Erin Go Bragh: Books if You Love Ireland.

booksifyouloveirelandThe truth is, one of my favorite writers, or perhaps my favorite writer is a contemporary Irish Author: Anne Enright. I love her prose, her stories, and her growth from book to book (I’m giving away one of her books here too). This past year I also fell in love with a Irish crime/mystery series that I think you’ll love. I doubt I’ll be doing a round the world book series but I had to share some of my faves. I’ve never been Ireland but it’s definitely on the top of my list. There is something about the Irish way of storytelling that I really respond to and I think you may as well.

I’ve put together a list of Books if You Love Ireland or Books if You Love Irish Storytelling.

1. Anne Enright’s The Gathering

The Gathering won the Man Booker Prize the year it came out (a very prestigious award) and her most recent book (which I am giving away), The Green Road, has been long listed for that same award this year. Whenever I hear she has a book coming out, I do a countdown. She is also Ireland’s first Fiction Laureate. So, she is kind of a big deal…especially to me.

The Gathering tells the story of Veronica piecing together bits of her brother’s life and her own after a tragedy. It’s an intense story but the writing…It’s some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read and I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read it.

2. Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad Series

I stumbled upon the first book In the Woods accidentally because the premise just punched me in the gut in the airport: “When the police arrive, they find only one of the children. He is gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours” and now that child, Rob, is an adult Detective investigating a crime in that same area.

What I love about French’s writing is each book is part of the Dublin Murder Squad Series and some characters overlap at times, each book is a story unto itself. So the second book, The Likeness, is told from Rob’s partner, Cassie’s point of view (but much has changed).

The third, Faithful Place, is my favorite and told from the point of view of Cassie’s mentor, Frank: “…in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives. But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn’t show. Frank took it for granted that she’d dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again…” but now there may be answers about where Rosie went and it’s a lot more complicated as another tragedy (crime?) takes place in his old neighborhood.

Then there is Broken Harbor and The Secret Place. You don’t have to read them in order but of course, if you do, there are certain Easter Eggs that are worth it…plus they just get better.

I’m waiting on bated breath for the next book (all I know is that it is a female protagonist…I’m dying to know who…I think I have a guess…). French does a fantastic job of truly finding the character’s voice in each book so they feel and sound very different.

3. Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn

The reason I read this book was because I watched this preview:

and instantly wanted to see the movie (it’s not out yet) and I like to read a book first anyway. There is romance and adventure and a part of me could relate (in a less intense way) to Eilis Lacey moving from Ireland to America without really knowing a soul (I moved across the country to California which I admit is a much smaller scale!). Plus, there is a great Italian character named, Tony. The pull of the new and the exciting against family, the familiar, what you know, and duty is so well done here. It has everything: adventure, family, coming-of-age, romance, and more. I felt the ache in the best way reading this book.

I know I usually give you five separate authors but there’s a lot of books here. Have you read any of them? Meanwhile, this is just a small giveaway (since I accidentally ordered two) of Anne Enright’s The Green Road. greenroadgiveaway

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US only and I will verify entries… So is there a book here that strikes your fancy?


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16 thoughts on “Erin Go Bragh: Books if You Love Ireland.

  1. Anne

    I love Tana French for the same rezone you do….I love revisiting characters! I need to read Anne Enright. Thanks for the recommendations. Another author I enjoy that places quite a few books in Ireland or weaves Irish tales through her books is Nora Roberts. I think we talked about her before. I enjoy a light read every so often and hers fit the bill!

    1. Nina Post author

      Yeah, I have read her stuff set in Ireland…I was picking writers born and bred and writing in Ireland. I love Tana French so much. I can’t wait for her next one!

  2. Megan

    I spent my summer interning at a creative writing center Ireland and got to meet a ton of awesome Irish authors (like Roddy Doyle), but I haven’t read any of these yet. I’ll have to check them out!

  3. Rebecca

    Brooklyn was a good read! Have you read Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic? Highly recommend. Joseph O’Connor of course is fantastic – if you haven’t read Star of the Sea go pick it up! He’s written a ton – I haven’t read his most recent, The Thrill of It All, but it’s on my list. Also on my list is Room (Emma Donogue) – I must admit, I wasn’t sure if I”d be able to read it but I picked it up and started it and realized that I need to have a good chunk of time to myself so I don’t have to stop in the middle!!

    1. Nina Post author

      I haven’t read TransAtlantic but I am going to now immediately. I hear Room is good but I can’t get into the premise. I should give it a chance. Have you read any Anne Enright?

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