Home/The Best of Irish

Our booksellers have picked out their favourite Irish books and Irish writing, so do have a browse of our Irish picks here and discover some new books from “the land of saints and scholars”… And remember – we offer Free Postage in ROI on orders over €30 – just choose the Free Postage option at checkout.

  • A New Signed Hardback of 'The Dirty South : Charlie Parker 18' by John Connolly. A free Limited Edition 'Dirty South' tote bag & postcard will be included with your order. A PERSONALISED MESSAGE CAN BE ADDED BY THE AUTHOR AT NO ADDITIONAL COST - WE WILL EMAIL YOU ONCE YOUR ORDER IS PLACED TO CHECK FOR PERSONAL DEDICATIONS (PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER FOR EMAILS FROM US AS WE ARE RECEIVING NUMEROUS REPORTS OF CUSTOMERS FINDING OUR EMAILS FILED UNDER 'SPAM'!!!). PERSONALISED DEDICATIONS CAN TAKE SUBSTANTIALLY LONGER TO ADD BUT WE WILL NOTIFY YOU ONCE YOUR ORDER IS COMPLETED AND DISPATCHED. The new Charlie Parker novel - the birth of a hunter.... ISBN 9781529398298
  • The Irish language has thirty-two words for field. Among them are: Geamhar - a field of corn-grass Tuar - a field for cattle at night Reidhlean - a field for games or dancing Cathairin - a field with a fairy-dwelling in it The richness of a language closely tied to the natural landscape offered our ancestors a more magical way of seeing the world. Before we cast old words aside, let us consider the sublime beauty and profound oddness of the ancient tongue that has been spoken on this island for almost 3,000 years. In Thirty-Two Words for Field, Manchán Magan meditates on these words - and the nuances of a way of life that is disappearing with them. ISBN 9780717187973
  • It's spring 1920 in the small military town of Nandagiri in southeast India. Colonel Aylmer, commander of the Royal Irish Kildare Rangers, is in charge. A distance away, decently hidden from view, lies the native part of Nandagiri with its heaving bazaar, reeking streets, and brothels. Everyone in Nandagiri knows their place and the part they were born to play--with one exception. The local Anglo-Indians, tainted by their mixed blood, belong nowhere. When news of the Black and Tans' atrocities back in Ireland reaches the troops, even their priest cannot cool the men's hot-headed rage. Politics vie with passion as Private Michael Flaherty pays court to Rose, Mrs. Aylmer's Anglo-Indian maid, but mutiny brings heroism and heartbreak in equal measure. Only the arrival of Colonel Aylmer's grandson Richard, some 60 years later, will set off the reckoning, when those who were parted will be reunited, and those who were lost will be found again. ISBN 9781916467187
  • Patrick Freyne has tried a lot of stupid ideas in his life. Now, in his scintillating debut, he is here to tell you about them: like the time (aged 5) he opened a gate and let a horse out of its field, just to see what would happen; or the time (aged 19) he jumped out of a plane for charity, even though he didn't much care about the charity and was sure he'd end up dead; or the time (aged old enough to know better) he used a magazine as a funnel for fuel when the petrol cap on his band's van broke. He has also learned a few things: about the power of group song; about the beauty of physically caring for another human being; about childlessness; about losing friends far too young. Life as seen through the eyes of Patrick Freyne is stranger, funnier and a lot more interesting than life as we generally know it. Like David Sedaris or Nora Ephron, he creates an environment all his own - fundamentally comic, sometimes moving, always deeply humane. 'Patrick Freyne is a comic genius' Marian Keyes 'Clever, lovely and great, great fun' Roddy Doyle ISBN 9781844884889
  • Old Ireland in Colour brings to life the rich history of Ireland and the Irish through the colour restoration of these stunning images of all walks of Irish life throughout nineteenth and twentieth century. From the chaos of the Civil War to the simple beauty of the islands; from legendary revolutionaries to modest fisherfolk, every image has been exquisitely transformed and every page bursting with life. Using a combination of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology and his own historical research, John Breslin has meticulously colourised these pictures with breath-taking attention to detail and authenticity. With over 250 photographs from all four provinces, and accompanied by fascinating captions by historian Sarah-Anne Buckley, Old Ireland in Colour breathes new life into the scenes we thought we knew, and brings our ancestors back to life before our eyes. ISBN 9781785373701
