Thursday, March 07, 2013

A Touch of the Irish

It's getting a little closer to St. Patrick's Day, and even those of us who aren't Irish seem to want to feel a touch of it in March. So, for something a little different, I thought I'd mention a few books, cds, and a movie with a touch of the Irish. Look for them at your favorite public library or bookstore.

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day reading comes Rhys Bowen's latest Molly Murphy mystery, The Family Way. Molly is now Molly Sullivan, expecting her first baby, and getting antsy with nothing to do. Danny refuses to allow her to get involved when she learns five babies have been kidnapped, and he sends her out of the city for the summer. But, Molly can't rest, and a letter sent to her old detective agency asks her to hunt for a missing Irish serving maid. Molly's investigation puts herself and her own baby at risk.



I recommended Sheila Connolly's Buried in a Bog, and my mom and sisters all read it at the same time. They all checked it out from their libraries. Connolly's love of Ireland comes through on every page. When Maura Donovan's Gran dies in Boston, she leaves her just enough money to go to Ireland and see the village where her Gran grew up. She's welcomed by an old friend of her Gran's, and before she knows it, she has a place to stay, the use of a car, and a job at Sullivan's Pub. And, somehow, she manages to stumble onto a crime scene and become a target herself. This multi-layered mystery is one of the best cozy mysteries I've read this year.

Luanne Rice's The Silver Boat is the story of three sisters. When their mother dies, they're faced with the prospect of selling the family home. Instead, one sister proposes that they travel to Ireland. Their father disappeared when he set out to sail there. Now, they hope to learn the truth about a land grant that he always said belonged to his family.

Even if you've never read Sherryl Woods' Chesapeake Shores series, you could pick up An O'Brien Family Christmas, a story about a romance that develops when the entire O'Brien clan goes to Ireland to make sure Nell, the matriach, gets home for the holidays.

I kept a copy of Katie Fforde's Love Letters. It's the perfect book for a reader who loves British romantic comedies. Laura Horsley loses her beloved job at a bookstore, and agrees to help a literary festival in its first year. However, the organizers believe she knows a reclusive Irish author, and send her off to Ireland to recruit him for the festival. Book stores, book festivals, authors, England, and Ireland, all wrapped up in a fun romance with a strong heroine.

I haven't read books by either of these authors, but wanted to mention their books. Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor books are dark. They feature Taylor, dismissed from the Garda Slochana (police) for drinking. He now finds things for people in Galway, Ireland. Guards, the first in the series, won the Shamus for Best First Novel. Erin hart's latest book, The Book of Killowen, was just released. Her books feature Cormac Maguire, an Irish archaeologist, and Nora Gavin, an American pathologist working in Ireland.

Looking for a nonfiction book or two about Ireland? Our library has more than one entire range filled with books about Ireland, but I'll mention two. Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization was a best seller when it came out. The historical account discusses the importance of Ireland following the fall of Rome to the rise of Medieval Europe. And, I just checked out a book in one of my favorite series, the Dummy books. It's Irish History for Dummies by Mike Cronin.

I wanted to include a movie I enjoy. I bought Leap Year starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. It's the story of a young woman who follows her fiance to Ireland, planning to propose to him. However, she ends up having a series of misadventures with a pub owner as he drives her to Dublin. This fun romantic comedy is filled with beautiful scenery.






There are all kinds of cds with Irish music. If you watch PBS, you may have seen Celtic Woman. Their music is wonderful. But, I'm a bigger fan of Celtic Thunder, six individual performers who tour as a show together. Their latest cd and dvd, Mythology, has just been released. Mythology is the story of the Celts in Ireland; their legends, history and stories told in song.

Looking for something for St. Patrick's Day? Pick it up now at your favorite library or bookstore.






15 comments:

SandyG265 said...

My favorite Irish movie is The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Jane R said...

As a child I loved St Patrick's Day. It was always fun to see all my friends wearing lots of green, including one with green hair. It was great until it started raining at recess and the dye covered her face, her clothes.... Thanks for all the timely book suggestions!

Charlotte said...

I checked the catalog at our library for Sheila Connolly book. They don' t carry it. I downloaded a sample copy on my iPad to see if I want to buy it. It does sound like a good book.

Lesa said...

I've never seen The Quiet Man, Sandy, but I think I need to. I've heard good things about it, and now you said it's your favorite Irish movie.

Lesa said...

So funny, Jane! I'm sorry. As an adult, that strikes me as hilarious, but I know how mortifying that must have been to her.

Lesa said...

Four votes in my family for it, Charlotte.

Carol N Wong said...

All of the books sound great. I told everyone that I didn't have any Irish in my background until a cousin uncovered some Irish roots back to Armaugh, Northern Ireland. You never know!

Jane R said...

Oh Lesa, it was funny. And, as I recall, my friend took it in stride. She was a bit of a tomboy and it didn't really bother her too much. But the teacher was another story. She was definitely mortified! And now it's a great memory from my grade school years.

Lesa said...

My husband was 1/4 Irish, Carol. But, I don't know that I have any Irish blood. You never know, though.

Lesa said...

It's a good story, Jane. And, I'm glad your friend was OK. I thought it was funny.

Karen C said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Lesa. I'm Irish - as well as Scotch, English, and German!

Libby Dodd said...

I may not be in your family, but I add another vote for Buried in a Bog. It's well written and just a little different. Not a "cookie cutter" story line.

Can't say I agree on Leap Year. I thought it was rather formulaic and poorly developed. I really couldn't care about the characters.
But, to each her own.

Lesa said...

You're right, Libby. Not at all a cookie cutter story line.

I think you might be right on Leap Year. But, it just hits me right. Another one that's pretty much a formula is Letters to Juliet, but I like that one, too. Sometimes I just enjoy fluff that makes me feel good.

Susan said...

I have added the Sheila Connolly to my get list asap! it sounds delightful. This is a good resource list for some interesting fiction set in Ireland. Thanks so much, Lesa.

I read Haunted Ground by Erin Hart, and liked it so much I gave it to two other people to read also. I missed the second book and hope my library has it. Cath at Read-Warbler has been singing the praises of Katie Fforde for over a year now, and I haven't been able to find any of her books here in Canada yet. I'll keep looking :-)

Betsy said...

I thought Haunted Ground was Erin Hart's best yet in the series. Definitely recommend it!