There's a relaxation that comes with reading and in the past year, in particular, the appeal of Irish books has grown phenomenally worldwide.
So, among the most recent publications to feature in this Winter edition, you'll find award-winners, old-favourites back in print, and more. Enjoy!
If you want to recommend a title for our next edition, or add a local-interest book to the Local Guide, scroll to the bottom to find out how.
A Ghost in the Throat
Doireann Ní Ghríofa | ? 2020
Overall Winner of the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020 this poetic hybrid of essay and autofiction is a devastating and timeless tale about one woman freeing her voice by reaching into the past and finding another's.
Irish Customs & Rituals
Dr Marion McGarry | November 2020
This author-illustrated book explores old Irish customs and beliefs, focussing on the festivities that marked the commencement of each season, the customs surrounding birth, marriage and death, and more from the mid-19th to mid-20th-century.
Walking with Ghosts: a memoir
Gabriel Byrne | In bookshops from 12 Jan 2021
This hilarious and heartbreaking memoir is a lyrical homage to the Irish people and landscapes that ultimately shaped the destiny of one of Ireland's most celebrated actors. "A book to wring out our tired hearts".
Eavan Boland | Oct 2020
Winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2020 this final volume by acclaimed poet Evan Boland (1944-2020) explores the ways in which the hidden, sometimes all-but-erased stories of women’s lives can powerfully revise our sense of the past and the Official records of what we call history. What the judges said: "An extraordinary book of lyrical power that has some of the finest lines of poetry written this century."
LOCAL HISTORY & GENEALOGY...
Recently published (or just back in print)
Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland
Dr William Roulston | November 2020
Millions of people around the world have Presbyterian ancestors from Ireland. Whether they were Covenanters, Seceders or Non-Subscribers, whether devout or merely nominal, whether they lived and died in Ireland or departed from these shores, this publication will assist you in understanding more about Presbyterians and Presbyterianism in Ireland.
Birr Barracks & Burials [King's aka Co. Offaly]
Stephen Callaghan | Oct 2020
Birr Barracks, closely associated with the Leinster Regiment, brought great trade and development to the village of Crinkill in Co Offaly. This book gives an authoritative history of the cemetery and all those identified as buried there.
The Islands of the Fergus Estuary [Co. Clare]
Meany & Elger | Reprinted: Dec 2020
A microcosm of Co Clare’s history – the Fergus Islands of Co Clare (lying on the estuary stretching from Clarecastle to Shannon and Kildysart) have much to tell of its history, archaeology and folklore as well as the people who lived there.
OUR COMMUNITY RECOMMENDS...
The Naked Irish: Portrait of a Nation Beyond the Clichés
Clare O'Dea | 2019
‘The Naked Irish’ goes beyond the clichés: What does it really mean to be Irish? A fresh and thoughtful analysis of what it means to be Irish in the 21st century. Clare O’Dea takes the 10 most common assumptions about the Irish and examines them one by one. Are the Irish friendly? Do we have a drink problem? Are we all great writers? And do we really hate the English? In this entertaining and insightful book, these clichés and more are held up to the light and forensically examined with wit and flair.
Recommended to IrelandXO via Twitter authors
The Irish in the American Civil War
Damian Shiels | 2014
Just under 200,000 Irishmen took part in the American Civil War, making it one of the most significant conflicts in Irish history. Hundreds of thousands more were affected away from the battlefield, both in the US and in Ireland itself. The Irish contribution, however, is often only viewed through the lens of famous units such as the Irish Brigade, but the real story is much more complex and fascinating.
Recommended by Angela Gallagher via Twitter.com/IrelandXO
The way it was
Michael Durkan | 2016
The year was 1967. Michael Durkan writes: "I was 14 years old with a history of chronic asthma. In a bid to improve my health, my parents decided to send me to my Uncle's farm in Co. Mayo, Ireland. I was accompanied by my 11-year-old brother. My brother and I were unaware at the time, we were about to embark on an adventure. A journey of unexpected exploits, incidents and experiences we would remember forever. This is a story of how love and friendship overcame adversity."
Recommended by IrelandXO Member John, in Sydney.
Art, Ireland, and the Irish Diaspora: Chicago, Dublin, New York, 1893–1939 Culture, Connections & Controversies
Éimear O’Connor | September 2020
Lincoln and the Irish
Niall O'Dowd | 2018
The Untold Story of How the Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union. Renowned Irish-American journalist Niall O’Dowd gives unprecedented insight into a relationship that began with mutual disdain. Lincoln saw the Irish as instinctive supporters of the Democratic opposition, while the Irish saw the English landlord class in Lincoln’s Republicans. But that dynamic would evolve, and the Lincoln whose first political actions included intimidating Irish voters at the polls would eventually hire Irish nannies and donate to the Irish famine fund.
From the founder of IrishCentral, a fascinating piece of Civil War history: Lincoln’s relationship with the immigrants arriving in America to escape the Irish famine. “If you’re a Lincoln fan like me, you’ll love this book.” —Liam Neeson
OLDIES BUT GOODIES...
Tomorrow Was Another Day
Seamus O'Connor | 1988
The irreverent, humourous earthy memories of an Irish rebel schoolmaster.
Recommended by Mike Markowski: "For me, it is especially interesting because he taught at the school many of my older paternal relatives attended."
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