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These books are fighting to be named the best in Ireland

The shortlist has just been announced.

One of the nominated authors, Donal Skehan.
One of the nominated authors, Donal Skehan.
Image: Facebook

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a great book by an Irish author, this latest shortlist for the Irish Book Awards is for you.

It’s the 10th year of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, and this year’s shortlist features a diverse array of acclaimed Irish authors across a range of genres for adults and children.

TheJournal.ie is delighted to sponsor the Best Irish Published Book of the Year category, where the nominees include Jennifer Goff and Sinead Gleeson.

The titles were chosen from hundreds of books submitted for consideration. You get your say too – from today, the public can cast their vote on the best books via the awards website. Last year, over 45,000 readers and book lovers voted to select the winners.

Tweet by @BGEIrish Book Awards Source: BGEIrish Book Awards/Twitter

Votes can be cast until midnight on 20 November 2015 and the winners will be announced at a gala event in Dublin’s Double Tree by Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, 25 November.

The awards have gone from just three categories in 2006 to 13 today. The highlights of the show will also be broadcast on RTÉ.

Brendan Corbett, Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Chairperson, said:

Throughout the 10 years of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, one thing has never changed and that has been the seemingly limitless creativity of Irish writers. The Awards were set up to honour such creativity and it is our hope that we’ve played our part in showcasing the work of so many talented writers over the years.

Over the next few weeks, TheJournal.ie will be highlighting the work of some of the authors in our Best Irish Published Book of the Year category.

Source: Irish BookAwards/YouTube

One of those nominated is cookbook author Donal Skehan, who told TheJournal.ie: “The book [Fresh] came out of having a hectic schedule and needing to refocus, so I suppose these opportunities [like the awards] come up now and you enjoy them, rather than running around like a headless chicken and being stressed. It’s great.”

He recently wrote in the Sunday Independent about how his nominated book Fresh was inspired by being burnt out after a very busy year.

It’s the first time I’ve ever talked about something that is quite personal, and it was actually liberating in a sense because I suppose everyone sees me as a happy-go-lucky guy with lots of energy, which I am generally, but you also have to realise there’s downsides to all of the work that we’re doing.

12122842_943328505705246_9117322624255396721_n Source: Facebook

He still has his Irish cooking series, UK Food Network series and RTÉ Reality Bites documentary show all to be launched in the coming months – so there’s no sign of him slowing down.

But to avoid burnout, Skehan now gets up 90 minutes earlier than usual in the morning and has a good breakfast every day, and his healthy recipes inspired Fresh.

“At the end of last year it was going ‘this is crazy, I’m not getting to enjoy eating, cooking, exercising, anything’, and we worked every weekend from August right through to Christmas. It was a point of stopping and really starting afresh.”

Shane Hegarty, author of the series Darkmouth (about human-eating monsters), said of the awards: “When you work on your own in an office, you start to go slightly… mad. So it’s just brilliant to have a night like this, it’s kind of like all your work colleagues in the same place.”

His series is aimed at a young readership, and Hegarty said this is something he’s proud of:

Younger readers are the best readership as far as I’m concerned, but also if you look at the strength of the shortlist there – John Boyne, Eoin Colfer, Sarah Crossan – you’re talking about just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant books. For me it’s a joy, but it shows the strength of children’s books now.

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2015 Shortlist

Eason Book Club Novel of the Year

  • Tender by Belinda McKeon (Pan Macmillan/Picador)
  • Miss Emily by Nuala O’ Connor (Sandstone Press Ltd)
  • The Green Road by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Beatlebone by Kevin Barry (Canongate Books)
  • The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’ Brien (Faber & Faber)

TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year

  • Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way by Carsten Krieger (The O’Brien Press)
  • The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson (New Island Books)
  • Windharp edited by Niall McMonagle (Penguin Ireland)
  • 1916: Portraits and Lives by Lawrence William White and James Quinn (Royal Irish Academy
  • Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Cultural and Political Writings 1891 – 1922 by Declan Kiberd and PJ Mathews (Abbey Theatre Press)
  • Eileen Gray: Her Work and Her World by Jennifer Goff (Irish Academic Press)

Specsaver’s Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)

  • Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • A Dublin Fairytale by Nicola Colton (The O’Brien Press)
  • The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P.J Lynch (Walker Books)
  • The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • The Snow Beast by Chris Judge (Andersen Press)
  • I’m a Girl! By Yasmeen Ismail (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)

