When Irish Eyes are Smiling: Books for St. Patrick’s Day – Staff Picks

Everyone is a bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so today we’re sharing our favorite books by Irish and Irish-American authors!

This collection of 15 short stories were conceived as a sort of naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin. From what I understand, Irish Nationalism was gaining in popularity at time, so you have this raging argument over what truly defines Irish identity and Irish culture. The stories are initially narrated by children and they get progressively older, describing the lives and concerns of adults who feel much like people we may actually know. But what I love about the book is that simply put, it’s beautifully written, and there are passages that still resonate with me several years after reading it. William Helms, Editorial Assistant

Jacket Image, Brooklyn: A Novel
A very well done story of an Irish immigrant which seemed very realistic. I don’t want to say more at the risk of giving away too much. And of course one must not forget Frank McCourt! Rosemary Carlough, Vice President, Sales & Marketing

As a second generation immigrant I especially liked Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Some of his anecdotes about growing up in Europe–the terrible conditions of the time, the hunger, the drive to build a better future for your children–really resonated with me and reminded me of my own family’s stories. —Christina Parisi, Executive Editor

The story of the difficult relationships between a domineering patriarch and his family, this book is simply written and follows the pace of everyday life — mostly even keeled, with some high and low points in the plot. I was particularly struck by one passage about Moran, the protagonist, who was able to “slip the burden of his personality as he could never do face to face.” How sad, yet so very true about many people! Kama Timbrell, Publicity Manager

Beginning with the Dark Ages, it’s a  great story of how the monastic movement developed and the Irish monks took to copying the books that were in danger of being destroyed elsewhere in Europe. A fun informative read.  Erin Go Bragh! Andy Ambraziejus, Managing Editor

Read more in the “AMACOM Reads” series here.


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