Today with Sean O'Rourke

    Monday - Friday at 10am



    Book: A Time For Friends

    She’s the doyenne of Irish women’s fiction, having kickstarted the publishing boom in Ireland with her City Girl trilogy. She has just published her 18th novel, and it’s called A Time For Friends. 

    A Time For Friends spans a period of great change in Ireland, moving from pre- to post-boom.Patricia Scanlan joined Sean in studio this morning.

    A Time For Friends by Patricia Scanlan is published by Simon and Schuster at €14.99.

    Connect with Patricia on her Facebook page.


    Jeffrey Archer

    He’s a former deputy chairman of the Conservative party, he’s been rich, and almost bankrupt. He’s been in prison, and he’s sold an estimated 240 million copies of his novels worldwide.

    He is the Tory peer Jeffrey Archer and he joined Sean in studio having just published his latest novel, Mightier Than The Sword, the fifth instalment in your Clifton Chronicles. 

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


    The Girl On The Train

    Time for our montly book club and this month our selection is The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

    Reading it for us were author John Connolly,  former minister for education Mary O’Rourke, author and columnist with teh Irish Examiner, Michael Clifford and Justine McCarthy, columnist with the  Sunday Times.

    Book Club 'Wonder' by R.J Palacio

    This month we are reading Wonder, written by R.J Palacio.

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial difference that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now.

    Read along and let us know what you thought by emailing with Book Club in your subject.


    Alexander McQueen Blood Beneath the Skin

    Alexander McQueen was one of the most controversial fashion designers of his generation. He sent Gwyneth Paltrow in a see-through blouse to the Oscars, sprayed models with paint on the catwalk and was always ready to shock while producing the most exquisitely tailored, powerful clothes. He was also a tormented soul, never far away from the dark side.

    He died tragically in February 2010. Blood beneath the Skin is a new biography of Alexander McQueen written by Andrew Wilson who joined Sean from London.


    Book: Late Fragments: Everything I want to tell You

    Kate Gross was an ambitious young woman when she was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 34. In her 20s, she was the youngest ever advisor to Tony Blair, and in her 30s she went on to set up her own charity in Africa, and she also got married and gave birth to twin sons. 

    Kate’s last gift was to write her memoir, Late Fragments, so her sons could one day discover who their mother was. She died at home on Christmas day in 2014.  

    Joining me now from our Cambridge studios is Kate’s mother, Jean Gross. Good morning Jean and thank you for joining us this morning.

    Late Fragments: Everything I want to tell you (about this magnificent life) by Kate Gross is published by William Collins Books, priced at €19.99.

    Read Kate's blog here


    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

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