Reading a country’s literature is a wonderful way to get to know the place you wish to call home. Today the Ireland Property Guide suggests some of Ireland’s best books, to celebrate UN World Book Day (and Shakespeare’s birthday), on Sunday.

When considering emigrating or buying a holiday home it’s important that you improve your knowledge of the country you have your sights set on. This is so that you can be sure that it’s the right move for you and your family. What you read doesn’t need to all be factual, dry information. In fact, you can make this ‘research-process’ lots of fun by making a reading list. Today in honour of UN World Book Day, which takes place on 23rd April, we’re running through the books that both capture the essence of Ireland and its lifestyle.

The Spinning Heart takes you on a journey into the homes of Irish families and teaches the reader a huge amount about the culture of small town Ireland.

The Barrytown Trilogy – Roddy Doyle

For a glimpse into the lives of working-class families in Dublin, there is no better trilogy than this from Roddy Doyle, which focuses on the lives of the Rabitte family. The three novels to check out are The Commitments, which was made into a successful film and stage show, The Snapper and The Van, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. These books are hilarious, heart-warming and explain typical Irish values and the importance of family.

The Spinning Heart – Donal Ryan

This prize-winning debut from Donal Ryan is told from the viewpoints of 21 people living in rural Ireland as they struggle to survive the recent recession in South West Ireland. Although hardly an upbeat book, The Spinning Heart takes you on a journey into the homes of Irish families and teaches the reader a huge amount about the culture of small town Ireland.

 

Brush up on your knowledge of Ireland prior to your move with a spot of reading.

 

The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien

O’Brien’s debut novel, which tackles many of the issues faced by Irish women in 1960s Ireland, was considered so controversial that it was banned on publication. By being the first to tackle issues of sexual taboos, gender inequality and the Catholic mind-set, O’Brien is widely considered to have paved the way for Ireland’s female writers of today. The story follows two women from rural Ireland as they flee countryside life to go in search of pastures new in Dublin.

By being the first to tackle issues of sexual taboos, gender inequality and the Catholic mind-set, O’Brien is widely considered to have paved the way for Ireland’s female writers of today

The Scarlett Feather – Maeve Binchy

While reading any novel of Maeve Binchy’s will provide you with entertaining insight into the mind-set and lives of the Irish, The Scarlett Feather is perhaps the most loved. The story focuses on the daily life of a middle-class Irish family battling to keep their catering business afloat. The overriding theme that will appeal to those of you hoping to make the move to Ireland is how difficult yet rewarding it can be to pursue a fresh start in a new place. Other titles by Maeve Binchy that are worth a read include, Light a Penny Candle, Tara Road and Circle of Friends.

 

James Joyce’s classic, ‘Dubliners’ is perfect for readers wanting to know more about Ireland’s history, and it’s characters.

 

Dubliners – James Joyce

While we’ll let you off Ulysses given that it’s 900 pages long, this short story collection from James Joyce is worth a read for its descriptions of the lives of Dubliners from childhood to maturity. This was another book that sparked controversy, mostly due to the author’s depictions of a Priest, which resulted in book burnings across the country. As well as telling tales of typical Irish characters, Joyce’s classic takes the reader on a geographical tour of the city.

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  Ask the right questions
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