Poem of the Week: Sonnets are full of love

Sonnets are full of love 

-Christina Rossetti

Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death.

Carve the Mark

30117284.jpgCarve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Rating: ★★.5 // Can I wake up now? 

Favorite Line: “I saw, for the first time, how thin the line was between fear and love, between reverence and adoration.”

Review:

Ummph. This book was hard to get through.

Summary (via GoodReads)

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

Apparently I live under a rock because I had no idea this book had a lot of controversy until I was in the middle of reading it. I usually try to avoid spoilers of books I want to read and therefore I don’t read reviews, I just look at ratings. The rating on GoodReads was around the 4 star area, and Veronica Roth is a talented storyteller, so I figured it was good. Halfway through I was still struggling to get into it, so I looked up some reviews to see if others had this problem (this is usually my tactic to see if I should stick it out or drop it). And that’s when I found all the negative comments.

Most of the negativity was about the book being racist and about how Roth addressed chronic pain (the main character has chronic pain). I can see the racist part because the whole book pits one race against the other (the races aren’t based on skin color necessarily, but more on country of origin). One race is the powerful and bad race, while the other is the good and beat-down race. With the two main characters, the one with the power to inflict pain has dark skin and the one who brings her comfort has light skin…yes, there are racist tones in this book. I do not think, however, Roth was intentional about racist undertones, my suspicion is that she only intended to add more diversity but did not realize she was making it racist by doing so–this mistake should have been discussed and corrected by her editors before publication.

The chronic pain is a major plot point, but since I have never had chronic pain I really don’t feel qualified to address the subject, or critique the way it was portrayed. All I know is that it is hard to properly portray things that you have not experienced, especially when everyone experiences it differently, and I’m sure she was trying to portray it the best she could, but apparently it was not accurate, and she should have done more research.

Ok, now with those two out of the way, let’s talk about the book. I found this book extremely boring. Honestly, I think I need to stay away from YA novels for awhile–almost all the ones I have read in the last 2 years have bored me and/or aggravated me. Maybe I’m just reading the wrong ones, but maybe it’s just not my thing anymore.

The main problem with this book was that it was a character-driven action book, but the characters were bland and the action was all over the place it made the plot hard to follow. I can’t tell if the plot was too complex or not complex enough, but I almost think there were just too many changes to the plot. Same with characters, all of the sudden there were tons of characters that came back in that I had completely forgotten about, and they introduce a whole different aspect of the plot. It was all very jumpy.

The characters, as I said, were bland. There wasn’t a single one I felt any affection for, which is extremely rare for me because I’m pretty empathetic, and I tend to attach to other people’s situations easily. One main problem, I believe, were the character’s names…they were all bizarre. I mean, can’t we have a dystopian/futuristic/sci-fi book where characters have names like Jim, Bob, and Katie? I understand the book needs a sense of distance because it’s set in space, but even Star Wars had a Luke and Ben, so I think a normal name every once in a while would be ok.

Speaking of space. I really forgot this was in space several times throughout the book. I was also confused about how the space would was set up, or even how the different planets work. Mainly, the world building could use some more work, or at least some more explanation.

Positive parts:

ummmmmm…well, I am giving it more than one star, so I have to have something positive….ok, well, I did like the idea of the currentgifts. I thought it was clever to have a world where some people are granted gifts from the current (an powerful energy source that really isn’t explained very clearly…it’s just there), and I think that idea is very intriguing.  Also, the cover is pretty bomb.

Overall, I do feel sorry for Roth and all the backlash she is getting, because, after reading the book, I do not think she was intentional in offending anyone, and all of it could have been avoided had she done more research, had a focus group, had an editor who caught things like this, really anything except what she did. It’s a shame though because there are a lot of negative reviews from people who haven’t even read it, they’ve just heard negative things about it…rule of thumb people, read it before you bash it. There may be some people out there who like this book…I’m assuming big YA fans could really like this book, I am just not one of those people (just how many people think classics are the biggest bore ever, and I’m over here rereading Frankenstein for fun).

