1. The Raptures, Jan Carson (January)
Carson is one of a growing number of Northern Irish writers making waves across all genres at the moment.
Her gift for dark humour and inventive prose underscores this compelling story of a small rural community gripped by a mysterious illness, leading to a summer no-one will forget.
2. Breaking Point, Edel Coffey (January)
Coffey takes maternal guilt to its apex in this propulsive and harrowing debut novel exploring the deadly outcome of ‘having it all’.
When a high-flying medic makes a devastating mistake leading to the death of her daughter, there is no mercy.
3. To Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara (January)
The author’s 2015 hit novel A Little Life was a powerful and often emotionally gruelling read.
Her latest is equally ambitious and chilling, stretching across three time periods, from an alternative 19th-century New York to a ‘future’ where waves of pandemics sweep the globe.
4. Cruel Deeds, Catherine Kirwan (February)
Cork’s own crime-busting solicitor Finn Fitzpatrick returns in this engaging and entertaining thriller from real-life legal eagle Catherine Kirwan.
The book is steeped in the vernacular and geography of the author’s adopted city as Fitzpatrick discovers some uncomfortable secrets while attempting to get to the bottom of a colleague’s murder.
5. Again, Rachel, Marian Keyes (February)
Keyes revisits one of her most beloved characters, Rachel Walsh, who ended up in rehab in the best-selling Rachel’s Holiday.
Now, 25 years on, life is good but when a man re-emerges from her past, her hard-won stability wobbles.
6. The Letter Home, Rachael English (February)
The RTÉ presenter knows how to spin a satisfying story and in this, her sixth novel, she explores the heartbreaking tale of a young Irish woman during the Famine which reverberates into the present day.
7. When We Were Young, Niamh Campbell (February)
Campbell’s beautifully written debut novel This Happy was an incisive take on relationships, class and privilege.
The Rooney prize winner’s follow-up focuses on the talented and charming photographer Cormac, who faces a reckoning as he approaches 40.
8. Homesickness, Colin Barrett (March)
The Mayo-born author of the acclaimed Young Skins is back with an eagerly-awaited short story collection.
Expect more expertly-observed tales of the unexpected from rural Ireland, revealing the often surreal truth beneath the mundane surface.
9. Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (March)
Yinka is a thirty-something single Londoner whose Nigerian aunties pray for her marriage in this funny and heartwarming debut novel.
The author says she has been at the receiving end of the question in the title of her novel many times, and wanted to write a romcom ‘where Cinderella is Black and no-one bats an eyelid’.
10. Run Rose Run, Dolly Parton and James Patterson (March)
The legendary singer is well known for her philanthropic literacy initiatives and now she puts pen to paper in her first novel, a thriller co-authored with the ubiquitous Patterson.
It tells the story of a singer who flees to Nashville seeking stardom. Naturally enough, the book comes with an accompanying album.
11. Trespasses, Louise Kennedy (April)
Kennedy made a huge impact with her superlative debut collection of short stories, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, a perfectly-pitched exploration of small-town Ireland.
The Sligo-based writer’s debut novel is about a young woman living in a small town in Northern Ireland who embarks on an affair with a married man as political tensions escalate.
12. None of This Is Serious, Catherine Prasifka (April)
There’s lots of buzz about this debut, emanating from another Trinity alumna — to add to the curiosity factor, Prasifka is Sally Rooney’s sister-in-law.
Protagonist Sophie is flailing as her university days come to an end and friendships and relationships begin to fracture. A timely and resonant exploration of the uncertainty of our existence.
13. Seven Steeples, Sara Baume (April)
The West Cork-based author once again partners with Tramp Press for this novella, which she describes as a ‘companion piece’ to her previous book Handiwork.
The book tells the story of a couple who move to the countryside, embracing nature while shunning societal expectations and convention.
14. Young Mungo, Douglas Stuart (April)
The Scottish author won many hearts with his stunning debut Shuggie Bain, which was awarded the Booker Prize.
Young Mungo is a gay Romeo and Juliet for our times as two young men find love across the sectarian divide in urban Glasgow.
15. The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (April)
Fans of the American author’s wonderful 2011 book A Visit from the Goon Squad will be excited for this novel which features many of the same characters and explores the implications of a platform which allows memories to be uploaded to the cloud and accessed by anyone.
16. All Along the Echo, Danny Denton (April)
The Cork-based writer and editor of the Stinging Fly literary magazine follows up his dystopian gangster saga The Earlie King & the Kid in Yellow with this tale of a road trip by a talk-show host and his producer that turns into a surreal personal quest.
17. The Last to Disappear, Jo Spain (May)