Ireland books

Jun 24th, 2008, 08:24 PM
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Ireland books

I'm going to Ireland in August and I'm looking for books to bring Ireland and it's history to life for me. Other than "Angela's Ashes" (I know, not an Irish favorite), what books would inspire my trip to Ireland? Is there a book about Ireland (fiction or non-fiction) that I should read before I go?
ljd05 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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Without a doubt- Trinity by Leon Uris. Sweeping historical novel.Take the historical walking tour of Dublin from Trinity College if get a chance. Have a great trip.
TexasTiger is offline  
Jun 24th, 2008, 11:00 PM
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I asked this a couple months ago (

Some great suggestions there!
pittpurple is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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On the lighthearted side, I'd start with Pete McCarthy's "McCarthy's Bar". Very funny travel journal filled with great information and some poingancy at time. Pete dies a couple of years ago. I was just a couple of chapters from done with it a few years ago and lost track of the book. I just found it and picked it up again. It's a very easy read.

Next is 'Round Ireland with a Fridge", another amusing travel journal.
wojazz3 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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Anything by Roddy Doyle will better help you understand contemporary Ireland, but Henry's Star is a look at the past.
LJ is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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I just finished reading Edward Rutherfurd's "The Princes of Ireland" (mostly about the region around Dublin) and thoroughly enjoyed it. He's written a sequel, "The Rebels of Ireland", which I'm hoping to pick up soon. Rutherfurd has written several novels about the UK, Ireland and Russia, and I believe all follow certain families through the history of the area. "Princes" covers from about the time of St Patrick through the 1500s, and "Rebels" picks up where it leaves off.
jent103 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Pint-Sized Ireland - In Search of the Perfect Guiness by Evan McHugh. It's laugh out loud funny as well as a great travelogue. And I did enjoy Round Ireland with a Fridge.

el344 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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I just ordered Pint Sized Ireland from Amazon based on someone elses recommendation.

I just loved Round Ireland with a Fridge!! That one had me on the floor laughing!

Any of Morgan Llewellyn's books are good. They are fiction based on history so makes it a little easier read than pure history.
maureencol is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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The Breen/Williams books about moving back to Ireland from the US to farm the family property in the west are wonderful. The first ones were written about 18-20 years ago. I wish I still had my copies. Does anyone know if the couple are still in Ireland? I think the property was near Ennis. If you get to Galway, go to Kennys, the family owned bookstore now on the Tuam Road-they know everything about Irish authors current and old. At their original site on Shop Street, they've retained the art gallery. Check it out,
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Ireland: A Novel and Tipperary: A Novel, both by BBC reporter and native Irishman Frank Delaney, offer insights into Ireland's history both ancient and contemporary in an engaging way. Novelist Maeve Binchy focuses on modern Ireland and often highlights the clash of cultures between a generation held back by tradition and those who fight to break the barriers tradition has imposed.
VirginiaC is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Any of the books by Morgan Llywelyn..From old history through the troublesand . Princes of Ireland anfd Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherford, Consumed in Freedom's Flame and Blood on the Shamrock by Cathal Liam. The LLywelyn books are smaller books and easy to carry. The others are heavier both in size and reading. All are enjoyable and informative. I had a neice who took a university group to Tullycross last semester and she still laughs about McCarthy's Bar. She is an English Prof. so she must know what to read Right? Irish stories are sad, funny, cruel and enlightening. Be sure to scope out the Gaelic background, the plantation period of Elizabeth I and then go on to the more recent times. Have a wonderful time. Aner_can
amer_can is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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Yes, jent103 mentioned the books I like best. The Princes of Ireland and the Rebels of Ireland. I read both of them after I came back from Ireland. The books give you an understanding of the history of Ireland.

bratsandbeer is offline  
Jun 29th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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I also loved the books by Breen/Williams. I read them many years ago. They do still live in Co. Clare and have a blog. Very interesting to catch up on the family. Here is the link:
maureencol is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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Thanks so much, Maureen. I lived in Galway for a year in '91 and was introduced to the books there. It's changed so much, for the better (?), I suppose, but I miss the almost village atmosphere it had then.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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Thanks for the link Maureen. I too read the books when they first came out and wondered what happened to the couple. I always had the feeling they would return to the US. Wrong, again!
Celiaanne is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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I'd go with, "How the Irish Saved Civilization". It's a fun book but also informative about Ireland's Golden Age.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 04:36 PM
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Thank you so much for all of the great ideas!
ljd05 is offline  

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