The Sunday Times unveils ‘On the Shelf’ – a video series that reveals which books make it onto some of Ireland’s best-known authors “Top 5” list

  • Eithne Shortall, author and Chief Arts Correspondent with The Sunday Times, interviews Catherine Ryan Howard, Donal Ryan, Patricia Scanlan, Joseph O’Connor, Shane Hegarty and John Connolly to find out what books have influenced them
  • Bewley’s teams up with The Sunday Times to support ‘On the Shelf’
  • Episode No.1 featuring Joseph O’Connor will be available on 6th October

The Sunday Times has unveiled a new online video series featuring six of Ireland’s best-known authors – and reveals what books have inspired, amused, entertained or influenced our greatest writers!

Entitled ‘On the Shelf’, each video features Eithne Shortall – Chief Arts Correspondent with The Sunday Times and a novelist in her own right – visiting authors in their homes and writing rooms to check out what books line their bookshelves. Over a cup of Bewley’s tea or coffee with Eithne, they then reveal their five favourite books – the ones that influenced them, made them laugh, cry or perhaps want to become a writer in the first place. The authors also chat about their career, goals and hopes for the future. The first episode featuring Joseph O’Connor will be available on the 6th October with the remaining five released every two weeks after.

Interviewees include:

  • Joseph O’Connor, journalist, lecturer and award winning contemporary and historical novelist
  • Catherine Ryan Howard, internationally acclaimed bestselling crime writer from Cork 
  • Donal Ryan, twice longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
  • Patricia Scanlan, bestselling author of over twenty books
  • Shane Hegarty, author of the author of the tremendously popular Darkmouthseries
  • John Connolly, the Sunday Times, Irish Times, New York Times bestselling Irish author of the Charlie Parker novels

Underlying The Sunday Times commitment to books and authors every week in the newspaper’s Culture supplement, ‘On the Shelf’ is made in association with Bewley’s because a cuppa and a great book are the perfect combination!

Karen Price, Creative Director with News Ireland, said: “The aim of the campaign is to acknowledge and celebrate the pivotal role that writing and reading plays in all aspects of Irish life, while acknowledging the breadth of brilliant writing talent in this country. Authors and books are at the heart of feature coverage in The Sunday Times and this is why we want to encourage more people to pick up a book and enjoy the pleasure of reading.”

Jason Doyle, Managing Director of Bewley’s added: “Bewley’s has a long-celebrated history of bringing artists and creatives from all walks of life together to share experiences and be inspired.”

“Bewley’s Grafton Street has played an important and historic role in Irish literary, cultural and social life with connections to Irish writers and artists; Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce to name a few. Our partnership with The Sunday Times gives us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our literary heritage in the modern era with a new audience. We are hugely excited to be playing a part in this series championing contemporary Irish authors.”

To find out more about ‘On the Shelf’ and to watch the videos, please visit or search for #ST_OnTheShelf on The Sunday Times Facebook or YouTube page: