75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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2016-2021 Chat > Book Recommendation Thread

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message 1: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
This is a place to ask your fellow book nerds for specific book recommendations! Please provide a link to the Goodreads page of the book you're recommending if possible.


message 2: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
I'll start! I am planning an Ireland trip next May. Anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession with both Ireland and Maine, with rugged cliffs, with horror, with folklore, and with superstitions. Color me surprised (and beyond happy) when I opened an Ireland travel book not too long ago and on the first page, the author compares it to Maine!!!!!! Anyhow, I am looking for books that take place in Ireland, preferably fiction, but non-fiction will be considered if it centers around folklore or particularly beautiful places. I am hoping to come up with a list of places mentioned in books I read that I could visit during that trip.


message 3: by Elyse, Moderator (last edited Sep 13, 2019 10:17AM) (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7447 comments Mod
Any Morgan Llywelyn! And she's got a TON. I own about 15 and haven't read any. lol.


message 4: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Elyse wrote: "Any Morgan Llywelyn! And she's got a TON. I own about 15 and haven't read any. lol."

Thanks, Elyse!!!!


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (carol07) | 2615 comments Juli wrote: "I'll start! I am planning an Ireland trip next May. Anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession with both Ireland and Maine, with rugged cliffs, with horror, with folklore, and with superstitions...."

Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show (A Novel of Ireland, #1) by Frank Delaney. It is a great book. Also, Ireland by Frank Delaney. Have a great trip!


message 6: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1738 comments Elyse wrote: "Any Morgan Llywelyn! And she's got a TON. I own about 15 and haven't read any. lol."

Yes! I went through a phase where I read everything I could get my hands on by her. The only two that stuck with me, though, were Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish and Red Branch (and I have fond memories of devouring those stories- they are both set in ancient Ireland and that was definitely jam then).

Angela's Ashes was good, whether or not you take it as gospel truth (he's been accused of engaging in a fair bit of exaggeration).

And then there's always Ulysses, which I fully admit to not being able to finish. There are folks that retrace the main character's day through Dublin each year on Bloomsday (I believe Bloomsday is in June, though, so you'll miss it)


Katie {awonderfulbook} | 658 comments Yep, Bloomsday is in June, the 16th to be exact. I would recommend Ulysses, though I recommend an edition with explanatory notes or some kind of glossary for non-Irish (and even some Irish) readers. You might try Dubliners by James Joyce, Juli. It's a short story collection that gives a good sense of Dublin city in the early 20th century (Ulysses does this too, and many of the places named are still in existence).

I echo Carol's suggestion of Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney. It gives a sense of the old storytelling tradition in Ireland, and gives some historical detail, as well as telling stories about some famous Irish landmarks.

Ireland is famous for its poetry, and I would recommend some WB Yeats, and Seamus Heaney. There's also Eavan Boland. Parts of the West of Ireland, specifically around Sligo and Clare, are known as Yeats country, and I think his poetry will give you a sense of the place he's from as well as his take on Irish history (the early 20th century conflict with the British in particular).

I'm trying to think of more recent Irish writing you could read, but, to my shame, I haven't read much of it myself. You might try John Boyne and Edna O'Brien. Both well regarded writers that may give you a sense of Ireland through the 20th century. Roddy Doyle is also quite prolific, though not literary. Joseph O'Connor also, Colm Toibin (pronounced Toe-been), John Banville. Anna Burns and Sally Rooney are more recently becoming known. Burns' novel is set during the Troubles, what we call the conflict between Unionist and Nationalist factions in Northern Ireland, also between Nationalist organisations and the British military, and Rooney writes about life for the younger generations in Ireland.

If you're interested in modern Irish history, you might like Diarmuid Ferriter's writing.

I'd agree with Stacie that Angela's Ashes is decent, but be wary of factuality. There have been a lot of books, fictional, non-fictional, and in between that misrepresent Irishness, particularly for American audiences. There is a real Ireland that's often quite different from representations of 'the old country' that seem to be popular around the world.


message 8: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "Juli wrote: "I'll start! I am planning an Ireland trip next May. Anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession with both Ireland and Maine, with rugged cliffs, with horror, with folklore, and with s..."

