Book Reviews

Reading Ireland Month and Reading Wales Month


Thank you to Cathy at 746 Books for again hosting this wonderful month-long celebration of Irish writers and literature.

If desired, this year she has added four weekly prompts:

  1. My Top Five Irish….[anything]
  2. My Year in Irish Lit
  3. Irish or not Irish (sneaky–looking at authors who may or may not be Irish)
  4. New to my TBR –have you added any books to your TBR from posts this month?

New to Reading Ireland Month?

Here are some favorites of mine


Milkman by Anna Burns is not for everyone, I admit. I LOVED it on audio though I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed it in print. There is a rhythm or cadence to the prose that lends itself so well to audio and Brid Brennan performed the book brilliantly.

Other Irish authors I’ve enjoyed (no apologies for lite reading) are Maeve Binchey, whose books get lumped in with Chick Lit, and some people love them while others hate them. I confess I loved them. Circle of Friends, both the book and the movie, is my favorite I think.

Patrick Taylor and whose books are very nice and set in Ulster. I got tired of the way the series went over time–watered down or should I say “milked” to get the most books. Never mind, the early ones are totally delightful. If you like James Herriot you’ll like Patrick Taylor.

So, you see? You don’t have to tackle James Joyce’s Ulysses.

You can find other Irish authors by reading past Reading Ireland posts.


Paula at Book Jotter is again hosting Reading Wales Month, aka Dewithon 22. Here is the link to the post’s rules and suggestions.

Since Paula is moving right now, she has suggested a book to read Sugar & Slate by contemporary Welsh author, Charlotte Williams.


Here in the U.S. you can get it for Kindle for only $6.99

UK readers can use her link to buy it from Blackwell’s.

I bought it and will try to get it read in time. My reading is very hit or miss. I’ve read some this month due to “hurry up and wait” on my new job, but otherwise it’s still very spotty what catches and holds my attention in print these days.

I confess I have not read a lot of Welsh authors. Possibly the best known Welsh-authored books to Americans are A Child’s Christmas in Wales by the poet Dylan Thomas How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn, which I am currently enjoying on audio. Book Jotter is a good host and has a link to her past posts to help you identify more Welsh authors.

7 thoughts on “Reading Ireland Month and Reading Wales Month

  1. I loved Milkman though it took me a while to get into it because she never gave her characters actual names so I wasn’t sure who she meant by “big sister’s boyfriend” for example. But it grew on me and is now one of my favourite books by an Irish author.

    If you are stuck for inspiration for welsh authors, I have a list of about 80 books on my site. Though you won’t find Richard Llewellyn listed. Sorry to break the bad news but his claim to have been born in Wales was false. He was born in England to Welsh parents but Richard never lived or worked in Wales.


    1. That’s why I recommend Milkman as an audio. I think it is easier to get the sense of it that way. I am so sad about Richard Llewellyn–I am LOVING the book (forgive me!). I am also doing the read-along book, Sugar & Slate. I’ll just use that one. By a weird coincidence, I am reading another book that goes extremely well with How Green Was My Valley so I can review them together. Thanks for letting me avoid looking terminally stupid! I usually look up the author at some point, but I admit I’ve been so wound up from starting the new job that I haven’t done that yet!


  2. Ooh, a new job?! Happy reading! I’m only doing Wales this year, even though I have an extensive TBR I only ever seem to have Welsh OR Irish books on it come every March!


  3. So happy to hear that you have a new job. I have never paid much attention to an author’s nationality but thought that Maeve Binchy was Irish. I’ve read two of her books, Quentins, and Nights of Rain & Stars. I enjoyed them but felt they were too detailed so haven’t read anything else by her. I often wonder if authors over-describe scenes, make conversations too long, etc., just to make the book longer.

    Liked by 1 person

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