Wednesday, 5 October 2016

#WorldReads - five books from Ireland

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries at the end of this post.

My chosen country for October is Ireland. I guess it is well-known that the Irish are talented storytellers and I have been looking forward to putting together this WorldReads post recapping five books I have read by Irish authors. I've not just included books that I loved though as my first suggestion shows ...


Past Habitual by Alf MacLochlainn

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Read my original book review on Stephanie Jane

Past Habitual is a collection of twelve short stories recounting aspects of life in wartime Ireland. Although I enjoyed the vivid imagery of a few of the stories, I will admit that overall I found this book wasn't for me. Maclochlainn is the director of the National Library of Ireland though and his writing is highly acclaimed so I have included it in my Five in the hope that other readers will appreciate the work more.


The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

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Read my original book review on Literary Flits

Award-winning novella The Spinning Heart delves into the experiences of the inhabitants of a fictional bankrupt Irish town. Ryan imagines dozens of different voices, each talking to the reader to explain how they have become stranded and their country's economy destroyed. It's a powerful book.


A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

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Read my original book review on Literary Flits

The Irish experience in The Great War is the theme of A Long Long Way. We see Irish men effectively tricked into joining up by the duplicitous English, being turned against their own people, and being subjected to the horrors of the Somme trenches. I love how Barry portrays the global aspect of this truly World War and, although there is strong imagery that I still wish I could unimagine, I think this is an important historical novel of the period.


Alleluia America by Carole Coleman

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Read my original book review on Stephanie Jane

In this fascinating nonfiction book, Irish journalist Coleman undertook a tour of religious communities in America to try and discover why so much of their daily lives revolve around faith when religion generally is in decline across Europe. Her portrayal of contemporary America is often frightening as she questions a highly emotional part of many people's lives.


History of the Rain by Niall Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Read my original book review on Stephanie Jane

Dave was first to discover the wonderful writing of Niall Williams and we now have several of his books. This one is set in a Western Irish town where it is perpetually raining and young bedridden Ruth sees the whole life of the town from her attic room. I loved this book!


That's it for October's WorldReads from Ireland. Please do Comment your own favourite Irish books below and if you fancy buying any of the five I have suggested, clicking through the links from this blog to do so would mean I earn a small commission payment.

If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, we have already 'visited' Australia, CanadaFranceItaly and Nigeria. Next month's post will highlight books from Spain.

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