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CHALLENGES > THE EMERALD ISLE - READ IRELAND CHALLENGE

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 03, 2016 12:26AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is a thread which can be used as a general discussion about "THE EMERALD ISLE - READ IRELAND" challenge.

We will focus on Ireland , the various locations within Ireland, its people, its places, its events, its conflicts and its cultural icons.

Link to the I Like to Learn Quiz on Europe - lots of fun and learn the locations of all of the countries in this area:

http://www.ilike2learn.com/ilike2lear...


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 12, 2018 06:17AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I am planning to read the Dubliners.

Dubliners

Dubliners by James Joyce by James Joyce James Joyce

Synopsis:

The publication of James Joyce's Dubliners in 1914 was the result of ten years battling with publishers, resisting their demands to remove swear words, real place names and much else.

Although only twenty-four when he signed his first publishing contract for the book, Joyce already knew its worth: to alter it in any way would "retard the course of civilization in Ireland."

Joyce's aim was to tell the truth-- to create a work of art that would reflect life in Ireland at the turn of the last century and by rejecting euphemism, to reveal to the Irish their unromantic reality, which would lead to the spiritual liberation of the country.

Each of the fifteen stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners-- a death, an encounter, an opportunity not taken, a memory rekindled - and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.


message 3: by Carly (new)

Carly (carmeer) | 317 comments I joined the challenge.

This will be a good excuse to finally read How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill which as been on my bookshelf for long time.


message 4: by Michele (last edited Oct 03, 2016 10:45AM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments I just joined the challenge. I may start out with a couple of re-reads. Books that I haven't read in years.

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill

Synopsis:
From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne - the "dark ages" - learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of western civilization - from the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works - would have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland.

In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars, " the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the west's written treasures. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on western culture.

and, If I feel like it: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce by James Joyce James Joyce

Synopsis

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man represents the transitional stage between the realism of Joyce's Dubliners and the symbolism of Ulysses, and is essential to the understanding of the later work.
The novel is a highly autobiographical account of the adolescence and youth of Stephen Dedalus, who reappears in Ulysses, and who comes to realize that before he can become a true artist, he must rid himself of the stultifying effects of the religion, politics and essential bigotry of his background in late 19th century Ireland.
Written with a light touch, this is perhaps the most accessible of Joyce's works


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Those are both great ones and I could use a reread of the second one too - it has been a long time.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 03, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
These are the counties of Ireland:

Ireland was divided up into counties by the English crown around 400 years ago. Since then, the counties have remained largely unchanged.

In Northern Ireland they survive merely as curiosities - not having any actual purpose any more. In the Republic of Ireland, however, these historic divisions are still used as the basis of local government.

The map below shows the 32 counties in the island of Ireland (26 in the Republic of Ireland and 6 in Northern Ireland) as well as some of the major towns (in italics).




message 7: by Brett (new)

Brett | 21 comments This is my first time doing this so I hope I do this correctly. The shelf I created is called "Ireland Challenge." I am going to start off with How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill to cover some ancient/medieval Irish history.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good for you Brett - you got it right. But it is easier to type your message and just put the citation at the bottom of the comment box.


message 9: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) Hello, I've also joined this challenge, because Ireland is one of my favorite countries of the world. I still have to browse a bit to decide which books to read.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
These are the provinces of Ireland:

The Four Provinces

In ancient times, Ireland was divided into provinces, each ruled by a King. These provinces were dynamic and their borders changed all the time. Today, when Irish talk about the provinces of Ireland, they mean Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Connaught. However, historically there were more than 4 provinces: others included Breifne [between Ulster and Connaught], Oriel [around county Armagh] and Meath [the northern half of Leinster]. The map below shows the 4 provinces of Ireland as they currently exist. The borders of these provinces coincide exactly with the county boundaries.




message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Detailed Map showing Cities of Ireland:




message 12: by Michael (last edited Oct 03, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Michael (michaelbl) | 405 comments Just joined. I think my first read will be The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis by C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis


message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 89 comments Hi Bentley! Thanks again for the challenge.

I am planning on reading Trinity by Leon Uris Trinity by Leon Uris Leon Uris. This is a re-read of a book I enjoyed many years ago.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Very good Chris - you don't have to add the title after the book cover - just place the citation at the bottom of the comment b ox.

