Books of Ireland for a Green Spring Day

Today’s The Point with Mindy Todd on WCAI featured books about Ireland and by Irish authors. We think all of today’s Spring green was a perfect setting for Irish books. Joining Jill Erickson, Head of Reference & Adult Services, was Vicki Titcomb of Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich. What a pleasure it was to have Vicki back in the studio with us! And if you missed the show this morning, you can listen online.

I did have a few updates on past shows this morning. Thanks again to the anonymous donor who brought me six paperback copies of Josephine Tey mysteries, after I mentioned I had not read them, last February when we did the mystery book show with Jennifer Gaines of the Woods Hole Library. I have now begun to read Josephine Tey, and very much enjoyed reading Miss Pym Disposes.

Last month, when we were talking about bird books, I had mentioned a novel that I had not yet read nor even seen, but had learned about via Twitter! It was published in Australia, and thus was a bit tricky to find a copy. However, I now have read The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley, a very beautiful and moving novel about Elizabeth Gould, wife of ornithologist John Gould. Thanks to the Biodiversity Heritage Library you can see many of her bird paintings on Flickr! The novel is also chock full of details about painting and science, childbirth, and most especially the collecting of birds to identify new species. It also is a particularly beautiful book, with fabulous endpapers and jacket and even the paper is lovely, all thanks to Affirm Press, as they say on their web page: “an independent Melbourne-based publisher dedicated to publishing great Australian stories, big ideas, and the most engaging local and international authors.” The novel is now available at the Falmouth Public Library, and I hope soon will be picked up by an American publisher! If you want your very own copy, you currently can purchase a copy via Book Depository. As they describe themselves on their web page: Book Depository is “the world’s leading specialist online bookstore. We’re proud to offer over 17 million titles, all at unbeatable prices with free delivery worldwide to over 100 countries.”

So here are the lists, and now I have to go do my reference librarian homework, and see if Frank Zappa really was the first to say: “So many books, so little time.”

Vicki’s Picks

Opened Ground Selected Poems, 1966-1966 by Seamus Heaney “Digging”
Collected Stories by Frank O’Connor
Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
In the Woods by Tana French
The Green Road by Anne Enright
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
The Princes of Ireland: the Dublin Saga by Edward Rutherford
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea by Patrick Taylor

Didn’t cover, but really wanted to:

The Immortal Irishman: the Irish Revolutionary who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan

Jill’s Picks

A Journey with Two Maps: becoming a woman poet by Eavan Boland
The Search for Missing Friends: Irish immigrant advertisements placed in the Boston Pilot
Saints and Sinners by Edna O’Brien (or any collection of Edna O’Brien stories)
The Springs of Affection: stories of Dublin by Maeve Brennan (or any collection of Maeve Brennan stories)
An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
Walking in Ireland: 50 walks through the heart and soul of Ireland by Christopher Somerville
Irish Travellers: the unsettled life by Sharon Bohn Gmelch & George Gmelch

Listener Picks

A Shocking Assassination by Cora Harrison
The Trick of the Ga Bolga by Patrick McGinley

4 comments on “Books of Ireland for a Green Spring Day


  1. Eva Needs says:

    Loved the show today and had trouble running into stores, etc to get my errands done. THanks for listing the books as I had trouble writing down the names and driving.

    1. Jill Erickson says:

      So glad you were listening! The rest of the list will be posted momentarily! Jill

  2. Maureen Rounds says:

    Excellent program. I was driving to Mashpee Public Library to a meeting of my book group, Glad to be able to access the titles online

    1. Jill Erickson says:

      So glad you enjoyed the show! Thanks for letting us know.

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