Ok, rant over. This book was a miss for me, but check it out if you are into YA, Space, unique cultures, unexpected friendships, and overcoming tyrants.

If you want to purchase the book, you can do so here on my affiliate Book Depository page (for a discount).

 

Friday Five: Laugh until you cry (TV edition)

It’s Friday!!!

After being away last weekend for a bachelorette party, this week seemed to go especially sloooowwww. Now, at last, it is finished and I have a free weekend ahead of me. Usually I spend my free weekends reading/coffee shop hopping/playing with my nephews/catching up with friends, but like I said, it’s been a long week and I think some binge watching may be in my near future.

I’ve been in a TV slump lately, as I haven’t found another show to start it’s really a shame. There are a ton of new dramas that are decently good, but I really need a new comedy. They are my favorite to binge because they don’t require my full attention, yet they can support my full attention if need be. Yet, I really haven’t been hooked on any new ones, therefore, I have a few favorites that I always go back to, and they never fail me.

1.Psych

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Gosh this show is amazing. I was so sad when they ended it (even though it was time), and I was completely devastated when they took it off Netflix. It’s been months since they did, and I’m still very very angry about it.

If you aren’t familiar with the show, you need to be. It follows Shawn and Gus, two best friends who decided to start a Psychic Consultation Business, and their biggest client is the Santa Barbara Police Department. The catch is that neither of them is actually psychic, Shawn is just extremely observant and Gus is basically forced against his will to go along with it. It’s hilarious and the character development is AMAZING!

2. The Office

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This one is my all-time favorite TV show. I think I could actually watch it all day and never get tired of it. The humor is spot on, the romance is adorable, the pranks are amazing, and the hilarity never ceases. It’s a perfect comedy. Also, if I never find my personal Jim Halpert, I’m suing NBC for false hopes.

3. Parks and Recreation

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Very similar to The Office, just more quirky and silly. Ron Swanson is my spirit animal. I love the characters in this show, and how they grow with the audience is wonderful. I really can’t make it through an episode without cracking up.

4. 30 Rock
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There was a time when The Office, Parks and Rec, and 30 Rock were all current shows on NBC…those were the real glory days. 30 Rock is one of those shows where it starts off a little weird and crazy, but ends by being one of the cleverest shows on TV. Their last season was literally about NBC crashing their own network by canceling their best shows–trolling at it’s finest. Tina Fey is an excellent writer and actress, and the other characters are so absurd they will bring you to tears.

5. The Grinder

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Watching this show is like having a delicious cake set in front of you, and after taking a wonderful bite, you go in for a second one only to find that Fox has stolen your cake from you because they don’t know a good thing when they see it. The Grinder is so flippin’ funny, and I really do not understand why it was canceled after one season. It’s absurd.

Staring Rob Lowe, it follows an actor who recently quit his TV show because it wasn’t “real enough”. After quitting he moves back to Boise to find himself, and he ends up crashing at his brother’s house. It was there he realizes he wants to join the family business, which is a law firm. With only his career of being a lawyer on TV as his credentials, “The Grinder” successfully turns the law firm upside down, and drives his brother crazy. It’s smart, witty, sarcastically funny, and good natured. I wish it could come back for more seasons (I’m looking at you Hulu or Netflix).

 

Ok, there you have it! If you have any comedic suggestions, please let me know, or I promise you I will be watching The Office for the umpteenth time ;). Happy Weekend, everyone!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: TBR Book Covers

Sometimes I add books to my “to-be-read” list based on the Author who wrote them, sometimes I add them because of the description, sometimes I add them because of a recommendation, and sometimes I add them based solely on the book cover.

This week’s TTT (hosted by the wonderful Broke and Bookish Blog) is all about covers, so I am going to highlight the top ten books on my TBR list that I pick only because the cover drew me in…what can I say, I love judging books by their cover ;).

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Ahhhhh, they are all so lovely! Well, another awesome TTT topic for the books 😉 Feel free to comment and link up your TTT so I can check out your spin on this week’s topic!

