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The IrelandXO Book Club is back for Autumn! This edition marks a year since we launched our Book Club and we are still getting through some of the many recommendations that we received in 2020. Our members not only like to read, but they are writers too! This Autumn edition features some publications that have been writen by members of our IrelandXO Community including historical novels, poetry collections, family histories, and tales of mystery.

IrelandXO Book Club Autumn 2021

New or upcoming releases

Dublin in Sketches and Stories

Róisín Curé | October 2021

Dublin in Sketches and Stories

With more than 100 lively new artworks, Dublin in Sketches and Stories is a joyous snapshot of the beating heart of the Fair City. Róisín Curé sketches what she sees, wherever she is, from the mundane to the magnificent, and everything in between. With her ears and eyes open, she immerses herself in the urban scene and creates a snippet of the world around her in words and pictures, with nothing more hi-tech than a fountain pen and a small box of watercolours. The bustling, busy city of Dublin is captured here in all its grit and glory, through its buildings and people along with conversations with its inhabitants. You won’t find these stories in any guidebook, as they ebbed and flowed like the ink and paint used to create this very intimate portrait of Dublin and its people.

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Shared Notes: A Musical Journey

Martin Hayes | October 2021

Martin Hayes Shared Notes

Martin Hayes spent his childhood on a farm in County Clare, in a household steeped in musical tradition. After a free-spirited youth, he headed to the United States where he built a career that led to a life of musical performance on stages all over the world. Shared Notes traces this remarkable journey. Picking up his first fiddle at the age of seven, Hayes learned that music must express feeling. No amount of technical prowess can compensate for an absence of soulfulness. His interpretations of traditional Irish music are recognized the world over for their exquisite musicality and irresistible rhythm. Hayes has toured and recorded with guitarist Dennis Cahill for over twenty years, founded the Irish-American band The Gloaming, The Martin Hayes Quartet and The Common Ground Ensemble, and here, for the first time, tells his story of getting to the heart of the music.

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Aisling and the City

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen | October 2021

Aisling and the city

With BallyGoBrunch flying and the door firmly closed on her relationship with John, Aisling accepts an unexpected job offer and boards a business-class flight to New York in her best wrap dress and heels. As she finds her feet in the Big Apple, she throws herself into the dating game, grapples with 'always-on' work culture, forges and fights for new friendships and brings her good wedges to a party in the Hamptons, much to Sadhbh's dismay. When a crisis in Ballygobard makes her doubt her place in Manhattan, can Aisling retain her New York state of mind, or will the lure of home be too much to resist?

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Sources for Irish Family Histories

James G. Ryan | 2021

Irish FAmily History Sources Ancestor Network

Sources For Irish Family History 2021 is a hugely expanded edition of our existing guide and lists some 6,500 references books, journal articles and other material on 2,500 families. These are mainly accounts of particular families and range from emotional accounts of the people and their ancestral homes to dispassionate and fully documented family studies and pedigrees. They can often put some human dimension to the barren facts available from the usual family records. No church or civil record will tell you that your ancestor was a wonderful singer or dancer; or of the details of their travels or their occupation; nor whether their recorded marriages were the culminations of great romances, or of family arrangements. Such information can, however, be occasionally found in the articles and books listed here.

IrelandXO members get 40% OFF the price of this 282 page e-book with the promo code IRLXO.

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The IrelandXO Community is a talented bunch, with lots of authors amongst us! Here we feature a few of their published works, all of which can be purchased by clicking on the images or the links underneath the description.

Lives Apart

Anne M. Mcloughlin | 2020

Lives Apart

‘LIVES APART’ is a tale of emigration from Ireland to America after the famine. A family saga of betrayal, tragedy and survival. In 1877, young Johanna McNamara, leaves her quiet life on the family farm in County Clare and emigrates to America to join her successful businessman brother Hugh. Full of hope, she is determined to make a success of her life. However, tragedy strikes before she finds her feet in this new world, and she must put the care of others before her own needs.

Set in Ireland, Boston, San Francisco and Nova Scotia ‘Lives Apart’ explores sibling relationships and how a disastrous action can reverberate through the lives of the extended family.  It also looks at the experience of emigration, both for those who had the courage to venture across the Atlantic and those they left behind. The Third installment of the Lives Apart series is due for release in February 2022.

