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.

  • Andrea Corr's Barefoot Pilgrimage is a compelling and honest memoir. In part, an exercise in coming to terms with and making sense of life and mortality following the loss of a beloved father; in part, a reflection on an unlikely journey with her siblings through the music industry; in part, a meditation on family, on music, and on creativity; and, in part, a shout-out for love and for hope. Illustrated with personal photographs and with original poems interspersed throughout the text, this is a very personal - at times very funny, at times deeply moving - book from an iconic figure in popular music. ISBN 9780008321307
  • Though Stoker did not invent vampires - and in fact based his character's life-in-death on extensive research into European folklore - his novel elevated the nocturnal monster to iconic stature, spawning a genre of stories and movies which flourishes to this day. A century of imitation has done nothing to diminish its power. As the suave and chilling Count stalks his prey from a crumbling castle in the Carpathians to a lunatic asylum in Purfleet and the bedrooms of his swooning female victims, the drama builds to a fever pitch of sensuality and suspense. Dracula is not only a classic of Gothic horror and a wellspring of modern mythology: it is also irresistible entertainment. This is a hardback gift edition of an Irish classic. ISBN 9781841593302
  • From the early days of his music with Stockton's Wing to training at Ballymaloe Cookery School, food and music have been parallel lines that have kept Mike Hanrahan on track his entire life. Mike Hanrahan, cook and teacher, songwriter and musician, takes us back stage and into the kitchens of a bohemian, international and surprisingly foodie group of Irish household names, including Ronnie Drew, Finbar Furey, Maura O'Connell, Leslie Dowdall, Pat Shortt, Eleanor Shanley and Sharon Shannon. Mike penned hit singles 'Beautiful Affair' and 'Walk Away' for Stockton's Wing, from which a world of touring and behind-the-scenes escapades began. With affectionate portraits of the legendary personalities he came to know along the way, Beautiful Affair rings with the sheer graft, dedication and serious sense of humour of a life well spent on stage - and in the kitchen. Mike's time training with Ballymaloe's Darina Allen would see his hobby become a second career. Here, he shares favourite recipes from home, friends and professional kitchens across the country - from family recipes cooked on country hearths to vegetarian folk-club grub and tour-bus pressure-cooker stews. Beautiful Affair tells tales of the Irish music scene from the 1970s through to today, and wends its way through a lifelong love affair with Irish food. 'This is much more than my story. In Beautiful Affair I introduce you to my friends - who share memories, recipes and quite a few amusing anecdotes that add so much sparkle to my life.' - Mike Hanrahan ISBN 9780008333003
  • Rediscover Joseph O'Connor's monumental #1 international bestseller In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by injustice and natural disaster, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees. Among them are a maidservant with a devastating secret, bankrupt Lord Merridith and his family, an aspiring novelist and a maker of revolutionary ballads, all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home. Each is connected more deeply than they can possibly know. But a camouflaged killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution. 'A triumph...A spectacular breakthrough' Sunday Times 'Ireland's most brilliant storyteller' Independent on Sunday ISBN 9781529112634
  • A priest and his housekeeper abandon a baby girl on the doorstep of a house near the Black Church in Dublin's north inner city in February 1923. Three local women notice the couple's suspicious behaviour and apprehend them. The two are handed over to the police, charged and sent for trial. A month later, a young doctor is shot dead on the streets of Mohill, Co. Leitrim. The two incidents are connected, but how? In the days following the shooting of Dr Paddy Muldoon, the name of a local priest was linked to the killing and rumours abounded of a connection to the events in Dublin a month earlier and also that an IRA gang had been recruited to carry out the murder. However, despite an investigation at the time, the murder remained unsolved for almost 100 years. Now, newly discovered archive material from a range of sources, including the Muldoon family, has made it possible to piece together the circumstances surrounding the doctor's death, and reveals how far senior figures in the Church, State and IRA were willing to go to cover up a scandal. ISBN9781781176900
  • Originally written in 1952, and soon banned in Ireland, New Island’s Modern Irish Classics series brings this masterwork back to life. Orphaned at a young age, Cahal Kinsella returns from an industrial school in Letterfrack to the small farming village of Caherlo, Co. Galway to his tyrannical grandfather, and must assert his individuality if he is to have any hope of freedom from his misery. Walter Macken paints a haunting and memorable portrait of the hard life of subsistence farming, of loveless arranged marriages, and of rebellion against suffocating social mores. ISBN9781848407732
  • Sixteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfrann, a strange isolated Irish town, a place where the earth is littered with small corpses and unspoken truths. A place where, for generations, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains. As distance grows between the twins - as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft - Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. And when Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be - or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister. 'Sullivan has an eye for the uncanny, a taste for the macabre, and a gift for beautiful prose. Perfectly Preventable Deaths is her best book yet.' Louise O'Neill 'This is the novel the recent Sabrina reboot wishes it could be - a thrilling, eerie exploration of sisterhood, first love and dark powers hiding out of sight.' Dave Rudden Great for Teens and Young Adults / ISBN 9781471408236
  • DCS Frankie Sheehan is experiencing a crisis of confidence - having become wary of the instincts that have led her face-to-face with a twisted killer and brought those she loves into direct jeopardy. She is summoned to the rural Wicklow mountains, where local mother of two, Debbie Nugent, has been reported missing. A bloody crime scene is discovered at Debbie's home, yet no body. Not only is foul play suspected, but Debbie's daughter, Margot, has been living with the scene for three days. Aware her team cannot convict Margot on appearances alone, Sheehan launches a full investigation into Debbie Nugent's life. And, before long, the discrepancies within Debbie's disappearance suggest that some families are built on dangerous deceptions, with ultimately murderous consequences. 'Cracking . . . Taut, gripping and beautifully written' Steve Cavanagh. ISBN 9781529401066
  • 1941, and Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie is ferrying documents between Dublin and war-torn London. When Ireland's greatest actor is arrested in Soho, after the brutal murder of a gay man, Stefan extricates him from an embarrassing situation. But suddenly he is looking at a series of murders, stretching across Britain and Ireland. The deaths were never investigated deeply as dead queers are nobody's priority. And there are reasons to look away now. It's not only that the killer may be a British soldier, Scotland Yard is also hiding the truth about the victim. But an identical murder in Malta makes investigation essential. Malta, at the heart of the Mediterranean war, is under siege by German and Italian bombers. Rumours that a British soldier murdered a Maltese teenager can't go unchallenged without damaging loyalty to Britain. Now Britain will cooperate with Ireland to find the killer and Stefan is sent to Malta. The British believe the killer is an Irishman; that's the result they want. And they'd like Stefan to give it to them. But in the dark streets of Valletta there are threats deadlier than German bombs... ISBN 9781472130402
  • Fifty years ago, an eruption of armed violence traumatized Northern Ireland and transformed a period of street protest over civil rights into decades of paramilitary warfare by republicans and loyalists. In this evocative memoir, Malachi O'Doherty not only recounts his experiences of living through the Troubles, but also recalls a revolution in his lifetime. However, it wasn't the bloody revolution that was shown on TV but rather the slow reshaping of the culture of Northern Ireland - a real revolution that was entirely overshadowed by the conflict. Incorporating interviews with political, professional and paramilitary figures, O'Doherty draws a profile of an era that produced real social change, comparing and contrasting it with today, and asks how frail is the current peace as Brexit approaches, protest is back on the streets and violence is simmering in both republican and loyalist camps. ISBN 9781786496669/strong>
  • A smuggler and a deserter, Darran Anderson's grandfathers skirted the Second World War on the fringes of legality. Darran's father survived the height of the political violence in Northern Ireland and Darran came of age during the final years of the Troubles. As a young man, Darran lost his way in the midst of hedonism, division and isolation. To find a way to exist in the world, he felt compelled to leave his hometown. But the disappearance of another young man in his family brings him back to the city and its history. Darran walks the banks of the River Foyle, his father and uncle by his side, searching for what has been lost and what might now be said. Inventory is sunlight, exposing and cleansing. It is a challenge to generations of silence. A portrait of a city, a biography of a family, a record of the objects that make up a life. Darran Anderson's lucid and intimate prose offers a vital new perspective on a troubled history. ISBN 9781784741501