Mini Christie Mystery Reviews

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We’re back again with the Queen of Mystery! Today we will look at a Miss Marple mystery and a Hercule Poirot mystery. The Marple is a smaller, lesser known one, but the Poirot is one of the more popular Christie novels.

9641812.jpgA Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple #7)

Rating: ★★★★ // A Nursery Rhyme Retold

Favorite Line: “I should hardly advise you to go too much by all I’ve told you. I’m a malicious creature.”

Review:

I felt pretty happy with myself when I accurately guessed that the nursery rhyme would play a large role in this book–now this is a very obvious guess and I really shouldn’t feel proud about noticing the obvious ;). However, I’m going to take whatever pat-on-the-back I can get with these stories, because I NEVER guess the ending correctly.

This one follows a string of deaths in a household, and like always Miss Marple intervenes, and through her witty narrative, is able to accurately figure out all the details before anyone else.

This story was quick paced and very entertaining. The characters (I should say the main family members) are horrible people, but they are interesting enough to keep you engaged in their story.  Marple is actually not the primary detective in this story, and Inspector Neele is a rather enjoyable character, and I enjoyed his presence in the book.

While I am not the best at figuring out the whodunnit in her books, this one really seemed like it came from way out in left field. I may have missed a big clue that made it a little more obvious, but this one, more than her others, really shocked me, and I would have liked a some more hints that it could be a possible outcome.

Miss Marple remains one of my favorites after this one, she is witty and sassy and I kind of want to be her.

To buy this book through my affiliate page on Book Depository (discounted and free shipping, click here!

 

6251564.jpgMurder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10)

Rating: ★★★★★ // WOAAHHH….trust no one…

Favorite Line: “The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

Review:

There is a murder, and Hercule Poirot could not be happier! What a beautiful coincidence that our amateur detective happened to be on the Orient Express during the rare occasion that a snow storm forces the train to a complete standstill in the middle of nowhere, AND the rare occasion that a murder takes place on the train.

In my last review of a Poirot book, I mentioned my slight dislike of this character, and at the beginning of this book, I still held that dislike. As the story went on, however, he grew on me. I saw less of his character as annoying and more of it being oddly charming (nerdy charming, but charming nonetheless). This change in opinion is the same for the book too. I thought it started much slower than any of the other Christie books I have read, and I really was not liking it. I was shocked! I had liked every book of hers and then I come to one of her most popular and I don’t like it!?!?

Luckily, like a cheap bottle of wine, the book gets better the further you go. What seems like a mystery that will be solved quickly and uneventfully, turns into a highly complex mystery where you are start to blame everyone and nobody at the same time–I’m pretty sure I blamed myself for the murder somewhere in the middle there.

I really don’t want to give anything away, but if you, like I did, find yourself not liking the beginning, just keep pushing, it gets better, I promise, and toward the end, I really couldn’t put it down.

To buy this book through my affiliate page on Book Depository (discounted and free shipping, click here!

Writers of the Future (Review)

 

9781619865297.jpgL. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future, Vol. 33.

*I received this volume of short stories in exchange for a honest review. Thank you to LibraryThing.com and Galaxy Press for the opportunity!

Volumes of short stories are hard to review, especially when they are from multiple authors. Each story is very different from the next, and aside from knowing it will either be a sci-fi story or a fantasy story, you really don’t know what you are going to get when you start a new story.

The Writers of the Future volumes are compiled of stories from up-in-coming authors who entered the Writers of the Future competition and were selected by L. Ron Hubbard and a panel of judges. This contest opens doors for young authors, and allows them to see their hard work pay off. I really like this aspect of the book. Knowing that these authors are brand new was what really sparked my interest in this book.

Some of the stories in this volume were very good and I really enjoyed reading them. I don’t have much experience reading sci-fi short stories, and I was impressed that the authors were able to condense sci-fi materials into a short story and make them comprehensible.

