Books to Read Before Visiting Ireland

By: Leah Shoup

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

This memoir recounts the author's impoverished upbringing split between New York and the Emerald Isle, offering insight into Irish culture during the Depression Era.

Dubliners by James Joyce

This collection of 15 short stories intricately illuminates the lives of Dublin's residents, capturing the harsh reality of life in the big city.

Strumpet City by James Plunkett

One of the best classic Irish books of the twentieth century, Strumpet City is set in Dublin during the 1913 lockout.

The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien

This famous series follows Cait and Baba's journey from rural Ireland to Dublin, focusing on their friendship amidst themes of love and loss.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

A winner of the Man Booker Prize, this novel traces the story of Connell and Marianne from friends to adversaries to lovers in a small Irish town.

The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle

The Barrytown Trilogy captures the humorous and poignant essence of working-class life in Dublin through the Rabbitte family.

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

Discover Ireland's pivotal role in safeguarding Western Civilization, preserving critical learning and literature during the Dark Ages.

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

Delve into the Troubles in Northern Ireland, focusing on the 1972 disappearance of Jean McConville.

The Last Storyteller by Frank Delaney

This historical fiction read follows Ben MacCarthy's travels to collect Irish folklore, leading him into unexpected danger during 1956-57.

The Story of Ireland by Neil Hegarty

Anyone planning to tour Ireland will love this book covering 1500 years of Irish history, spanning from pre-Christian times to the twentieth century.