Ten best books about Ireland
There is no shortage of great books about Ireland. Here's a sampler to help you celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Looking for something good to read on St. Patrick's Day? You've got your pick when it comes to both great Irish literature and that by the multitude of non-Irish who were inspired by the Emerald Isle to pick up their pens and write. Below is a list of those most likely to please:
3. "Trinity" by Leon Uris. Through the intersecting lives of several Irish families, Uris tells the story of Ireland from the Famine of the 1840s on through the Easter Rising of 1916.
4. "How the Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill. Cahill presents Ireland as "an island of saints and scholars" who kept Western civilization alive during the Dark Ages.
5. "William Trevor: The Collected Stories." It's hard to pick just one title by this Irish master so perhaps best to go with the omnibus.
6. "The Commitments" by Roddy Doyle. You could pick up any Roddy Doyle work and learn a good bit about life in Ireland, but this story of a group of working-class Irish kids who form a band and hope to bring soul to Dublin is particularly winning.
8. "The Last of the Donkey Pilgrims" by Kevin O'Hara. In this charming travelogue, an Irish-American Vietnam vet travels around Ireland in the company of a donkey, hoping to heal his emotional wounds.
9. "The Country Girls" by Edna O'Brien. It caused a scandal in its time, but it's still hard to overlook this 1960 classic about two Irish girls who try to escape their rural roots by moving to Dublin.
10. "The Glass Lake" by Maeve Binchy. There are those who find Binchy's books too sentimental, but it's hard not to like this coming-of-age tale anchored in the small Irish country town of Lough Glass.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.