  • What happens when cultural memory becomes a commodity? Who owns the memory? In The Memory Marketplace, Emilie Pine explores how memory is performed both in Ireland and abroad by considering the significant body of contemporary Irish theatre that contends with its own culture and history. Analyzing examples from this realm of theatre, Pine focuses on the idea of witnesses, both as performers on stage and as members of the audience. Whose memories are observed in these transactions, and how and why do performances prioritize some memories over others? What does it mean to create, rehearse, perform, and purchase the theatricalization of memory? The Memory Marketplace shows this transaction to be particularly fraught in the theatricalization of traumatic moments of cultural upheaval, such as the child sexual abuse scandal in Ireland. In these performances, the role of empathy becomes key within the marketplace dynamic, and Pine argues that this empathy shapes the kinds of witnesses created. The complexities and nuances of this exchange-subject and witness, spectator and performer, consumer and commodified-provide a deeper understanding of the crucial role theatre plays in shaping public understanding of trauma, memory, and history. ISBN 9780253049520
  • 'Who are we?''Ballymarra! Ballymarra!' everyone shouted loudly. Thirteen-year-old Anna loves Gaelic football, and she's good: focused, skilled and strong. But then everything changes; after a terrible loss, Anna and her family move to a new town. How will she cope with a new home, new school and new GAA club?It seems like even football can't give her comfort, maybe some help from an unexpected place is just what she needs...... Football, friendship & family forever. Great for Ages 8-12 ISBN 9781788491839
  • Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace... When Louisa arrives at Temple House, an elite catholic boarding school, she quickly finds herself drawn to sophisticated fellow pupil Victoria and their young bohemian art teacher, Mr Lavelle. The three of them form a bond that seems to offer an escape from the repressive regime of the nuns who run the cloistered school. Until Louisa and Mr Lavelle suddenly vanish. Years later, a journalist with a childhood connection to Louisa determines to resolve the mystery. Her search for the truth will uncover a tragic, mercurial tale of suppressed desire and long-buried secrets. It will shatter lives and lay a lost soul to rest. The Temple House Vanishing is a stunning, intensely atmospheric novel of unrequited longing, dark obsession and unintended consequences. ISBN 9781786499394
  • In his first ever collection of short stories, Dermot Bolger peers under the veneer of our lives, delve into the secrets that bind relationships together or tear them apart, and create worlds where people find that nothing is truly certain. There are always truths just beyond their reach that would make sense of their lives, if they only know how to unlock them. ISBN 9781848407701
  • The latest Jack Taylor novel from the Godfather of Irish noir. Jack Taylor has never quite been able get his life together, but now he has truly hit rock bottom. Still reeling from a violent family tragedy, Taylor is busy drowning his grief in Jameson and uppers, as usual, when a high-profile officer in the local Garda is murdered. After another Guard is found dead, and then another, Taylor's old colleagues from the force implore him to take on the case. The plot is one big game, and all of the pieces seem to be moving at the behest of one dangerously mysterious team: a trio of young killers with very different styles, but who are united in their common desire to take down Jack Taylor. Their ring leader is Jericho, a psychotic girl from Galway who is grieving the loss of her lover, and who will force Jack to confront some personal trauma from his past. As sharp and sardonic as it is starkly bleak and violent, Galway Girl shows master raconteur Ken Bruen at his best: lyrical, brutal, and ceaselessly suspenseful. ISBN 9781838933081
  • The first comprehensive account to record and analyze all deaths arising from the Irish revolution between 1916 and 1921 This account covers the turbulent period from the 1916 Rising to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921-a period which saw the achievement of independence for most of nationalist Ireland and the establishment of Northern Ireland as a self-governing province of the United Kingdom. Separatists fought for independence against government forces and, in North East Ulster, armed loyalists. Civilians suffered violence from all combatants, sometimes as collateral damage, often as targets. Eunan O'Halpin and Daithí Ó Corráin catalogue and analyze the deaths of all men, women, and children who died during the revolutionary years-505 in 1916; 2,344 between 1917 and 1921. This study provides a unique and comprehensive picture of everyone who died: in what manner, by whose hands, and why. Through their stories we obtain original insight into the Irish revolution itself. ISBN 9780300123821
