Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish Books and Movies to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

While I used to celebrate this March holiday every year in college by drinking green beer (LOTS of it!), times have changed. I can no longer drink even one beer (due to medical problems), so I need to find other ways to celebrate this fun holiday. I am wearing my green today and thinking back to some great books and movies set in Ireland or about Irish people. Check out some of these choices to get into the spirit today...and please tell me about your favorite Irish books & movies in the comments!

Irish/Ireland Books
  • Faith by Jennifer Haigh, set in Boston about an Irish Catholic family amid the priest scandal - I love Haigh's books, which always delve into the complexities of family life.
  • Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan is set in both Ireland and New York, the story of a young Irish woman's migration to America in the early 20th century.
  • The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom is mostly about slavery on a Virginia plantation, but one of the main characters is Lavinia, a young Irish girl working as an indentured servant. This was one of my book group's favorites.
  •  In the Woods by Tana French - no list of Irish books would be complete without a mention of this literary mystery series about the Dublin Murder Squad. This is the first book in the series and is gripping and beautifully written.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley does not take place primarily in Ireland, but that is one of the memorable places where Frankenstein follows his creation. A very thoughtful novel about human nature, quite unlike the movie adaptations.
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline begins with the story of Irish immigrants coming to America and settling in New York, as that is where one of the main characters gets her start. Excellent historical fiction.
Irish/Ireland Movies
  • Sing Street - a joyful drama/comedy about teen boys starting a band in 1980's Ireland - not only appropriate for today but a really great movie for any day! 
And for dinner tonight, consider making New England Boiled Dinner, a recipe from Cooking Light originally published in their March 1995 issue that has been my favorite corned beef recipe since...well, 1995. It's delicious! We'll be having this on Sunday, when we can get our college boys and my father-in-law all home for dinner together!

My family enjoying our St. Patrick's Day corned beef dinner, 2015


  1. I did my DNA a few months ago only to discover that my largest percentage (over 30%) is Irish! Next year I need to be more in tune with my DNA :-)

    1. Oh, wow - lucky you! And you didn't know about your Irish heritage before? That's pretty cool!

  2. This post caused me to pause for a minute thinking I might look around for a good Irish romance. Tristan and Isolde, perhaps. We'll have our boiled dinner tomorrow night. I didn't have it together enough before school to get the corned beef in the slow-cooker.

    1. We just had ours, Anne, on Sunday night, when everyone could get home!

  3. Great, Sue! one of my fav dinners ;)
    Some Irish books/audios I enjoyed this March - Sheila Connolly's 'An Early Wake' and Carlene O'conner's 2nd release 'Murder at an Irish Wedding' ... I always enjoy reading to a theme or a season.
    Have a wonderful April !

    1. Those sound great - I'll make a note for next March! Thanks for the recommendations!