Author Paul Breen comes up with a set of books that he has resolved to read in the New Year and offers his reasons why. What’s on your 2018 reading list? Tell us in the comments section below.
1. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Six months ago, I had never watched a single episode of Game of Thrones which has taken the world by storm this past decade. Literally, a very icy storm that has captivated the minds of millions! Strangely then, I got addicted to the show in the middle of last summer. After downloading the first episode to see what the fuss was about, I found myself locked indoors on sunny days seeking my next fix. Within six weeks I had caught up on seven years’ worth of shows. Now, waiting for the next series to start, in the absence of dragons and dwarves, I am turning my attention to the series of epic fantasy novels – A Song of Ice and Fire – that inspired the show.
2. Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast by Charlie Connelly
This 2005 publication by Charlie Connelly is one that I have been planning to read for quite a while and finally have the chance after my wife bought me a copy for Christmas. Similar to myself, the author has both London and Irish connections, and is a fan of Charlton Athletic. Good reasons to finally get around to reading this book which was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week back in its day.
3. The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
2018 is going to bring us the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War One, and still we aren’t any closer to realising the dream of the many soldiers who fought a war in 1914-18 to end all wars. English poet and soldier Wilfred Owen was only 25 years of age when he died on 4th November 1918, just one week away from The Great War officially ending. Renowned as one of the finest poets in the war generation, his work deserves a sombre visit in this next calendar year.
4. A United Ireland: Why Unification Is Inevitable and How It Will Come About by Kevin Meagher
In these days of heightened attention to the political situation on both sides of the Atlantic, in Britain and America, it’s inevitable that I’m planning to read something that serves as a political commentary on these uncertain times. Being Irish, this book by English political commentator Kevin Meagher stands out as a must read and very timely publication. As Britain heads out of Europe, the tide of opinion is changing as regards Irish unification and in this work, the author puts forward an economic argument which has long been missing in the heated discussions that arise in Ireland, north and south, around this issue.