This March, the seasonal reading book list celebrates the Irish in modern literature. I have written little snippets here and there in posts about how my inclination toward a seasonal life comes from believing that I am a part of the Irish diaspora. My family, on my father’s side, has been in North America since before the Revolutionary War. Our genealogy tree is decorated with discharge papers from every war since the American Revolution and a succession of names originating in the Emerald Isle: Russell, Tillery, Curr (Irish and Scots-Irish names). Since my youth, I have loved all things Irish – music, dance, story, clothing. Neither of my parents found their identity in Celtic culture, so I consider this to be an expression of my soul self.
What better month to draw the connections between the Irish and the notion of creating a seasonal life than March when everyone in the world claims their Irish! Here, we’ll celebrate by creating a March seasonal reading book list that celebrates the Irish in modern literature.
All Things Bright and Green
I struggled more than usual with this winter. I think it is because I am shifting my focus on the homestead away from production agriculture and toward homesteading. This means less time with my hands in the soil or harvesting winter crops. Thank goodness for the chickens and goats. They kept me tethered to the season with their daily feeding needs and general barnyard antics.
I feel a particular delight in writing about the seasonal aspects of March this year, as it is the end of my dark season (hopefully). The extra hours of daylight, the inviting temperatures that encourage a little yard work or hike on the C&O Canal, and the prospect of warmer and brighter days to come has done much to brighten my mood!
I survived the winter with a healthy dose of books and music. I went deep into my Irish, and now that we are beginning the season of all things bright and green, I’m going to share my booklist with you, dear reader! If you select one of these books for your own entertainment, please write and share your thoughts. As I always comment, this blogging life can be a bit isolating.
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Frank Delaney – Celebrating the Irish in Modern Literature
So, I’m crying because I just, like this minute, discovered that Frank Delaney passed from this world on February 21, 2017. I’ve been keeping current events and the 24-hour news cycle at bay for the past 18 months as a sanity preservation technique and so I’ve been missing information like this. I am so happy his wit, humor and distinctly Irish voice live on his novels that celebrate Irish history and culture. If you only read one of Frank Delaney’s books, make it Ireland: A Novel. This narrative of a traveling storyteller circa 1950s Ireland takes the reader through Irish history (and pre-history). He performs the stories of characters who created Newgrange and ambles through, tale by tale, to the Easter Rising. I can’t recommend the Audible version of this book enough. It is narrated by Frank Delaney, as are all his novels on that platform.
Here, let Mr. Delaney share with you his love of Joyce. Enjoy!
Colm Toibin – March Seasonal Reading Book List
Colm Toibin is an Irish poet, playwright, and novelist who focuses on the modern Irish condition. I like his work because it encompasses the modern plight of the Irish diaspora. He, himself, lives in Brooklyn, NY, which is the name of the Novel (and movie) I am going to recommend. Brooklyn is a detailed account of what Irish immigration to the United States looked like for many women in the 1950s, both the land they left and the one they will one day call home. Here Toibin explains the impulse for the novel, it may surprise you.
Maeve Binchy – Celebrating the Irish in Modern Literature
Cathy Scarlett and Tom Feather try to make a successful run of their new Dublin-based catering business in Maeve Binchy‘s most popular novel, Scarlet Feather. These characters get no loving support from family, friends, or lovers in this year-in-the-life novel. It’s not quite a guilty-pleasure read, but close.
Here’s is an interview with Binchy, who passed in 2012.
In Closing, I’ll leave you with this collection of music for modern Irish literature. The first song is played on Joyce’s recently restored guitar and cover the song referenced in The Dead.
Lunchtime recitals by John Feeley and Fran O’Rourke with Joyce’s recently restored guitar.
Enjoy my selections of Modern Irish Literature on Amazon ~
There are affiliate links in this post. Should you be kind enough to do your Amazon shopping through these links, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Those who follow the book lists know, I use the money to buy my chicken feed. So I and the girls say, THANKS!???
Here are a few other book lists from months past:
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