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The Best of intentions, but Parkinson fails to score

The Best of intentions, but Parkinson fails to score

All the world’s a page

All the world’s a page

From memoirs to music, politics to sport, let Andrew Lynch and Nadine O’Regan be your guides to the must-read books of the year

A genius answers your biggest questions, mostly with simplicity

A genius answers your biggest questions, mostly with simplicity

Based around ten questions Stephen Hawking was commonly asked by politicians, journalists and fellow academics, the book mostly uses science as a mere jumping-off point to discuss the future of humanity as well

Wry, wonderful and downright weird

Wry, wonderful and downright weird

Rob Doyle casts his net far and wide in his anthology of experimental Irish literature – no writer is too out there, no writing too difficult to include

Carefully unpicking one of the Troubles’ grimmest episodes

Carefully unpicking one of the Troubles’ grimmest episodes

The New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe dives deep into Jean McConville's story and the horrors that befell her orphaned children, many of whom ended up in care, in this vivid account of the Troubles

The former First Lady shares recollections of life in the White House

The former First Lady shares recollections of life in the White House

O’Donnell evokes sinister Victorian scenes with some panache

O’Donnell evokes sinister Victorian scenes with some panache

A boxer’s story is anchored in affairs of the heart

A boxer’s story is anchored in affairs of the heart

The kindness of strangers

The kindness of strangers

Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish writer and film-maker specialising in long-distance, human-powered journeys. He has cycled from New York to Hong Kong, walked 3,000 miles across China, trekked 1,000 miles through the Empty Quarter desert and travelled along Iran’s longest river by a variety of human-powered methods. His most recent trips have been following the Santa Cruz River in Patagonia on horseback and walking from Jerusalem to Mount Sinai. In this essay from The Kindness of Strangers, he contemplates the very simple act of human generosity

‘I’ve never made a plan about anything in life. You should always be open to changing things’

‘I’ve never made a plan about anything in life. You should always be open to changing things’

He chronicled the ups and downs of Celtic Tiger Ireland. Now, as the country appears poised to enter a new mini-boom, David McWilliams is back with another state-of-the-nation address, writes Nadine O’Regan

Tóibín’s fascinating study writes literary fathers into their sons’ stories

Tóibín’s fascinating study writes literary fathers into their sons’ stories

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know is based on a series of lectures that Tóibín delivered in honour of the late biographer Richard Ellmann at Emory University in Georgia last year

Psychoanalysis through the prism of comedy

Psychoanalysis through the prism of comedy

Robin Ince is not your average comedian. He has co-presented the BBC Radio 4 science/comedy series, The Infinite Monkey Cage, since 2009, and is the co-creator of a hugely popular science app and online magazine

A positivity manual to extract maximum joy from your life

A positivity manual to extract maximum joy from your life

The more philosophically minded might question the worthiness of achieving joy as an end in itself, but Fetell Lee makes a convincing case for the proposition, contending that small adjustments to our surroundings can be socially useful as well as self-enriching

Second volume of de Valera biography looks at political years

Second volume of de Valera biography looks at political years

While the first volume, Rise, was chiefly about Dev the revolutionary, Rule focuses on Dev the politician

Personal essays amount to more than mere musings of a comic millennial

Personal essays amount to more than mere musings of a comic millennial

Like many other female writers of her generation, Abbi Jacobson is well capable of recognising the narcissistic feel to her contemplations. She is viciously self-aware, almost to the point of cruelty