  • Leo Kennedy was always meant to enter the family business, where deals are made in dark corners and crossing the wrong people can get you killed. But, years ago, he surprised everyone by leaving it all behind and choosing a life on the straight and narrow - at a heavy cost. Now, he's back in Dublin to receive a mysterious inheritance, and trying to ignore the increasingly loud hum of gang violence in the city. Meanwhile, as tensions escalate between Leo's toxic family and rival gang the Wards, trafficked sisters Yulia and Celestine are desperately trying to free themselves from Duchy Ward's violent clutches. Leo immerses himself in plans to open a restaurant and turn his life around once more, failing to notice the signs that his return is all part of a trap set by his father to bring him back into the fold. And this time, there may be no escape... 'Irish crime writing at its best' John Connolly. ISBN 9781473699458
  • 'He's one of the best players I've ever played with. As a forward, I'd say he's the best.' Johnny Sexton. Sean O'Brien does not come from a traditional rugby background. He grew up on a farm in Tullow, far from the rugby hotbeds of Limerick and Cork or the fee-paying schools of Dublin. But as he made his way up through the ranks, it soon became clear that he was a very special player and a very special personality. Now, Sean O'Brien tells the remarkable and unlikely story of his rise to the highest levels of world rugby, and of a decade of success with Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions ISBN 9781844884599
  • Rich in plot and full of characters that have been neglected by Irish literature. - GuardianAt the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from the continent in search of a better life in America, only to pitch up in Ireland by mistake. In 1958, a mute boy locked away in a mental institution outside of Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. Spanning generations and braiding together three unforgettable voices, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan shows us what it means to belong, and how storytelling can redeem us all. ISBN 9781782398592
  • This new collection by one of Carcanet's most celebrated Irish poets gathers together lyric poems musing on history, on archaeology, geology and on the deep need of the human spirit to find expression in music and song. ISBN 9781784107871
  • MOTHER MOTHER is a powerful coming-of-age novel and an intimate family study. It's about finding light in dark places, and it examines the cost of unconditional love. Mary McConnell grew up longing for information about the mother she never knew, who died suddenly when Mary was only a baby. Her brother Sean was barely old enough to remember, and their father numbed his pain with drink. Now aged thirty-five, Mary has lived in the same house her whole life. She's never left Belfast. She has a son, TJ, who's about to turn eighteen, and is itching to see more of the world. One Saturday morning, TJ wakes up to find his mother gone. He doesn't know where - or why - but he's the only one who can help find her. MOTHER MOTHER takes us down the challenging road of Mary's life, while following TJ's increasingly desperate search for his mother, as he begins to understand what has led her to this point. This is a gritty, affecting novel about family, grief, addiction, and motherhood. And it asks the question - if you spend your life giving everything to the ones you love; do you risk losing yourself along the way? ISBN 9781472275882
  • When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard. So it doesn't matter that he's twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she's sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him. Sarah's friends are worried. Her father can't understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she's on the verge of losing her job. But Sarah can't help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew. And love is supposed to hurt. Isn't it? Great for Young Adults & Adults. ISBN 9781784298883
  • "The skin is an organ and should be respected accordingly". This is the mantra of award-winning skincare expert Jennifer Rock, also known as The Skin Nerd. We should feed our skin, shield it, and give it all the care and attention it needs - and deserves. in her first book, Jennifer shares all the passion, knowledge and expertise she has gathered over her extensive career to bring you the essential guide to healthy skin. Written in Jennifer's unique brand of humour and honesty, with nerd-isms galore, this book is jam-packed with 'skinformation' and advice to educate you about your skin needs at every stage of your life. It includes The 10 Skin Nerd Commandments, advice on anti-ageing, acne and other skin conditions, the benefits of a refreshing Spritz O'Clock, which skingredients to look out for (and which to avoid), and how your diet affects the body's largest organ. The Skin Nerd will teach you a holistic approach to looking after your skin inside and out, and give you the confidence to achieve glowing, healthy skin. ISBN 9781473680517
Go to Top