Celebrate Irish Authors and Irish Culture with these Books

Published on March 12, 2018

Are you in the St. Patrick's Day spirit? We certainly are over here at the Library! Check out some of our favorite Irish fiction authors and nonfiction books celebrating Irish culture and heritage. On St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 pm, join us for Railway Builders, Rogues, and Reels: The Irish in Chicago. Lake Forest College Assistant Professor of Music, Anne Barry explores the Irish immigrants whose lives became deeply woven into the tapestry of 19th century Chicago. 


Irish Mysteries:

237209 (1).jpgThe Dublin Murder Squad mysteries by Tana French are some of the most character-driven and well-written mysteries out there. While all the books involve murders in and around Dublin, the main character changes from book to book. The first book in the series is In the Woods, but since they have different main characters they don't need to be read in any particular order.

199600.jpg The Quirke series by Benjamin Black follows surly pathologist, Quirke in 1950s Dublin. Black vividly evokes the 1950s historical setting in these intricate and psychologically complex thrillers. The first in the series is Christine Falls.

1625740.jpg The Burren mysteries by Cora Harrison take place in medieval Ireland. In the first book in the series, My Lady Judge, a woman appointed by the King to be judge and lawgiver in the kingdom is hit with a wall of silence as she seeks to investigate the murder of a man at the village festival.


Irish Fiction:

173233 (1).jpg The Irish Country series by Patrick Taylor follows the lives of the residents of Ballybucklebo, a small village in Northern Ireland. In these quiet, sweet stories the villagers become like friends. The first in the series is An Irish Country Doctor.

41977.jpg Maeve Binchy's romance novelsset in Ireland are wonderfully nostalgic stories of people falling in love, sometimes unsuitably; having hopes and dreams; and having deep, long-standing friendships.

538824.jpg Andrew M. Greeley wrote several series, including the Nuala Anne McGrail series, and the Blackie Ryan series, as well as many stand-alones featuring Irish-Americans. 




252577 (1).jpg Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. McCourt's memoir follows his life from his birth in Depression-era Brooklyn to being raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy-- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. 

1985215.jpg The Complete Guide to Irish Dance by Frank Whelan. This book offers a comprehensive history of all aspects of Irish dance, from its ancient origins right up to the present day. The book gives detailed information about Irish dancing from the first day a dancer enrolls at a dance school, right through the different levels of competition up to the World Championship. Special attention is paid to music, costume, embroidery and shoes. Offers clear and simple instructions and diagrams for 30 popular Irish dances, as well as step-by-step photos demonstrating arm and body positions for reels, jigs and hornpipes.

16283917.jpg The Irish: A Photohistory by Sean Sexton. These images do more than tell a gripping political story. They give an insight into a people, a landscape, and a lost way of life. They evoke the grandeur of life in the Big House, home and symbol of the Anglo-Irish elite. They reveal the hard labor of rural survival: cutting peat for fuel, fishing, and tilling the soil against an often harsh landscape. And they show the transforming impact of modernity, as industry, railways, and urban expansion slowly brought Ireland into a new era.

813170.jpg Great Irish Houses and Castles by Jacqueline O'Brien. From the earliest castle strongholds to the impressive creations of the high Victorian era, Ireland's magnificent architectural heritage is richly portrayed here as never before. Splendid new photographs, many taken from the air, present a breathtaking selection of more than 70 important properties. 

19971510.jpg Real Irish Food: 125 Classic Recipes from the Old Country by David Bowers. The first comprehensive cookbook to bring classic Irish dishes to America with an eye for American kitchens and cooks, and with tips and tricks to help reproduce Irish results with American ingredients.

4067581.jpg The Irish Americans by Jay P. Dolan. Dolan follows the Irish from their first arrival in the American colonies through the bleak days of the potato famine that brought millions of starving immigrants; the trials of ethnic prejudice and "No Irish Need Apply;" the rise of Irish political power and the heyday of Tammany politics; to the election of John F. Kennedy as president, a moment of triumph when an Irish American ascended to the highest office in the land.

10762584.jpg Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs by Mike Danahey and Allison Hantschel. From dancing at Hanley's House of Happiness to raising pints at Kelly's Pub on St. Patrick's Day, the history of the Irish community in Chicago is told through stories of its gathering places. Families are drawn to the pub after Sunday church, in the midst of sporting events, following funerals, and during weddings. In good times and bad, the pub has been a source of comfort, instruction, and joy--a constant in a changing world. Based on interviews with tavern owners, musicians, bartenders, and scholars, Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs explores the way the Irish pub defines its block, its neighborhood, and its city.