Best Irish Literature

Best books written by Irish authors
1

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2

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4.10 avg rating — 508,331 ratings
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3

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3.85 avg rating — 115,406 ratings
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5

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3.73 avg rating — 103,623 ratings
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6

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4.24 avg rating — 34,267 ratings
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7

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4.25 avg rating — 46,031 ratings
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8

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3.61 avg rating — 121,614 ratings
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9

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3.57 avg rating — 218,514 ratings
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10

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3.83 avg rating — 147,098 ratings
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11

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3.91 avg rating — 11,036 ratings
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12

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4.01 avg rating — 15,122 ratings
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13

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4.45 avg rating — 19,310 ratings
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14

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4.19 avg rating — 2,381 ratings
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15

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4.06 avg rating — 669,914 ratings
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16

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3.79 avg rating — 16,451 ratings
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17

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4.03 avg rating — 56,883 ratings
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18

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4.28 avg rating — 2,867 ratings
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19

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3.76 avg rating — 19,139 ratings
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20

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3.72 avg rating — 1,245 ratings
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21

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3.67 avg rating — 11,215 ratings
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22

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4.05 avg rating — 14,126 ratings
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23

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3.77 avg rating — 275,071 ratings
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24

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3.69 avg rating — 52,265 ratings
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25

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4.05 avg rating — 38,675 ratings
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26

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3.51 avg rating — 22,554 ratings
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27

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3.99 avg rating — 6,426 ratings
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28

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4.14 avg rating — 5,407 ratings
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29

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3.44 avg rating — 218,747 ratings
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30

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3.84 avg rating — 7,135 ratings
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31

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4.02 avg rating — 9,137 ratings
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32

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3.90 avg rating — 70,599 ratings
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33

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3.93 avg rating — 6,895 ratings
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34

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3.73 avg rating — 3,547 ratings
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35

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3.83 avg rating — 7,935 ratings
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36

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3.92 avg rating — 15,112 ratings
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37

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3.85 avg rating — 5,179 ratings
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38

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3.70 avg rating — 3,668 ratings
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39

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3.92 avg rating — 3,099 ratings
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40

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4.28 avg rating — 2,330 ratings
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41

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4.26 avg rating — 477,943 ratings
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42

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3.54 avg rating — 3,018 ratings
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43

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4.47 avg rating — 1,537 ratings
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44

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3.89 avg rating — 5,778 ratings
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45

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4.21 avg rating — 1,988,849 ratings
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46

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3.84 avg rating — 8,716 ratings
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46

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3.76 avg rating — 5,965 ratings
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48

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3.90 avg rating — 84,354 ratings
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49

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4.08 avg rating — 4,716 ratings
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50

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4.05 avg rating — 5,580 ratings
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51

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4.24 avg rating — 54 ratings
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52

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3.89 avg rating — 1,928 ratings
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53

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3.94 avg rating — 6,228 ratings
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54

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4.24 avg rating — 2,385 ratings
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55

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3.87 avg rating — 5,220 ratings
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56

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3.83 avg rating — 8,514 ratings
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57

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3.71 avg rating — 3,927 ratings
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58

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4.04 avg rating — 376,344 ratings
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59

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3.65 avg rating — 9,560 ratings
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60

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4.28 avg rating — 7,876 ratings
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61

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3.95 avg rating — 13,767 ratings
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62

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3.53 avg rating — 1,964 ratings
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63

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3.78 avg rating — 217 ratings
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64

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3.98 avg rating — 1,462 ratings
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64

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3.84 avg rating — 14,223 ratings
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66

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4.18 avg rating — 1,370 ratings
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67

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3.94 avg rating — 1,589 ratings
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68

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3.66 avg rating — 86,661 ratings
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69

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3.86 avg rating — 7,466 ratings
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70

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3.99 avg rating — 2,122 ratings
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71

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3.95 avg rating — 60,301 ratings
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72

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3.93 avg rating — 20,201 ratings
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73

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4.30 avg rating — 500 ratings
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74

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4.26 avg rating — 2,068 ratings
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75

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3.92 avg rating — 252,161 ratings
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76

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3.97 avg rating — 323,192 ratings
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77

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4.17 avg rating — 286,160 ratings
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78

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4.18 avg rating — 216 ratings
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79