Oh, these sound great!


message 9: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Stacie wrote: "Elyse wrote: "Any Morgan Llywelyn! And she's got a TON. I own about 15 and haven't read any. lol."

Yes! I went through a phase where I read everything I could get my hands on by her..."


Ulysses is so intimidating to me!


message 10: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Katie wrote: "Yep, Bloomsday is in June, the 16th to be exact. I would recommend Ulysses, though I recommend an edition with explanatory notes or some kind of glossary for non-Irish (and even some Irish) readers..."

Wonderful suggestions. I had Yeats on my radar of course, but somehow glance over any other poetry options!


message 11: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Ok, another book recommendation needed. I am drawing a total blank. My book club does reading prompts (aka themes for the month) rather than read the same book. This month's prompt is "back to school - a book with a school/university/etc setting. Any must-reads maybe in the horror, fantasy, YA, graphic novel or literary fiction genres?


Katie {awonderfulbook} | 658 comments I don't read a lot of poetry myself, but we all study Yeats and Heaney at school, so we know them! Actually, there is a book of poetry that we used to use at school called Soundings. It's so popular that they re-released it after many years. From what I remember, it has other poets in it, not just Irish, but it does have a good bit of Irish poetry in it, so it might be a good one to start with if you're specifically interested in Irish poetry.

Soundings, edited by Augustine Martin

It's from 1969 originally, so it won't have modern stuff, but it might interest you :)


message 13: by Katie {awonderfulbook} (last edited Sep 18, 2019 08:20AM) (new)

Katie {awonderfulbook} | 658 comments Maybe The Secret History by Donna Tartt for the back to school prompt? I know that's probably the most obvious one!


message 14: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Katie wrote: "Maybe The Secret History by Donna Tartt for the back to school prompt? I know that's probably the most obvious one!"

I feel like I've read this a long time ago in German. Might be fun to revisit in English.


Katie {awonderfulbook} | 658 comments Interesting! Yes, that might be a fun experience :)


message 16: by Carol (new)

Carol (carol07) | 2615 comments Juli wrote: "Ok, another book recommendation needed. I am drawing a total blank. My book club does reading prompts (aka themes for the month) rather than read the same book. This month's prompt is "back to scho..."

Back to school, horror, fantasy, YA... my mind goes straight to Twilight. I know some people don't like it, but I just had fun with it.


message 17: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1738 comments Juli wrote: "Ok, another book recommendation needed. I am drawing a total blank. My book club does reading prompts (aka themes for the month) rather than read the same book. This month's prompt is "back to scho..."

I really enjoyed Suee and the Shadow. It's a YA (more stress on the 'young' than the 'adult', horror graphic novel in a school setting and it was delightfully creepy.


message 18: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "Juli wrote: "Ok, another book recommendation needed. I am drawing a total blank. My book club does reading prompts (aka themes for the month) rather than read the same book. This month's prompt is ..."

I enjoyed the books way back when they came out! They were fluffy and fun.


message 19: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
Stacie wrote: "Juli wrote: "Ok, another book recommendation needed. I am drawing a total blank. My book club does reading prompts (aka themes for the month) rather than read the same book. This month's prompt is ..."

You're speaking my language!


message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol (carol07) | 2615 comments I have a recommendation for ya'll, The Lager Queen of Minnesota.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

If you like books about women getting ahead, drinking beer, or making beer, you might enjoy this.


message 21: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7447 comments Mod
Carol wrote: "I have a recommendation for ya'll, The Lager Queen of Minnesota.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

If you like books about women getting ahead, drinking be..."


I have added this one to my TBR when I read your review! :)


message 22: by Juli, Moderator (new)

Juli | 1801 comments Mod
@Carol that sounds fascinating!!!!


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