From Irish authors and Irish wit to beer guides and theories about luck, we’ve found a list of books that are just as valuable as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Fictional Four-Book Clover:
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.
Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, quietly preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora’s favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.
The Trespasser by Tana French
The latest from bestselling Dublin resident Tana French where being on the Murder squad isn’t what Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be . . .
Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before.
And that her death won’t stay in its neat by-numbers box. Other detectives are trying to push Antoinette and Steve into arresting Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. There’s a shadowy figure at the end of Antoinette’s road. Aislinn’s friend is hinting that she knew Aislinn was in danger. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the glossy, passive doll she seemed to be.
Antoinette knows the harassment has turned her paranoid, but she can’t tell just how far gone she is. Is this case another step in the campaign to force her off the squad, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface?
Smile by Roddy Doyle
From the renowned Irish author of the Booker Prize winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, a bold, haunting novel about the uncertainty of memory and how we contend with the past.
Just moved into a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly’s for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and a pink shirt comes over and sits down. He seems to know Victor’s name and to remember him from secondary school. His name is Fitzpatrick.
Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes, too, the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories—of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor’s own small claim to fame, as the man who would say the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular brother, that Victor cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.
Murder at an Irish Wedding by Carlene O’Connor
The O’Sullivan clan of County Cork, Ireland, are thrilled to be catering the matrimonial affairs of a celebrity couple—until a cunning killer turns an Irish wedding into an Irish wake.
Any wedding is a big deal in the small village of Kilbane—even more so when the bride is a famous fashion model. Siobhán O’Sullivan and her five siblings have a full plate catering for the three-day affair. But when the best man is found murdered in the woods, his replacement, Siobhán’s own beau, local garda Macdara Flannery, is suddenly the best suspect. Like the bride walking down the aisle, Siobhán needs to watch her step. For as she gets closer to unveiling the truth, the murderer is planning a very chilly reception for her . . .
Dublin’ (Doubling) the Facts:
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
The perfect St. Patrick’s Day read—the untold story of Ireland’s role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.
Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become “the isle of saints and scholars” — and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.
In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization—copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost—they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.
As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.
Time Pieces by John Banville
Irish Wit, Wisdom and Humor by Gerd de Ley
The greatest collection of Irish wit, wisdom and humor ever published. The best of humorous quotes, witty observations, and funny one-liners from those hailing from the Emerald Isle.
“Ireland sober is Ireland stiff.” Irish Wit, Wisdom & Humor collects over 1000 witticisms, musings, deep thoughts, and one-liners from and about Ireland and its people. It features hundreds of authors, poets, comedians, actors, politicians and many more that best represent the Emerald Isle including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Bono, Edna O’Brien, C.S. Lewis, Sinead O’Connor, George Bernard Shaw, and many others.
The Luck of the Irish:
How Luck Happens by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh
The Gratitude Diaries author, Janice Kaplan, is back to tackle another big, mysterious influence in all our lives: luck. And this time she’s joined on her journey by coauthor Dr. Barnaby Marsh, a renowned academic who guides her exploration.
Together they uncover the unexpected, little-understood science behind what we call “luck,” proving that many seemingly random events are actually under your–and everyone’s–control. They examine the factors that made stars like Harrison Ford and Jonathan Groff so successful, and learn the real secrets that made Kate Spade and Warby Parker into global brands. Using original research, fascinating studies, and engaging interviews, Kaplan and Marsh reveal the simple techniques to create luck in love and marriage, business and career, and health, happiness, and family relationships. Their breakthrough insights prove that all of us–from CEOs to stay-at-home moms–can tip the scales of fortune in our favor.
Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan
A must-read for St. Patrick’s Day, the definitive guide to bar-building from one of the world’s most acclaimed bartenders.
Meehan’s Bartender Manual is acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan’s magnum opus—and the first book to explain the ins and outs of the modern bar industry. This groundbreaking work chronicles Meehan’s storied career in the bar business through practical, enlightening chapters that mix history with professional insight.
Meehan’s deep dive covers the essential topics, including the history of cocktails and bartending, service, hospitality, menu development, bar design, spirits production, drink mixing technique, and the tools you’ll need to create a well-stocked bar—all brought to life in over 150 black- and-white illustrations by artist Gianmarco Magnani.
The book also includes recipes for 100 cocktail classics–including Meehan originals–plus insights as to why he makes them the way he does, offering unprecedented access to a top bartender’s creative process.
The Comic Book Story of Beer by Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith and Aaron McConnell; Illustrated by Aaron McConnell
The history of beer comes to life!
We drink it. We love it. But how much do we really know about beer? Starting from around 7000 BC, beer has emerged as a major element driving humankind’s development, a role it has continued to play through today’s craft brewing explosion.
With The Comic Book Story of Beer, the first-ever nonfiction graphic novel focused on this most favored beverage, you can follow along from the very beginning, as authors Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith team up with illustrator Aaron McConnell to present the key figures, events, and, yes, beers that shaped and frequently made history.
No boring, old historical text here! The Comic Book Story of Beer is a filling mixture of words and pictures sure to please the beer aficionado and comics geek alike.