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4.07 avg rating — 2,091 ratings
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80

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4.03 avg rating — 206,050 ratings
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81

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3.90 avg rating — 16,870 ratings
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82

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4.13 avg rating — 581 ratings
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83

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3.94 avg rating — 36 ratings
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84

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3.87 avg rating — 13,659 ratings
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85

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3.95 avg rating — 24,677 ratings
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86

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3.47 avg rating — 9,289 ratings
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87

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4.26 avg rating — 5,292 ratings
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88

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3.89 avg rating — 6,687 ratings
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89

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3.85 avg rating — 4,508 ratings
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90

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4.08 avg rating — 7,754 ratings
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90

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3.95 avg rating — 88,280 ratings
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92

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3.56 avg rating — 2,252 ratings
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93

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3.71 avg rating — 14,192 ratings
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94

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3.88 avg rating — 160,290 ratings
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95

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3.73 avg rating — 4,203 ratings
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96

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4.18 avg rating — 2,880 ratings
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97

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4.05 avg rating — 3,147 ratings
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98

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3.62 avg rating — 1,315 ratings
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99

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3.59 avg rating — 666 ratings
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100

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3.89 avg rating — 5,811 ratings
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562 books · 642 voters · list created June 25th, 2008 by Rob Shurmer (votes) .
181 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Rob 1444 books
25 friends
Ashley 1144 books
44 friends
M 1461 books
0 friends
Suzanne 1194 books
56 friends
Marts 40551 books
1665 friends
Alx 268 books
136 friends
Jami 2190 books
56 friends
R. 893 books
74 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Have to add Borstal Boy (Brendan Behan), At Swim Two Birds (Flann O'Brien), At Swim Two Boys (O'Neill), "Translations" (Brian Freel), Famine (O'Flaherty)..........There are so many!!! Rita Ann Higgins, Evan Boland, Edna O'Brien, Seamus Heaney....Come on, people!


message 2: by Daniel (new)

Daniel M Where is Dracula??


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Frankfort Does J.P. Donleavy not count for being Irish American? If he does count, I'd suggest "The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B."


message 4: by Marleen (new)

Marleen A book that should definitely be there is THE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry. It's a recent book, published in 2008 and has been nominated for a few awards among which the LA Times one.


message 5: by Shauna (new)

Shauna "Ireland" by Frank Delaney beautifully combines contemporary Irish characters with classic storytelling of Irish history. Great book!


message 6: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Ascroft I was interested to see The Speckled People on the list as my novel also deals with a German child in Ireland (an evacuee helped by the Red Cross). It is fascinating to see Ireland from an outsider's perspective.

Dianne Ascroft,
author of 'Hitler and Mars Bars'
www.geocities.com/dianne_ascroft


message 7: by Lynda (new)

Lynda What about the Irish author William Trevor, Felicia's Journey and The Story of Lucy Gault? Plus don't forget the Irish novelist Molly Keane, author of Good Behavior and Time After Time.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Frankfort Thanks for the reminder Lynda - I can't believe one my favorite writer's hadn't been mentioned. I just cast my vote for Trevor's Collected Stories.


message 9: by Janna (new)

Janna I'm surprised Samuel Beckett isn't on here either.


message 10: by Janna (last edited Sep 20, 2009 09:02AM) (new)

Janna There is a page 2 at the bottom... it's hard to see, but they're there if people want to vote on them.


message 11: by Melanie (new)

Melanie I would just like to point out that unless there is a place in Ireland called Wales, Dylan Thomas is not Irish.


message 12: by Bethany (new)

Bethany I thought it was odd that Dylan Thomas was on this list!
Great list- I want to read most of these books.


message 13: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Melanie wrote: "I would just like to point out that unless there is a place in Ireland called Wales, Dylan Thomas is not Irish."

Well, he could drink most Irishmen under the table.


message 14: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Maybe a passing librarian can remove Dylan Thomas.


message 15: by Maria (new)

Maria McGrath Janna wrote: "I'm surprised Samuel Beckett isn't on here either."

Do I not see 'Waiting for Godot' on the list?


message 16: by Maria (new)

Maria McGrath I must be getting old because I actually know some of these writers personally. Scary!


message 17: by Bettie (last edited Mar 17, 2011 01:25PM) (new)

Bettie Rutherfurd is not Irish even though his Dublin tales are superb.

