Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Wee Irish Wish ~ and some related readings which are a tad on dark side


We think so. How about you?

(Click on the icon above to link to the Wikipedia information about the Saint Patrick’s Day).

When I was a youngster we loved the day. Running around madly pinching each other regardless of green clothing or no. All of us enjoying some sort of ill tinted confection, while hearing wonderful stories from the clergy at our Catholic grammar school.

As for John in England, it was naught.

Beyond that here is our wish for you:110

 May your glass be ever full. A soft pillow for your head. May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you're dead.

Yes this is the picture was actually included with the saying.

Instead of “a pinch” you too can send this free e greeting to  “loved” ones for “St Paddy’s day” from The Victorian Trading Company. There are some very sweet ones as well. But since this theme today is a bit on the dark (and green) side, we thought it more appropriate.

Here are a few books on my tbr list which are appropriate for this celebration of St. Patrick’s day. Read one while sipping some tea, better yet some Guinness or a shot of whiskey.  It may help with the menacing theme they all seam to have.


The Cure ~ by Carlo Gebler

A historical novel of sexual hysteria, poisonous fantasy and the abuse of power, based on the trial in Ireland of Martin Cleary for the murder of his wife in 1895. His defense was that he was attempting to exorcise a fairy possession first by gentle means and finally by fire.

Apparently Cleary thought his wife to be a changeling. Recommended by Dave H. from Goodreads who is in fact from Ireland.


House of Splendid Isolation ~ by Edna O’Brien

Josie, the ailing, elderly inhabitant of an Irish country mansion, dwells in the shadowy world of remembered pain and loneliness. McGreevy, the terrorist, reintroduces the possibility of compassion and tenderness, but there is an inevitably violent conclusion to their understanding as the police net closes.


In the Woods ~ by Tana French

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox — his partner and closest friend — find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.


Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore

Introduce yourself to the noble heroes and magical creatures of Irish mythology. Includes the two definitive works on the subject by the giants of the Irish Renaissance -  W.B. Yeates' Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry and Lady Gregory's Cuchulain of Muirthemne.


Angela’s Ashes ~ by Frank McCourt

Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood," writes Frank McCourt in Angela's Ashes. "Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." Welcome, then, to the pinnacle of the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.Mix in abject poverty and frequent death and illness and you have all the makings of a truly difficult early life. Fortunately, in McCourt's able hands it also has all the makings for a compelling memoir.

I enjoyed this book, as dark as it was and gave it 4 stars.


Tipperary ~ by Frank Delancy

When Charles O’Brien, an itinerant Irish healer, is summoned to Paris to treat the infamous Oscar Wilde, little does he know that he will also meet the love of his life in young April Burke, who learns from Wilde that she may be the rightful heir to the great, abandoned estate of Tipperary. Smitten by her beauty—and summarily rejected—O’Brien vows to make himself worthy of her affection and returns to Ireland to restore Tipperary to its former glory.

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The Yellow House ~ by Patricia Falvey

Delving into the passion and politics of Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 20 century. Eileen O'Neill's family is torn apart by religious intolerance and secrets from the past. Determined to reclaim her ancestral home and reunite her family, Eileen begins working at the local mill, saving her money and holding fast to her dream.

All book covers link to The Book Depository for purchasing info where you can select the correct currency for your country.

*Have you read any of these books and/or do you have any books, reviews, or links that you would like to include in this Irish list? Please do so in the comments. We could do with some happy examples as well.*

Here's to everyone - Have a fun, safe, sane, and not too sober St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers!


Serena said...

Looks like some great books for the Irish holiday!

Unknown said...

Serena -
I thought it would be fun since I have a few in my tbr pile.

Have a great day... eat something green! :)

Emily Cross said...

Hihly recommend 'Under the Hawthorn Tree' which is the first in the famine children trilogy.

Almost every Irish child is given these books to read in school. Very good reading :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Emily -
It looks a bit dark as well.
Here is the goodreads snippet for the book:

Ireland in the 1840s was in the grip of a terrible famine. When their father and mother go missing in a desperate search for food, the three O'Driscoll children, Eily, Michael, and Peggy, are left to fend for themselves. Starving and in danger of the dreaded workhouse, they escape. Their one hope is to find the great-aunts they have heard about in their mother's stories. With tremendous courage they set out on a journey that will test every reserve of strength, love, and loyalty they possess.

Charlie said...

Regarding Angela's Ashes. I didn't like the book, to the point of I DNF--a very rare occurrence for me.

Later on, I found it on audio read by McCourt himself. It was a whole different book with his Irish lilt and I LOVED it. I bought the abridged edition because he is verbose, and it was just right.

Unknown said...

Charlie -
Good morning.
I liked it quite a lot. DNF? not familiar with this acronym.

I went through a period of reading these really sad and pathetic memoirs...

The Glass Castle
Bastard out of Caroline (sort of memoir)
Angela's Ashes
Soul Survivor
The Drowned and the Saved
to name a few...
And the worst A Million Little Pieces... what a wallowing piece of.... blankity blank which is what it turned out to be anyhow.

I am glad you found a way to get through Angela's Ashes. Its like me and most classics.. they will only be "read" on audio. :)

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