Trinity by Leon Uris by Leon Uris Leon Uris


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Just joined. I think my first read will be The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisbyC.S. LewisC.S. Lewis"


Very good Michael - let us know how you like it


message 16: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I'm still deciding whether to re-read James Joyce or go with something new. I will then create my shelf as soon as I make up my mind, which as you know seems to take forever!!!! :0)

James Joyce James Joyce


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
No problem Jill (smile)


message 18: by Michele (last edited Oct 06, 2016 01:07PM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments I am actually starting out this challenge with this book:

Irish Myths and Legends
Irish Myths and Legends by Lady Augusta Gregory by Lady Augusta Gregory Lady Augusta Gregory

Synopsis

Combining Gregory's works GODS AND FIGHTING MEN and CUCHULAIN OF MUIRTHEMNE. Gregory retells the myths and legends of the ancient Celts and reveals the roots of Ireland's literary tradition. Contains an index of characters and a pronunciation key to Gaelic names and locations.

Found it in the library and have always wanted to read it, so now is a good time. Lady Augusta Gregory did her translating work in the early 1900's. This edition has a preface worth reading as it was written by William Bulter Yates! Just started the book.


message 19: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) Love that one, Michele. :)


message 20: by Brina (new)

Brina Me and my phone ;) I didn't know about this challenge but I had already planned on reading Angela's Ashes this month. I would also like to read a book by Colm Toibin. Any suggestions?


message 21: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice I'm starting off with:

The Lion and The Cross

The Lion And The Cross by Joan Lesley Hamilton by Joan Lesley Hamilton (no photo)

A novel about St. Patrick


message 22: by Glynn (new)

Glynn | 214 comments Haven't contemplated which books to read yet. Some of the ones people have mentioned on this thread look interesting. I read a great one back in 2013 which I offer as a choice to anyone. If you like golf and even if you don't, this is a great book:

A Course Called Ireland.
A Course Called Ireland A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee by Tom Coyne by Tom Coyne (no photo)


message 23: by Michelle (last edited Oct 11, 2016 11:46AM) (new)

Michelle Lia | 5 comments I would like to read Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. Also yesterday I have discovered that Jonathan Dunne who wrote Hide the Elephant is Irish!

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín by Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín
Hide the Elephant by Jonathan Dunne by Jonathan Dunne Jonathan Dunne


message 24: by Tomi (new)

Tomi | 161 comments Great timing! I have been reading a lot about medieval England and that has led me to an interest in Irish history, so this challenge is spot-on! Don't know what I will start with - looks like a reason to buy more books!


message 25: by Brina (new)

Brina Tomi and Michelle- is there a good Colm Toibin book that you recommend?


message 26: by Tomi (new)

Tomi | 161 comments Brina wrote: "Tomi and Michelle- is there a good Colm Toibin book that you recommend?"

I haven't read any of his - would be interested in recommendations as well.


message 27: by Michelle (last edited Oct 11, 2016 11:42AM) (new)

Michelle Lia | 5 comments I haven't read either but I saw the film Brooklyn and I loved it. If you like historical fiction you could try The Master of course by Colm Toibin. Another on my TBR list is The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin if I am not mistaken based in Ireland. Happy reading!

The Master by Colm Tóibín by Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín
The Heather Blazing by Colm Tóibín by Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín


message 28: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Michele........on your book citations....if there is a book cover, it is not necessary to put the book link. Additionally, the authors picture goes before the author link. (see example below) And please place them at the end of your post for easier reading.

Thanks so much for the great recommendations too!!!

The Master by Colm Tóibín by Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín


message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Lia | 5 comments Ok thanks and sorry it was my first time I used citations.


message 30: by Gyoza (new)

Gyoza | 240 comments Count me in! I have quite a few books by Irish authors on my TBR shelf. I've started with
Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2) by C.S. Lewis by C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis

Then I think I will go on to:
Beowulf by Unknown translated by Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde

Reflections on the Revolution in France  by Edmund Burke by Edmund Burke Edmund Burke

Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu by J. Sheridan Le Fanu J. Sheridan Le Fanu


message 31: by Gyoza (last edited Oct 11, 2016 09:37PM) (new)

Gyoza | 240 comments Teri wrote: "Dubliners is an excellent choice, Bentley. I'll be re-reading it for the challenge. I've also got some Maeve Binchy to pull off my bookshelves, particularly To Light a Penny Candle and Irish Girls ..."

