The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde – A beautiful, brilliant tale of youth, beauty, vanity and corruption. If you only ever read one Irish book – make it this one.
The boy in the striped pyjamas – John Boyne – A look through the eyes of an innocent nine-year old boy, at the horrors of a German concentration camp during World War II. It is funny, and sad, but well worth the tears.
The Barry town trilogy (The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van) – Roddy Doyle – Humour is the key in these three hilarious Irish stories about a Dublin family.
The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor – The book is divided into three sections: the childhood, middle age and older times of the girl, Lucy. The story takes place in Ireland during the transition to the 21st century.
Dubliners – James Joyce – A collection of fifteen short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. They form a depiction of Irish middle-class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.
Tara Road – Maeve Binchy – A provocative tale of heartbreak, friendship, and revelation. It questions the notion of “what if….?”
Gulliver’s Travels – Johnathon Swift – Loved by children and adults alike, this book is a satire on human nature and the tales of a traveler to strange and interesting lands. It is an English literature classic.
How the Irish saved civilization (Non Fiction) – Thomas Cahill – The great heritage of western civilization – from the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works – would have been utterly lost if not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland. A delightful and illuminating read.
The Bodhran Makers – John B Keane – Set in rural Ireland in the 1950s. The Bodhran (pronounced bow-rawn), makers are poor people but with lots of dignity. Every January, they celebrate their Celtic ancestry with a festival of singing, drinking, and music making with the Bodhran, a drum made from goat skin.