Another year, another St Patricks Day. Time to dye your hair green, kiss everyone in sight and drink yourself into the ground – no?
Perhaps in my more youthful days that may well have been the case, thankfully no longer. I am grateful my youthful exuberence and inebriation were before the time of social media! What a lucky escape we have all had! These days, I am more inclined to read a good book with the obligatory cup of tea or glass of fizz, depending on the time of day. Given today is about all things Irish, I have focused in on Irish authors. Not the usual suspects of Joyce or Wilde but rather some I have come across by chance, and enjoyed most throughly. So for today I offer up to you my pick….
Marian Keyes ~ Making It Up As You Go Along
I absolutely love Marian Keyes! She makes astute observations about life and adds her own brand of wicked humour. Making It Up As You Go Along is a collection of personal stories told with brutal honesty. They will have you nodding your head and laughing out loud. A great light read, be warned though there are moments of sadness too. Would make a fab holiday read.
Marita Conlon McKenna ~ Rebel Sisters
Shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards Rebel Sisters tells the story of Gifford sisters – Muriel, Grace and Nellie growing up in a wealthy Dublin family around 1916. They are strong willed and independant. This book gives you a real insight into the lives of women who stood alongside their male counterparts in the struggle for Irish freedom. A historical novel well worth a read.
Jennifer Johnston ~ The Old Jest
I first read this book back in the 1990s and have recently revisited it. A compelling tale of 18 year old nancy caught up in ‘ the troubles’ of a 1920s Ireland. Johnstons’ writing is beautiful. She manages to evoke a true sense of time and place to The Old Jest. A beautifully written account about coming of age in a changing political landscape.
Catherine Ryan Howard ~ Distress Signals
I interviewed Catherine for my blog last year just before the release of her debut Distress Signals. You can find the interview here. If psychological thrillers is your bag then this one is for you. This debut has everything you could possibly want in a thriller – action, intrigue, lots of twists and turns. A veritable feast of page turning adrenaline! Short listed for the 2016 Irish Book Awards, Distress Signals follows Adam Dunne in his search for Sarah, his girlfriend who disappears whilst on a business trip to Barcelona. Throw in shinanigans aboard a cruise liner and you’re away! A great beach read.
E M Reapy ~ Red Dirt
Last but by no means least on my list is Red Dirt. Another stunning debut! Red Dirt is a contemporary novel which follows the lives of Murph, Hopper and Fiona. Keen to escape the Irish recession they travel to Australia. This is a book you will either love or hate. It is fast moving, gritty and hard hitting. Split into three sections each told from a different perspective, Red Dirt is not for the faint hearted. The main protagonists make some terrible choices – ultimately it is a story about responsibility. Like I said you will either love it or hate it. I loved it!
So my lovelies, there you have it. These books should keep you out of trouble for a wee while! Have a fabulous St Patricks Day and happy reading!