Welcome (Céad Míle Fáilte!) to Small-leaved Shamrock

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A few new books on good "ould Ireland"

Welcome to the very short and sweet 15th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture: the results of the 2nd annual Small-leaved Shamrock Summer Reading Challenge. As you may know by now, I've had very little time for reading and blogging this summer. In fact I've been spending more time gazing into my baby's eyes to see if he they develop into the "Irish eyes" of the family or not.

It seems that our readers have had their own difficulties finding time for the reading of good books on "ould Ireland". Whether because everyone has been busy as I have, or just because of the lack of reminders from me, we've had quite a few less submissions than last year's challenge. Here is this year's "short list" of recommended books of Irish reading for you to place on your nightstand for when you get around to picking up a good book.

Caroline Pointer shares with us the story of her 2nd great-grandmother who immigrated to New Orleans from Ireland in I'd Bet My Tin Cup on her Family Stories blog. Her search for the truth about the life of Annie O'Brien (supposedly a "strong-willed lady" who "had a penchant for Irish whiskey") led her to reading the book In Search of Ireland's Heroes...The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day written by Carmel McCaffrey. Visit Caroline's enjoyable article to find out what led her to this book and the insight it gave her into her ancestor's life.

McCaffrey seems to be a popular author. Jessica Oswalt of Jessica's Genejournal also shared one of her books with us for the carnival within her post An Early Irish History Book. She mentions In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins Of The Irish From Neolithic Times To The Coming Of The English by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton, which is the companion book to the PBS series of the same name (and the precursor to the book that Caroline recommends). These look like great resources on Irish history for all of us interested in Ireland.

What do you think of when you close your eyes and picture something related to Ireland? Evelyn Yvonne Theriault tells us about her image of Ireland and how it has changed since reading a book this summer on the history of the Emerald Isle. Visit How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill posted at A Canadian Family for her look at the book that broadened her horizons. As Evelyn says, "There's more to the Irish than shamrocks and leprauchauns!" This isn't the first time this book has been mentioned within our carnival. Visit Donna Pointkouski's review of the same book which was included in last year's Small-leaved Shamrock summer reading line-up.

"As genealogists and family historians, we all have reference books, but these are usually not the ones we choose to read for enjoyment. Historical novels, however, offer not only the enjoyment of reading, but help to understand the time period and location where the novel takes place," wrote Donna Moughty of Donna's Genealogy Blog. Her article Books, Ireland and Genealogy suggests several good historical novels on Ireland for readers to gain a better understanding of the past and how it has impacted the ways of the Irish people throughout the centuries.

Thanks for joining us for this, the 2nd Irish literature edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture (also known as the 15th carnival edition). I hope that you've found some new books to place on top of your reading pile. For more good reading, be sure to visit last year's 1st edition entitled Looking into the heart of Ireland.

You might also enjoy reading other "back issues" of our Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Visit the left-hand sidebar of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture blog for the links to various issues.

Please plan to join us for the upcoming 16th edition of the carnival: Irish Portraits. See the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture blog for the details.

Antique map of Ireland courtesy of Kroll Map Company. Book image courtesy of Karen's Whimsy.


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