Today with Sean O'Rourke

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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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    Book: Tender

    Belinda McKeon’s 2011 debut novel, Solace, marked the arrival of a striking new voice in Irish fiction. Now, the Longford-born, New York-based writer has just published her second novel, Tender, and she joined Sean in studio.

    Tender is published by Picador and is for sale at €18.99. Belinda will be reading from TENDER at the Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas on Sat 6th June at noon.

    On June 10th at 7pm – she’ll be in Longford County Library and on June 12 will be reading with Sarah Baume at the Dalkey Book Festival.

    Full details are on her website Belindamckeon.com  

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    Book Club - Americanah

    In our book club this month we’ve been reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a book which is nominated for the IMPAC book award later this month.

    Americanah is a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.

    Joining Sean in studio were Chinedu Onyejelem, Editor of Metro Eireann; Natasha Fennell, Director of Stillwater Communications; columnist Ger Colleran and Angela Ficther, a young writer from America via Donegal. 

    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is published by 4th Estate, £8.99.

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    Magdalene Women

    The stories of the Magdalene Laundry survivors are sadly all too familiar to us now. However, while we associate their stories with women who had children out of wedlock, there were many women who found themselves in Magdalene laundries for other reasons.

    A new book, Whispering Hope, tells the story of five women who were confined in the Magdalene Laundries during the 1950s, 60s and 70s and joining Keelin in studio this morning were two of those women, Marina Gambold and Nancy Costello.

    Whispering Hope: The True Story of the Magdalene Women is published by Orion on 28 May, £14.99.

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    George Mitchell - The Negotiator

    On these shores my next guest is best known as primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland but in his time he has also served as an army officer, a lawyer, a state and federal prosecutor, a federal judge, as well as being the majority leader of the US Senate, and special envoy for Middle East peace.

    Couple this with influential roles within Disney, Major League Baseball and the Olympic movement and George Mitchell’s newly-published memoir The Negotiator makes for a fascinating insight into life as a problem-solver. He joined Keelin this morning.

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