I enjoyed Light a Penny Candle some years ago after Circle of Friends, which touched off a major Maeve Binchy binge. She has a real talent for storytelling, especially stories about ordinary people and relationships.

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy by Maeve Binchy Maeve Binchy
Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy by Maeve Binchy Maeve Binchy


message 32: by Gyoza (new)

Gyoza | 240 comments Michael wrote: "Just joined. I think my first read will be The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisbyC.S. LewisC.S. Lewis"


Definitely one of my favorites by C.S. Lewis!


message 33: by Nita (new)

Nita  (goodreadscomnita) I don't know where to post this, but I plan to read 10 books for this challenge. I have set up Nita's Ireland Challenge shelf.


message 34: by Brett (new)

Brett | 21 comments I finished How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. It was a nice, quick read.
I think I'm going to move on to Dissidents: Irish Republican Women 1923-1941 by Ann Matthews next.

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill

Dissidents Irish Republican Women 1923-1941 by Ann Matthews by Ann Matthews (no picture of author)


message 35: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) So many interesting books to choose from. Thanks, everyone! :)


message 36: by Brina (new)

Brina Second Samanta's sentiments, I like the sound of those books and have some great ideas now.


message 37: by Michele (last edited Nov 06, 2016 09:42AM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments So as I am reading Irish Myths and Legends by Lady Augusta Gregory by Lady Augusta Gregory Lady Augusta Gregory

I ran into a myth about the "King of the world" invading Ireland and got to wondering. I wondered if that might have been referring to the Romans, So I looked it up. What I found was interesting. I am going to drop it into a spoiler, as its on the long side. This was written with info from several sources, one of them being Wikipeda:

(view spoiler)


message 38: by Helga (new)

Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments I have joined this challenge and have listed some of books I want to read. I am currently reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. I have read several of his books.
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill

I will be reading Maeve Binchy's latest book as I have read almost all of her books.

A Few of the Girls Stories by Maeve Binchy by Maeve Binchy Maeve Binchy

I also plan on reading Dubliners by James Joyce and The Sea by John Banville.

Dubliners by James Joyce by James Joyce James Joyce

The Sea by John Banville by John Banville
John Banville


message 39: by James (last edited Oct 15, 2016 07:03AM) (new)

James Martin | 17 comments My Irish Mother-in-Law will be so pleased. Exactly why I joined this group, to challenge myself to read books I probably would never consider without challenges like this, here is my list, by no means is it set in stone. I look forward to viewing other member's lists for ideas.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde By Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde

Dubliners by James Joyce By James Joyce James Joyce

Complete Irish Mythology by Lady Augusta Gregory by Lady Augusta Gregory Lady Augusta Gregory

Ancient Irish Tales by Tom Peete Cross by Tom Peete Cross (no photo)

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill


message 40: by Samanta (last edited Oct 14, 2016 09:37PM) (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) Hello, James! We are so glad you are going to be part of your challenge, and with so many great choices.

Can you, please, check your citations? Your author's covers and link are all supposed to be in the same line with the book cover. Also, when there is no author's photo, just put "(no photo)" after the author's link. Like this:

Ancient Irish Tales by Tom Peete Cross by Tom Peete Cross (no photo)


message 41: by Glynn (new)

Glynn | 214 comments I noticed on Amazon that a kindle edition of Portrait of the Artist is available for free. Don't know if I trust those free e-books though. Too many typos.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce by James Joyce James Joyce


message 42: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments I finished reading how the Irish saved civilization. I am posting from the app and cannot do the proper format. I have been without internet in TV going for three days now do to $#%^ Frontier having some major issue. To say that I am pissed off is an understatement. I will fix the citation and get a review whenever I get the internet back.


message 43: by Karen (new)

Karen (karinlib) I just joined the challenge (I was on vacation, so I didn't see this until now). Earlier this year I read the Dubliners by James Joyce, and I liked it very much. Some stories better than others of course. I had tried to read Joyce before and just could not get into any of his other books. I also read The Master by Colm Toibin, which was fantastic. I think I will start with Northern Ireland for this challenge.

Troubles (German Edition) by J.G. Farrell by J.G. Farrell J.G. Farrell

Dubliners by James Joyce by James Joyce James Joyce
The Master by Colm Tóibín by Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín


message 44: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) Welcome, Karen! :)


message 45: by Brett (new)

Brett | 21 comments I finished Dissidents by Ann Matthews. I had to have my boyfriend (who is from Ireland) give me some background info as I read this book. For some reason I did not notice that this is the second book of hers about Irish republican women. Oh well. It was still interesting.

Dissidents Irish Republican Women 1923-1941 by Ann Matthews by Ann Matthews ( no photo of author)


message 46: by Michele (last edited Oct 18, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments Got my internet back and am playing catch up:

How the Irish Saved Civilization

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill

Review: "How the Irish Saved Civilization..." is a kind of written history that feels like it was born in the oral tradition. This is a book not only scholarly in content, but is readable by all. Certainly, it has become a monument to the Irish monks who one can see painstakingly copying the ancient books of the Greeks for posterity. Cahill's recounting of Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, brings this ex-slave's life for people without compromising his holiness.

(ref: post #6)


message 47: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments see message # 20

Irish Myths and Legends

Irish Myths and Legends by Lady Augusta Gregory by Lady Augusta Gregory Lady Augusta Gregory

Review: There seems to be some confusion as this book has a miniature version. I would like to make it clear that I read the full version, in the larger hardcover size. Having said that, I wish I could say I enjoyed this more, but I couldn't. The book is translated into English which at times is blatantly clear and other times the sentence structures and word choices seem odd. There are numerous difficult names, no real substance to the characters, and this made it nearly impossible to follow the action/story appropriately.


message 48: by Michele (last edited Oct 18, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments I think this will be my next read, I think it counts as it starts in Ireland and ends up in the US.

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary who became an American Hero

The Immortal Irishman The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan by Timothy Egan Timothy Egan

Synopsis:

The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York — the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America. Meagher’s rebirth in America included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade from New York in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War — Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg. Twice shot from his horse while leading charges, left for dead in the Virginia mud, Meagher’s dream was that Irish-American troops, seasoned by war, would return to Ireland and liberate their homeland from British rule. The hero's last chapter, as territorial governor of Montana, was a romantic quest for a true home in the far frontier. His death has long been a mystery to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence.


Thomas Francis Meagher
photo taken between 1862 and 1865


message 49: by James (last edited Oct 25, 2016 08:49PM) (new)

James Martin | 17 comments How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill Thomas Cahill

This is the first book I've read and here is what I thought, (spoiler alerts!)

If you want to read this book and haven't heard anything about it, its premise is that the Irish saved civilization because Irish Monks saved Greco-Roman literature after the barbarians starting overrunning the Roman Empire in the 5th century.

My opinion is I'm glad I read it and will probably skim through it again, but it is a bit esoteric. If you are not up to speed on your Socrates and other philosophers, you may have to read passages a few times. But if you are taking this challenge, I think this is almost a must read. I know much more about Ireland than before I read this book and it is loaded with interesting facts.

You will also learn a lot about the differences between Roman and Irish Christianity, St.Patrick, Irish Poetry, and many other subjects to give context to the Irish World vs the Roman World.

It is a fairly short book, less 300 pages, so even though it wasn't exactly a page turner, in my opinion anyway, it is still well worth the effort and shouldn't take you too long to read. It also achieves the goal of educating the reader about Ireland.


message 50: by Karen (new)

Karen (karinlib) I read this book by Colum McCann because it discusses the North Ireland "Troubles" from the view of a Child.

Everything in This Country Must by Colum McCann by Colum McCann Colum McCann

Synopsis
This slight book contains 2 short stories and a novella, None of main characters in the stories are directly affected by the conflicts, but are in a sense collateral damage of the conflicts.

The novella "Hunger" is the most graphic of the stories, because it describes in detail what a body goes through in a hunger strike. The main character in this story is a boy, who is struggling to become a man, identifies with his uncle who is in prison and on a hunger strike, in a very real way.


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