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 1st Edition Hardback of 'The Nameless Ones : Charlie Parker 19' by John Connolly. A Limited Edition Signed Playing Card & Tote Bag 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. In Amsterdam, four people are butchered in a canal house, their remains arranged around the crucified form of their patriarch, De Jaager: fixer, go-between, and confidante of the assassin named Louis. The men responsible for the murders are Serbian war criminals. They believe they can escape retribution by retreating to their homeland. They are wrong. For Louis has come to Europe to hunt them down: five killers to be found and punished before they can vanish into the east. There is only one problem. The sixth. ISBN 9781529398342
  • 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
  • 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
  • Out of stock
    A Signed & Dedicated 1st Edition Hardback of 'Shadow Voices: 300 Years of Irish Genre Fiction: A History in Stories' edited by John Connolly. A free Limited Edition tote bag and envelope of ephemera will be included with all orders. A PERSONALISED MESSAGE CAN BE ADDED BY JOHN CONNOLLY AT NO ADDITIONAL COST - WE WILL EMAIL YOU ONCE YOUR ORDER IS PLACED TO CHECK FOR PERSONAL DEDICATIONS. The story of genre fiction – horror, romantic fiction, science-fiction, crime writing, and more – is also the story of Irish fiction. Irish writers have given the world Lemuel Gulliver, Dracula, and the world of Narnia. They have produced pioneering tales of detection, terrifying ghost stories and ground-breaking women’s popular fiction. Now, for the first time, John Connolly’s one volume presents the history of Irish genre writing and uses it to explore how we think about fiction itself. Deeply researched, and passionately argued, SHADOW VOICES takes the lives of more than sixty writers – by turns tragic, amusing, and adventurous, but always extraordinary – and sets them alongside the stories they have written, to create a new way of looking at genre and literature, both Irish and beyond. Here are vampires and monsters, murderers and cannibals. Here are female criminal masterminds and dogged detectives, star-crossed lovers and vengeful spouses. Here are the SHADOW VOICES. Please note : At 1184 pages this is a hefty volume! We do not currently have an exact weight but we expect it to weigh approx 1.6kg which means increased postage rates will apply - sorry! We have reduced postage as much as we are able whilst covering our postal costs. ISBN 9781529394665
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • "This gorgeous novel is a funny and sweet examination of what it means to live quietly and on your own terms. It's like a warm hug of a book and will make you look at the world with a smile." Bob "Life has a way of changing; for Leonard it comes in the death of his mother, while for Hungry Paul it is the upcoming wedding of his sister. Together, they have been living a quiet existence but now they must learn to make some noise in a world that doesn't fully understand them. This story is a cup of tea in a book - it is warm, comforting, and best shared with friends. If you enjoy quirky, loveable characters and an offbeat sense of humour then this is for you." Rebekah ISBN 9781910422441
  • The inspiration for What White People Can Do Next came in June 2020, shortly after the death of George Floyd when Emma Dabiri shared a resource on Instagram called "What White People Can Do Next" and was overwhelmed by outpourings of enthusiasm and relief from white people deeply affected by the racial justice protests unfolding across the globe but unsure of what to do next. What White People Can Do Next will be a practical resource offering accessible guidance that will aim to cut through the overwhelming online discourse. Dabiri is said to interrogate shibboleths such as ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘White Privilege’, by combining her studies and personal reflection. Dabiri said: "I was blown away by the response to my 'White People' online resource, and welcome the opportunity to delve deeper and expand on its themes. I think we’ve nailed how to say what we don’t want, but find it much harder to articulate what we do—let alone how to achieve it. Nonetheless I’m sure most of us can sense we’re on the verge of something; whether or not that’s teetering on the precipice of disaster, or on the threshold of a deeply renewed and just reality, the future feels like it’s hanging in the balance. My intention with this book is that it works as a guide towards ushering in the latter. This is a book about the part that’s often missing, about the ‘where we go from here’ and the ‘what’ it is we do next." ISBN 9780141996738
  • 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
  • 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 9780717191116
  • *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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • A remarkable first collection by an important new poet. In this collection, Seán Hewitt gives us poems of a rare musicality and grace. By turns searing and meditative, these are lyrics concerned with the matter of the world, its physicality, but also attuned to the proximity of each moment, each thing, to the spiritual. Here, there is sex, grief, and loss, but also a committed dedication to life, hope and renewal. Drawing on the religious, the sacred and the profane, this is a collection in which men meet in the woods, where matter is corrupted and remade. There are prayers, hymns, vespers, incantations, and longer poems which attempt to propel themselves towards the transcendent. In this book, there is always the sense of fragility allied with strength, a violence harnessed and unleashed. The collection ends with a series of elegies for the poet's father: in the face of despair, we are met with a fierce brightness, and a reclamation of the spiritual. 'This is when / we make God, and speak in his voice.'Paying close attention to altered states and the consolations and strangeness of the natural world, this is the first book from a major poet. *SHORTLISTED for Dalkey Literary Awards Emerging Writer of the Year 2021* ISBN 9781787332263
  • *Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020* *Winner of non-fiction book of the year at the Irish Book Awards* -'Utterly magnificent. Raw, thought-provoking and galvanising; this is a book every woman should read.'Eimear McBride. I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal. A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles. How do you tell the story of a life in a body, as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood? How do you tell that story when you are not just a woman but a woman in Ireland? In the powerful and daring essays in Constellations Sinead Gleeson does that very thing. All of life is within these pages, from birth to first love, pregnancy to motherhood, terrifying sickness, old age and loss to death itself. Throughout this wide-ranging collection she also turns her restless eye outwards delving into work, art and our very ways of seeing. In the tradition of some of our finest life writers, and yet still in her own spirited, generous voice, Sinead takes us on a journey that is both uniquely personal and yet universal in its resonance. Here is the fierce joy and pain of being alive. 'Breathtaking and sublime.' - Nina Stibbe. 'Absolutely extraordinary and life-enhancing.' - Daisy Buchanan, author of How to be Grown-up. ISBN 9781509892778
  • A spectacular new title from world-renowned artist Oliver Jeffers, creator of the million-copy selling, global phenomenon Here We Are! What shall we build, you and I? I'll build your future and you'll build mine. We'll build a watch to keep our time. A father and daughter set about laying the foundations for their life together. Using their own special tools, they get to work; building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe and love to keep them warm. From renowned, internationally bestselling picture-book creator and visual artist, Oliver Jeffers, comes this rare and enduring story about a parent's boundless love, life's endless opportunities and all we need to build a together future. Great for Ages 0-6. ISBN 9780008382209
  • This book is currently reprinting. The publisher expected fresh copies to be available in April but we're still waiting... We will supply copies as soon as the reprint is delivered. Please only order if you are happy to wait. The first volume in Tim Robinson's phenomenal Connemara Trilogy - which Robert Macfarlane has called 'One of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'. In its landscape, history and folklore, Connemara is a singular region: ill-defined geographically, and yet unmistakably a place apart from the rest of Ireland. Tim Robinson, who established himself as Ireland's most brilliant living non-fiction writer with the two-volume Stones of Aran, moved from Aran to Connemara nearly twenty years ago. This book is the result of his extraordinary engagement with the mountains, bogs and shorelines of the region, and with its folklore and its often terrible history: a work as beautiful and surprising as the place it attempts to describe. ISBN 9781844880669
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