A Heart So Big, by Rio Hogarty with Megan Day (Penguins Ireland, €8.99 / £6.99)
Four years ago Rio Hogarty was named ‘Mother of the Year’ at Ireland’s People of the Year awards, for over the years she has fostered the amazing number of 140 children. Foster parents are an important link in social welfare. They get children out of care into a loving home where at least some sense of normal family life can go on for often badly treated young ones. But there is more to her life than this, as she relates in this lively book. She has seen and done a lot of things. She was the first Irish woman to gain a Heavy Goods Vehicle licence, but she is the sort of woman who seems not to take no for an answer to often. Not perhaps an amusing story, but certainly a heartening one, a tale of applied goodness in an age where goodness is often at a premium.