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The Best of Ireland

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXIRE119. Buy these 5 items as a set for $83 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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How the Irish Saved Civilization

How the Irish Saved Civilization

by Thomas Cahill

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 236 PAGES

This bestselling history tells the generally unknown story of Ireland's preservation of classical learning in the Dark Ages, revealing how the saints and scholars, monks and scribes labored to reproduce the important texts that spread as they evangelized Europe. (IRE07, $15.95)

The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells

by Bernard Meehan

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 95 PAGES

Written by the keeper of manuscripts at Trinity College, this book features 110 color illustrations, including enlargements, of some of the more spectacular decorations in this most famous of medieval manuscripts. (IRE09, $19.95)

For the Love of Ireland

For the Love of Ireland

by Susan Cahill

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 458 PAGES

Organized geographically, this rich anthology introduces Ireland through the words and lives of such luminaries as James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Frank McCourt and Samuel Beckett. (IRE77, $15.95)

Eyewitness Guide Ireland

Eyewitness Guide Ireland

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 396 PAGES

This superb guide is a wonderfully illustrated introduction to the country, featuring photographs, maps and short background essays on history and culture. (IRE02, $25.00)

Ireland Map

Ireland Map

by Michelin

  • 2013
  • MAP
  • BEST SELLER

A colorful map of Ireland at a scale of 1:400,000, featuring insets of the road approaches to major cities, as well as an index to cities, towns and villages. (IRE23, $12.95)

 
Dublin Map

Dublin Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2004
  • MAP

A laminated, folded map of the city center of Dublin, at a scale of 1:12,000. (IRE96, $7.95)

Ireland Adventure Map

Ireland Adventure Map


by National Geographic

  • 2011
  • MAP

This sturdy water- and tear-proof map shows Ireland at a scale of 1:350,000. (IRE306, $11.95)

A Brief History of Ireland

A Brief History of Ireland


by Richard Killeen

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 323 PAGES

Killeen traces the successive waves of warriors and colonists through the Celts, Vikings and Normans to Henry VIII, the era of rebellion and patriots to modern times in this brisk, measured history. (IRE321, $14.95)

A Traveller's History of Ireland

A Traveller's History of Ireland


by Peter Neville

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

From the Celts to the Norman invasions to modern-day Ireland, this short history is highly recommended for those who would like a brief overview of the Emerald Isle through the centuries. (GBR39, $14.95)

In Search of Ancient Ireland

In Search of Ancient Ireland


by Leo Eaton | Carmel McCaffrey

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This spirited, illustrated history, the companion to a PBS documentary series, traces the foundation, archaeology and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C. to 1167 A.D. with style and substance. (IRE222, $16.95)

Ireland Unhinged, Encounters With a Wildly Changing Country

Ireland Unhinged, Encounters With a Wildly Changing Country


by David Monagan

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 300 PAGES

Seeking the essence of Irish identity, American transplant David Monagan travels the length and width of Eire to explain the people's mirth, soulfulness and eccentricities that endure despite the country's recent economic collapse. (IRE334, $17.95)

Ireland, In Word and Image

Ireland, In Word and Image


by Jay Adlersberg

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 276 PAGES

Jay Adlersberg's visual celebration of Ireland is accompanied by literary excerpts and poetry from Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and many others. With 75 gorgeous color photographs. (IRE319, $60.00)

Modern Ireland, A Very Short Introduction

Modern Ireland, A Very Short Introduction


by Senia Paseta

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 184 PAGES

A remarkably concise, provocative history in the well-regarded series, touching on the major aspects of Irish history, politics, and society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (IRE195, $11.95)

Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland

Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland


by Hugh Palmer | Christopher Fitz-Simon

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 200 PAGES

With hundreds of color photographs, this illustrated portrait of Ireland, its landscape, architecture and people includes maps and a travel guide. (IRE136, $26.95)

Sun Dancing, A Vision of Medieval Ireland

Sun Dancing, A Vision of Medieval Ireland


by Geoffrey Moorhouse

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 280 PAGES

This wonderfully inspired combination of scholarship and historical fiction, set at the monastery on Skellig Michael, carries the reader back to Ireland's early monastic tradition. (IRE13, $22.95)

The Celts: A Very Short Introduction

The Celts: A Very Short Introduction


by Barry W. Cunliffe

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 161 PAGES

A concise, revealing social history of the Celts by a reigning authority and popular writer. (CLT03, $11.95)

The Truth about the Irish

The Truth about the Irish


by Terry Eagleton

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 181 PAGES

An irreverent A-to-Z guide to all things Irish by a native son and shrewd comic commentator, who casts aside many myths, starting with the first entry - A for alcohol (the Irish have the lowest per capita consumption of alcohol in the E.U., after Greece and Italy). (IRE167, $16.99)

In Search of Ancient Ireland

In Search of Ancient Ireland


by PBS Home Video

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2013
  • DVD

A thorough and accurate examination of Ireland's history from the Stone Age through the Norman invasion in 1170. (IRE330, $19.99)

