Book Club

Bookclub squareCharlie Byrne’s Bookshop hosts three monthly book clubs, which are free and open to everyone to attend.

Our members are men and women of all ages who get together to enjoy relaxed, convivial discussions of books over tea and coffee (and sometimes home-baked goodies!).

Our first meeting in February 2013 was a great success, and our first book, Old Filth by Jane Gardam, sparked great discussion and was well received. The book club has gone from strength to strength in the capable hands of Megan Buckley and has recently passed hands to Michaela McDermott. We have occasional field trips to literary events and other fun outings; a regular supply of homemade baked delights, courtesy of many our our members; and a guaranteed dose of lively conversation, what more could you ask for!

You can find information about what we’re reading this month, what we have previously read, and book club FAQs below, as well as information about our discounted book club ordering service and tips on setting up your own book club!

Everyone is welcome to come along; there’s no need to book in advance; and we are pleased to offer a 10% discount on all current book club titles.

You can also keep up to date with the Charlie Byrne’s Book Club on our Facebook group page for book club members!


Tuesday evening book club:

Tuesday evening book club image option 2Our Tuesday evening book club takes place on the first Tuesday of each month from 6 – 7pm.

What we’re reading: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa.

Next meeting: Tuesday, September 5, 6-7pm

Wednesday morning book club

Wednesday morning book clubOur Wednesday morning book club takes place on the second Wednesday of each month from 10 – 11am.

What we’re reading: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Next meeting: Wednesday, September 13, 10-11am

Thursday evening travel writing book club:

Travel writing book clubOur travel writing book club takes place on the third Thursday of each month from 6.30 – 7.30pm.

What we’re reading: Nine Lives by William Dalrymple

Next meeting: Thursday, September 21, 6:30-7:30pm

Books we’ve read:

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski

The Architect’s apprentice by Elif Shafak

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Night Flight by Antoine De Saint Exupery

A tale for the time being by Ruth Ozeki


Still Midnight by Denise Mina

Round Ireland with a fridge by Tony Hawks

The First Bad Man by Miranda July

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

The Great Railway Bazzaar by Paul Theroux

The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Eight Feet in the Andes by Dervla Murphy

Falling Man by Don DeLillo

The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath

Venice by Jan Morris

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

Moscow Tales by Sasha Dugdale

Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Danube by Claudio Magris

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Martin John by Anakana Schofield

Berlin Stories by Robert Walser

Shadows on Our Skin by Jennifer Johnston

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

City of Djinns by William Dalrymple

A Whole Life by Robert Sethaler

Tom’s Midnight Garden By Phillipa Pearce

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy

Blood River by Tim Butcher

Equal Rights by Terry Pratchet

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

A Study in Scarlet & A Sign of Four by Sherlock Holmes

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance by Robert Pirsig

Translations by Brian Friel

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Pleasures and Landscapes; A Traveller’s Tales from Europe by Sybille Bedford

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept  by Elizabeth Smart

West With the Night by Beryl Markham

The Story of Laura Gault by William Trevor

The Member of the Wedding Carson McCullers

The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Atlee

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A Taste Of Love by Theodora Fitzgibbon

The Flaneur by Edmund White

A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood

Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger

Dept. Of Speculation By Jenny Offill

Spill Simmer Falter Wither By Sarah Baume

Old Filth by Jane Gardam

The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi

Foster by Claire Keegan

May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes

Transatlantic by Colum McCann

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Malarky by Anakana Schofield

The Thing About December by Donal Ryan

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

Stoner by John Williams

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks


The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde


Waterland by Graham Swift


Middlemarch by George Eliot

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
Waterlog by Roger Deakin
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Homage to Barcelona by Colm Tóibín
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Thin Paths by Julia Blackburn
Parallax by Sinead Morrissey
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Venetian Navigators: The Voyages of the Zen Brothers to the Far North by Andrea di Robilant
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
O My America! Six Women and Their Second Acts in a New World by Sara Wheeler
Northline by Willy Vlautin
Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine de Vigan
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Julius Winsome by Gerard Donovan
Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway
Academy Street by Mary Costello
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Travels with a Mexican Circus by Katie Hickman
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy  by John Le Carré
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
White Feathers by Susan Lanigan

Book Club FAQs:

Here’s a little more info about our three book clubs:

How did the book clubs get started?

