The Liberties Upstairs Book Club

The club meets once a month, usually on the first Saturday morning of each month (depending upon circumstances) and we welcome new members. We aim to read a range of genres from the Liberties Press publication list. Members buying the books get a discount on the RRP and complementary coffee and biscuits. If you would like to know more about what the book group has chosen so far, then please read on... 


We began our book club in November 2014, with a collection of short stories, Saltwater from Lane Ashfeldt. The thinking behind choosing short stories for our first proper meeting was that it would be a less daunting beginning for the fledgling Liberties Upstairs club. The choice proved to be good one, as all of our members enjoyed the collection, while not necessarily agreeing on all points. Not surprisingly, one person's favourite story was another member's least favourite story. That difference in viewpoint gave us plenty to talk about, which was useful as our members were only just getting to know one another. 

My approach to the book club is to make it a friendly, casual chat about the book we have read. I would like to draw out and discuss issues arising from the novel/stories/poems but without turning the session into a literature class. We usually have a short 'breaking the ice' chat at the start of the meeting while we all assemble and I put the kettle on (and put the biscuits out!) Then we focus on the book for around an hour of discussion, though we can tend to go over time on occasions. We found that Moyra Donaldson's poetry collection lasted well beyond an hour and we probably could have gone on longer had it not been for prior commitments.

If all of that sounds appealing, then we would love to hear from you. Come along for a 'taster' session if you like and bear in mind that if you sign up, you are not committed to attending every month. Life tends to get in the way of reading sometimes. I do let you off 'homework' if you've had a busy month!

Book Club Update

Our next book club read will be Michael Murphy's second memoir, The House of Pure Being (2013). Here is a little taster:

Michael Murphy’s second volume of prose, The House of Pure Being, charts the author’s experiences and revelations since the release of his best-selling memoir, At Five in the Afternoon. In this sequel, he brings the inspiring stories of his women friends up to date, tackles difficult subjects like the lingering effects of cancer, and the passing of Aengus Fanning (former editor of the Sunday Independent), and writes movingly of his Civil Partnership ceremony to his long-time partner Terry. Michael shares his deeply insightful and unique reflections on writing, art, language, love, family and friendship, and the seductive charms of his beloved Spain. Thought-provoking and eloquent, The House of Pure Being explores the inner complexities of an exceptional writer, and in doing so, highlights the warmth and compassion of a much-admired man.

The book club meets again at 11am on 1 October and prospective new members are always welcome to call in to chat and leave contact details.

Coffee, books and chat...

Coffee, books and chat...




If you are interested in joining the Liberties Upstairs book club:

Contact the book club at You can also tweet to Liberties Upstairs or leave a message on our Facebook page.


Our Book Club Archive: browse our past choices


The Liberties Upstairs Book Club Choices:

Saltwater by Lane Ashfeldt (short stories) November 2014: published in 2014

Something of Myself and Others by Mary Kenny (memoir) December 2014 : published in 2014

The Goose Tree by Moyra Donaldson (poetry) January 2015: published in 2014

The Big Chapel by Thomas Kilroy (historical fiction) March 2015: reprinted by Liberties Press in 2009

Absolute Zero Cool by Declan Burke (crime fiction) April 2015 : published in 2011

Love on the Road 2015 edited by Sam Tranum & Lois Kapila (short stories) May 2015: published in 2015

A Restless Life by Leland Bardwell (memoir) June 2015 : published in 2008

Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (fiction) July 2015: published in 2015

Catching Bats Takes Patience by Mary Kennelly (poetry) August 2015: published in 2015

Sifting: Uncle Ned and Other Stories by Mike Mac Domhnaill (short stories) September 2015: published in 2015

Dublin Nazi No.1: The Life of Adolf Mahr by Gerry Mullins (historical biography) October 2015: published in 2007

Two Sister Singing by Carmen Cullen (fiction) November 2015: published in 2013

The Little Book of Christmas Memories December 2015: published in 2013

A Middle-aged Orpheus Looks Back at his Life (poetry) January 2016: published in 2013

Selected Stories by Benedict Kiely (short stories) February 2016: published in 2011

Citizens by Kevin Curran (fiction) March 2016: published in 2016

I Never Had a Proper Job: A Life in the Theatre by Barry Cassin (memoir) April 2016: published in 2012

Children's Children by Jan Carson (short stories) May 2016: published in 2016