Rónán Hession And Nancy Pearl Discuss “Leonard And Hungry Paul”

April 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Online (see listing)

Join us for a special conversation between beloved rock star librarian Nancy Pearl and Rónán Hession, whose novel Leonard and Hungry Paul is the 2021 One Dublin One Book selection. Registration required. Click here to register.
Did you know that The Seattle Public Library started the original “one book, one city” program when we launched “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book” (better known now as “Seattle Reads”) back in 1998? The program has been a huge success, spreading throughout the United States as well as to cities around the world.

For the first time ever, we’re partnering with another city to celebrate their “one book” selection and to talk a bit about why shared reading experiences are so powerful.

This event is presented in partnership with Dublin City Libraries, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle City of Literature and The Seattle Public Library Foundation. Thank you to author series sponsors the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation, and to media sponsor The Seattle Times. This event will be pre-recorded and streamed on SPL’s YouTube channel.


A disarming novel that asks a simple question: Can gentle people change the world?

In this charming and truly unique debut, popular Irish musician Rónán Hession tells the story of two single, thirty-something men who still live with their parents and who are . . . nice. They take care of their parents and play board games together. They like to read. They take satisfaction from their work. They are resolutely kind. And they realize that none of this is considered . . . normal.

Leonard and Hungry Paul is the story of two friends struggling to protect their understanding of what’s meaningful in life. It is about the uncelebrated people of this world — the gentle, the meek, the humble. And as they struggle to persevere, the book asks a surprisingly enthralling question: Is it really them against the world, or are they on to something?


Rónán Hession is an Irish writer, musician, and social worker based in Dublin. As Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, he has released three albums of songs, and his most recent album, Dictionary Crimes, was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for album of the year. Leonard and Hungry Paul is his first novel, and was shortlisted for an Irish Book of the Year award.

Bestselling author, librarian, literary critic, and devoted reader Nancy Pearl regularly speaks about the importance and pleasure of reading at libraries, literacy organizations, and community groups around the world. She can be heard on NPR’s Morning Edition and KWGS-FM in Tulsa, Oklahoma, discussing her favorite books. Her monthly television show on the Seattle Channel, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl, features interviews with authors, poets, and other literary figures. Among her many honors are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Nancy is the creator of the internationally recognized program If All of Seattle Read the Same Book, and was the inspiration for the Archee McPhee “Librarian Action Figure.”

View in Catalog: Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession

ADA Accommodations: We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact leap@spl.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.

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