Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Let Me Be Frank With You

    In 1995, Richard Ford won a Pulitzer Prize and the PEN Faulkner Award for his novel, Independence Day. It was the first novel ever to have won both prizes. The book, was the second in his trilogy of novels about the sportswriter-turned-estate agent, Frank Bascombe. That character has become one of the definitive fictional creations of the 20th century.

    With his new book, Let Me Be Frank With You, Richard Ford has returned to his iconic character, and he joined Sean on the line from New Orleans. Richard had said he’d never write about Frank Bascombe again after the last novel, The Lay Of The Land – he tells us what made him go back to him.


    Sports Book of the Year

    There are just a few days of shopping time left now before Christmas is upon us and if you’re stuck for some gift ideas, the bookshop is always a good place to start. Today er took a look at some of the great sports books on offer this year.

    Joining Sean with their recommended reads were Sports Writer with The Sunday Independent, Paul Kimmage, GAA journalist, Orla Bannon and Frank McNally of The Irish Times.

    The Bloodied Field, Michael Foley

    Fields of Fire, Damien Lawlor

    Dalo: The Autobiography, Anthony Daly

    In My Own Words, Paul Galvin

    Night Games, Anna Krien

    Cycle of Lies, Juliet Macur

    Rugby, Ou Sont tes Valeurs, Laurent Benezech

    The Second Half, Roy Keane

    KP: The Autobiography, Kevin Pietersen

    The Test: My Autography, Brian O’Driscoll

    For further detail on these books see here


    Missing, Presumed

    The ‘successful outcome of the investigation of the majority of serious crimes is oftentimes dependent on either the results of the post-mortem examination of the hapless victim, or an analysis of the crime scene itself’.   But what if that is not open to you?   Well that’s certainly what befell the investigations into the disappearance of several Irish women in the mid 1990s. And it was also a major hindrance when a special task force was set up at the end of the decade, to look into any possible links between six of the cases. Operation TRACE as it was known also faced another problem ‘we even lacked the proofs that an actual crime had been committed in any of them’

    Missing, Presumed is the latest book to look at the cases of Annie McCarrick, Jo Jo Dollard etc and it is written by Retired Detective Sergeant Alan Bailey who for thirteen years worked as National Co-ordinator or Operation TRACE who joined Sean in studio this morning.


    Books for Christmas

    This month as part of our monthly books round up we’re looking at gift books for Christmas. Joining Sean this morning were author and lecturer Eibhear Walshe, and Edel Coffey.

    VIVIENNE WESTWOOD by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly

    Vivienne Westwood is one of the icons of our age. Fashion designer, activist, co-creator of punk, global brand and grandmother; a true living legend. Her career has successfully spanned five decades and her work has influenced millions of people across the world. This is a personal memoir describing the events, people and ideas that have shaped her extraordinary life. It’s really quite inspirational. There’s lots of glamour but she doesn’t buy into it.

    See all book recommendations here.


    Jimmy White

    Being good at snooker suggests a misspent youth, so people say. And young Jimmy White of Tooting, South London, was very good at snooker and seemingly allergic to school. He would go on to become a household name and rival Alex Higgins for the title of ‘the people’s champion’.

    He has just written his second autobiography because as he says he ‘held back’ the first time around and now wants to get the real story out there. Jimmy White joined Sean in studio this morning.


    Reeva: A Mother's Story

    Last February, the reality TV programme Tropika Island of Treasure was bound to make Reeva Steenkamp a household name in South Africa. Unfortunately her violent and confusing death only two days before the programme was due to be broadcast, made her a worldwide name.

    The subsequent court case – which also played out on television – was dubbed ‘the trial of the century’. For Reeva’s mother June it was essential that she attend the proceedings to both see justice served and to reclaim her daughter’s name so that she wasn’t merely ‘the model girlfriend’ of Oscar Pistorius, a ‘reality TV star’ or most hurtfully ‘the deceased’ of the trial.

    They had she says ‘the closest mother daughter bond imaginable’ and now that the court case is behind them June Steenkamp is looking to honour her daughter’s legacy by setting up the Reeva Steenkamp Foundation. And with that in mind, she has just written ‘Reeva: A Mother’s Story’ and she joined Sean this morning.


    Kieran Conway - Author of Southside Provisional

    Kieran Conway was rared in an affluent suburb of South County Dublin and educated at Blackrock College and then UCD. His new book, Southside Provisional: From Freedom Fighter to the Four Courts, charts his personal journey from teenage middleclass anglophile to committed IRA activist, now a practising solicitor in Dublin.


    Books Roundup

    Broadcaster and journalist Edel Coffey and Stephen Boylan from Easons joined Sean for our monthly books roundup.

    We’ll be looking at gift books a little later in the month but we think that many of these books will be on a lot of people’s Christmas lists too.  

    The Woman Who Stole My Life / Marian Keyes

    Academy Street / Mary Costello

    Let Me Be Frank With You / Richard Ford

    Revival / Stephen King

    Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow / Sophia Loren

    Crossing The Line / Luis Suarez 

    Yes Please / Amy Poehler

    New Selected Poems 1988-2013 / Seamus Heaney

    Some Luck / Jane Smiley

    The Burning Room / Michael Connelly

    Alexander McCall Smith / Emma

    The Fires of Autumn / Irene Nemirovsky

    Coming Home for Christmas / Patricia Scanlan

    The Best of Miriam Lord / Miriam Lord

    Lila / Marilynne Robinson 

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