Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Book Club

    Valerie Trierweiler shot to international fame when her partner, the French President Francois Hollande, was exposed for having a year-long affair with the actress Julie Gayet.

    After months of rumours, Trierweiler discovered the affair when the celebrity magazine Closer published photographs of Hollande visiting Gayet’s apartment on a motorbike. Trierweiler was subsequently hospitalised, suffering from ‘very strong emotional shock’ and her role as first lady was revoked.

    Less than a year later, she published her explosive memoir, Thank You For This Moment, and it’s our book club choice this month. To discuss, columnist and former editor of The Star Ger Colleran, Natasha Fennell, director of Stillwater Communications, journalist and writer Olivia O'Leary and Michael Colgan, director of the Gate Theatre joined Sean in studio.


    Cultural Preview

    It’s out with the old and in with the new and Edel Coffey is here to tell us about the cultural highlights we can look forward to in 2015.

    January is traditionally a quiet enough time for books and films but we’re hitting the ground running this year, Edel tells us what is in store for 2015.

    For all of Edel's highlights see here.


    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.

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