Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Books

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    Sebastian Faulks - Where My Heart Used to Beat

    To some listeners, our next guest is perhaps known as the writer of the James Bond tribute novel ‘Devil May Care’, but to many more, he is the author of the hugely acclaimed novel, ‘Birdsong’.

    Where My Heart Used to Beat is the title of his latest book. It tells the story of Robert Hendricks, a disillusioned psychiatrist who is unexpectedly forced to confront the events that made up his life.

    Sebastian Faulks spoke to Sean this morning.

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    Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

    Sinead Crowley, arts and media correspondent for RTÉ news joined Sean on the line following the announcement of the Man Booker Prize shortlist, a varied list but no sign of Irish author Anne Enright for The Green Road. 

    Those who have made it on to the list are: 

    Satin Island Tom McCarthy,
    Chigozie Obioma The Fishermen
    THe Year of the Runaways Sunjeev Sahota
    Anne Tyler A Spool of Blue Thread
    Hanya Yanagihara A Little Life
    A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James

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    Book: The Great Betrayal

    Former Sunday Independent political columnist John Drennan may have recently left the world of journalism to serve as a political strategist with Renua Ireland but he remains committed to print with the publication of his latest book.

    His new offering is titled The Great Betrayal: How The Government with the Largest Majority in the History of the Irish State Lost It’s People – it serves as his account of our current coalition government and what he asserts will be its legacy. In it he traces the uncertainty of our political times, and how our political landscape has changed since Fine Gael and Labour took power in 2011, if at all. He joined Sean in studio this morning. 

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    Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood

    Any pregnant woman would be forgiven for being baffled by the vast array of information on offer about childbirth. Irish midwife and antenatal teacher Nancy Murphy has just published her own guide - Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood – and she joined Keelin from our Limerick studios.

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    The Book Club - Tender

    It was time this morning for our book club to come back together and this month we’ve been reading Irish author Belinda McKeon’s new novel Tender.

    Joining Sean in studio were John Lyons, Labour TD for Dublin North-West; author and football commentator Eamon Dunphy, author and actor Mary McEvoy and author and singer Mary Coughlan who have all been reading the book for us.

    Belinda McKeon’s Tender is published by Picador at £13.99.

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    Summer Reads

    For many of us, the holiday season gives us the rare opportunity to get into a good book, and with time of the essence we don’t want to waste a moment on a dreary read.

    With so many new books hitting the shelves... not least Harper Lee’s second book released today,  it can be hard to know which ones to choose that will have us madly turning pages down by the pool. So we’ve brought in the experts, Bob Johnston of the Gutter Bookshop and author Cathy Kelly who have with them a bundle of their best picks for the summer holidays.

    Listen to Reese Witherspoon reading chapter one of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman below.

    See all of Cathy Kelly's and Bob Johnston's recommendations here.

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    My Mother's Secret - Sheila O'Flanagan

    Just over 15 years ago, Dubliner Sheila O’Flanagan left a career in finance to follow her dream of writing fiction.

    She has just finished her 20th novel, My Mother’s Secret, and she joined Sean in studio this morning. 

    My Mother’s Secret is released on July 2nd in paperback via Headline Review, priced €13.99.

     

    Sheila O'Flanagan and Sean in studio

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    Book Club - Mightier Than The Sword

    This month we’ve been reading an unashamed holiday read – the latest Jeffrey Archer blockbuster, Mightier Than The Sword.

    Joining Sean to review the book were Michael Colgan, Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre, broadcaster Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh and Natasha Fennell, Director of Stillwater Communications.

    Mightier Than The Sword by Jeffrey Archer is published by Pan MacMillan and is priced at €17.99.

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    It's All in Your Head - Imaginary Illness

    Word association, ‘psychosomatic’, what would you say? Chancer? Hypochondriac? Well you might be forgiven for thinking so, for as a society we have a very dim view of illnesses that present in people with no medical explanation. We assume they are in some way putting it on or are perhaps flawed in some way. 

    And it seems even medical professionals have a history of denigrating such patients. One who doesn’t however is Irish woman Suzanne O’Sullivan who is a consultant neurologist who over two decades has developed a keen interest in getting to the bottom of these psychosomatic illnesses.  She has just written the excellently titled book:“It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness” and she joined Sean this morning.

    Book Club: Mightier than the Sword

    A quick reminder that our next book club will take place on Thursday 25th June and, for the month that’s in it, we will be discussing a big blockbuster, summer read of a book – Jeffrey Archer’s latest  - Mightier Than The Sword.

    If you've read the book or are reading along now, get in touch by emailing todaysor@rte.ie with Book Club in the subject line. 

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