Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up! March Madness (men’s college basketball) started yesterday and everyone is doing brackets. I thought it might be fun to list my Elite Eight books of a certain genre. But then St. Patrick’s Day happened and I started thinking about my favorite Irish authors and books taking place in Ireland. So, I decided to roll both ideas into one fantastic book round-up. So without further ado, here are my Elite Eight Books written about Ireland and/or by Irish authors:
1-Collected Stories by Frank O’Connor
The definitive collection of short stories by a master of the form and one of Ireland’s most celebrated authors
This indispensable volume contains the best of Frank O’Connor’s short fiction. From “Guests of the Nation” to “The Mad Lomasneys” to “First Confession” to “My Oedipus Complex,” these tales of Ireland have touched generations of readers the world over and placed O’Connor alongside W. B. Yeats and James Joyce as the greatest of Irish authors.
Analyzing a Robert Browning poem, O’Connor once wrote: “Since a whole lifetime must be crowded into a few minutes, those minutes must be carefully chosen indeed and lit by an unearthly glow.” Each of the sixty-seven stories gathered here achieves the same incredible feat of the imagination, laying bare entire lives and histories within the space of a few pages. Dublin schoolteacher Ned Keating waves good-bye to a charming girl and to any thoughts of returning to his village home in the lyrical and melancholy “Uprooted.” A boy on an important mission is waylaid by a green-eyed temptress and seeks forgiveness in his mother’s loving arms in “The Man of the House,” a tale that draws on O’Connor’s own difficult childhood. A series of awkward encounters and humorous misunderstandings perfectly encapsulates the complicated legacy of Irish immigration in “Ghosts,” the bittersweet account of an American family’s pilgrimage to the land of their forefathers.
As a writer, critic, and teacher, O’Connor elevated the short story to astonishing new heights. This career-spanning anthology, epic in scope yet brimming with the small moments and intimate details that earned him a reputation as Ireland’s Chekhov, is a testament to Frank O’Connor’s magnificent storytelling and a true pleasure to read from first page to last.
2-The Tour: A Trip Through Ireland by Jean Grainger
Every week Conor O’Shea collects a new group of American visitors from Shannon Airport from where they embark on a high end voyage of the ‘Real Ireland.’ But this particular tour, with its cast of unintentionally hilarious characters, presents seasoned tour guide Conor with dilemmas that render him speechless for the first time in his life.
Among this eclectic group are Corlene, a gold-digging multiple divorcée on the prowl; Patrick, a love-starved Boston cop; Dylan, a goth uilleann piper; Dorothy, a poisonous college professor who wouldn’t spend Christmas; Elliot, a wall street shark who finally shows his true colours; and then there’s Ellen, back on Irish soil after so many years, to discover a truth nobody could have guessed, least of all herself. And that’s just a few of the colourful cast.
The locals they meet on their journey, eccentric West Brits, passionate musicians, Ukrainian waitresses and Garda high flyers all help to make this a tour no-one will ever forget.
And of course there’s Conor O’Shea in the thick of it all, solving problems and mending hearts, but what about his own?
This is a story filled with romance, humour, history, culture and a little bit of mystery all against the backdrop of the beautiful and inspirational Emerald Isle.
3-Dubliners by James Joyce
Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.
The stories were written when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce’s idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character experiences self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by child protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce’s tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity.
4-After The Rising by Orna Ross
When Jo Devereux returns to Ireland for her mother’s funeral, the last person she expects to meet there is Rory O’Donovan. The secrets and silences between Jo’s family and Rory’s was the one constant of their childhood — and erupted into bitter conflict when they fell in love.
Now, 20 years on, Jo is back in village where they both grew up and he’s urging her to stay on. To her own surprise, she’s tempted. Is it because her life in San Francisco is such a disaster since her friend Richard died? Because she wants to rekindle the relationship with her mother gone? Or because she wants to know the truth about the past?
Soon Jo is uncovering astonishing truths about her mother and grandmother and women’s role in the conflict known as “The War of The Brothers”. And about a killing with consequences that have ricocheted through four generations.
Rory, mired in an unhappy marriage, is urging her to rebel again — but reading their family histories has made Jo cautious. Rebellion has an energy that sweeps people up but what happens after the rising?
Jo is about to find out.
5-A Pocket Full of Shells (An Irish Family Saga Book 1) by Jean Reinhardt
In 1846 a baby girl is born to a young Irish fisherman and his wife. It is the second year of The Great Hunger and the young couple choose to remain in Ireland while family and friends are leaving. Their story takes place in the fishing village of Blackrock, near Dundalk, but the cities of Liverpool and Sunderland have a significant influence on their lives. Is their love for each other and their homeland enough to sustain them? Will they be forced to join the one and a half million who emigrate? This is the story of a young man’s love for his wife and child as he struggles to provide for a family in one of the darkest periods of Ireland’s history.
