Reading Us Like A Book

at | 30 Replies

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

The Silent People by Walter Macken

The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien

The Broadsheet Book Of Unspecified Things That Look Like Ireland edited by Aidan Coughlan

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

The Green Road by Anne Enright

Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

Normal People by Sally Rooney

The Sea by John Banville


10 of the best books set in Ireland – that will take you there (The Guardian)


30 thoughts on “Reading Us Like A Book

    1. Brother Barnabas

      for sure- especially Kevin Barry

      I’d also include Jamie ONeill’s At Swim Two Boys

      a beautiful book

      1. Otis Blue

        I’d go for Barry’s City of Bohane. That could make a good movie in the right hands.

        +1 on The Ginger Man, The Butcher Boy and The Third Policeman.

        Though not novels, for me Tim Robinson’s writings on Connemara explores and reveals the nature and sense of place better than anyone.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          even better than robinson in that respect: john moriarty’s nostos

          i think i recall hearing that kevin barry was writing the script for city of bohane

          1. Otis Blue

            Thanks for the heads up on Nostos.

            The City of Bohane pre-production has been knocking around for a while.

  1. Brother Barnabas

    ah lads, you cant be jettisoning prepositions like that-

    it’s 10 *of* the best books, not the 10 best books

    1. Janet, dreams of big guns

      relief, I was going to jump on with ten best sellers does not ten best books make

    1. chimpy

      That fupper beat my Dad black and blue when he was a primary school teacher. Chap was an absolute Sh1tebag

  2. Toby

    Glad to see Walter Macken there. I would add Cré na Cille by Mairtin O Cadhain. but that would be asking a bit much of the Guardian in fairness.

    No room for Joyce? Dubliners?

    Beckett- Murphy?

    Flann O Brien- emmm.. ok… not really a great novelist

  3. Slightly Bemused

    I have only read 2 of those – Angelas Ashes And The Silent People. I still remember the poem within that book:

    We are the silent people
    How long must we be still
    To nurse in secret at our breast
    An ancient culture?

    That was a great trilogy, along with Seek the Fair Land and The Scorching Wind. One drawback is I know a few people who took them as historical fact, not fiction.

    1. Toby

      Rain on the Wind was my favourite. It covered the tragic Cleggan Disaster. He got the darkness of North Connemara spot on.

  4. Joxxxer

    Pffft……No McGahern, Dunleavy or Joyce?

    I have not read it myself, but two friends I trust the opinions on when it comes to books absolutely hated Normal People. What’s the general consensus

    1. ouch

      Didn’t really get the fuss, was very disjointed, looked like a series of short stories stitched together

    2. Optimus Grime

      My wife read it and was of the opinion “If this is the voice of a generation then they should just stay quiet”

    3. italia'90 Please don't mention Sweden

      Think of it like reading 5 hours of SOQ’s comments.
      How would that make you feel?
      I only got half way through tbh
      and chucked it into the pellet burner

      1. Johnny

        …your lack of manners is evident,but try have some class,do you really need pick on someone who’s not even on this tread to feel better about your inability to finish a book.

  5. Harry

    I loved Star of the Sea. Sometimes a book just paints itself perfectly in your minds eye and that did so for me. It was also just a really good yarn.

    Two excellent Irish books I read this year, the latter of which could appear on this list, Nightboat to Tangier, and Solar Bones.

    Lists will never please everyone :-)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *