Inside The Peloton: My Life as a Professional Cyclist
by Nicolas Roche
Nicolas Roche has a famous surname to all fans of cycling. The son of legendary Irish and World Champion Stephen Roche, Nicolas had to fight to make it as a professional and even harder to make his mark as his own man on this toughest of competitive sports.
His rise up the ranks has been meteoric, with top 15 finishes in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España in 2010, but his attitude to his chosen profession has remained undimmed. Honest, eloquent and passionate about how the cycling world should be, Nicolas has gained acclaim and a devoted fan following for his Tour diaries serialised in the Irish Independent.
Now a major contender for a podium finish in a grand tour, Nicolas is ready to expand on those diaries and to tell in full the story of life in the peloton and of the remarkable events that have brought him this far. From furious spats with teammates and exhilarating races against the world's best, this is a gripping cycling adventure and sportsman's tale.
by David Monagan
Where is Ireland's soul? This is the question that surface time and again in Ireland Unhinged, a searching, sometimes scathing, often hilarious journey through a country that in the space of a few years has fallen from the dizzy heights of the 'bouncy-castle' boom to the bewildering depths of the crash.
Ireland Unhinged is a story of reverse emigration to Cork City and then rural Waterford, from cosy US confines to the true Wild West of these last years. David Monagan's sharp eye pinpoints the excesses and absurdities of modern Ireland. But his real search is for the enduring essence of his adopted country, as revealed in his meetings with literary legends, with witches and monks, with property developers and gnomic farmers.
Itis a riveting memoir of a family adapting to a strange land, and an unflinching portrait of Ireland today.
Isn't It Well For Ye?: The Book of Irish Mammies
by Colm O'Regan
A BOOK if you don’t mind! And him with a degree and a job and all.
Everyone should have an Irish Mammy. She’s never short of advice, a kind word and a cup of tea (making sure to scald the teapot first, of course).
Bring the coat anyway. If it’s too hot you can take it off.
Comedian Colm O’Regan explores the phenomenon of the Irish Mammy and what she might say about everything from the ‘new mass’ to the cardinal sin of not owning a cough bottle and the importance of airing clothes properly. The global influence of the Irish Mammy, through history, science, politics and literature, is undeniable. Did you know, for instance, that Hamlet had an Irish Mammy?
So if you’re an Irish Mammy, have one, know one or suspect you might be turning into one, this book will act as your guide. But be aware that though this book might think it knows it all, it doesn’t, only Mammy knows it all.
Jiving At The Crossroads (New Edition)
by John Waters
In 1991, Ireland was in the midst of a devastating recession; thousands of young Irish men and women had emigrated over the previous decade, and divisive social and moral debates on abortion and divorce had rocked Irish society. The great pillars of society - politics and religion - were beginning to crumble, a process that continued in subsequent years as both institutions were hit by scandal. A questioning of the values on which Ireland had been built had begun, with an apparently unbridgeable divide opening between 'traditionalists' and 'modernizers'. At the start of the decade, the modernizers appeared to have won, with the election as President of the iconic Mary Robinson.
Irish Times columnist John Waters captured the zeitgeist of the time with the hugely successful Jiving at the Crossroads, which sold over 50,000 copies. A defining book of the era, its success was partly due to its remarkable blending of social/cultural commentary with personal memoir. At the emotional core of the book was the relationship between John and his father, and the story of Ireland was intricately woven into this powerful narrative. It was the first in a long line of books to question the very notion of modern Irish identity, and to examine the deep-rooted tensions at the heart of the Irish psyche.
Twenty years later, much has changed in Ireland, and yet Jiving at the Crossroads remains a deeply resonant book, particularly in the light of the remarkable rise and precipitous fall of the Celtic Tiger, and the fresh questioning of how we got where we are now. This twentieth anniversary reissue of a landmark book, with a new Afterword, will be welcomed by those who remember it, and will be a fascinating insight for a new generation of Irish people.
Joking Apart: My Autobiography
by Donncha O'Callaghan
Donncha O'Callaghan is one of Ireland's leading international rugby players, and a stalwart of the Munster side. He was a key figure in the Irish team which won the IRB 6 Nations Grand Slam in 2009, and has won two Heineken Cup medals and two Magners League titles with Munster.
But that success did not come easy. For such a well known player with a larger-than-life reputation, his long battle to make a breakthrough at the highest level is largely unknown. In this honest and revealing autobiography, Donncha talks in detail about the personal setbacks and disappointments at Munster and the unconventional ways he dealt with the frustration of not making the team for four of five years in his early 20s.
He had a parallel experience with Ireland where it took him nearly six years to get from fringe squad member to established first choice player. Here he talks candidly about how he brought discipline to his game, and about his relationships with the coaches who had overlooked him and the second row rivals who had kept him on the bench.
Donncha talks also with great warmth about a hectic childhood that was shaped by the death of his father when he was only six years old. One of the heroes of his story is his mother Marie who showed incredible strength and resourcefulness to rear a family of five on her own.
Often deservedly regarded as 'the joker in the pack', what is often less well known is the serious attitude and intensely professional approach Donncha brings to his rugby. Joking Apart gives the full picture, showing sides of the man that will be unfamiliar to followers of Irish rugby and will surprise the reader.