6-The Collected Works of George Bernard Shaw: Plays, Novels, Articles, Letters and Essays: Pygmalion, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Candida, Arms and The Man, … on War, Memories of Oscar Wilde and more by George Bernard Shaw
This carefully crafted ebook: “The Collected Works of George Bernard Shaw: Plays, Novels, Articles, Letters and Essays” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish playwright, essayist, novelist and short story writer and wrote more than 60 plays. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Academy Award (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (an adaptation of his own play)
Cashel Byron’s Profession
An Unsocial Socialist
Love Among The Artists
The Irrational Knot
Mrs. Warren’s Profession
The Man Of Destiny
Arms And The Man
You Never Can Tell
The Devil’s Disciple
Captain Brassbound’s Conversion
Caesar And Cleopatra
The Gadfly or The Son of the Cardinal
The Admirable Bashville
Man And Superman
John Bull’s Other Island
How He Lied To Her Husband
Passion, Poison, And Petrifaction
The Doctor’s Dilemma
The Interlude At The Playhouse
The Shewing-Up Of Blanco Posnet
The Dark Lady Of The Sonnets
Fanny’s First Play
Androcles And The Lion
The Music Cure
O’Flaherty, V. C.
The Inca Of Perusalem
Augustus Does His Bit
Skit For The Tiptaft Revue
Annajanska, The Bolshevik Empress
Back To Methuselah
What do Men of Letters Say?
The Miraculous Revenge
Quintessence Of Ibsenism
Basis of Socialism
The Transition to Social Democracy
The Impossibilities Of Anarchism
The Perfect Wagnerite
Letter to Beatrice Webb
The New Theology
Memories of Oscar Wilde
The Revolutionist’s Handbook And Pocket Companion
Maxims For Revolutionists
The New Theology
How to Write A Popular Play
Memories of Oscar Wilde
George Bernard Shaw
The Quintessence of Shaw
Old and New Masters…
7-Oscar Wilde: Collection of 300 Classic Works with analysis and historical background (Annotated and Illustrated) (Annotated Classics) by Oscar Wilde
- Illustrated with the original images.
Annotated with concise introduction, including analysis of Oscar Wilde’s works as well as modern view on Wilde’s historical background.
Original footnotes are hyperlinked for easy reference.
The collection includes alphabetical and chronological indexes of Wilde’s works.
Each book features its own active Table of Contents.
Includes Oscar Wilde’s Biography.
Includes Oscar Wilde’s most famous quotes.
Includes analysis of Oscar Wilde’s literary style.
Includes analysis of Wilde’s London.
All Annotated Classics books are beautifully designed for easy reading and navigation on e-Readers and mobile devices.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Duchess of Padua
A Florentine Tragedy
For Love of the King
An Ideal Husband
The Importance of Being Earnest
Lady Windermere’s Fan
La Sainte Courtisane
Vera; or, The Nihilists
A Woman of No Importance
The Birthday of The Infanta
The Canterville Ghost illustrated
The Devoted Friend illustrated
The Fisherman and His Soul
The Happy Prince illustrated
A House of Pomegranates
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
The Model Millionaire
The Nightingale and the Rose illustrated
The Portrait of Mr. W. H
The Remarkable Rocket illustrated
The Selfish Giant illustrated
The Sphinx without a Secret
The Young King
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Selected Poems & Sonnets (75 poems)
Art and the Handicraftman
De Profundis expurgated version
The English Renaissance of Art
Intentions (The Decay of Lying, Pen, Pencil And Poison, The Critic As Artist, The Truth of Masks)
Lecture to Art Students
The Rise of Historical Criticism
Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde
Shorter Prose Pieces
The Soul of Man Under Socialism
BIOGRAPHY & HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:
Oscar Wilde Biography
Oscar Wilde: Art and Morality by Stuart Mason
Oscar Wilde, a Critical Study by Arthur Ransome
Oscar Wilde: An Idler’s Impression by Edgar Saltus
Oscar Wilde by Leonard Cresswell Ingleby
Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions VOLUME I by Frank Harris
Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions VOLUME II by Frank Harris
The Green Carnation by Robert Smythe Hichens
QUOTES & ANALYSIS:
Dorian Gray syndrome
8-Country Girl: A Memoir by Edna O’Brien
“Country Girl is Edna O’Brien’s exquisite account of her dashing, barrier-busting, up-and-down life.”–National Public Radio
When Edna O’Brien’s first novel, The Country Girls, was published in 1960, it so scandalized the O’Briens’ local parish that the book was burned by its priest. O’Brien was undeterred and has since created a body of work that bears comparison with the best writing of the twentieth century. Country Girl brings us face-to-face with a life of high drama and contemplation.
Starting with O’Brien’s birth in a grand but deteriorating house in Ireland, her story moves through convent school to elopement, divorce, single-motherhood, the wild parties of the ’60s in London, and encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars, and literary titans. There is love and unrequited love, and the glamour of trips to America as a celebrated writer and the guest of Jackie Onassis and Hillary Clinton. Country Girl is a rich and heady accounting of the events, people, emotions, and landscape that have imprinted upon and enhanced one lifetime.
Who’s your favorite Irish Author and/or book written about Ireland? Share in the comments below.
MRS N, Book Addict