Happy World Book Lover's Day to all of our fellow bookworms out there! Whether it's a romance novel that tickles your fancy, or a self-help book about changing careers, we've got the paperback for you. Here are 49 of our favourites.
For lover's of romance
Holiday reading normally conjures up images of Mills & Boon novels by the beach, while dreaming of your own summer fling. But if you're sick of the same old pick-up lines, there are dozens of sumptuous romance stories out there to tide your love life over this summer.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
This book may be one of those rare examples where the movie is better, but the story is still worth consuming in as many forms as possible. The story follows Wesley, a poor farm boy, and Buttercup as they fight against the odds for their true love. With princesses, giants, revenge, magic and true love, The Princess Bride is the ultimate fairy tale. But don't be put off by its childish themes; the book, and especially the movie, has plenty of laughs to keep everyone happy. The story tells us that true love can span distance, time and even death (as long as you're only mostly dead); nothing can stop it. And who doesn't want a handsome farm boy to tell them "as you wish"?
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
If heartwrenching true love stories are your vibe, then get the tissues out for The Tattooist of Auschwitz. The book is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who were kept in Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. Lale was tasked with tattooing inmate numbers onto the incoming prisoners and this was where he met Gita - a terrified 18-year-old girl with whom he fell in love immediately. The ensuing story is of their life - how they managed to keep their love alive throughout the horrors of the Holocaust, find their way back to each other and live and love together for 60 years.
Click here for eight more romance novels.
Books for a career change
There's never been a better time to be a career-focused woman. If you need a new position, these books will help you plan, prepare and find success.
The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
Probably the most timely of the books on our list, Gannon explains how to curate a modern career; with multiple titles, multiple schedules and working on your own terms. It's a herald of what the real future of work looks like for creative women.
The Myth Of The Nice Girl: Achieving A Career You Love Without Becoming A Person You Hate by Fran Hauser
If the reason you're changing career is that you've started to hate the people around you (and maybe the person you're becoming because of them), this is your book. Emotional labour is a big part of any job, and it can be easy to look at successful people and think we should copy them to do the same. Not so. You can totally be yourself and still make it in the world.
Click here for six more career-change books.
Dealing with grief
Every year, up to 290,000 people in Ireland are newly bereaved. Everyone’s personal experience of grief is unique, but if you’d like to learn more about the process you’re going through, these books and podcasts might help.
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
Written by C.S. Lewis (the author of The Chronicles of Narnia) A Grief Observed is a biographical book about the author's grief following the death of his wife. It's broken up into four parts, throughout which he questions his faith before becoming progressively spiritual. The book is incredibly candid and honest. While the author's circumstances might not match what you're going through, the emotions running through it are relatable nonetheless.
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg
After the sudden death of her husband, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg felt she and her children would never feel pure joy again. This book combines her personal insights with trustworthy advice from psychologist Adam Grant. Option B goes beyond Sandberg’s loss to explore how people can overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. The stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere and to rediscover joy.
For more books, podcasts and plays dealing with grief, click here.
Coffee table books
These are more than just books: they're conversation starters, mood-boosters and tear-jerkers. They're Instagram wanderlust fodder in hard copy and, importantly, these books double as chic homeware. Feast your eyes and mind on this coffee-table gold.
Floral Masterpieces: The finest treasures of Pierre-Joseph Redouté
This elegant catalogue will give you green fingers (and probably make you want to frame the pages). Published by Taschen, this stunning title features vibrant botanical watercolours that French artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté painted during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Even today, Redouté’s roses and lilies are still classics.
Vogue: The Covers by Dodie Kazanjian
In this updated edition of the successful Vogue: The Covers, Vogue continues to pay tribute to its tradition of beauty and excellence with a compilation of even more spectacular cover art. In addition to featuring classic covers from the magazine’s 125-year history, this edition features every cover since 2010, with each one displaying the magazine’s cutting-edge takes on style, fashion, and culture. It's a must-have for every fashion lover and collector.
Books of women’s personal essays
The personal essay genre has often been dismissed as the fringe domain of women but the power of these confessional perspectives is responsible for turning a wider cultural tide towards inclusivity and tolerance.
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain
This hilarious and timely essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from comedy star and 2 Dope Queens podcaster Phoebe Robinson was a New York Times bestseller. It's honest and fiercely funny.
Making Babies: Stumbling Into Motherhood
Novelist Anne Enright is one of our most celebrated writers. Her irreverent, unfiltered celebration of motherhood is the book to press into the hands of every friend who comes to you and says "I'm pregnant!". Far more useful than What To Expect When You're Expecting.
Great books by Irish authors
Here’s a selection of some recently published titles to celebrate all things Irish.
The Doctors Wife is Dead by Andrew Tierney
Fans of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher will love this true crime novel. Gothic in tone it documents the mysterious death in 1849 of Ellen Langley in Nenagh, Co.Tipperary. Her husband the local doctor stands trial for murder, amidst controversy and parliamentary debate. This compelling, forgotten story is brought to life by Tierney's forensic reconstruction of events. As an archaeologist and direct descendent of Ellen Langley, he’s well placed to recount this fascinating tale, ultimately exposing a shocking lie.
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
Christine Mangan's debut novel is an exotic, stylish and atmospheric thriller set in 1950’s Tangier. Alice is living with her new husband John when her once inseparable room-mate Lucy Mason turns up out of the blue. Estranged for over a year after a horrific accident, controlling Lucy has come to make amends. In the stifling heat of Morocco John goes missing, and as Alice’s world begins to unravel she starts to question everything, including her own state of mind.
Photo: Matilda, Jersey Films