Reading Ireland Month 2019 TBR

For Reading Ireland Month 2019, I’ve selected five titles, one for each week’s theme, with the hope that I’ll have time to read other books beyond my list as the month unfolds.

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While I haven’t had the chance to post my TBR for Reading Ireland Month 2019 until now, I finished drafting my list late last week, and I’ve nearly finished my first book for the month. My list is scattered, but I’ve tried to select only classics and popular contemporary books.

I’ve kept my list light, since I’m anticipating that I’ll come across new-to-me books I’ll want to read this month through others’ blogs.

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25th February – 3rd March – Contemporary Irish Novels

To start off the month, I began with John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies, which I’ve almost finished. Boyne writes accessible, almost cinematic, prose that reminds me of many YA novels I’ve read; the story’s been engaging so far, and I’m interested to see how it concludes.

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4th– 10th March – Classic Irish Novels

This week I’ll be shifting to my first novel by Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart. I’ve come across Bowen’s work several times over the past year through Goodreads as well as here, and I’m glad to finally have the chance to check out one of her books.

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11th – 17th March – Irish Short Story Collections

Like Bowen and Boyne, O’Brien is another author I’ve seen many people recommend, so next week I’ll be reading her story collection, The Love Object, which collects short fiction the author’s written between 1968 and 2011. O’Brien seems to be more famous for her novels than stories, but most of her novels have several reserves placed on them, making it unlikely that I’d get ahold of a copy in time.

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18th – 24th March – Irish Non-Fiction

For my nonfiction selection, I’m tentatively planning on choosing Frank McCourt’s memoir Angela’s Ashes. I’ve recently read a lot of memoir, though, so I might swap this with a narrative nonfiction or history title, if I can find something non academic through the library.

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25th – 31st March – Miscellaneous (Drama, Poetry, Film etc)

I’ll be wrapping up the month with The Plays of Oscar Wilde. While I’ve read a lot of Wilde’s nonfiction, I’ve never read any of his plays, which feels off given the impact he’s had on English-language literature and gay theatre.

Looking forward to participating this month and following others’ updates!

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26 thoughts on “Reading Ireland Month 2019 TBR

  1. That is an amazing collection by Edna O’Brien. But it’s so long to squeeze it into a week! Perhaps you could spin it out through the month to accompany your other reads so that they don’t get rushed? 🙂 All of your other choices look good to me. Although I am barely into my contemporary choice and we are on the cusp of the classic week. *laughs* Oh well!

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    1. That’s great advice, thanks for the heads up! I hadn’t realized how long the collection is, and it seems like I could read the stories in clusters between other books. Wishing you a productive reading week, and looking forward to reading your reviews for the challenge 🙂

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    1. It’s really something, isn’t it? Boyne’s grasp on pacing is great. The length of the novel deterred me from reading it for a long time, but it moves so quickly.

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  2. I look forward to your review of the dramatic works. I don’t ever see anyone other than me review plays on their blogs. I’ve been reviewing them because I read them for work — I’m on the 2020 play selection committee.

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    1. Thank you! I don’t see many reviews of plays either, though I remember that Cathy made an interesting list of theatre-related nonfiction books back in November. Which plays have you been reviewing lately for your committee?

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      1. I read The Liar by David Ives, Cowgirls by Mary Murfitt, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin by Kirsten Childs, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City by Halley Feiffer, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, Christmas at Pemberley by Laura Gunderson and Margot Melcon, and Topdog/Underdog by Suzanne Lori Parks.

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      2. An eclectic list – impressed at the range of your reading. Tiny Beautiful Things is on my TBR, though I’m not sure when I’ll get to it this year.

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  3. This is such an exciting TBR! I read one of Edna O’Brien’s short stories recently and have been dying to pick up more, I really loved her writing. And The Heart’s Invisible Furies and Angela’s Ashes are two of my all-time faves.

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    1. I really enjoyed The Heart’s Invisible Furies! It’s the kind of novel that’s easy to get lost in for hours. I’ve started O’Brien’s stories and have loved what I’ve read so far – her characterization is just so nuanced.

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