Irish Experts Top 5 Irish Books You Shouldn’t Miss

Ireland is well-known not only for its gorgeous natural sceneries, but also for its talented literary writers like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, and Anne Enright.

If you love reading books, you’d certainly want to give Irish books a shot.

But what book should you read?

Des Kenny, whose family has run bookshops in Galway since 1940, is the man to ask if you want to know Irish literature’s best of the best.

Using more than 75 years of experience in book sales, he wrote a book about the 101 Irish books one must read. Here are some of the books included in his list.

All the links below will bring you directly to the Amazon link where you can purchase either the hardcover(recommended) or a Kindle version of these Irish books.

Must-Read Irish Books

1. The Aran Islands by J.M. Synge

The Aran Islands by J.M. Synge-Irish books

This book chronicles playwright J.M. Synge’s visit to an isolated group of islands in the west of Ireland and how the tales and anecdotes told to him by the locals served as inspiration for his dramas.

Synge’s days among the islanders and their tales of fairies and Celtic heroes paint a vivid picture of the Irish cultural renaissance.

2. Woodbrook by David Thomson

Woodbrook by David Thomson-Irish-books

Woodbrook is a memoir written by David Thomson detailing his stay at Woodbrook, a house in which a small, rural area in Ireland is named after. At the age of 18, Thomson went there as a tutor in 1932 and stayed there for ten years.

This book offers an enchanting portrait of a gentle pre-war society, of Irish history, and a delightful family.

3. Puckoon by Spike Milligan

Puckoon by Spike Milligan-Irish-books

A classic slapstick novel by Spike Milligan, Puckoon details the problems caused by the Partition of Ireland to the fictional Irish village of Puckoon in the 1920s.

Due to the incompetence of the Boundary Commission, the new border passes directly through the village, placing most of the village in the independent Irish Free State and a significant portion of the area to Northern Ireland.

4. Home Before Night by Hugh Leonard

Home Before Night by Hugh Leonard-irish-books

Hugh Leonard’s Home Before Night captures all the poetry and drama of a child’s Dublin experience in the 1930s and 1940s. His crystal-clear recollections, which were recounted with humor and immediacy, plus the cast of interesting characters, make this book a must-read.

5. The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin

The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin-Irish-books

The Washington Post described Colm Toibin’s second novel as “lovely, understated,” and “proceeds with stately grace.” Published in 1992, The Heather Blazing tells the story of Eamon Redmond, a judge in the Irish High Court of the late 20th Century, and his relationships with his wife and children.

Go and start reading these great Irish books

Pay your library or your local bookstore a visit so you can curl up with one of these classics and have a magical reading experience.

All the above links will bring you directly to the Amazon link where you can purchase either the hardcover(recommended) or a kindle version of these Irish books.

Have you read any of these Irish books? What was your fav? Comment below:


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There is so many Irish around the world, this website was created to help connect and spread the Irish connections. We are so far apart but so connected at the same time. Enjoy