October 19, 2023 | Press Release

Shortlist unveiled for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2023

Authors on the shortlist include Paul Murray, Liz Nugent, Colin Walsh, Eithne Shortall, Paul Lynch, Katriona O’Sullivan, Liam Brady, Aoife Moore, P.J. Gallagher, Roz Purcell, Alan Titley, Eimear Ryan, Nathan Anthony, Catherine Ryan Howard, Eoin Colfer, Georgie Crawford, Matt Cooper, Judi Curtin and many, many more…


  • Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Convention Centre, Dublin on Wednesday 22nd November
  • TV programme announcing the overall ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ winner will be broadcast on RTÉ ONE on 6th December


The shortlist for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2023 features a diverse and exciting mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 19 categories.


Now in its 18th year, the An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a vast community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of Irish writing talent.


Categories include Novel of the Year, Children, Cookbook, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Non-fiction, Sports, Lifestyle, Short Story, Irish language, Poem, Short Story, Newcomer, Teen and Young Adult, Irish Published and Biography. 


To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public are now being asked to have their say and cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the An Post Irish Book Awards website anpostirishbookawards.ie/vote. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five €100 National Book Tokens vouchers. Voters may cast their votes from 7pm on 19th October until voting closes on 9th November at 5:00pm.


Meanwhile, a one-hour television special, hosted by Oliver Callan, will be broadcast on RTÉ One on 6th December giving viewers an exclusive insight into the six books and the authors competing for the accolade of ‘An Post Irish Book Awards Book of the Year 2023’, culminating in the reveal of this year’s overall winner. 


The hugely successful #ReadersWanted campaign will also continue this year by An Post, celebrating the value and joy of reading and encouraging everyone to pick up more books, more often. Simply search the hashtag online to get involved. 


Brendan Corbett, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says: 

This year’s shortlist, once again, is exceptional and displays the sheer talent of Irish writers and the incredible literary community we have here. Each category features outstanding writing along with truly deserving writers and authors, as well as publishers and booksellers.

The An Post Irish Book Awards is one of the major highlights of the literary calendar and I am delighted to see the continually growing interest in the initiative. I am looking forward to announcing the winners and celebrating on the 22nd November.”


David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, says:

“This is a golden time for Irish writing. The An Post Irish Book Awards exist to promote Irish authors, and to connect them to the widest audience. Ireland’s intellectual infrastructure matters as much as the physical, and we congratulate and thank all the shortlisted authors.” 


The An Post Irish Book Awards 2023 Shortlist is as follows:


TheJournal.ie Best Irish-Published Book of the Year

  • Tearásas Gaeilge-Béarla / Irish-English Thesaurus – Garry Bannister (New Island Books)
  • A Nation is Born – Michael B. Barry and John O’Byrne (Gill Books)
  • Sunday Miscellany: A Selection 2018-2023 – Sarah Binchy (New Island Books)
  • The Lamplighters of the Phoenix Park – Donal Fallon with Frank and James Flanagan (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • A Place to Play: The People and Stories Behind 101 GAA Grounds – Humphrey Kelleher (Merrion Press)
  • Wild Ireland: A Nature Journey from Shore to Peak – Carsten Krieger (The O’Brien Press)


Biography of the Year

  • Finucane and Me – John Clarke (Gill Books)
  • Raised by the Zoo – Gerry Creighton, with Louise Ní Chríodáin (Gill Books)
  • MadHouse – P.J. Gallagher (Sandycove)
  • We Need to Talk – Dr Tony Holohan (Eriú)
  • Poor – Katriona O’Sullivan (Sandycove)
  • A Woman in Defence: A Soldier’s Story of the Enemy Within the Irish Army – Karina Molloy, with Kathryn Rogers (Hachette Books Ireland)