Connemara Mollie, An Irish Journey on Horseback

Connemara Mollie, An Irish Journey on Horseback


by Hilary Bradt

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 146 PAGES

Hilary Bradt (publisher of Bradt Guides) recalls her journey across rural Ireland among the people of Galway, Mayo, Clare and Kerry in the 1980s in this sweet -- and sublimely affecting -- memoir. (IRE307, $16.99)

Country Girl, A Memoir

Country Girl, A Memoir


by Edna O'Brien

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Born in 1930, Edna O'Brien conjures her youth in County Clare and her introduction to the swinging 1960s and literature in this marvelous tale of coming of age as a novelist. (IRE320, $27.99)

Ireland, a Bicycle, and a Tin Whistle

Ireland, a Bicycle, and a Tin Whistle


by David Wilson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

Whether it's the author's adventures in crowded pubs or out in the wild, this travel account is a modest, humorous report on Ireland, its people, festivals and cultures. (IRE17, $19.95)

Ireland, In a Glass of Its Own

Ireland, In a Glass of Its Own


by Peter Biddlecombe

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

A hilarious account of a journey through Ireland by the seasoned and well-traveled author. (IRE185, $15.95)

McCarthy's Bar, A Journey of Discovery in Ireland

McCarthy's Bar, A Journey of Discovery in Ireland


by Pete McCarthy

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A droll account of McCarthy's encounters on a bar-hopping jaunt from Cork along the west coast to Donegal. His motto, assiduously followed, was never to pass up a bar with his name on it! (IRE168, $17.99)

Round Ireland With a Fridge

Round Ireland With a Fridge


by Tony Hawks

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

From Dublin to Donegal, from Sligo through Mayo to Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Wexford and Wicklow, the English comic really does hitchhike his way around Ireland, on a bet, with an appliance (albeit a mini-fridge). Surprisingly, this deeply silly, thoroughly entertaining book also captures the warmth and spirit of the Irish. (IRE70, $15.99)

St. Patrick of Ireland, A Biography

St. Patrick of Ireland, A Biography


by Philip Freeman

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Historian and master biographer Philip Freeman brings to life the historical St. Patrick. He traces the life of the saint from his 4th-century British aristocratic origins through his tribulations as an abducted slave to his visions of God and movement to Ireland. (IRE337, $15.99)

The Great Shame, And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World

The Great Shame, And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World


by Thomas Keneally

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 768 PAGES

A vivid family memoir. Keneally traces the history of Ireland, Irish immigration -- and how the English treated the Irish -- through the story of his own ancestors, taking us from 19th-Century Ireland to America and Australia. (IRE204, $19.95)

Dubliners

Dubliners


by James Joyce

  • LITERATURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

James Joyce's unsurpassed collection of short stories depicting ordinary life in Dublin among the lower middle class -- a milestone in the history of prose fiction. (IRE15, $11.00)

Ireland, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Ireland, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by James Mc Elroy

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Organized geographically, this anthology of short stories and tales by contemporary Irish authors captures the spirit, history and allure of Ireland. (IRE217, $14.95)

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales


by W.B. Yeats

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 380 PAGES

Edited by the Nobel Prize-winning poet who spearheaded the Celtic Renaissance in the early 20th century, these enchanting stories introduce a cast of changelings, ghosts, mermaids, demons, saints, priests and fairies. (IRE04, $16.00)

The Hill Bachelors

The Hill Bachelors


by William Trevor

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

No one writes better short fiction than William Trevor. This collection of 12 stories captures the life and people of rural Ireland. (IRE42, $15.00)

The Sea

The Sea


by John Banville

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 195 PAGES

Recently widowed Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman, returns to the seaside of his youth in this exquisite novel of love and the power of memory. Banville's 18th novel and winner of the 2005 Booker Prize. (IRE295, $14.95)

The Teapots Are Out and Other Eccentric Tales from Ireland

The Teapots Are Out and Other Eccentric Tales from Ireland


by John B. Keane

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

A collection of 17 sentimental, sad, outrageous and just plain fun stories by the prolific North Kerry saloon-keeper, balladeer, playwright and novelist. Keane, who died in 2002, had an eye (and ear) for Irish rural life. (IRE144, $13.95)

Troubles

Troubles


by J.G. Farrell

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 459 PAGES

Set on the eve of the Irish Rebellion, this first novel in Farrell's remarkable series illuminates the British Empire's decline in Ireland to hilarious, haunting effect. Winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize. (IRE171, $16.95)

Wild Decembers

Wild Decembers


by Edna O'Brien

  • LITERATURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

A haunting novel of clan enmities and forbidden love in rural Ireland. Few writers have as sure a sense of place as Edna O'Brien, whose lyrical prose builds inevitably toward final tragedy. (IRE94, $13.95)

Birds of Ireland, An Introduction to Familiar Species

Birds of Ireland, An Introduction to Familiar Species


by James Kavanagh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PLASTIC CARD

A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered Ireland birds. (IRE245, $6.95)

The Birds of Ireland, A Field Guide

The Birds of Ireland, A Field Guide


by Jim Wilson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

A complete guide to more than 240 species of birds found in Ireland, featuring over 1,400 photographs, identification features and concise descriptions. (IRE338, $26.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.