11 Irish Writers To Read On St. Patrick’s Day
Happy Saint Patrick’s day! Today is the day to wear green, dine on corn beef, and enjoy a pint if you so choose to. The tradition dates back to the ninth or 10th century when Catholics in Ireland observed March 17th as the feast day Saint Patrick. Interestingly enough, the first St. Patrick’s day parade was held in a Spanish Colony, what is now St. Augustine. The parade became a yearly tradition and made it’s way to the U.S. in 1772 when homesick Irish soldiers serving for the English marched in the streets of New York City. The excitement for the yearly tradition grew, and soon cities across America all took place in celebrating St. Patrick.
While many cities have had to cancel their parade’s, you can still enjoy the day by reading a book from one of Ireland’s talented authors. If by the luck of the Irish you find yourself time to read today, make sure it is from one of these 12 Irish writers.
James Joyce gives you a good idea of what Dublin is like in his well-known book, Dubliners. A definitive collection of short stories, Joyce shows readers what Dublin was like at the turn of the twentieth century.
Set in Berline in 1942, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas begins its tale when a boy name Bruno comes home from school and finds out he and his family are moving to be closer to his father’s new job as a Commandant at Auschwitz. While off exploring one day, Bruno meets another boy alongside the fence of the camp his father now works. An unlikely friendship forms and the outcomes look bleak.
Enjoy a good chuckle from the same author who wrote the spooky tale, The Picture of Dorian Gray. In this witty comedy, two women are in love with the same man, or have they? Jack Worthing won Gwendolen’s heart under the name Ernest. Meanwhile, Algernon has also posed as Ernest to woo Cecily. All four meet at Jack’s home one weekend, and the two women fight over “Ernest” in a laugh-out-loud play only a good Irishman could write.
Amid the Irish economic boom, Tristram St. Lawrence finds himself back in his home town. The home town he ran away from after he missed his mother’s death because of his alcohol addiction. Upon arriving, his childhood bully greets him with a business idea. He soon starts to collaborate with this new business idea with a mysterious businessman, and something tells Tristram isn’t right. An intelligent black satire that shows the corruption and greed some possess.
Published in 1726, Gulliver’s Travels is a classic adventure fantasy novel that avid readers enjoy reading to this day. Lemuel Gulliver finds himself shipwrecked on an island inhabited by tiny people. They start petty fights over fashion and fame. The giants that occupy another part of the island are crude yahoos. Many of Jonathan Swift’s commentaries are piercing, brilliant, and exceptionally well done. Swift created a world that mimics our own and is a read to help you reflect on humanity.
Marian Keyes, known for her hilarious novels, recently released Grown Ups in February of this year. Already, people are praising her work! In this mercilessly funny novel, the reader meets the Casey family, John, Ed, and Liam. All three men are married and spend a lot of time together. When Ed’s wife, Cara, gets a concussion, she can’t seem to keep a secret. She starts spilling the beans and disrupting the family dynamic. Anyone with a large family can relate to the Casey family!
From the author of the bestselling novel Angela’s Ashes, comes the next chapter in Frank McCourt’s memior. ‘Tis picks up when McCourt arrives in the U.S., only to shortly be drafted to the army upon his arrival to serve overseas in Germany. When he returns, McCourt attends New York University despite not having finished high school. He finds a passion for teaching and writing, and it is then that he feels like he fits in with the American dream.
Tana French, known for the Dublin Murder Squad book series, starts her first book in a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984. When it’s time to come home for dinner, three children do not respond to their mother’s calls. A search party finds one of them, Rob Ryan, clinging to a tree and covered in blood. Years later, Rob becomes a detective in the town investigating a case, the same case he found himself involved in as a child. Full of plot twists, In the Woods makes for the perfect read to enjoy on a day like today.
For a heart-warming tale, pick up the first book in the P.S., I Love You series. Author Cecelia Ahern engages the reader with the story of Holly and Gerry. It was love at first sight and the two went on to marry. Years later, Gerry gets diagnosed with a brain tumor and the two are separated by his death. As Holly tries to pick herself back up, she finds a bundle of notes from Gerry. Each is signed the same, P.S., I love you.” A real novel for those who enjoy sappy romance stories.
Read something with the kiddos this evening that you all can enjoy! Roddy Doyle’s The Giggler Treatment is rude, yet infectiously funny. The Gigglers are pranksters who take revenge on adults who have been mean to kids. Let’s just hope the kids don’t get any ideas on how to get back at you the next time they’re in big trouble.
The Chronicles of Narina continue with Irish-born author C.S. Lewis sixth book in the series, The Silver Chair. As Eustace and Jill escape from the bullies at school, they conveniently find a door that takes them to Narnia. Aslan is there to greet them and give them a dangerous task that brings them face-to-face with the evil witch. What happens? You’ll have to read to find out!
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