Welcome to the first installment of a new regular feature here at Island Books, Destination of the Month. Every thirty days or so we'll be highlighting books that refer to different countries, geared for travelers of both the actual and the armchair variety. We'll be sharing favorite guidebooks, histories, travelogues, art books, and works of fiction either from or about the places in question, great reads that can enhance a vacation or inspire one--even if only in the imagination.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, this month's featured destination is Ireland. We've written in the past about its great literary tradition, but here's an all-new selection of books that capture the spirit of the Emerald Isle.
To browse other Destinations of the Month, go here.
A brilliant biography of the esteemed (and photogenic) Irish expat who helped make the New Yorker magazine legendary.
Even as a New Yorker, Maeve Brennan never forgot her roots, and her short stories about her homeland are as authentically Irish as can be.
A sprawling fictional journey through a thousand years of Irish history that will please almost any reader, especially fans of Ken Follett-style sagas.
The final fictional record left by one of Ireland's most beloved bards.
Whether you're just beginning to ponder a trip or ready to board the plane, you'll want to know all about where you're going.
A great pocket summary of the past that will clue travelers in to the culture and context of Ireland.
One of the funniest travel memoirs we know, it can't help but ease your journey.
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to a classic Irish bar, and McCarthy's travel memoir has readers amply covered. It's also a great exploration of the search so many have made for their Irish ancestry.
A hilarious and poignant look at parenting from one of modern Ireland's best writers, the Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright.
Ireland's literary heritage includes everything from folk tales to the experimental Modernism of giants such as Beckett and Joyce. The fiction of Aidan Higgins ably carries on the latter tradition.
One of the few great fictional works to be translated out of the Irish language.
A stunning presentation of the many beauties to be found in the land of saints and scholars.
A loving, painstaking exploration of one of the remoter corners of Ireland, Tim Robinson's remarkable book offers limitless reward to the patient reader.
A delightful novel that wraps you up as snugly as a kettle in a tea cozy.
For a grittier, contemporary view of Dublin, you can't beat Tana French's thrillers.