breath away.

[You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries catalogue here]

For those into non-fiction…
Winner of The National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award:
i-read-the-new-todayFew people rode the popular wave of the sixties quite like Tara Browne. One of Swinging London’s most popular faces, he lived fast, died young and was immortalized for ever in the opening lines of ‘A Day in the Life’, a song that many critics regard as The Beatles’ finest. But who was John Lennon’s lucky man who made the grade and then blew his mind out in a car?

Author Paul Howard has pieced together the extraordinary story of a young Irishman who epitomized the spirit of the times: racing car driver, Vogue model, friend of The Rolling Stones, style icon, son of a peer, heir to a Guinness fortune and the man who turned Paul McCartney on to LSD.

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy is the story of a child born into Ireland’s dwindling aristocracy, who spent his early years in an ancient castle in County Mayo, and who arrived in London just as it was becoming the most exciting city on the planet.

The Beatles and the Stones were about to conquer America, Carnaby Street was setting the style template for the world and rich and poor were rubbing shoulders in the West End in a new spirit of classlessness. Among young people, there was a growing sense that they could change the world. And no one embodied the ephemeral promise of London’s sixties better than Tara Browne.

Includes a sixteen-page plate section of stunning colour photographs.

[You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries catalogue here]

For those who want to impress their book club…
Winner of The Eason Book Club Novel of the Year Award
solar-bones
Once a year, on All Souls Day, it is said that the dead may return; Solar Bones tells the story of one such visit. Set in the west of Ireland as the recession is about to strike, this novel is a portrait of one man’s experience when his world threatens to fall apart. Wry and poignant, Solar Bones is an intimate portrayal of one family, capturing how careless decisions ripple out into waves, and how our morals are challenged in small ways every day.
[You can reserve a copy on South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here]

For someone you don’t know very well and you’ve to buy something small for…
Winner of The Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award
holding-graham-norton
‘A considerable achievement … one of the more authentic debuts I’ve read in recent years … in such an understated manner, eschewing linguistic eccentricity … in favour of genuine characters and tender feeling…this is a fine novel.’ John Boyne, Irish Times

‘Poised and perceptive’ the Sunday Times

‘It’s funny and wonderfully perceptive’ Wendy Holden

‘It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad’ Daily Express

‘Deeply accomplished…brilliantly observed’ Good Housekeeping

‘An undercurrent of black comedy accompanies the ripples that ensue – but with a pathos that makes this deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling.’ Sunday Mirror

‘Strenuously charming…surprisingly tender’ Metro

‘Heartwarming and observant’ Stylist

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

Graham Norton’s masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

[You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here]

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