  • A true original. In this stunningly unusual prose debut, Doireann Ni Ghriofa sculpts essay and autofiction to explore inner life and the deep connection felt between two writers centuries apart. In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem. In the present day, a young mother narrowly avoids tragedy. On encountering the poem, she becomes obsessed with its parallels with her own life, and sets out to track down the rest of the story. A devastating and timeless tale about one woman freeing her voice by reaching into the past and finding another's. ISBN 9781916434264
  • Naoise Dolan explodes onto the scene with Exciting Times, a slyly humorous and scorchingly smart modern love story about three cynics in Hong Kong. When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents' money, it's called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she's not sure what to call it, but it involves: - a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children; - Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room; - Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks; - money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections. Exciting times ensue. Publication date: 14th April 2020 (Large Paperback Edition) ISBN 9781474613453
  • An anthology of the very best Irish short stories, selected by Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations. There have been many anthologies of the short story as it developed in Ireland, but never a collection like this. The Art of the Glimpse is a radical revision of the canon of the Irish story, uniting classic works with neglected writers and marginalised voices - women, LGBT writers, Traveller folk-tales, lost 19th-century voices and the first wave of 'new Irish' writers from elsewhere now making a life in Ireland. Sinéad Gleeson brings together stories ranging from the sublime to the downright bizarre, from classics to the new generation of writers, and from well known names to previously unpublished talent. The collection paints a tremendous spectrum of experience: the story of a prank come good by Bram Stoker; Sally Rooney on the love languages of the new generation; Donal Ryan on the pains of ageing; Edna O'Brien on political entanglements; James Joyce on losing a loved one; and the internal monologue of a coma sufferer by Marian Keyes. List of contributing authors: Samuel Beckett, Sally Rooney, Melatu Uche Okirie, William Trevor, Marian Keyes, Kevin Barry, Edna O'Brien, Claire-Louise Bennett, Sheridan Le Fanu, Danielle McLaughlin, Mairtin O Cathain, Frances Molloy, Blindboy Boatclub, Elizabeth Bowen, Frank O'Connor, Chiamaka Emyi-Amadi, John McGahern, Anne Enright, Mike McCormack, Maeve Brennan, Oein de Bhairduin, Eimear McBride, Sean O Faolain, Cathy Sweeney. ISBN 9781788548809
  • 'There are so many people in this world - 7.53 billion to be exact. But there is only one of me and one of you. It's easy to think we are not good enough, or that our nose is too big, or wish we could be more like our friends. But the world would be different without you. You are enough just as you are.. .' Sometimes it can seem like the world isn't built for you or like you don't belong. But why should you change who you are for the sake of others? Sinéad Burke is an advocate, activist, teacher, writer and British vogue cover model. She also happens to be a little person at three and a half feet tall. Reflecting on her experiences growing up, Sinéad offers a heartfelt and inspiring guide to young readers on believing in themselves and finding comfort and pride in their own skin. From the power of being different and discovering things you love about yourself, to using your voice to be an ally and show friendship to others, it's time to break the mould and find your place in the world. Great for Ages 7-12. ISBN 9781526363336
  • Cocooning with her ninety-year-old Aunt is not the life Helen imagined when she came home to Dublin after 30 years in London. Bickering, bitching, masking-up for rare outings, The Stairlift Ascends is a Twitter diary of our time trying to live together, surviving the pandemic: and each other! Aunt: *calling loudly from sitting room* Helen, can you help me? Me: *drops everything, rushes to front room, expecting her to have fallen* Aunt: The cat’s on my lap, could you pour me a small Jameson? Cocooning with my ninety-year-old Aunt is not the life I’d imagined when I came back to live in Dublin after 30 years of being a high-flying media executive in London. From the Groucho Club to our North Dublin coastal cocoon, it was back to earth with a bump. Funny and frustrating, living with the Aunt in our Covid bubble has been quite the eye-opener. Bickering, bitching, masking-up for rare outings, The Stairlift Ascends is a Twitter diary of our time trying to live together, of surviving the pandemic ... and each other. Love, lashings of apple tart, laughter and a longing for trips to Arnotts have seen us through, so far ... A hugely popular, funny and compassionate view on 2020 from @HelenORahilly ISBN 9781788492539