Since March 2013, our Tuesday Evening group has been coming together on the first Tuesday of each month from 6-7pm in the eponymous bookshop in the Cornstore, Middle Street, Galway, to talk about — well, books. Today, we have three adult book clubs:

Tuesday Evening Book Club: First Tuesday of each month, 6-7pm

Wednesday Morning Book Club: Second Wednesday of each month, 10-11am

Thursday Evening Travel Writing Book Club: Third Thursday of each month, 6:30-7:30pm

So how do the book clubs work?

At each meeting we have a friendly and relaxed (but rousing!) chat about the book we’ve read; we choose the title for the following month together as a group; we enjoy (often homemade!) baked treats and coffee, and generally have a good time. We’re a mix of men and women, ages 20-something-ish to 70-something-ish, and we always welcome new members of all ages, genders, and reading tastes. Feel free to come to any and all of our book clubs: you can drop in and out anytime as it suits you. We’re a pretty laid-back gang: no need to sign up or reserve a place or anything. Just turn up on the night. And, you don’t even have to come to the meetings to read along with us: there’s a 10% discount for everyone on the current month’s book club pick.

Do you have a Children’s Book Club?

Yes: We currently have two children’s book clubs for children aged 9-11 years facilitated by children’s section manager Ruth. For more information see our children’s book club page.

Do you take a break during the summer, or for Christmas?

Nope: we meet each and every month, January through December, so feel free to drop into one of our meetings year-round.

Any questions, contact Michaela at Charlie Byrne’s at 091-561-766, or


Meet our book club coordinators:

Megan Buckley Founder of Book Clubs at Charlie Byrne’s


Michaela our Book Club Coordinator and her favourite dog customer Zulu

Book club facilitator Michaela McDermott recently took over our Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning book clubs. Book clubs began their successful run under the guidance of Megan Buckley. Megan has worked in publishing and bookselling since 1999, when she began her work life as an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster in New York. She received her PhD in English from NUI, Galway in 2013, and is a freelance developmental editor specializing in practical nonfiction.

Although Megan still takes part in the occasional book club, she has passed the torch onto Michaela, who loves her new role within the book club. Michaela received her BA in English and Social Policy, as well as her MA in Literature and Publishing from NUIG and has keen interests in literary fiction, mythology, sci fi and children’s literature. Michaela’s favourite books include (but are not limited to) The Little Prince, Slaughter House Five, The Master and Margarita and absolutely anything by Tolkien.


Travel Book Club Coordinator John

John is our resident travel book expert at Charlie Byrne’s and was naturally delighted to establish a travel book club at Charlie Byrne’s. John has an MA in Medieval History and is currently pursuing a PhD in early modern travel writing. John is also the beneficiary of Galway Doctoral Scholarship Scheme 2015-2019 at NUI, Galway. Apart from travel writing, John has an interest in Irish interest novels, Irish history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy and classics. John’s favourite books include Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, Danube by Claudio Magris and Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien.

Book club ordering service:

Charlie Byrne's Bookshop offer a discounted ordering rate for bookclubsWe love working with book clubs – not just our own! – and are happy to offer suggestions and place book orders whenever possible. We can order any in-print books for book clubs, and we offer a 10% discount on such orders to all book club members. We can also reserve any secondhand copies of book club titles, and keep them aside for book club members to collect. Just ask any member of staff, email us, or give Michaela a call at 091-561-766: we’ll help you find the perfect read for your next book club meeting.

If you’d like tips on setting up your own book club check out our blog post here!