Not every story was my favorite, and there were a couple that I had no interest in, but usually right after one I didn’t like, there were a couple in a row that I did like. Furthermore, almost every story was accompanied by an illustration, which I think is a valuable contribution to the short stories.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes sci-fi and fantasy, but doesn’t want to commit themselves to a long series or book.

You can buy the book discounted AND with free shipping here on Book Depository!

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Happy Saturday!

I was tagged by Blame Chocolate for the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag, so now I get to share them all with you (I have quite a few!). You should also check out her post about this tag, and her page because she posts some fun stuff!

Ok, here it goes!

A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE

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The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard. I really wanted to like this one, but I ultimately gave up because I had no interest whatsoever. However, people seem to really like it, but I guess it’s just not my cup o’ tea.

A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE

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The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. Well, I guess I don’t know if other people actually hate this one, but I have never met anyone who has read it. I loved this series, it was a lot of fun.

AN OTP THAT YOU DON’T LIKE

I don’t know if this counts, but I’m going to take it back to the classics for this one and go with Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. I DON’T GET IT! Why does she like him? Why is he crazy? Why does everyone think this is ok???? ok…I’m done.

A POPULAR BOOK GENRE THAT YOU HARDLY GO FOR

Memoirs, mainly the ones written by comedians. These books have no draw with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the comedians who are coming out with books, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of my favorites, but I have no desire to read their books. Furthermore, I find memoirs in general very hard to get through.

A POPULAR/BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE

Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. He annoys me. I get that he is the way he is for a reason, but still, not my favorite.

A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO

John Green. I’ve start multiple books by him and stopped before the halfway mark, because I just wasn’t interested.

A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING

“I’m a scrappy little nobody, hear me roar.”  Maybe I’m just reading the wrong books for me, but it really does feel like every book, especially ever YA book, I pick up has this type of character and it’s getting a little old for me.

A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING.

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The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire. I actually did read the first one in this series, and I have absolutely no interest in continuing.

THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR TV SHOW ADAPTATION DO YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE MOVIE.

Pride and Prejudice. I’m not the biggest Jane Austen fan, and Pride & Prejudice isn’t one of my favorite books, but I will say the movie is rather entertaining and very well made.

 

Ok, that wasn’t so bad!

I tag: everyone! Haha, sorry I know I’m supposed to tag people, but I’m running late and I want to get this posted! But really, if you read this and want to do it, feel free to link me up or comment with your link, so I can read all about your unpopularness! Thanks again to Blame Chocolate for the tag, this was a fun one!

MaddAddam Trilogy Mini Reviews

maddaddam1__140604211942.jpgThe MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood

Rating: ★★★★// Overall creepy and compelling trilogy 

Favorite Line(s):  “After everything that’s happened, how can the world still be so beautiful? Because it is.” (From Oryx and Crake).

“You couldn’t leave words lying around where our enemies might find them.” (From The Year of the Flood).

“There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.” (From MaddAddam).

Reiew:

The MaddAddam trilogy follows the story of the plague that wiped out all of civilization, save a handful of humans, plus a group of artificially made “perfect humans.” These books all follow pre-plague and post-plague life from different character’s points of view. The first one follows the path of a genius and his best friend, while the last two follow side characters (to the originator) who played a role in the genius’ plan, whether knowingly or not.

Overall, I give this series 4 stars, but separately I give the first two books 4 stars and the third 3 stars.  I have read many reviews saying these books can be read in any order, and many others say that they should be read backwards, but I personally like the order they are in, and I honestly don’t think I would have continued the trilogy if I had read the last one first.  It’s a good ending to the story and it ties up a lot of loose ends, but I did not find it as exciting or interesting as the first two.

Oryx and Crake

Out of the three, I think this one is the most important. Oryx and Crake is where you learn the most about Crake, whose goal was to create a perfect human species, and about Oryx, the only woman Crake ever loved, and Jimmy, Crake’s ever-loyal best friend.

