All tagged Roddy Doyle

{List-O-Rama} Five Fantastic Books About Ireland

Cobh, Ireland; Photo by Flickr user asoltani, Creative Commons licensed.

I (like many of you, I’m sure) was saddened by the news of Irish author Maeve Binchy’s death last week.

I read all of her books that my public library had after the movie based on her book Circle of Friends came out in 1995. The month I spent glomming on her books is probably one of the reasons that two years later I spent half a year living in Cork, Ireland and then returned to Ireland for my graduate degree in Dublin (I still love Cork more than Dublin, for the record). In grad school, much of my focus was on Irish women’s literature (though I was always in trouble for studying the “wrong” people and considering some male writers as as important in terms of the depiction women in the literature of modern Ireland… *sigh*) and Irish lit is an interest of mine.

So, instead of list of non-fiction sports books I was planning on recommending today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite books about Ireland—no worries, Angela’s Ashes is not among them. 

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Though I think some of her other books are “better,” this was the one that led to my reading all of her books, so it has a special place in my heart. If you’ve only seen the movie (why isn’t this streaming anywhere?), you’re missing a whole lot of this story, because the book starts well before the main characters start university in 1950s Dublin. I will say that looking back, one of the things that’s striking to me is that this novel is set in the 50s, and I first went to Dublin in the mid-90s and it wasn’t all that different from what’s described in this book. Now, it’s a very modern, very European city—it’s remarkable how quickly that city transformed.