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A couple of Pre-Ireland Trip books

DW and I are visiting for 3 weeks in September, our first international trip since fall 2019:

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill is probably old news on the RS forum, but just in case. It is extremely engaging for a history book (I read a lot of them, but often it is a slog). Thank goodness for the Irish fascination with language, even way back when.

And less well known, probably, would be At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien. This is a novel, incredibly funny, and about the most inventive work of fiction I think I've ever seen. Really really good.

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Tammy, thanks to you also, and for your suggestion. Meagher sounds amazing.

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Here are a couple of ideas for books on Ireland:

  1. O Come Ye Back to Ireland by Niall Williams and Christine Breen. Contemporary nonfiction. In the early 1980s, Williams and Breen abandoned their fast-track careers in New York City to move to rural County Clare to write books. They moved into the cottage that Breen's ancestors had lived in. This is their first of about 10 books they would go on to write. They also started a family. I have since read three of Williams novels, two of which are excellent, as well as two other nonfiction works.

  2. The Aran Islands by John Millington Synge. Century-old travelogue. Synge, the Irish playwright and poet, wrote the definite account on Aran, the windswept islands off the west coast. I visited the Aran Islands in 1997 and 1999. I thought of Synge both times I was there.

  3. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. Contemporary fiction. Murray's work is a witty, profane depiction of adolescence. It's one of the truest books I've ever read.

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Thanks Craig; they are now on the list, and Skippy Dies looks like a perfect follow-up to the O'Brien novel.