This year I've decided not to do a Top 10 - don't panic editor, you're still getting a decent list. But given the type of reading I did this year, which ranged from literary shortlists to my beloved crime fiction, I didn't really want to rate the books, some of which are very different, from one to ten. So here's simply a selection of the best books I read this year. Why don't you just switch off the television set and go and read one of them instead...
'Tis the season for ghost stories and dark, mysterious passageways, so here's a warning: go into the RTÉ news online archive at your peril, because you might not find your way back out for a very long time, writes RTÉ Arts and Media Correspondent Sinead Crowley. Sure, you'll tell yourself you're just nipping in to find out who won the All-Ireland in 1985, or if your town featured in the St Patrick's Day parade roundup in the same year.
I first saw the news via an online news twitter account around 8.40pm on Monday 2 October - rock singer Tom Petty had suffered cardiac arrest and was seriously ill. Shortly afterwards, a number of twitter accounts I follow reported that he had died. Major news organisations, including RTÉ soon disseminated the story themselves – some using the clarifying words "it has been reported" or "reports from the US say".
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".