Devil’s Day (Andrew Michael Hurley)
I read this author’s debut, The Loney, earlier this year and loved it’s creepy vibe. This looks like more of the same!
Every autumn, John Pentecost returns to the farm where he grew up to help gather the sheep down from the moors for the winter. Very little changes in the Endlands, but this year, his grandfather – the Gaffer – has died and John’s new wife, Katherine, is accompanying him for the first time.Each year, the Gaffer would redraw the boundary lines of the village, with pen and paper, but also through the remembrance of tales and timeless communal rituals, which keep the sheep safe from the Devil. But as the farmers of the Endlands bury the Gaffer, and prepare to gather the sheep, they begin to wonder whether they’ve let the Devil in after all . . .
Hurley seems to have revived the folk horror genre. This makes his books that little bit more scary because they are built on the stories and traditions that some parts of the world still keep alive today.
The Silent Companions (Laura Hurley)
It was the cover of this enchanting book that initially caught my eye as it’s unique design reminded me of The Circle. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that was a read perfect for Halloween. Gothic ghost stories always seem to have that extra fear factor.
Set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine… Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge. With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…
The Woodcutter and His Family (Frank McGuinness)
Once again, it was a beautiful cover that caught my eye here. It is very similar to some of the beloved Cormac McCarthy editions that I own. I love historical fiction with a twist of imagination and truth. As I have yet to read any of James Joyce’s works, I think this could be a good entry point for me to get a sense of the man through another author’s eyes.
My son betrayed me. It is a family tradition. Didn’t I do the same to my father? The World War intensifies in Europe. In Zurich a writer breathes his last imagining his life till now from his childhood in Dublin. The voices of his family circling him – wife, son, daughter – carry him to his end as he hears each separate chapter chronicling the power of their passion for their famous father, their love, their hate, their need, their sorrows and joys, their strangeness. And James Joyce has saved for them one last story to delight and defy them: The Woodcutter And His Children …
Origin (Dan Brown)
Yes, the plot structures may be predictable and these books sometimes read like a tourist guide but the fact remains that lots of people, myself included, love Dan Brown’s books. I really enjoyed his last one, so I have high hopes that this will be as strong. Initial reviews in the press are not strong but I still hope to get to this one soon. Preferably while on holiday and lying by a pool!
‘In keeping with his trademark style, Brown interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art and architecture into this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind’s two most enduring questions, and the earth-shaking discovery that will answer them.’
Rest Is The New Sport (Jef Geys)
This is an upcoming book about the science behind fatigue. As someone who regularly ‘burns out’ despite maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle, I am very interested in this book. Geys has some interesting theories regarding the different types of fatigue that we may experience from time to time and how we can prevent and deal with these periods of exhaustion. It was a newspaper article that drew my attention here. The article itself is well worth a read.
This book will be available from the 21st of November.
The Pursuit of Perfection : The Life, Death and Legacy of Cormac McAnallen (Donal McAnallen)
Finally, I only spotted this in a bookshop last weekend. As a teacher and GAA player myself, I am very interested in reading this. Like myself, Cormac also regularly kept a diary to plan his days and record his thoughts. His brother Donal has used some of this material to give us an insight into a man who tragically died at too young of an age. Certain stories can capture a nation’s imagination and hearts; thirteen years later, people are still talking about Cormac McAnallen and the legacy that he left behind.
In 2001, Cormac McAnallen was voted Young Footballer of the Year. In 2003, he helped Tyrone to its first-ever All-Ireland championship win, and was named an All-Star. He was, by any measure, one of the best and most promising young footballers in Ireland. But in March 2004, Cormac McAnallen died suddenly of an undetected heart condition. He was, truly, a young star cut down just as he entered his prime. As he worked his way up through the ranks of club, school and inter-county football, Cormac almost always had his brother Donal – just a year older – by his side. Nobody else in the world knew as well as Donal did how badly Cormac wanted to succeed, how hard he worked, or how much thought he put into his game.In The Pursuit of Perfection, Donal McAnallen draws upon Cormac’s diaries and frank self-assessments, and his own memories of their experiences, to create a remarkable portrait of a young sportsman’s mindset and methods. It is both one of the most remarkable GAA books ever written and – in its intimacy and depth – a book that transcends Gaelic games