• West Cork Literary Festival 2021

Irish Bestsellers 23rd January 2021

Writing.ie | Magazine | Irish Bestseller Lists
Life sentences Billy o callaghan
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This week it’s great to see Writing.ie’s Sam Blake hitting the Top 10 overall, with The Dark Room at 8! We also have a couple of other new entries, hitting the charts almost as soon as they’re released, with Jane Harper The Survivors at no. 18; Naked: Ten Truths to Change Your Life by Caroline Foran at no. 5 in Hardback Non-Fiction; The Fast 800 Easy by Dr Claire Bailey and Justine Pattison at 6 in Paperback Non-Fiction; The Hungry Road by Marita Conlon-McKenna at no. 6 in Mass Market Fiction; and also in Mass Market Fiction is Liz Nugent’s latest, Our Little Cruelties, at no. 5.

This week’s featured book is also a new entry, being out only a week or so, and already at no. 5 in Original Fiction and no. 16 in the Top 20. Here’s the blurb for Life Sentences, by acclaimed author Billy Callaghan:

An unforgettable tale of love, abandonment, hunger and redemption, from a rising star of Irish fiction

‘O’Callaghan is one of our finest writers . . . and this is his best work yet’ JOHN BANVILLE

At just sixteen, Nancy leaves the small island of Cape Clear for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the effects of the Great Famine. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she is irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love affair and a devastating chain of events that continues to unfold over three generations. Spanning more than a century, Life Sentences is the unforgettable journey of a family hungry for redemption, and determined against all odds to be free.

This sweeping story of one family’s fight for survival goes on making the heart lurch long after the final page, and confirms Billy O’Callaghan as one of the finest living Irish writers.


‘Stops you in your tracks so you can savour its utter beauty’ 
‘Momentous and epic storytelling’ BERNARD MACLAVERTY
‘So good and true it feels almost magical’ SADIE JONES

And now this week’s charts, with the Top 20 followed by the Top 10 in each category:

Data Supplied by Nielsen BookScan taken from the Irish Consumer Market week ending 23rd January 2021

TitleAuthorPublisher GroupSales
1Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse,TheMackesy, CharlieRandom House Grp2,081
2Pinch of Nom Quick & Easy:100 Delicious, Slimming RecipesFeatherstone, Kay & Allinson, KatePan Macmillan Grp1,072
3Where the Crawdads SingOwens, DeliaLittle, Brown Book Grp760
4How to Be Good With MoneyMcGee, EoinGill Group750
5Atomic HabitsClear, JamesRandom House Grp574
6Code Name BananasWalliams, DavidHarperCollins Grp535
7Home StretchNorton, GrahamHodder & Stoughton Grp532
8Dark Room,TheBlake, SamAtlantic Books Grp508
9Thursday Murder Club,TheOsman, RichardPenguin Grp501
10Silent Patient,TheMichaelides, AlexOrion Grp497
11Daly Dish,The:100 Masso Slimming Meals for EverydayDaly, Gina & Daly, KarolGill Group467
12Happy Health Plan,TheFlynn, David & Flynn, StephenPenguin Grp429
13Beyond the Tape:The Life and Many Deaths of a State PathologistCassidy, MarieHachette Books Ireland Grp428
14After the SilenceO’Neill, LouiseQuercus Grp418
15Women Don’t Owe You PrettyGiven, FlorenceOctopus Publishing Grp416
16Life SentencesO’Callaghan, BillyRandom House Grp411
17Naked:Ten Truths To Change Your LifeForan, CarolineHachette Books Ireland Grp404
18Survivors,TheHarper, JaneLittle, Brown Book Grp398
19Guest List,TheFoley, LucyHarperCollins Grp387
20Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End (Book 15)Kinney, JeffPenguin Grp385

And the top 10 in each category:

Mass Market Fiction
1Where the Crawdads SingOwens, DeliaCorsair760
2Silent Patient,TheMichaelides, AlexOrion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )497
3Guest List,TheFoley, LucyHarperCollins Publishers387
4Bridgerton: The Duke and IQuinn, JuliaPiatkus Books328
5Our Little CrueltiesNugent, LizPenguin Books Ltd 264
6Hungry Road,TheConlon-McKenna, MaritaTransworld Ireland227
7Family Gift,TheKelly, CathyOrion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )221
8Hunting Party,TheFoley, LucyHarperCollins Publishers208
9Beekeeper of Aleppo,TheLefteri, ChristyManilla Press181
10Camino WindsGrisham, JohnHodder Paperback173
Original Fiction
1Home StretchNorton, GrahamCoronet Books532
2Dark Room,TheBlake, SamCorvus508
3Thursday Murder Club,TheOsman, RichardViking501
4After the SilenceO’Neill, Louiseriverrun418
5Life SentencesO’Callaghan, BillyJonathan Cape411
6Survivors,TheHarper, JaneLittle,Brown398
7Thursday Murder Club,TheOsman, RichardViking342
8SnowBanville, JohnFaber & Faber240
9Strange FlowersRyan, DonalDoubleday Ireland204
10Shuggie BainStuart, DouglasPicador180
Paperback Non Fiction
1How to Be Good With MoneyMcGee, EoinGill Books750
2Atomic HabitsClear, JamesRandom House Business Books574
3Happy Health Plan,TheFlynn, David & Flynn, StephenPenguin Life429
4Beyond the Tape:The Life and Many Deaths of a State PathologistCassidy, MarieHachette Books Ireland428
5Choice,The:A true story of hopeEger, EdithRider & Co360
6Fast 800 Easy,TheBailey, Dr Claire & Pattison, JustineShort Books341
7Good Vibes, Good LifeKing, VexHay House UK Ltd327
830 Day Kick Start PlanWicks, JoeBluebird302
9Champagne Football:John Delaney and the Betrayal of Irish FootballTighe, Mark & Rowan, PaulPenguin Ireland238
10Ghost In The Throat,ANi Ghriofa, DoireannTramp Press235
Hardback Non Fiction
1Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse,TheMackesy, CharlieEbury Press2,081
2Pinch of Nom Quick & Easy:100 Delicious, Slimming RecipesFeatherstone, Kay & Allinson, KateBluebird1,072
3Daly Dish,The:100 Masso Slimming Meals for EverydayDaly, Gina & Daly, KarolGill Books467
4Women Don’t Owe You PrettyGiven, FlorenceCassell416
5Naked:Ten Truths To Change Your LifeForan, CarolineHachette Books Ireland404
6Promised Land,AObama, BarackViking328
7Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the ScienceO’Neill, LukeGill Books321
8Gift,The:12 Lessons to Save Your LifeEger, EdithRider & Co307
9Neven Maguire’s Midweek MealsMaguire, NevenGill Books275
10Old Ireland in ColourBreslin, John & Buckley, Sarah-AnneMerrion Press272
1Code Name BananasWalliams, DavidHarperCollins535
2Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End (Book 15)Kinney, JeffPuffin385
3Dog Man 9: Grime and PunishmentPilkey, DavScholastic U.S.246
4Cat Kid Comic ClubPilkey, DavScholastic U.S.221
5We Were LiarsLockhart, E.Hot Key Books203
6Ickabog,TheRowling, J.K.Little, Brown Books for Young Readers184
7Break the Mould:How to Take Your Place in the WorldBurke, SinéadWren & Rook164
8Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneRowling, J.K.Bloomsbury Publishing PLC139
9Disney Frozen Annual 2021Egmont Books139
10Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down (Book 11)Kinney, JeffPuffin137
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