  • Asking For It by Louise O’Neill ( Quercus Books)
  • Darkmouth: Worlds Explode by Shane Hegarty (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • Demon Road by Derek Landy (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • Once Upon a Place by Eoin Colfer (Little Island Books)
  • The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne (Doubleday Children’s)

Avonmore Cookbook of the Year

  • The Virtuous Tart by Susan Jane White (Gill & Macmillan)
  • The Nations’ Favourite Healthy Food by Neven Maguire (Gill & Macmillan)
  • A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley)
  • Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way by Rachel Allen (HarperCollins)
  • Home: Recipes from Ireland by Trish Deseine (Hachette Cuisine, Paris)
  • Fresh: Simple, delicious recipes to make you feel energised by Donal Skehan (Hodder & Stoughton)

Ireland AM Crime Book of the Year

  • Even the Dead by Benjamin Black (Viking)
  • Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller (HarperCollins)
  • Are You Watching Me? By Sinead Crowley (Quercus)
  • Only We Know by Karen Perry (Michael Joseph)
  • The Game Changer by Louise Phillips (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • After the Fire by Jane Casey (Ebury Press)

Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year

  • About Sisterland by Martina Devlin (Ward River Press)
  • The Dress by Kate Kerrigan (Head of Zeus)
  • Seedless in Seattle by Ross O’Carroll-Kelly (Penguin Ireland)
  • The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern (HarperCollins)
  • The Way We Were by Sinead Moriarty (Penguin Ireland)
  • Another Heartbeat in the House by Kate Beaufoy (Transworld Ireland)

National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • A Nation and not a Rabble by Diarmaid Ferriter (Profile Books)
  • Children of the Rising by Joe Duffy (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • The Maximalist by Matt Cooper (Gill & Macmillan)
  • The Projectionist by Carlo Gébler (New Island Books)
  • Éamon de Valera by Ronan Fanning (Faber & Faber)
  • 1916: The Mornings After by Tim Pat Coogan (Head of Zeus)

Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year

  • Pulling the Strings: My Autobiography by Peter Stringer (Penguin Ireland)
  • Punching Above Their Weight by Sean Mc Goldrick (The O’Brien Press)
  • The White Heat: My Autobiography by Tomás Ó Sé (Gill & Macmillan)
  • Until Victory Always: A Memoir by Jim Mc Guinness (Gill & Macmillan)
  • The Autobiography by Henry Shefflin (Penguin Ireland )
  • The Last Line: My Autobiography by Packie Bonner (Ebury Press)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

  • Eggshells by Caitriona Lally (Liberties Press)
  • Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume (Tramp Press)
  • The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (John Murray)
  • Hopscotch: A Memoir by Hilary Fannin (Doubleday Ireland)
  • Dinosaurs On Other Planets by Danielle Mc Laughlin (Stinging Fly Press)
  • Weightless by Sarah Bannan (Bloomsbury Circus)

Books Are My Bag Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • Counting My Blessings by Francis Brennan (Gill & Macmillan)
  • Me and My Mate Jeffrey by Niall Breslin (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • Off You Go by Maeve Higgins (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • Shine: A Girl’s Guide to Thriving (Not Just Surviving) in Real Life by Siobhan Hackett and Mary Doherty (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • That’s Life by Marty Whelan (Gill & Macmillan)
  • The Daughterhood by Natasha Fennell and Roisin Ingle (Simon & Schuster UK Ltd)

RTÉ Radio 1′s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award

  • Asking For It by Louise O’ Neill (Quercus)
  • So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (Picador)
  • The Green Road by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
  • Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins (Doubleday)
  • Call the Midlife by Chris Evans (Weidenfeld & Nicholson)
  • Irelandopedia by Fatti and John Burke (Gill & Macmillan)

Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

  • A Slanting of the Sun by Donal Ryan (A Slanting of the Sun) (Doubleday)
  • Boy, 19 by John Boyne (Beneath the Earth, (Doubleday)
  • The Journey to Galway by Colm Toibin (Faber/The Irish Times)
  • December Swimmers by Paul Lenehan (The Moth)
  • Monologue for Cabman by Kevin Barry (The Stinging Fly Press)
  • What Time Is It Now, Where Are You? By Colum Mc Cann (Thirteen Ways of Looking, Bloomsbury)

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