Best Irish Literature

Best books written by Irish authors
1

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2

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3

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5

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3.73 avg rating — 113,146 ratings
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6

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4.23 avg rating — 35,749 ratings
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7

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4.25 avg rating — 47,345 ratings
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8

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3.62 avg rating — 129,956 ratings
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9

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3.58 avg rating — 236,229 ratings
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10

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3.83 avg rating — 164,579 ratings
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11

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3.89 avg rating — 11,633 ratings
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12

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 16,442 ratings
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13

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4.48 avg rating — 14,009 ratings
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14

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4.06 avg rating — 729,927 ratings
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15

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4.19 avg rating — 2,515 ratings
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16

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4.04 avg rating — 59,397 ratings
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17

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3.80 avg rating — 17,642 ratings
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18

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4.28 avg rating — 2,988 ratings
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19

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3.76 avg rating — 20,213 ratings
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20

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3.77 avg rating — 317,040 ratings
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21

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3.73 avg rating — 1,279 ratings
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22

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4.04 avg rating — 40,568 ratings
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23

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3.67 avg rating — 11,640 ratings
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24

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3.69 avg rating — 56,836 ratings
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25

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4.05 avg rating — 14,335 ratings
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26

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3.51 avg rating — 26,051 ratings
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27

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3.46 avg rating — 245,838 ratings
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28

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4.15 avg rating — 6,058 ratings
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29

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3.86 avg rating — 8,828 ratings
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30

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3.84 avg rating — 7,692 ratings
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31

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4.02 avg rating — 9,651 ratings
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32

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3.91 avg rating — 73,550 ratings
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33

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3.93 avg rating — 7,302 ratings
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34

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3.84 avg rating — 8,412 ratings
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35

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4.26 avg rating — 534,131 ratings
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36

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3.74 avg rating — 3,782 ratings
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37

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3.93 avg rating — 16,630 ratings
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38

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3.87 avg rating — 5,766 ratings
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39

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3.70 avg rating — 3,901 ratings
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40

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3.93 avg rating — 3,412 ratings
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41

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3.90 avg rating — 88,534 ratings
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42

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4.46 avg rating — 1,590 ratings
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43

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4.28 avg rating — 2,680 ratings
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44

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4.22 avg rating — 2,191,354 ratings
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45

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3.57 avg rating — 3,475 ratings
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46

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4.06 avg rating — 6,374 ratings
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47

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3.90 avg rating — 6,489 ratings
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48

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3.84 avg rating — 9,379 ratings
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48

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3.76 avg rating — 6,297 ratings
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50

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4.04 avg rating — 425,065 ratings
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51

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4.08 avg rating — 5,019 ratings
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52

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3.87 avg rating — 5,593 ratings
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53

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4.29 avg rating — 59 ratings
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54

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3.88 avg rating — 2,420 ratings
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55

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3.94 avg rating — 6,576 ratings
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56

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4.24 avg rating — 2,528 ratings
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56

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4.18 avg rating — 1,399 ratings
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58

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3.67 avg rating — 97,892 ratings
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59

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3.84 avg rating — 8,940 ratings
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60

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3.95 avg rating — 14,524 ratings
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61

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3.86 avg rating — 465,206 ratings
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62

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3.70 avg rating — 4,236 ratings
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63

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3.64 avg rating — 9,897 ratings
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64

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4.28 avg rating — 8,199 ratings
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65

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3.55 avg rating — 2,147 ratings
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66

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4.18 avg rating — 307,644 ratings
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67

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3.78 avg rating — 238 ratings
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68

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3.98 avg rating — 1,513 ratings
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68

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3.83 avg rating — 15,783 ratings
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70

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3.99 avg rating — 2,268 ratings
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71

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3.97 avg rating — 1,929 ratings
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72

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4.30 avg rating — 524 ratings
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73

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3.87 avg rating — 8,021 ratings
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74

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3.96 avg rating — 63,944 ratings
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75

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3.91 avg rating — 283,913 ratings
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76

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3.94 avg rating — 21,142 ratings
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77

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3.97 avg rating — 359,211 ratings
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78

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4.08 avg rating — 2,216 ratings
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79

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3.91 avg rating — 17,847 ratings
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80

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4.26 avg rating — 2,214 ratings
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81

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4.01 avg rating — 229,822 ratings
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82

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4.15 avg rating — 233 ratings
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83

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3.89 avg rating — 6,579 ratings
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84

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4.13 avg rating — 621 ratings
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85

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3.91 avg rating — 35 ratings
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86

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3.88 avg rating — 14,843 ratings
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87

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3.96 avg rating — 25,673 ratings
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88

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3.49 avg rating — 9,993 ratings
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89

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4.08 avg rating — 404,646 ratings
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90

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4.26 avg rating — 5,437 ratings
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91

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3.89 avg rating — 7,016 ratings
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92

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3.84 avg rating — 4,892 ratings
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93

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3.93 avg rating — 4,274 ratings
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94

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3.93 avg rating — 97,880 ratings
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95

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3.57 avg rating — 2,348 ratings
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96

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3.72 avg rating — 14,871 ratings
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97

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3.74 avg rating — 4,529 ratings
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98

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3.95 avg rating — 246,761 ratings
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99

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4.18 avg rating — 3,192 ratings
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100

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4.06 avg rating — 3,301 ratings
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575 books · 662 voters · list created June 25th, 2008 by Robert (votes) .
187 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Robert 1552 books
28 friends
Ashley 1208 books
44 friends
M 1462 books
0 friends
Suzanne 1222 books
56 friends
Marts 42718 books
1653 friends
Alex 322 books
145 friends
Jami 2335 books
58 friends
R. 893 books
73 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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