Looking for something to read this St. Patrick’s Day?
Here are a few suggestions:)
by James Joyce
Dubliners was completed in ’05, but British & Irish publishers & printers found it so offensive & immoral it was suppressed. It finally came out in London in ’14, just as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man began to appear in the journal Egoist under Ezra Pound’s auspices. The 1st three stories might be incidents from a draft of Portrait of the Artist & many of the characters who figure in Ulysses 1st appear here, but this isn’t a book of interest only because of its relationship to Joyce’s life & mature work. It’s one of the great story collections in the English language–a brilliant, unflinching, often tragic portrait of early 20th-century Dublin. The book, which begins & ends with a death, moves from “stories of my childhood” thru tales of public life. Its larger purpose, Joyce said, was as a moral history of Ireland.
“Don’t you think there is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do? To give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own.” (James Joyce, in a letter to his brother). With these fifteen stories James Joyce reinvented the art of fiction, using a scrupulous, deadpan realism to convey truths that were at once blasphemous and sacramental. Whether writing about the death of a fallen priest (“The Sisters”), the petty sexual and fiscal machinations of “Two Gallants,” or of the Christmas party at which an uprooted intellectual discovers just how little he really knows about his wife (“The Dead”), Joyce takes narrative places it had never been before.
Dark Witch (The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy #1)
by Nora Roberts
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…
Shadow Spell (The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy #2)
by Nora Roberts
With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken…
A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape—by a long-awaited kiss.
Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess…things Connor has always taken for granted—until his brush with death propels them into a quick, hot tangle.
Plenty of women have found their way to Connor’s bed, but none to his heart until now. Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the heat, afraid to lose herself—and their friendship—to something more. But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood. And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves…
Blood Magick (The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy #3)
by Nora Roberts
County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.
Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…
She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.
Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.
by Frank McCourt
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.
Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
Chasing River (Burying Water #3)
by K.A. Tucker
Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.
Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also couldn’t risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.
Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.
And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.
by Frank Delaney
From a land famous for storytelling comes an epic novel of Ireland that captures the intimate, passionate texture of the Irish spirit.
One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and their neighbors to join him by the wintry fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland’s history.
Ronan, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again.
Ronan’s search for the Storyteller becomes both a journey of self-discovery, long unspoken family secrets, and an immersion into the sometimes conflicting histories of his native land.
A sweeping novel of huge ambition, Ireland is the beautifully told story of a remarkable nation. It rings with the truth of a writer passionate about his country and in full command of his craft.
Circle of Friends
by Maeve Binchy
It began with Benny Hogan and Eve Malone, growing up, inseparable, in the village of Knockglen. Benny–the only child, yearning to break free from her adoring parents…Eve–the orphaned offspring of a convent handyman and a rebellious blueblood, abandoned by her mother’s wealthy family to be raised by nuns.
Eve and Benny–they knew the sins and secrets behind every villager’s lace curtains…except their own.
It widened at Dublin, at the university where Benny and Eve met beautiful Nan Mahlon and Jack Foley, a doctor’s handsome son. But heartbreak and betrayal would bring the worlds of Knockglen and Dublin into explosive collision.
Long-hidden lies would emerge to test the meaning of love and the strength of ties held within the fragile gold bands of a… Circle Of Friends.
by Leon Uris
From the acclaimed author who enthralled the world with Exodus, Battle Cry, QB VII, Topaz, and other beloved classics of twentieth-century fiction comes a sweeping and powerful epic adventure that captures the “terrible beauty” of Ireland during its long and bloody struggle for freedom.
It is the electrifying story of an idealistic young Catholic rebel and the valiant and beautiful Protestant girl who defied her heritage to join his cause.
It is a tale of love and danger, of triumph at an unthinkable cost — a magnificent portrait of a people divided by class, faith, and prejudice — an unforgettable saga of the fires that devastated a majestic land . . . and the unquenchable flames that burn in the human heart.
Told through the simple lives of its people, this is an epic history of Ireland. From the famine of the 1840s to the 1916 Easter Rising, Trinity chronicles the terrible and beautiful drama of more than half a century.
Leon Uris’s skill is in capturing a subject seemingly too big to handle and distilling the very essence of that struggle into passionate prose. Years after his death, he remains one of the most popular storytellers of the twentieth century – this is one of his most celebrated novels.