Irish authors call the tune

reading-ireland-2017It’s March and time for Ireland Reading month hosted by Cathy at Full details of the activities Cathy has up her sleeve can be found via the announcement post  We Celts need to stick together so I’ll be joining in as much as possible.

But what to read is the question – Cathy has put a list of 100 Irish Novels as a good starting point for anyone unsure where to begin. For my own preparations I delved into my personal library at the weekend and came up with six options.

  • The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
  • Ancient Light by John Banville
  • The Absolutionist by John Boyne
  • Good Behaviour by Molly Keane
  • The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
  • Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue

It’s unlikely I’ll read more than two before the month given some other commitments.On of those is likely to be Ancient Light by John Banville which I bought as a signed copy after hearing him speak at the Hay Book Festival about three years ago. I loved the lyricism of his Booker Prize winning novel The Sea so I’m hoping Ancient Light will deliver more of the same.  The synopsis sounds promising:

… a brilliant, profoundly moving new novel about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career: a meditation on love and loss, and on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives.

I’m not going to decide in advance on my second choice yet – maybe it’s time to give Molly Keane another try – I’ve read only one by her so far (Devoted Ladies under her pen name of M. J Farrell)  – but then I’ve been meaning to get around to The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney ever since it won the Bailey’s prize in 2016. The chairman of the judges described it as “a superbly original, compassionate novel that delivers insights into the very darkest of lives through humour and skilful storytelling.”  Skilfull storytelling sounds just the ticket..

Are any of you planning to join Reading Ireland month – if so what are you planning to read? In the meantime, I shall raise my glass of Guinness and wish you “Sláinte” (good health).


About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on March 2, 2017, in Irish authors, Reading Ireland and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Will be posting a selection of titles on the Booktrail megamap here – all of them if time permits! I really enjoy reading all your posts x

  2. I’m hoping to get in two before the Man Booker International Prize long list is announced in two weeks. One is by Stuart Neville, the other by Catherine Dunne, neither of whom I’ve read before. But, I liked perusing your list for suggestions!

    • I’m surprised you have the time to even think about Reading Ireland with your BMIP commitment – I see from Stu’s post that there isn’t a lot of time between longlist and shortlist

  3. I’ve heard good things about The Glorious Heresies. And I’ve been wanting to read The Absolutionist for a while – even had it from the library for a few weeks this fall, but it was one of the unlucky ones that got sent back unread. It’s always fun making lists and deciding, isn’t it?

  4. I may join if time permits I have a number of books I could read

  5. I liked The Glorious Heresies, so I would recommend that one. I have The Absolutist on my list of possible books for the month as well. Happy Reading!

  6. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Check out these great books by Irish authors courtesy of the Booker Talk blog.

  7. Every time I see a list for this month I notice more books and authors that are on my piles as well.
    I’m looking forward to your choices. They might be what I need to finally pick up one of those authors (Murdoch or Donoghue)
    Is there a bit missing in the title of the post or am I missing something?

  8. I really enjoyed Good Behaviour and The Glorious Heresies! Happy reading! 🙂

  9. I probably won’t get many Irish authors read in March (RIM coincides with the Stella Prize in Australia, which celebrates female Australian authors) however, I did kick March off with Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder (enjoying it very much so far).

  10. Ancient Light definitely delivers the same sort of lyricism that The Sea did. In fact, it reads very much like a companion piece to that novel, even though it’s actually a sequel of sorts to Eclipse and Shroud. I reviewed it here if you’re interested.

  11. I’ll be reviewing Good Behaviour over the weekend and will also be writing about The Blood Miracles – the follow up to The Glorious Heresies. You have some great choices there, thanks for taking part!

  1. Pingback: Snapshot March 2017 | BookerTalk

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