This book caught me right away with the characters, especially the character of Jimmy, also known as Snowman, to the Crakers, the “perfect” humans. Snowman brings us through the history of the pre-plague world, and he also brings us into the world post-plague. His commentary is extremely intriguing and by the end of the book I could not wait to start the second book.

The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood is quite a different tale, it primarily follows The Gardeners, a religious sect that live outside the norms of society. They appear to be religious guru’s whose only care is nature and caring for God’s earth, but within their ranks many are involved with Crake and his plan.

The Gardeners bring in such an interesting aspect to the story because their story appears so different than that of Jimmy, Oryk, and Crake, therefore when you discover how the stories connect and how they interlock with each other, it is quite amazing.

MaddAddam

MaddAddam is kind of a jumbled mess because it’s the merging of all the characters in the first two books in the post-plague world. While all the characters were intertwined, they were mostly unaware of how intertwined they really were until the final book. This book doesn’t deal with pre-plague time as much as the first two, but focuses mainly on post-plague.

I found this one much much slower than the other two, and the overall plot felt forced, while the other two flowed smoothly. It wasn’t only the plot that felt forced, the characters felt stretched and worn out, as if they had given all they had in the first two and couldn’t give anymore.

Overall this is a great dystopian series, and I recommend it to anyone who likes futuristic novels.

Friday Five: Book Series I Want to Start

Last week’s Friday Five covered Series I haven’t finished but need to, so this week I’m doing Book Series I Want to Start.  I’ve decided to leave out trilogies, because there are close to a million that I want to start, so I’m doing

 

1. The Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French

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Book one description from Amazon:

‘You’re twelve years old. It’s the summer holiday. You’re playing in the woods with your two best friends. Something happens. Something terrible. And the other two are never seen again.’
Twenty years on, Rob Ryan – the child who came back – is a detective in the Dublin police force. He’s changed his name. No one knows about his past. Even he has no memory of what happened that day.
Then a little girl’s body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. For him and his DI partner, Cassie, every lead comes with its own sinister undercurrents. The victim’s apparently normal family is hiding layers of secrets. Rob’s own private enquiries are taking a toll on his mind. And every trail leads inexorably back . . . into the woods.

Series Book Order:

  • In the Woods
  • The Likeness
  • Faithful Place
  • Broken Harbour
  • The Secret Place
  • The Trespasser

2. Children of the Last Days by Michael O’Brien

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Book one description from Amazon:

An epic novel set in the rugged interior of British Columbia, the first volume of a trilogy which traces the lives of four generations of a family of exiles. Beginning in 1900, and concluding with the climactic events leading up to the Millennium, the series follows Anne and Stephen Delaney and their descendants as they live through the tumultuous events of this century.

Anne is a highly educated Englishwoman who arrives in British Columbia at the end of the First World War. Raised in a family of spiritualists and Fabian socialists, she has fled civilization in search of adventure. She meets and eventually marries a trapper-homesteader, an Irish immigrant who is fleeing the “troubles” in his own violent past. This is a story about the gradual movement of souls from despair and unbelief to faith, hope, and love, about the psychology of perception, and about the ultimate questions of life, death and the mystery of being.

Interwoven with scenes from Ireland, England, Poland, Russia, and Belgium during the War,Strangers and Sojourners is a tale of the extraordinary hidden within the ordinary. It is about courage and fear, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Series Book Order:

  • Strangers and Sojourners
  • Eclipse of the Sun
  • Plague Journal
  • Father Elijah
  • Sophia House
  • A Cry of Stone
  • Elijah in Jerusalem

3. Department Q by Jussi Adler-Olsen

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Book one description from Amazon

Carl Mørck used to be one of Copenhagen’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl—who didn’t draw his weapon—blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of Copenhagen’s coldest cases for company. His colleagues snicker, but Carl may have the last laugh, because one file keeps nagging at him: a liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t dead … yet.

