Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ireland Reading Challenge - Completed

Hard to imagine another year has gone by (I feel old every time I say that!) but it has and so has the Ireland Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie at Books and Movies. Ireland holds a special place in my heart - my Mom is from there and I spend a lot of time there with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins when I was growing up.
Kissing the Blarney Stone (credit: Blarney Castle)

So, I love to read a good book (fiction or non) set in the Emerald Isle. I signed up for the challenge at the Kiss the Blarney Stone level (6 books) and read:

  Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney (click for review): This book is set in the rugged West and explores the transgressions against a mother and how those are passed to her son.

Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan (click for review): This book chronicles the story of Ellie who leaves Ireland to work in the US at the turn of the century - it follows her adventures and her heartbreak at leaving her love back in Ireland. This is the first in a trilogy and I am anxiously awaiting the next book.

Shannon by Frank Delaney (review to come): I listened to this on audiobook and I think I will listen to all future books by the author on audio - he has a great narration voice and a lilting Irish accent - the perfect companion in the car or while out and about.

An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor (review to come): Another audiobook selection. The accent in this book is a little different because it is from the North but also nice to listen to. The adventures of the crew of Ballybucklebo are heartwarming and the Christmas setting makes it even more so.

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Elisa Juska (review to come): This author is not Irish but her character does flee to Ireland when she has marital problems. It is a fun story, easy read and uncelebrated find.

O Come Ye Back to Ireland by Christine Breen and Niall Williams (review to come): Christine Breen and her husband Niall Williams leave the bustle of NYC to settle in Christine's great-uncle's homestead in the rural West Clare countryside. The book chronicles their first year in Clare - this book completely charmed me and so much of what they experienced reminds me of my grandparents' home and what we would find when we went "home" for the summer. There are sequels to this book and I cannot wait to get to them!

I already have another pile of books ready for the 2012 Challenge - Carrie will have the sign-up post up soon so drop by and sign up!


  1. If I hadn't sworn off challenges, this is definitely one I would join. I didn't realize Ellis Island was the start of a trilogy. I'll be interested to see where that story goes!

  2. congratulations on finishing! I still have 1 book to go. Yay you!

  3. Congratulations on completing the challenge! I'm so glad you're planning to join again in 2012 - I've got some fun add-ons in store. :)

  4. You go, girl! I have thing for Mason jars, so "One for Sorrow, Two for Joy" immediately grabbed my attention!

  5. What I fun challenge! I didn't even know this one existed. I've never been to Ireland, but my family has roots there. For now I'll just have to be content with armchair traveling. Congrats on completing the challenge!

  6. Congrats on finishing the challenge! It looks like you enjoyed every one of the books that you read :)