Liberties Press Summer Reading List

Literary Fiction

Title:       Sustenance
Opening Line: 'My grandfather, who had once been a ballet dancer, lived in a jewel casket of an apartment near Carnegie Hall.'

During these long summer (sometimes rainy) evenings, what else is there to do but drink fine wines and eat good food? Sustenance is the perfect companion as you do just that! Focusing on the life of Lily Murphy, a restaurant critic, this novel is not only a feast for the eyes but for all the senses. Sustenance pulls the reader into the scents and scenes of the food world as well as the sensuous world of life and love.

'A fine novel that will awaken your appetite for food, for love and above all, for good writing.' Christine Dwyer Hickey (Christine also warned against reading Sustenance on an empty stomach or without a well-stocked fridge!)

Elizabeth Wassell is also the author of Dangerous Pity.
Author: Paul Soye
Opening Line:  'I remember the first night 'on remand' watching the news.'

Published in the Spring, The Boy in the Gap quickly became a bestseller. So if you haven't read it yet, your summer holiday is the perfect chance to catch up with the rest of reading-Ireland! The Boy in the Gap is a beautifully wrought, haunting debut novel which focuses on the life of Jack Sammon, a damaged child who grows up to be a damaged adult.

'A beautifully written book; clear and unadorned; the story of a hidden Ireland, told with compassion and intelligence.' Michael Harding

'[The Boy in the Gap is] a new work of quality and enthralling as it is absorbing... As a first novel, Soye’s The Boy In The Gap is an extraordinary tour de force. Once started, it is a most difficult book to leave down. Let us hope that this writer’s ink 
never stops flowing.' Des Kenny, The Galway Advertiser

Title:  French Leave: An Irishwoman's Adventures in   Normandy
Author:  Liz Ryan
Opening Line: 'Maybe my father had a french mistress.'

Tired of Irish "summers"? Patchy sunshine mixed with torrential rain? Take a leaf out Liz Ryan's book French Leave as she hilariously charts her emigration to Normandy, France and the decade that followed. Liz Ryan left Ireland in the height of the Celtic Tiger, trading in a 12-hour-a-week commute to work for life in a French village. Whether it's something you're already thinking of or can only dream of, this book is a perfect guide to moving abroad.

Liz also needs your help! In March 2011 she created a Facebook page - - to allow her readers to have their say on the decision she now faces: stay in Normandy or return to Ireland? Liz will be 'home' in Ireland in August and it's decision time! So get reading and get voting!
Opening Line: 'That morning, when we left for London, I rose in the dark and went into the big kitchen where the double doors were open to let in the pre-dawn light.'

Ibiza is every party-goers summer destination. But, it was not always so. Decades before the high-rise resorts, Damien Enright, twenty-one years old, arrives with his wife and two children, and finds a handful of down-at-heel foreign bohemians leading wild, hedonistic lives. His marriages breaks down and after two heartbroken years in London, he returns to Ibiza with a new partner and their child. So begins an LSD-fuelled quest for adventure and freedom, that sometimes takes people beyond the law. Dope in the Age of Innocence is a road story about the loss and rediscovery of love in an Ibiza we can no longer imagine.

Author: Twenty-eight contributors & Edited by Declan Burke
Opening Line: 'When I was a boy, I spent my summers in my grandmother's house near Ballylongford, County Kerry, in the southwest of Ireland.' (From John Connolly's essay No Blacks, No Dogs, No Crime Writers: Ireland and the Mystery Genre.)

Summer is that luxurious time of year when we have a little more reading time on our hands and is therefore perfect for getting hooked on a new genre! Let crime fiction be yours! Down These Green Streets is a fantastically detailed compilation of essays, shorts stories and interviews on Irish crime writing. Designed to be accessible to both aficionados and the uninitiated reader alike, this collection offers a unique insight into the phenomenon of Irish crime writing.

'Sublime.' Sunday Independent

'[A] wonderful collection...' The Irish Times

'A fascinating snapshot of this new genre in Irish literature.' Irish Independent

Author:  Shirley Lanigan
Opening Line:  'I am constantly told that I have a great job, visiting gardens.'

In times like these when not everyone can afford a holiday in the sun, Shirley Lanigan's book is a lovely reminder that we don't need to leave our island to find places of wonder to visit! This is a full-colour, beautifully bound handbook to the greatest and most breathtaking gardens across Ireland, both North and South. Lavishly illustrated, this is a must for gardeners and tourists as well as those lovers of beauty planning their summer outings!

'You hear her voice, she is like a companion who goes through the garden with you...The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland is a wonderful addition to the canon of literature on Irish gardens.' Gerry Daly, The Irish Garden

'[The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland] highlights the wealth of great gardens across Ireland...No Tourism Ireland brochure could sell the idea of a staycation better than this book.' John Manley, Irish News

More Liberties Press titles can be found on our website:

Enjoy a summer of reading!