Non-Fiction Titles

(Please note that the list of non-fiction titles runs to 22pages. You may wish to highlight and select to print less)

Non-Fiction titles are organised according to author surname.






Author Surnames  A-E

The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou

Book cover imageA memoir from the bestselling African-American poet, Angelou, exposes a turbulent period of her life as she struggles to raise a child, fulfil her goals as a writer, and fight for civil rights in an age of injustice.










A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous

Book cover imageBetween April 20th and June 22nd of 1945, the anonymous author of A Woman in Berlin wrote about life within the falling city as it was sacked by the Russian Army. She describes her experiences and observations in this stark and vivid diary.












Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan

Book cover imageArrested in Liverpool as an agitator for the IRA, Brendan Behan was tried and sent to reform school. He was sixteen years old. The world he entered was brutal and coldly indifferent. Conditions were primitive, and violence simmered just below the surface. Yet, Behan found something more positive than hate in borstal: friendship, solidarity and healing flashes of kindness. Extraordinarily vivid, fluent, and moving, it is a superb and unforgettable piece of writing.











Walking the Road: A Play by Dermot Bolger

Book cover image“You could be famous, Frank, have your words printed in the Drogheda Independent”. Lance Corporal Francis Ledwidge lost his life in Flanders Fields, 1917, while serving with the British army in WWI. One of Ireland’s finest poets, Ledwidge left the familiarity of his Co. Meath home and loved ones and joined the British army to follow the fate of so many other young men of that doomed generation.










The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Book cover imageOnce known only by an elite who were unwilling to share their knowledge of the power, 'the secret' of obtaining anything you desire is now revealed by prominent physicists, authors and philosophers as being based in the universal Law of Attraction. The good news is that anyone can access its power to bring themselves health, wealth and happiness. A number of the exceptional people who discovered its power went on to become regarded as the greatest human beings who ever lived. Among them: Plato, Leonardo, Galileo and Einstein. Now 'the secret' is being shared with the world.

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Author Surnames   F-J

The Transformation of Ireland: 1900 - 2000 by Diarmaid Ferriter

Book cover imageThis is a ground-breaking history of the twentieth century in Ireland.It is significant that it begins in 1900 and ends in 2000. Most accounts have begun in 1912 or 1922 and largely ignored the end of the century. Politics and political parties are examined in detail but high politics does not dominate the book, which rather sets out to answer the question: 'What was it like to grow up and live in 20th-century Ireland?' It makes extensive use of unused or neglected sources. It deals with the North in a comprehensive way, focusing on the social and cultural aspects, not just the obvious political and religious divisions.


The Vatican Pimpernel by Brian Fleming

Book cover imageDuring the German occupation of Rome from 1942 to 1944, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a Kerryman and Vatican diplomat, devoted himself to running an escape organisation for Allied POWS, civilians and Jews. Safe within the Vatican with diplomatic immunity, he ventured out in disguise on a regular basis, building a network of contacts and safe locations. When the Allies arrived he had saved over 6,000 and was known as the ‘Pimpernel of the Vatican’.


The Accidental Adventurer by Ben Fogle

Book cover imageBen Fogle's life to date has been action-packed to say the least. He has rowed across the Atlantic, walked to the South Pole, run the Sahara and skated across Sweden. He has encountered remote tribespeople in deepest Papua New Guinea This is not just another tale of derring-do for its own sake. Rather it's a book about defying expectations, conquering shyness, battling laziness and, just occasionally, winning.


Preventing the Future by Tom Garvin

Book cover imageFrom the mid-thirties through to 1960, independent Ireland suffered from economic stagnation, and also went through a period of intense cultural and psychological repression. While external circumstances account for much of the stagnation, Garvin argues that the situation was aggravated by internal circumstances. The key domestic factor was the failure to extend higher and technical education and training to larger sections of the population. This resulted in large numbers of young people being denied preparation for life in the modern world and, arguably, denied Ireland a sufficient supply of trained labour and educated citizens.


Father and I: A Memoir by Carlo Gebler

Book cover imageCarlo Gebler's childhood was one of prohibitions: no sweets, no comics, no toys, no friends to the house to play; a childhood dominated by his father Ernest’s belief in discipline and Joseph Stalin. When Carlo’s mother, Edna O'Brien, eclipsed her husband's literary success, Ernest Gebler convinced himself that he was the writer of her books, a strain which broke up the family. After years of silence, Carlo finally discovered both the truth about his father and feelings which he had not known himself capable of. "You cannot change the past, but with understanding you can sometimes draw the poison out of It”.




