Today with Sean O'Rourke

    Monday - Friday at 10am



    Book: The Utopia Experiment

    We’ve all wondered at one time or another, what the world would be like after some apocalyptic event. It’s long been the stuff of science fiction.  Who would survive, where would they live and would they be able to rebuild society and our culture as was, or would they retreat to a hunter/gatherer state?  Less than a decade ago, Dylan Evans decided to sell his house, quit his job and launch what he dubbed the Utopia Experiment.  In the Scottish Highlands he and his fellow volunteers would live a primitive existence in the wild as if they had survived such a cataclysmic global event.  His book also called The Utopia Experiment is the story of what happened.

    He joined Sean from our BBC studio.


    Cameron's Coup: How the Tories took Britain to the Brink

    His government has deepened the divide between rich and poor, left and right, young and old,  town and country. Having no grasp of the national interest he has increased the tension between the nations that make up his country. His party is one of - 'shrunken aspirations'.

    These are just some of the criticisms of David Cameron and the Conservative Party made in a book called Cameron's Coup: How the Tories took Britain to the Brink.

    The authors of this caustic review of David Cameron's first five years in office are Polly Toynbee and tain and David Walker and Polly was in our London studio.


    Bill Browder: Red Notice

    'History has shown that anyone can be killed'.  That quote from the Godfather 2 was in a text composed by a member of the Russian secret police, and intended for Bill Browder, my next guest.

    Bill founded Hermitage Capital, a Moscow-based hedge fund that was once one of the world's most successful.  He is now a campaigner against human rights abuses and corruption in Russia. Putin's forces have already killed one of his colleagues, and the Russian government is seeking his extradition.

    His newly-published memoir is Red Notice: How I became Putin's number 1 Enemy available now, published by Transworld Books, price £13.99.


    Aengus Finucane - In the Heart of Concern

    “Do as much as you can, as well as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can" – that was the simple philosophy of the late Father Aengus Finucane, the renowned Irish missionary who was at the forefront of Ireland’s humanitarian efforts in the developing world as he helped build the Concern charity organisation over 40 years up to his death in 2009. Deirdre Purcell has interviewed over 80 people who knew him in researching her newly published biography Aengus Finucane: In The Heart of Concern. Deirdre joins me now in studio, and I’m also joined by Aengus’ brother Father Jack Finucane, whose own lifelong efforts in the developing world are on a par with his elder sibling.

    "Aengus Finucane: In the Heart of Concern" is to be launched by former President Mary Robinson in Hodges Figgis bookshop in Dublin on Tuesday February 17. 

    Published by New Ireland Press, €24.99

    Read More: A man of real Concern: Charity leader Aengus Finucane, Sean Farrell, Independent, 25th Jan 2015

    Read More: Aengus Finucane biography, Michael Commane,, 3rd Feb 2015


    20 Years in Politics and Second Novel Published

    Liz McManus may be best known as the former deputy leader of the Labour party, but before she was a politician she was an author and it is to writing that she has returned since her retirement in 2011. She has just published her second novel, The Shadow In The Yard. 

    The Shadow in the Yard is published by Ward River Press, priced at €15.99.

    Liz McManus will be reading from her book on Thurs Feb 19th at 7.30pm in Rathgar Bookshop, Rathgar, Dublin and admission is €4 to include a glass of wine. She will also be reading in Charlie Byrne's Bookshop on Middle St. in Galway on Friday the 27th at 6.30pm and admission is free.

    Read More: Book Review: A Shadow in the Yard, Eilis O'Hanlon,, 8th Feb 2015


    Charles: The Heart of a King

    In her explosive new book on Prince Charles, Catherine Mayer reveals Clarence House as filled with mistrust and backstabbing aides, one of whom compared Charles’s household to ‘Wolf Hall.’

    Joining from our London studios was Catherine Mayer, author of Charles: The Heart Of A King. 



    Two weeks ago, Shane Hegarty wrote his final column in The Irish Times. In the year before that, he gave up his role as the newspaper’s Arts Editor, after landing a staggering four-book deal with Harper Collins Children for his Young Adult series “DARKMOUTH”.

    The first installment is published this week, and it has just been announced that the film rights have been sold for a substantial amount. Shane Hegarty joined Sean in studio to talk about the book and upcoming film.

    Darkmouth is published by Harper Collins.


    Academy Street, Mary Costello

    It’s time now for our book club and this month we’ve been reading Mary Costello’s award-winning debut novel Academy Street. The book tells the story of Tess, from her time growing up in the west of Ireland in the 1940s and then later as an emigrant in New York City.

    In studio to review this morning were author Sinead Moriarty; Ger Colleran, columnist with The Irish Star; Natasha Fennel, Director of Stillwater Communications; and author and lecturer Eibhear Walshe.

    Academy Street is published by Canongate, €15.99.

    Our book club choice for February is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, read along with us and let us know what you make of it by emailing with Book Club in the subject box.


    Cut the Crap

    Ruth Field is a criminal lawyer who came up with a plan to get fit while she was pregnant with twins and under doctors’ orders not to run. The result was her best-selling book Run Fat B!tch Run, and she’s just published her third book, Cut The Crap, a no-nonsense plan for a healthy body and mind.

    CUT THE CRAP by Ruth Field is published by Sphere, €15.99.

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