Cookbook of the Year

  • Bored of Lunch: The Healthy Air Fryer Book – Nathan Anthony (Ebury Press)
  • Paradiso: Recipes and Reflections – Denis Cotter (Nine Bean Rows)
  • The Gathered Table: A Taste of Home – compiled by Gather and Gather Ireland (Nine Bean Rows)
  • Spice Box – Sunil Ghai, edited by Kristen Jensen (Sandycove)
  • Flavour – Mark Moriarty, photography by Cliodhna Prendergast (Gill Books)
  • Home Kitchen – Donal Skehan (Yellow Kite, Hodder and Stoughton)


Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year

  • Glow: Five Steps to create the Life You Dream About – Georgie Crawford (Hachette Books Ireland)
  • From Malin Head to Mizen Head – Joanna Donnelly, illustrated by Louise Naughton (Gill Books)
  • Home is Where the Start Is – Richard Hogan (Sandycove)
  • This is My Sea – Miriam Mulcahy (Eriú)
  • The Hike Life – Roz Purcell (Black and White Publishing)
  • It’s Probably Your Hormones – Dr Mary Ryan, with Jennifer Stevens, illustrated by Derry Dillon (Gill Books)


Dubray Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Rough Beast: My Story and the Reality of Sinn Féin – Máiría Cahill (Head of Zeus, Apollo)
  • Who Really Owns Ireland? – Matt Cooper (Gill Books)
  • Dirty Linen: The Troubles in My Home Place – Martin Doyle (Merrion Press)
  • Cracking the Case – Christy Mangan (Sandycove)
  • The Long Game – Aoife Moore (Sandycove)
  • A Thread of Violence – Mark O’Connell (Granta Books)


Eason Sports Book of the Year in association with Ireland AM

  • Born to be a Footballer – Liam Brady (Eriú)
  • This is the Life – Ciarán Murphy (Sandycove)
  • Sport in Modern Irish Life – Paul Rouse (Merrion Press)
  • The Grass Ceiling – Eimear Ryan (Sandycove)
  • In the Blood – Pat Spillane, with Michael Moynihan (Gill Books)
  • Under Water – Claire Walsh (Gill Books)


Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year

  • Sebastian Barry (Faber and Faber)
  • Claire Keegan (Faber and Faber)
  • Liz Nugent (Sandycove)
  • Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House)
  • Lucinda Riley (Pan Macmillan)
  • Catherine Ryan Howard (Bantam, Transworld)


Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Lock-Up – John Banville (Faber and Faber)
  • The Close – Jane Casey (Harper Fiction)
  • Kill for Me, Kill for You – Steve Cavanagh (Headline)
  • No One Saw a Thing - Andrea Mara (Bantam, Transworld)
  • Strange Sally Diamond – Liz Nugent (Sandycove)
  • The Trap – Catherine Ryan Howard (Bantam, Transworld)


Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

  • The Red Bird Sings – Aoife Fitzpatrick (LBBG/ Virago)
  • The Celestial Realm – Molly Hennigan (Eriú)
  • The Couples – Lauren Mackenzie (John Murray Press)
  • Close to Home – Michael Magee (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • Though the Bodies Fall – Noel O’Regan (Granta Books)
  • Kala – Colin Walsh (Atlantic Books)


National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Last Lifeboat – Hazel Gaynor (Harper Fiction)
  • Queen Bee – Ciara Geraghty (Harper Fiction)
  • Aisling Ever After – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books)
  • Camino Royale – Ross O’Carroll Kelly (Sandycove)
  • The Lodgers – Eithne Shortall (Atlantic Books, Corvus)
  • My Hot Friend – Sophie White (Hachette Books Ireland)


Eason Novel of the Year

  • Old God’s Time – Sebastian Barry (Faber and Faber)
  • The Wren, The Wren – Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
  • How to Build a Boat – Elaine Feeney (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House)
  • So Late in the Day – Claire Keegan (Faber and Faber)
  • Soldier Sailor – Claire Kilroy (Faber and Faber)
  • Prophet Song – Paul Lynch (Oneworld)
  • The Bee Sting – Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • My Father’s House – Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House)


