Read More: Get your own personalized book recommendations by visiting these great independent bookstores in Dublin.
Contemporary Books on Ireland
I recently heard a trio of Irish authors claim that the combination of dreary weather and Ireland’s troubled history produces a very particular kind of fiction that is dark and moody but also funny. The following books on Ireland certainly deliver “on brand” by offering up complicated characters histories, dark themes and tragicomic circumstances.
City of Bohane, Kevin Barry
The Spinning Heart, Donal Ryan
Academy Street, Mary Costello
Midwinter Break, Bernard MacLaverty
The Snapper, Roddy Doyle
Skippy Dies, Paul Murray
Read More: Plan your trip to Dublin using this city guide.
Mystery Books Set in Ireland
The best Irish books aren’t necessarily confined to the literary fiction shelves. Irish authors have also put murder at the center of their moody family dramas. The following mysteries deliver fast paced action coupled with commentary on contemporary Irish social issues.
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1), Tana French
The Ghosts of Belfast, Stuart Neville
The Rage, Gene Kerrigan
Read More: Get out into the Irish countryside with this 2-day road trip from Galway.
Contemporary Classic Irish Literature
Any Irish bookstore’s staff pics table features the following as some of the best books on Ireland. By giving us stories on Ireland’s history and the diaspora, these authors teach us about how the country evolved into its present day culture.
Strumpet City, James Plunkett
Star of the Sea, Joseph O’Conner
The Green Road, Ann Enright
Read More: Visit spots like the Oscar Wilde statue and Joyce’s Sweny’s Pharmacy on this literary tour of Dublin.
Censored Classics of the Irish Literary Canon
You get the best Irish books when strict cultural morays and pious politics are flung aside by artists who are having none of it. The following four authors braved censorship and derision by their self-appointed “betters”. They ultimately got their own artistic revenge by becoming the foundation of Irish literary culture.
Ulysses, James Joyce
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
The Country Girls Trilogy, Edna Obrian
Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
Ireland Travel Books
Reading any of the above books on Ireland is going to make you want to travel there. I always read several books set in a particular location before or during a trip. But sometimes you need some practical advice to help you plan your trip. These Ireland travel books and blogs will help you better understand each region and give you practical travel planning tips.
Round Ireland with a Fridge, Tony Hawks
Irish Travel Blog Resources
- Spend a day (or two) in Dublin with this step-by-step itinerary.
- Or rather, spend all of your time in Dublin chasing down literary sites, literary pubs and libraries.
- But make time to stop into some of these Dublin bookstores.
- Get lost on the Wild Atlantic Way by road tripping northwest of Galway.
What are your favorite books about Ireland? I love a good recommendation so comment below or find Wayfaring Views on Facebook.
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