Throughout this memoir, Mary McAleese recollects moments of her life in a warm, conversational style, accessible for the reader. She discusses life growing up in north Belfast during a time of political unrest, her work as a professor of law at Trinity College Dublin and of course, her two successful terms as the president of Ireland. She provides an in-depth insight to the sectarian violence her family suffered during the Troubles, the challenges faced in a male dominated field, her involvement in the peace process as well as her numerous encounters with the Catholic Church and fellow politicians.
What I found most inviting about her book is that she shares stories of her professional and political career in the same informal style as she discusses her childhood – in a witty, colloquial manner.
– Chosen by Katie Barragry
Ken Clarke’s memoir is a reflection on his almost half century in British politics as a Conservative MP and member of cabinet from when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister until David Cameron. The book reflects the fact that he was one of the most pro EU members of the party and this is believed to have cost him the leadership on the three occasions he contested it.
It is particularly interesting to read about his early memories as an MP when he worked in the team preparing the UK application for membership in the early 1970s and how he was influenced by the post war generation of politicians. Back then the EU was seen as pro big business and opposed by socialists.
One for anyone interested in British politics in the late 20th and early 21st century with a particular focus on Britain and the EU.
– Chosen by Phelim O’Neill
Scar Tissue is the bestselling autobiography of Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of US funk rock band Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
The book, which reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list, tells the extraordinary story of Kiedis’s life, in particular his long-term struggles with drug addiction.
Brilliantly written and brutally honest throughout, the book also brings new meaning to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers entire back catalogue, particularly songs such as Under the Bridge and Californication. A must for any Peppers fans.
– Chosen by Lorcan Allen
The West Wing, House of Cards, Scandal – we think we know the insides of the White House but Michelle Obama gives the real life perspective from the unique angle of the first lady. It is a powerful, inspiration and uplifting read, especially as it gives you a true understanding of the long road that leads to the White House from her humble beginnings on the south side of Chicago. Beware; it is long and detailed and you’re a good 100 pages in before she meets Barack. However, its also exciting as she gives her account of memorable events such as the moment she finds out her husband will be president.
– Chosen by Ciara Leahy