Foras na Gaeilge Irish Language Fiction Book of the Year

  • Ceallach – Diarmuid Johnson (Leabhar Breac)
  • Imram agus Scéalta Eile – Róise Ní Bhaoill (Éabhlóid)
  • Ag dul i bhfad – Alan Titley (Cló lar-Chonnacht)
  • Béal na Péiste – Fionntán de Brún (Cló lar-Chonnacht)
  • Sa Pholl Báite – Anna Heussaff (Cló lar-Chonnacht)


The Last Word Listeners’ Choice Award

  • Social Capital – Aoife Barry (Harper Collins)
  • Juno Loves Legs – Karl Geary (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House)
  • Poor – Katriona O’Sullivan (Sandycove)
  • The Bee Sting – Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • Strange Sally Diamond – Liz Nugent (Sandycove)
  • The Grass Ceiling – Eimear Ryan (Sandycove)


International Education Services Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year, in honour of John Treacy

  • Something Terrible Happened Last Night – Sam Blake (Gill Books)
  • What Walks These Halls – Amy Clarkin (The O’Brien Press)
  • Daughter of Winter and Twilight – Helen Corcoran (the O’Brien Press)
  • Black and Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes – Leon Diop and Briana Fitzsimons, illustrated by Jessica Louise (Little Island Books and Black and Irish)
  • A Million to One – Adiba Jaigirdar (Hodder Childrens’ Books)
  • Wise Creatures – Deirdre Sullivan (Hot Key Books)


Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Junior

  • Kevin’s in a Mood – Sarah Bowie (The O’Brien Press)
  • Wild City – Ashwin Chacko (The O’Brien Press)
  • Three Tasks for a Dragon – Eoin Colfer, illustrated by P.J. Lynch (Walker Books)
  • The Slug and the Snail, Oein DeBhairduin, illustrated by Olya Anima (Little Island Books and  Skein Press)
  • The President’s Dog – Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)
  • Standing on One Legs is Hard – Erika McGann, illustrated by Clive McFarland (The O’Brien Press)


Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Senior

  • Sally in the City of Dreams – Judi Curtin (The O’Brien Press)
  • Milly McCarthy and the Irish Dancing Disaster – Leona Ford, illustrated by Karen Harte (Gill Books)
  • The Girl who Fell to Earth – Patricia Forde (Little Island Books)
  • The Silver Road – Sinéad O’Hart (Piccadilly Press)
  • God’s Don’t Cry – Ellen Ryan, illustrated by Conor Merriman (HCCB)
  • I am the Wind: Irish Poems for Children Everywhere – edited by Lucinda Jacob and Sarah Webb, illustrated by Ashwin Chacko (Little Island Books)


Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

  • Wales – Thomas Morris (Open Up, Faber and Faber)
  • Peace Process – Barbara Byar (Variant Literature Journal)
  • In the Same Darkness – Jennifer McMahon (Heimat Review)
  • Such a Pretty Face – Moira Fowley (Eyes Guts Throat Bones, Orion)
  • The Story of Elizabeth – Ceila de Fréine (Tearing Stripes of Zebras (Arlen House)
  • The Island – Olivia Kiernan (Best Magazine)


Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year

  • A Legacy to Seven Men I’ve Loved – Audrey Molloy
  • Table Two – Owen Gallagher
  • Lullaby Before Leaving – Theodore Deppe
  • Vectors in Kabul – Mary O’Donnell


An Post Bookshop of the Year

  • Bridge Books Dromore, Co. Down
  • Bridge Street Books, Wicklow
  • Halfway Up the Stairs, Greystones, Wicklow
  • Liber, Sligo
  • Maynooth Bookshop, Kildare
  • O’Mahony’s Booksellers, Limerick



Facebook: @AnPostIBAS

Instagram: @anpost_irishbookawards

Twitter: @AnPostIBAS


For a range of reading recommendations, check out www.anpost.com/readerswanted


For more details, please contact:

Breda Brown / Aimée Winn 

Unique Media

Tel: (01) 522 5200 / 086 841 1455 (AW)



Breda Brown

Key Events Manager

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