The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton

Book cover image"We wear Aran sweaters and Lederhosen. We are forbidden from speaking English. We are trapped in a language war. We are the Speckled People." Hugo Hamilton tells the haunting story of his German-Irish childhood in 1950s Dublin. His Gaelic-speaking, Irish nationalist father rules the home with tyranny, while his German-speaking mother rescues her children with cakes and stories of her own struggle against Nazi Germany. Out on the streets of Dublin is another country, where they are taunted as Nazis and subjected to a mock Nuremberg trial. Through the eyes of a child, this rare and shockingly honest book gradually makes sense of family, language, and identity, unlocking at last the secrets that his parents kept in the wardrobe.


Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996 by Seamus Heaney

Book cover imageIn ‘Digging’, the first poem in this collection, Heaney likens his pen to both spade and gun. With these metaphors in place, he makes clear his difficult poetic task: to delve into the past, both personal and historic, while ever mindful of the potentially fatal power of language.



Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones

Book cover imageTwo plays by award-winning playwright Marie Jones. Stones in His Pockets, about the filming of a Hollywood epic in rural Ireland, features a pair of film extras, Charlie and Jake, who tell the story by taking on all the roles themselves. A Night in November follows Kenneth McCallister, family man and Ulsterman, on the fateful night in November in Belfast when the Republic of Ireland qualifies against Northern Ireland for the World Cup, and Kenneth finds himself watching the sectarian hatred of the crowd rather than the football.


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Memoir by John McGahern

Book cover imageThis is the story of John McGahern's childhood, his mother's death, his father's anger and violence, and how, through his discovery of books, his dream of becoming a writer began. At the heart of Memoir is a son's unembarrassed tribute to his mother. His memory of walks with her through the narrow lanes to the country schools where she taught and his happiness as she named for him the wild flowers on the bank remained conscious and unconscious presences for the rest of his life. A classic family story, told with exceptional restraint and tenderness, Memoir cannot fail to move all those who read it.


Renegades: Irish Republican Women 1900 - 1922 by Ann Matthews

Book cover imageRenegades details the tragedies, triumphs, politics and conflicts experienced by Irish women during the country's War of Independence and Civil War. It will shock and possibly disturb any romanticised views of their role in this period of Irish history because the reality of the abuse of women within the general population by both sides in both Wars is absent in most histories of the period. But this 'war on women', which manifested itself in the form of physical and sexual assaults meant that many women suffered a terror that was not confined to armed conflict.


Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan

Book cover image“At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a travel warrant, a white feather and a picture of Hitler marked 'This is your enemy'. I searched every compartment, but he wasn't on the train’'. Spike Milligan's on the march, blitzing friend and foe alike with his uproarious recollections of army life from enlistment to the landing at Algiers in 1943.




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Author Surnames   P-T


The Essential Rumi by Jelaluddin Rumi

Book cover imageThe writing of inspirational Persian mystic Jelaluddin Rumi is central to the literature of Sufism, an ancient contemplative form of Islam. A revered teacher and founder of the order of the Whirling Dervishes, he writes illuminatingly on a wide range of themes, from beauty and love to the experience of God and the attainment of true knowledge.









The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Book cover imageHer name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells - taken without her knowledge - became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. Yet Henrietta's family did not learn of her 'immortality' until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences. Balancing the beauty and drama of scientific discovery with dark questions about who owns the stuff our bodies are made of, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an extraordinary journey in search of the soul and story of a real woman, whose cells live on today in all four corners of the world.








The Child that Books Built by Francis Spufford

Book cover imageWhat would you find if you went back and reread all of your favourite books from childhood? Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness, in this beautifully written memoir. Fairy tales, Where the Wild Things Are, Lord of the Rings, the Narnia books, The Little House on the Prairie, The Earthsea Trilogy Re-reading and re-living these books, and investigating their literary origins and rich histories, Spufford reveals what it was like to be an obsessive reader as a child. As the book unfolds, he gradually uncovers his own childhood, and his unique reason for taking refuge in stories.



Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

Book cover imageWhen he was almost sixty years old, worried that he might have lost touch with the sights, the sounds and the essence of America's people, Steinbeck took note of his itchy feet and prepared to travel. He was accompanied by his French poodle, Charley, diplomat and watchdog, across the states of America from Maine to California. Moving through the woods and deserts, dirt tracks and highways to large cities and glorious wildernesses, Steinbeck observed - with remarkable honesty and insight, with a humorous and sometimes sceptical eye - America, and the Americans who inhabited it


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Author Surnames   U-Z


Why be Happy When You Could be Normal by Jeanette Winterson

Book cover imageIn 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It was Jeanette's version of the story of a terraced house in Accrington, an adopted child, and the thwarted giantess Mrs Winterson. It was a cover story, a painful past written over and repainted. It was a story of survival. This book is that story's the silent twinIt is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life. It is about the pursuit of happiness, about lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again. 










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