Reading Ireland Month

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The Company of Books, Dublin

It’s a photograph that bids me to enter. But the best I can do is read Ireland with Cathy and others this month, before the Man Booker long list is announced on March 14.

I hope to squeeze in a new book I received, by Catherine Dunne, entitled The Years That Followed. Catherine is an author I’m looking forward to discovering; here is a bit about her:

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“Catherine Dunne is the author of nine novels including The Things We Know Now, which won the Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She was recently long-listed for the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction Award 2015. Her work has been translated into several languages. She lives in Dublin.” ~Simon and Schuster

Will you be adding anything for Reading Ireland this month?

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15 thoughts on “Reading Ireland Month”

  1. Just a coincidence but I am currently reading John Banville’s “The Blue Guitar” which I am enjoying but find that I need to keep my dictionary at hand.

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      1. This is my first time reading him. He is certainly a man with a prodigious vocabulary (and he is not afraid to use it ). The protagonist presented in “The Blue Guitar” is a very unsympathetic character but the writing is so beautiful it makes this reader want to stay engaged with this flawed, creep of a man and, at times, to feel a sadness and sympathy for him (not an easy thing to pull off). I don’t know if I would recommend this to just any one but if your’e the type of reader who can savor the sheer craftsmanship of the prose it may appeal. I’m about 80% through and I’ve already decided I want to try some of his other novels. He is also writes a series of mysteries under the pen name of Benjamin Black.

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    1. I do not take credit for the photograph, I hope that the link I attached to it works. But it is quite a beautiful and inviting shop, is it not? I never saw it when I was in Dublin, but that was long ago.

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  2. I was already reading some Irish authors this month. I’ve finished An Irish Country Courtship by Patrick Taylor, a cozy type series, without any mystery. Next up is an old Anne Enright as I’ve loved her recent novels. (The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch) and then hopefully, Teacher Man by Frank McCourt, another old standby author, to add some nonfiction.

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    1. I’ve read Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz, which tore at my heart. I didn’t like the one listed for the Man Booker a few years ago (The Green Road perhaps?). I found it dull compared to others on the long list, and not nearly as powerful as The Forgotten Waltz.

      Frank McCourt is another good author for this event, as is Tana French, although of course in a different vein altogether. But, looking at mystery writers, I am also eager to read Stuart Neville whose work has been highly praised.

      Thank you for leaving some suggestions of what you’ve read and might read next. I’m especially interested in the Enright title you mentioned.

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    1. It is a wonderful thing, Audrey, to go all around the world with one’s reading. But I think you are better at going back in time! Please, let us long travel together in all these new places. Even if some are from the 19th century.

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  3. I resisted adding new authors to my Reading Ireland list; instead, I dug out some of the books I already own. I’m looking forward to reading Maeve Brennan this month and Donal Ryan, both of which are new to me. I’ve already read The Green Road, which I also didn’t like as much as The Forgotten Waltz, and I am in the middle of Edna O’Brien’s The Light of Evening, which isn’t as good as her Country Girls trilogy. I suspect that my list at the end of March will be quite a bit longer than now. I’m looking forward to hearing how you like Catherine Dunne, who is new to me.

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    1. I didn’t like The Green Road nearly as much as The Forgotten Waltz, but I thought it was because it pales in comparison to Anne Tyler’s Spool of Blue Thread which I’d read just before. Thanks for leaving me a list of Irish authors to try! I’ve not been familiar with many beyond Maeve Binchy and Tana French. Oh, and what’s his name…James Joyce. 🙂

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      1. That James Joyce comment made me laugh! I also prefer The Forgotten Waltz to The Green Road, but Spool of Blue Thread was a DNF for me. I cared more for that beautiful house than the people, I’m afraid. I think you should definitely give Donal Ryan a try. The Spinning Heart blew me away!

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        1. I know what you mean about caring for that beautiful house, and Tyler’s (double) ending was a disappointment when I think back on it. The book ended. Then began again. Then ended again. So weird.

          Glad to have a title to try of Donal Ryan’s. Wish me luck at our frustrating library! I usually have to buy what I truly want to read.

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