  • Nessa Crowley's murderer has been protected by silence for ten years. Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth. On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella's wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley's lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder. The killer couldn't have escaped Inisrun, but no-one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever. Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsella's carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry's guilt and Keelin's complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa. In this bold, brilliant, disturbing new novel Louise O'Neill shows that deadly secrets are devastating to those who hold them close. ISBN 9781784298906
  • Due to sudden huge demand for this title, all of our suppliers have now run out of stock. We will get more copies as soon as possible and currently expect to receive additional stock at the end of January. Please only place an order if you are happy to wait. Until alarmingly recently, the Catholic Church, acting in concert with the Irish state, operated a network of institutions for the concealment, punishment and exploitation of 'fallen women'. In the Magdalene laundries, girls and women were incarcerated and condemned to servitude. And in the mother-and-baby homes, women who had become pregnant out of wedlock were hidden from view, and in most cases their babies were adopted - sometimes illegally. Mortality rates in these institutions were shockingly high, and the discovery of a mass infant grave at the mother-and-baby home in Tuam made news all over the world. The Irish state has commissioned investigations. But the workings of the institutions and of the culture that underpinned it - a shame-industrial complex - have long been cloaked in secrecy and silence. For countless people, a search for answers continues. Caelainn Hogan - a brilliant young journalist, born in an Ireland that was only just starting to free itself from the worst excesses of Catholic morality - has been talking to the survivors of the institutions, to members of the religious orders that ran them, and to priests and bishops. She has visited the sites of the institutions, and studied Church and state documents that have much to reveal about how they operated. Reporting and writing with great curiosity, tenacity and insight, she has produced a startling and often moving account of how an entire society colluded in this repressive system, and of the damage done to survivors and their families. In the great tradition of Anna Funder's Stasiland and Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea - both winners of the Samuel Johnson Prize - Republic of Shame is an astounding portrait of a deeply bizarre culture of control. 'Achingly powerful... There will be many people who don't want to read Republic of Shame, for fear it will be too much, too dark, too heavy. Please don't be afraid. Read it. Look it in the eye' Irish Times' ISBN 9780241984123
  • *This title is currently sold out due to huge sudden demand. We are hoping to get more stock by mid-June but all the warehouses have currently run out of stock as well! We will fulfill orders just as soon as we can source more stock.* From women's solidarity and friendship to forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids, the scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don't Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation. SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 IRISH BOOK AWARDS 'Groundbreaking . . .a scintillating, intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history' Bernardine Evaristo ISBN 9780141986289
  • Why the moon travels by Oein DeBharduin is a collection of haunting folktales, a retelling of stories from the Traveller oral tradition in lyrical prose and beautifully illustrated by artist Leanne McDonagh. The book will be the first of its kind published in Ireland that captures several aspects of the rich Traveller culture, expression and intricate understandings. ISBN 9781916493506
  • Mr Gray is a very serious man. And he is in charge of a very old, very serious museum filled to the brim with stuffed animals. Mr Gray does not like people. He does not like children. In fact, he is most at home with things that are stuffed. So when a real live mouse decides to move into the Dead Zoo, Mr Gray is determined that she must go. That is, until he needs her help... Another instant classic from the creator of the award-winning President picture book series. Great for Ages 0-6. ISBN 9780717189724
  • Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life-changing begins. Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can't. 'The literary phenomenon of the decade.' - Guardian ISBN 9780571334650
  • Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. ISBN 9781908213792
  • Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin. Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women... They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead. But which brother killed him? 'Liz Nugent is a force to be reckoned with' Lisa Jewell -'Liz Nugent has a gift for filling us with a terrible fascination for truly horrible people' Val McDermid - 'Her best yet, and that's really saying something' Marian Keyes -'A dark jewel of a novel - finely observed, swift and exciting' AJ Finn. ISBN 9780241979747
  • On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week. Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written. ISBN 9781472223807
  • LEONARD AND HUNGRY PAUL is the story of two friends who ordinarily would remain uncelebrated. It finds a value and specialness in them that is not immediately apparent and prompts the idea that maybe we could learn from the people that we overlook in life. Leonard and Hungry Paul change the world differently to the rest of us: we try and change it by effort and force; they change it by discovering the small things they can do well and offering them to others. ***SHORTLISTED FOR DALKEY LITERARY AWARDS 2020*** ISBN 9781910422441
  • Is it possible to be young, progressive and a Catholic? Ellen Coyne is about to find out ... 'You know, this isn't a Catholic country anymore,' someone proudly declared in a Dublin pub where Ellen Coyne was celebrating the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. About to turn 30, like many her age, Ellen had left the Church a long time ago, but she had never stopped believing in and talking to God. Now, she suddenly realised she wasn't quite ready for this statement to be true, however much of a contradiction it seemed to present with some of her most strongly held views. Abandoning the Church had been an act of protest, a form of punishment. However, she began to wonder: who had really lost the most? Why should those who did the damage to the Church get to keep it and all its good bits, like going to Mass for the ritual and the community, having a clear guide for living a better life, and the comfort of believing it's not the end when somebody dies?But how could she ally herself to an institution she doesn't entirely agree with? In her first book, Ellen tries to figure out how much she really wants to go back to the Church, and if it is even the right thing to do. A stunningly intelligent and thoughtful debut work of non-fiction. ISBN 9780717188949
  • In this rapturous third collection, we encounter a ragbag of West of Ireland characters, many on the cusp between love and catastrophe, heartbreak and epiphany, resignation and hope. These stories show an Ireland in a condition of great flux but also as a place where older rhythms, and an older magic, somehow persist. Since his landmark debut collection, There Are Little Kingdoms in 2007, and its award-winning sequel in 2012, Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry has been acclaimed as one of the world's most accomplished and gifted short-story writers. Barry's lyric intensity, the vitality of his comedy, and the darkness of his vision recall the work of masters of the genre like Flannery O'Connor and William Trevor, but he has forged a style which is patently his own. ISBN 9781782116219
  • The Dictionary of Hiberno-English is the leading reference book on Hiberno-English - the form of English commonly spoken in Ireland. It connects the spoken and the written language, and is a unique national dictionary that bears witness to Irish history, struggles and the creative identities found in Ireland. Reflecting the social, political, religious and financial changes of people's ever-evolving lives, it contains words and expressions not usually seen in a dictionary, such as 'kibosh', 'smithereens', 'Peggy's Leg', 'hames', 'yoke', 'blaa', 'banjax' and 'luban'. It is a celebration of an irrepressible gift for the creative, expressive and reckless manipulation of the English language. This updated edition includes a new introduction by Blindboy Boatclub. ISBN 9780717190201
  • Laura de Barra is quite simply a Gaff Goddess. Expanding on her popular online home hacks, Laura will teach you how to handle the problems we all encounter in our homes. Straight-talking and hilarious and packed with Laura's stunning illustrations, her step-by-step guides will prepare you to handle the most common household emergencies with style. From dripping taps to hanging a frame, how best to look after your white goods, how to treat moths, mould and everything in between, and with invaluable design ideas to improve the living spaces in your home, this book is for everyone who has ever wanted to tackle a bit of She-IY without really knowing how. Ingenious and sure to be an instant household must-have, Gaff Goddess will empower you to make those repairs and rediscover your space saving you time, money and stress in the process. ISBN 9781848272620
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