Skip to content

March book suggestions transport readers to Ireland

Bibliophiles Corner

March book recommendations transport us to the craggy cliffs and verdant hills of the Emerald Isle. Irish language and culture are seeded deep in landscape, tradition, magic, and far too often, conflict and tragedy.

The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

Set in the early 1900s, Eileen O’Neill determinedly seeks to reclaim the yellow house where her divided family was once happy. As war rages at home with the Easter Rebellion, and across the globe during World War I, Eileen is torn between two men with vastly different political views. According to a book blurb from Falvey’s website, “The choice that Eileen makes will change the course of all their lives and give her a true understanding of herself. This novel brings to life the conflicts leading up to the birth of the border that divided the island of Ireland, and still exists today.”

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Young David is propelled into fairy tales with a twist as he grieves his mother’s death. Books become his solace and their characters – monsters and heroes alike – are ruled by a faded king whose secrets are locked in a mysterious book. For David, the boundary between fact and fantasy blurs as his beloved stories begin to whisper to him in the dark of his attic room. The 10th anniversary edition includes two new stories within the novel.

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Stone House, an old decrepit mansion turned guest house, set high on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is the setting that throws an unforgettable cast of characters together. The unlikely pairing of odd guests creates warmth and humor in trademark Binchy style.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

The first of eight primary works in this popular middle grade children’s series. The publisher’s summary states, “When a 12-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology and a particularly nasty troll.”

The Dubliners by James Joyce

This collection of 15 short stories is a “vivid and unflinching portrait of ‘dear dirty Dublin’ at the turn of the century.” These stories delve into the heart of the city of Joyce’s birth, capturing the cadences of Dubliners’ speech and portraying with an almost brute realism their outer and inner lives. Dubliners is Joyce at his “most accessible and most profound,” stated publisher Penguin Classics of the centennial edition (2014).

In the Woods by Tana French

A psychological suspense novel, it is the first of the “Dublin Murder Squad” books. Rob Ryan is a garda detective in the Dublin Murder Squad when the case of a murdered child is strikingly like an unsolved case from two decades before – a case in which a young Ryan was unknowingly involved.

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

This book was nominated for Goodreads Best Historical Fiction in 2019: “In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…” Anne Gallagher travels to her grandfather’s childhood Irish home to spread his ashes. Consumed by his loss, and increasingly by his history she never knew, Anne is pulled into another time and right into the conflicts of Ireland’s fight for independence.

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

This cozy mystery is Book One in the Irish Village Mystery series. Twenty-something Siobhan O’Sullivan runs the family bistro with the help of her five siblings after the death of their parents. Trouble intensifies when a man in a suit is found sitting in a booth – dead, pink barber scissors stuck in his chest.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

This book was an Post Irish Book Award winner for Newcomer of the Year 2012. Set after the death of the Celtic Tiger (1994-2008), when economic and social conditions turned devastating after rapid growth during the prior two decades, this tale is placed in rural Ireland. “Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds. This novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant,” stated Goodreads.

The Sea by John Banville

This book was a 2005 Man Booker Prize-winning novel and an An Post Irish Book Awards winner for Novel of the Year in 2006. The Guardian described the main character, Max Morden, as an art historian “trying to navigate his way through the turbulence of loss and sorrow. The prose ebbs and flows between the past and the present, in this timeless, meditative, disquieting masterpiece.”

By Celeste McNeil



Posted in ,


Recent Stories