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We had a big response to our first IrelandXO Book Club reading list - which focused on recent releases. Based on our community's recommendations we have just published our Autumn reading list and have also included some books that are 'hot off the press'. 

We couldn't fit in all of your recommendations but rest assured that we are building up a fantastic repository of titles, based on your feedback -  hence this message board thread! Add your literary recommendations as replies to this post and let us know what Irish-interest books have caught your imagination recently. And if you are the publisher or author, make sure you also add them to the Local guide (here's a little video to show you how to do that.)

Looking forward to seeing this thread grow! 


IrelandXO Moderator LC

Tuesday 20th October 2020, 09:03PM

Message Board Replies

  • The Burren Mysteries by Cora Harrison got two member recommendations so far...

    "I recommend My Lady Judge by Cora Harrison. One of a series about a female judge in medieval Ireland who uses the Brehon law to manage her villages. I was fascinated by the inclusion of a portion of Brehon law at the beginning of each chapter." ~ Kathleen

    "I love The Burren Mysteries by Cora Harrison and Sister Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne. Both historical fiction set in a Pre- English time." ~ Julie


    Tuesday 20th October 2020, 11:17PM
  • For those who enjoy novels and Irish history, especially the famine years, I recommend the series by Charles Egan.  There are 3 books The Killing Snows, Cold is the Dawn and The Exile Breed. The story was inspired by a box of old documents found in a barn in western Ireland. 

    You don't have to read the entire series, but you will because the characters feel like their story is the story of your Irish ancestors.  The struggles they overcome, risks they took and the commitment to one another and family is inspiring. This story will stay with you for a very long time.


    Wednesday 21st October 2020, 09:39PM
  • The Gracelin O'Malley trilogy by Ann Moore is a wonderful collection. 


    Wednesday 21st October 2020, 10:45PM
  • If you love the Burren you'll love Cora's Burren Mysteries. Mara is the Brehon in mediaeval times. She's tough, fair, and knows her justice stuff and a cool d detective too. There's lots of beautful landscape  and history, great characters, wonderful historical research base. All good. If you haven't been to the Burren, GO!

    Mandy Collins

    Thursday 22nd October 2020, 07:16AM
  • God I hate auto correct!

    Mandy Collins

    Thursday 22nd October 2020, 07:18AM
  • Mothers of Ireland: Poems, by Julie Kane (LSU Press, 2020). Daniel Tobin (Editor of The Book of Irish American Poets from the Eighteenth Century to the Present) writes:

    "This latest book by the former poet laureate of Louisiana explores the intersection of personal and historical memory with an unflinching eye, the utmost formal urgency, and an obsessive desire to plumb the starkest emotional truths--a work of revelations and raw elegance." 

    Julie Kane

    Wednesday 13th January 2021, 11:31PM
  • I would like to suggest the timely relevant "The Adoption Machine" by Paul Jude Redmond. The dark history of Ireland's mother & baby homes & the inside story of how Tuam 800 became a global scandal. Most revealing.


    Thursday 14th January 2021, 08:49AM
  • My recommendations about the long journey in 1820's to Canada.  "From Cork to the new world:  A journey for survival".  By Michael E. McCarthy 2009.  Anyone connected to the Peter Roberson migration in 1821 & 1823 will learn more about our Ancestor's challenging trip.


    Thursday 8th April 2021, 03:23PM
  • ‘LIVES APART’ by Anne M. McLoughlin has been selected as the book for April by The Reading Room of the United Irish Cultural Centre in San Francisco.

    For those with links to County Clare my recent debut novel may be of interest.  Although a work of fiction, the inspiration for the book came from having researched my own family tree. 

    Set in Clare, Boston, San Francisco and Nova Scotia ‘Lives Apart’ explores sibling relationships and how a disastrous action can reverberate through the lives of the extended family.  It also looks at the experience of emigration, both for those who had the courage to venture across the Atlantic and those they left behind.

    A tale of emigration from Ireland to America after the famine. A family saga of betrayal, tragedy and survival.

    LIVES APART tells the story of young Johanna McNamara, who, in 1877 leaves her quiet life on the family farm in County Clare and emigrates to America to join her successful businessman brother Hugh.  Full of hope, she is determined to make a success of her life. However, tragedy strikes before she finds her feet in this new world, and she must put the care of others before her own needs.

    Back in Ireland, farming life for the family continues through the seasons, with her brother Art struggling to deal with his troubled son Declan.  Sending him to the USA is an option that might help turn him into a man.  But little does Johanna know what lies ahead with the arrival of a nephew, whose act of betrayal will blow her life apart.

    Lives Apart : Anne M McLoughlin : 9781781994009 (


    Anne M. McLoughlin

    Saturday 10th April 2021, 11:27AM
  • I’m delighted to announce the release of my second book LIVES WITHOUT END, a sequel to LIVES APART, which was the first in my ‘Lives’ trilogy.

    Set in Ireland, in Counties Wexford and Clare, and Boston, LIVES WITHOUT END is a tale of family secrets spanning three generations.

    Focussing mainly on the beautiful, but emotionally fragile, Bridie, a young bride, full of hope and courage, who, following a tragedy, emigrates from Ireland to build a new life in Boston. After her involvement in an affair that would rock society were it to be discovered, she is forced into making a heartbreaking decision. She returns home to Ireland with her arsenal of secrets, in her search for peace and the meaning of life.

    LIVES WITHOUT END, published by Poolbeg Press is available from as a Paperback from Book Depository or Amazon (eBook and Paperback). 

    Book Depository

    Amazon UK

    Amazon USA



    Anne M. McLoughlin

    Tuesday 18th May 2021, 11:50AM
  • I agree with the recommendation of  "The Killing Snows".  Very well done, and although fiction, very accurate historically.  If you want to know how everything really was during this time period, you should read the book.  Robert Blanford

    Robert Blanford

    Saturday 9th October 2021, 10:14PM
  • Hello, book club and recommendations are what I need! I am now reading the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I have not finished it (so I cannot recommend it) but I really like the book. You can read on the website summary for this story. There is even an audiobook of the story, you can listen to it. Enjoy reading.

    Friday 19th November 2021, 06:50PM
  • something else ?something else ?


    Wednesday 1st December 2021, 02:26PM