If you’re not ready to say good-bye to St. Patrick’s Day, say hello to Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland. McCourt (brother to Frank McCourt, author Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man tells the history of Ireland through the biographies of 20 famous Irish ranging from St. Patrick to James Joyce to Bono. This book was so interesting I didn’t realize until the end how much Irish history I actually learned. McCourt’s unique approach to convey Ireland’s history makes it memorable and enjoyable. Malachy McCourt is a prolific writer with a wicked sense of humor. Did you know he was a soap opera star and a candidate for governor of New York? You can enjoy learning about his remarkable life in his memoir A Monk Swimming and Death Need Not Be Fatal.
For a more academic or cerebral look at Irish history, check out How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. This book looks at a more narrow aspect of Irish history. Cahilll shows first what literature and scholarly thought were before the fall of the Roman Empire in both the West and in Ireland. After, the reader is prepared to understand how the Irish became the sole keeper of literacy and learning. The Irish were then able to bring this light back to mainland Europe.
--Amanda, Part-time Library Assistant