Irish authorsReading Ireland

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).



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

23 thoughts on “Irish authors call the tune

  • 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

  • Pingback: Snapshot March 2017 | BookerTalk

  • 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

  • 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?

    • Im good at making the list – but not so good at reading through them!

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

  • 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!

  • 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?

    • Something went a bit wrong with the post title – thanks for spotting it Caroline. I probably won’t read the Murdoch this time around….

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

    • good to know that Juliana.Both have been waiting to be read for about a year

  • 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).

    • When I saw your comment that its a sequel to two other novels I started to think I would need to read those first.But then reading your review it seems I dont really need to worry about that…phew

      • No, but I would definitely recommend Shroud. Banville considers it his best book.

  • 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!

    • Actually I think the thanks should go to you for the initiative in setting this up


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