Readers' Recommendations

Our Books


Bob Johnston

Dublin via Brighton

Where in Dublin do you live?
Where are you from?

What are you reading right now?

I Confess by Alex Barclay.

Tell us a bit about it:

New crime thriller based on the Beara Peninsula by an Irish crime author.

What is your favourite book of all time?

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler.

Tell us a bit about it:

A beautifully told story of an ageing couple and their marriage. Moving and emotionally astute about what makes relationships work (and what doesn't...).

What book do you remember most from your childhood? And Why?

Little Richard by Patricia M. Scarry.

Tell us a bit about it:

Mum used to read us these bedtime stories by the wife of famous children's book illustrator Richard Scarry. The story of a small rabbit and his best porcupine friend, they remind of bedtime giggles and my early love of stories.

Which of your books is battered from using over and over again?

What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe.

Tell us a bit about it:

I discovered this book in my early 20s after being loaned it by a flatmate. I bought my own copy and have pressed it into so many people's hands since - it's funny, clever and brilliantly constructed as a novel.

What is your favourite book by an International writer?

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata.

Tell us a bit about it:

I read this recently and loved it. Sayaka Murata is a Japanese writer and 'Convenience Store Woman' is a short quirky novel about a woman who works in... a convenience store! It's darkly comic but also explores Japanese society's expectations of what we should do with our lives to be worthwhile citizens and what happens if we refuse to fulfil those expectations.

Which book do you feel depicts your own or another culture most vividly?

Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Tell us a bit about it:

Dickens is the king of English observational novels and his depictions of 19th Century London still resonate today with characters that we can all recognise. I read a Dickens novel every Christmas and his descriptions of English life and people always remind me of the London I knew and the perversity of English culture.

Was there a book that really changed your mind about something? How?

You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr.

Tell us a bit about it:

This recent novel by Damian Barr juxtaposes a woman's life in the Boer War in South Africa where she is incarcerated with her child in the first concentration camps invented by the English, with a contemporary story of a young man sent to a training camp 'to make him a proper man'. It's a brutal and horrific examination of what people are capable of doing to each other and how they justify it, as well as the ongoing effects history has on the present.


The Books

We have been finding out about the books that matter to you, to grow this virtual bookshelf that represents the lives, families and culture of the people that call Dublin home. Here are a selection of some of the books that you have been telling us …

Share Your Favourites?

We want to hear about the books that matter to you. Tell us about your most cherished books, what you’re reading right now, your favourite book from your childhood, and the books that make up the story of your life. Share your recommended reads and take part here

Take Part

For more information, please email us at:

Follow us on:
Our City Our Books. Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved.Designed by: Motif. Built by: Blackbird