Series Book Order:

  • The Keeper of Lost Causes
  • The Absent One
  • A Conspiracy of Faith
  • Journal 64
  • Marco Effekten
  • The Hanging Girl
  • Selfies

4. The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg

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Description from Amazon

Considered one of Sweden’s greatest 20th-century writers, Vilhelm Moberg created Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson to portray the joys and tragedies of daily life for early Swedish pioneers in America. His consistently faithful depiction of these humble people’s lives is a major strength of the Emigrant Novels.

Series Book Order:

  • The Emigrants
  • Unto the Good Land
  • The Settlers
  • The Last Letter Home

5. Peter Grant / Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

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Series Book Order:

  • Rivers of London
  • Moon Over Soho
  • Whispers Underground
  • Broken Homes
  • Foxglove Summer
  • The Hanging Tree

 

All of these sound so great, I can’t decide which one I want to read first!

 

Friday Five: Books with Irish Characters 

Happy St. Patrick’s day! 

Oh, I love this feast day! A few years ago I wrote this blog post (on a totally different blog) about my favorite quotes from Irish authors, and this year I decided to highlight some of my favorite books with Irish themes or characters.

Irish characters are some of my favorite, not only because I see my heritage in them, but mostly because through all their struggles and hardships, the Irish always find joy in whatever they do. 

Irish themes are similar. They express pain and loss, but also joy and hope. 
1. The Bantry Bay Series by Hilda Van Stockum

This series was my favorite as a child, and I think it helped stir my love of travel and adventure. These books, The Cottage at Bantry Bay, Francie on the Run, and Pegeen, are so much fun. They are about a poor family in Bantry Bay, Ireland, and mainly follow the mischief of the young twins, Francie and Liam. 
These books take you all over Ireland and bring in the culture, folklore, and characteristics of the land and the people of the wonderful island. I highly recommend this one to be read aloud with your family, or even alone, if you want a spark of Irish magic. 

2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 

Francie Nolan is a child of an Irish-American man and a Austrian-American woman. Her Father brings his culture into their lives through his lively spirit and his joy. Frankie’s fondest memories of her father revolve around his songs–his Irish ballads he would sing as he came home and again as she sat with him in their small apartment. 

This book is an amazing story of a family living in Brooklyn in hard times. I recommend this book to anyone, and I even think this book should be read at all different stages of life, because the themes and messages can be reached by all. (Disclaimer: you may be singing Irish songs, especially Molly Malone, for weeks after reading this novel.)

3. Ireland by Frank Delaney

This book is lovely. It follows a storyteller who wanders around Ireland and trades stories for a meal and a bed for the night. Each chapter in the book switches from being about the teller and the story he is telling. In doing so the reader is able to become attached to a character all while hearing a dozen folktails from Ireland.

Again I recommend this story to anyone. It’s a little slow at time, but due to the way it’s set up, you can pick it up whenever, read a couple chapters, and be content. 

4. Dubliners by James Joyce

This collection of short stories brings to life the ordinary people of Dublin town. There is nothing extraordinary about these stories, but that is what makes them so precious. As someone who has only spent a short time in Dublin, it is so special to be transported into the homes of the Irish people whom I have longed to be apart of my whole life. 

5. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt 

This book is talked about so much, you almost think it’s overrated. Well, I think it is and it isn’t. I think it is in the sense that I don’t think it’s one of the most important books of the 20th century, as some may claim, but I think it’s not because it really is a good book. It is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, and at times I had to put it down because it was too hard to read, but at other times the story was so compelling that I had to keep reading. I put it on this list because, like I stated before, even in all the suffering that happens in this book, there is an underlying sense of hope and joy, which is so characteristically Irish. 

*Bonus: my favorite Irish movie

The Secret of Roan Inish

Growing up I thought everyone knew this movie, but in high school and college, much to my dismay, I found out no one knew this movie. 

This book takes place mainly on the western coast of Ireland, but also out on the Island of Roan Inish. The story follows a young girl, Fiona, as she tries to get her family to move back to their home on Roan Inish. This movie has humor, folklore, beautiful scenery, and lovely Irish charm. It’s definitely a great one to get from your library this St. Patrick’s Day weekend 🙂