:O)

ETA - Heaney is Irish and executed the new sublime translation, however he is not the author of Beowulf.


message 18: by Bud (new)

Bud Norton Favorite authors of irish descent: R. A. Lafferty & Flannery O'Connor


message 19: by C.M. (new)

C.M. Barrett Thank you for this wonderful list.


message 20: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady How about Maria Edgeworth? I have added her because she's Anglo-Irish and lived in County Longford.


message 21: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 11, 2014 12:14PM) (new)

Booklovinglady I just love Jonathan Swift's A modest proposal and have therefore added his Satires and personal writings.

Someone else I was missing on this list was Laurence Sterne, which is why I have added both The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman as well as A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.


message 22: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Booklovinglady wrote: "I just love Jonathan Swift's A modest proposal and have therefore added his Satires and personal writings.

Someone else I was missing on this list was Laurence Sterne, which is why ..."


Good work - lovely choices


message 23: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jan 13, 2015 01:38AM) (new)

Booklovinglady ☯Bettie☯ wrote: "Good work - lovely choices..."

Thanks :-)


message 24: by Leslie (last edited Jan 12, 2015 07:57AM) (new)

Leslie There seem to be some strange entries on this list -- Leon Uris for example (Polish-American). Is this list for books by authors from Ireland or books about Ireland regardless of the author's nationality?

In either case, Flannery O'Connor seems inappropriate, as does Gillian Flynn.


message 25: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jan 13, 2015 01:37AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Leslie wrote: "There seem to be some strange entries on this list-- Leon Uris for example (Polish-American). Is this list for books by authors from Ireland or books about Ireland regardless of the author's nationality?

In either case, Flannery O'Connor seems inappropriate, as does Gillian Flynn. "


As the description of this list clearly says 'Best books written by Irish authors', I fully agree with you and have therefore removed the books by Leon Uris, Gillian Flynn and Flannery O'Connor, as they were all born in the States and are all seen as American (none of them is either from the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland...).


message 26: by Dawn (new)

Dawn This is a great list , but I know there are so many more from this great Green Irish Island that have written very well and we are just not remembering a great read and author ! Everyone knows the Irish are known for telling tales ! God love them all !
Dawn


message 27: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 22, 2016 08:24PM) (new)

Booklovinglady Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong, #442) isn't Irish.... He was born in England, studied in England, and lives in London.


message 28: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn Please add The Country Girls and Girls in Their Married Bliss by Edna O'Brien, also Dinosaurs on Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin.

Enjoyed this list so much but how can Edna O'Brien's breakthrough novels be missing?


message 29: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn oh and Mary Lavin!


message 30: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 08, 2017 01:13AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Evelyn wrote: "Please add The Country Girls and Girls in Their Married Bliss by Edna O'Brien..."

The Country Girls Trilogy & Epilogue The Country Girls ~ The Lonely Girl ~ Girls in Their Married Bliss is already on this list... (voted for it ages ago...)


message 31: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 08, 2017 01:47AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Evelyn wrote: "oh and Mary Lavin!"

Mary O'Grady is on this list (again, voted for it ages ago...)


message 32: by Crowley (new)

Crowley Should Beowulf Really be on this list?
I know that its Heaney-wulf, but given that it's a translation is that fair?
I notice that Bettie mentioned this several years ago, but I agree that as he was not the original writer of the poem, it should not be listed here.
In saying that, I have read the translation as a part of college, and I read several others. Heaney is by far the best, even though he takes a few liberties with the original text. (Not enough to be an original book)


message 33: by Evelyn (last edited Dec 03, 2017 06:33PM) (new)

Evelyn Heaney is Irish and he infused his translation with his Irishness, so I vote yes. Consider Joan Aocella's essay on the Tolkien translation (which also includes an interesting take on the Heaney translation).


message 34: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Tyrrell ‘The Strangling Angel’ and ‘Girl From the Gutter’ - both books have been given consistently positive reviews, yet far too little is written about the atrocities of the Irish Famine, so I appeal to writers of historical fiction to bring it to the attention of the ‘me’ society, those privileged among us, who will never know what it feels like to watch a child die of starvation.


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