STARRED REVIEW
March 2019

March: The Hold List

There’s no shortage of brilliant Irish books, but they can tend to be a wee bit bleak. (It’s either the weather or the centuries of oppression.) So we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories set on the Emerald Isle that are a bit lighter. With humor, magic, young love and classic mystery, any of these books would be perfect for reading with a pint or whatever libation tickles your fancy.

STARRED REVIEW

March: The Hold List

March 2019

There’s no shortage of brilliant Irish books, but they can tend to be a wee bit bleak. (It’s either the weather or the centuries of oppression.) So we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories set on the Emerald Isle that are a bit lighter. With humor, magic, young love and classic mystery, any of these books would be perfect for reading with a pint or whatever libation tickles your fancy.

STARRED REVIEW
March 2019

March: The Hold List

March 2019

There’s no shortage of brilliant Irish books, but they can tend to be a wee bit bleak. (It’s either the weather or the centuries of oppression.) So we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories set on the Emerald Isle that are a bit lighter. With humor, magic, young love and classic mystery, any of these books would be perfect for reading with a pint or whatever libation tickles your fancy.

STARRED REVIEW
March 2019

March: The Hold List

There’s no shortage of brilliant Irish books, but they can tend to be a wee bit bleak. (It’s either the weather or the centuries of oppression.) So we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories set on the Emerald Isle that are a bit lighter. With humor, magic, young love and classic mystery, any of these books would be perfect for reading with a pint or whatever libation tickles your fancy.

STARRED REVIEW
March 2019

March: The Hold List

There’s no shortage of brilliant Irish books, but they can tend to be a wee bit bleak. (It’s either the weather or the centuries of oppression.) So we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories set on the Emerald Isle that are a bit lighter. With humor, magic, young love and classic mystery, any of these books would be perfect for reading with a pint or whatever libation tickles your fancy.

March 2019

March: The Hold List

There’s no shortage of brilliant Irish books, but they can tend to be a wee bit bleak. (It’s either the weather or the centuries of oppression.) So we’re sharing a few of our favorite stories set on the Emerald Isle that are a bit lighter. With humor, magic, young love and classic mystery, any of these books would be perfect for reading with a pint or whatever libation tickles your fancy.

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Brooklyn
By Colm Tóibín

To be fair, there is sadness in Tóibín’s story of Eilis, a young Irish woman who emigrates to New York City—homesickness has never been so effectively portrayed. But as Eilis adapts to a dizzying amount of opportunity and freedom, she sees how her new life can be more fulfilling than anything she could have attained in Ireland. Brooklyn is masterfully understated, and Tóibín’s ability to capture his protagonist’s emotional state is astonishing. The tentative warmth of new love, the longing for a family across an ocean and the rush of liberation are nearly tangible on the page, and Tóibín’s evenhanded depictions of both Ireland and America give the novel a lingering, melancholic beauty.

—Savanna, Assistant Editor


Conversations with Friends
By Sally Rooney

 

Friends become lovers, lovers become friends—Rooney’s debut novel is an introspective tale of fleeting pleasures, female sexuality, chemistry and miscommunication, as readers are invited to explore between the cracks of a 20-something woman’s relationships. Frances performs her spoken-word poems in Dublin with her best friend and former lover, Bobbi, and at one of these events they meet an enigmatic photographer named Melissa. Frances and Melissa’s husband, Nick, soon become entangled, and Frances finds herself sinking into a dark place, as her life becomes a web of messy emotions and convoluted motives. The drama is a slow build, the humor is sly, and the dialogue is on point.

—Cat, Deputy Editor


The Commitments
By Roddy Doyle

Doyle is known for his ability to spin an incisive yarn about the painful challenges of modern life and the struggles of the Irish people, like his Man Booker Award-winning novel, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. But his 1987 debut, The Commitments, is decidedly lighter fare. There’s just something about a story of disaffected youth who forge a bond through a shared love of music and pop culture that’s simply irresistible to me, and if you feel the same way, then you’ll inhale this story of a bunch of cheeky, working-class Dubliners determined to bring soul music to their fair city. It’s a rollicking and irreverent story steeped in the 1960s sounds of Motown. Be prepared to fall in love with these brash and complicated lads.
Hilli, Assistant Editor


Himself
By Jess Kidd

A darkly comic murder mystery set in a small Irish village, Kidd’s debut also has a macabre twist. Her handsome sleuth Mahony, who rolls into town to catch his mother’s murderer, can see and talk to the dead. His unjustly slain mother, Orla, had the same powers—which may or may not have led to her death while Mahony was still an infant. To catch the killer, Mahony teams up with one of the town’s many eccentrics, former actress Mrs. Cauley, and they hatch a plot straight out of a Shakespearean drama. They’ll put on a play and place their suspects in the cast. If you’ve read or seen Hamlet, you know things aren’t going to go well. In Kidd’s hands, the chaos is glorious.

—Savanna, Assistant Editor


Broken Harbor
By Tana French

If you haven’t read French’s bestselling six-book Dublin Murder Squad series, now is the time, as Starz is planning an adaptation of the first two books, but it’s not necessary to read them in order. Broken Harbor (the fourth book) is my personal favorite. It’s more of a classic murder mystery than some of the others (and not nearly as emotionally eviscerating as In the Woods), and I loved the narrator, Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, who was a bad guy in Faithful Place but gets a second chance during this investigation of a grisly triple homicide in Dublin. Add in Scorcher’s sister, a troubled woman who dregs up some unsavory childhood memories, and readers are in for a hell of a ride. It’s chilling, creepy and addicting—a perfect police procedural.
—Cat, Deputy Editor 

The Commitments
By Roddy Doyle
Vintage

ISBN 9780679721741

Broken Harbor
By Tana French
Viking

ISBN 9780670023653

Get the Books

Brooklyn

Brooklyn

By Colm Tóibín
Scribner
ISBN 9781501106477
Conversations with Friends

Conversations with Friends

By Sally Rooney
Hogarth
ISBN 9780451499059
The Commitments

The Commitments

By Roddy Doyle
Vintage
ISBN 9780679721741
Himself

Himself

By Jess Kidd
Atria
ISBN 9781501145179
Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor

By Tana French
Viking
ISBN 9780670023653

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