IrelandXO is delighted to have Anne McLoughlin as a member of its global Irish diaspora community

Destiny's Voyage

Bob Love | 2006

Destiny's Voyage: SS Atlantic the Titanic of 1873 by Bob Love

They say fact is stranger than fiction. This is a book of just such an event. History chronicles only one "RMS Titanic" but in reality there were two. The one we all know that struck the iceberg on her maiden voyage on April 14, 1912. A mighty luxurious steamship intended to be the White Star Line's new Queen of the Atlantic Ocean trade between England and America. The other was actually the first of the White Star Line's evolution into the luxury liners with the "SS Atlantic". Almost to the day 29 years earlier on April Fools Day 1873 she ran hard aground on the Nova Scotia coast causing the loss of a higher percentage of her souls than her descendent. The unique factor being only the fittest survived leaving the souls of all the women and but one child buried with her at the bottom of the sea.

The book will take you on a voyage that will cause you to reflect upon your own mortality 

IrelandXO is delighted to have Bob Love as a member of its global Irish diaspora community

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The Keening: A Mystery of Gaelic Ireland

Anne Emery | October 2021

The Keening by Anne Emery

Nova Scotia author Anne Emery’s twelfth novel, The Keening: A Mystery of Gaelic Ireland (ECW Press), will be released in September 2021. The story begins in 1595 with a banquet at Enniskillen Castle, home of the ruling Maguire family. But not everyone enjoys the ale, the music and banter. Sorcha the prophetess sees harrowing times ahead as the English pursue their conquest of Ireland. Sorcha’s body is discovered the next morning. And archaeologists find another body in present-day Enniskillen. What, if anything, connects the two? Anne has won several awards for her books, some of which are set in Ireland.

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IrelandXO is delighted to have Anne Emery as a member of its global Irish diaspora community

Mothers of Ireland: Poems

Julie Kane | 2020

Mothers of Ireland

Celebrated poet, and former poet laureate of Louisiana, Julie Kane returns to her Boston Irish Catholic roots in this collection about mothers and daughters shaped by the forces of Irish history and Irish-­American culture. Mothers of Ireland confronts how the legacy of personal trauma gets passed down to subsequent generations, with a focus on women from her family history and their paths of both pain and endurance. Kane’s verse reverberates with the lives of her ancestors and the lasting impacts of famine, poverty, repressive religion, ethnic prejudice, and alcoholism. The poems are formal―villanelles, ghazals, sonnets, sestinas, and the like―but their language is fresh and rich with the sound of contemporary spoken English. Coming from a culture that values music, storytelling, and the oral poetic tradition, Kane uses rhyme and rhythm to move the body as well as the mind. Even at their darkest, these haunting poems flash with resilient Irish wit.

IrelandXO is delighted to have Anne Emery as a member of its global Irish diaspora community

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Recommended by the IrelandXO Community

From Cork to the New World: A Journey for Survival

Michael E. McCarthy | 2009

From Cork to the New World

From Cork to the New World: A Journey for Survival is a work of historical fiction based on a true story: rather than watch their children weaken and starve, the McCarthy and Sullivan families leave poverty-stricken Ireland to become part of the Peter Robinson Settlement in Canada. Robinson, a member of the Canadian Upper Parliament, was responsible for bringing thousands of Irish settlers to Canada, where they vastly improved their situation through hard work and determination. The story follows the fortunes, trials and tribulations of Thomas McCarthy, his wife Johanna and their three children. At the same time, we learn about the William Sullivan family, who travel on a different ship to Canada. The two families become acquainted when Denis McCarthy agrees to teach the Sullivan children to read. Both families must deal with tragedies and never is a day taken for granted, although every day there is cause for thanks. Interspersed throughout is the Irish love of song, music and dance. And through all the trials and joys, the spirit of these immigrants remains strong.

Recommended by IrelandXO Member LindyLou:

My recommendations about the long journey in 1820's to Canada.  "From Cork to the new world:  A journey for survival".  By Michael E. McCarthy 2009.  Anyone connected to the Peter Roberson migration in 1821 & 1823 will learn more about our Ancestor's challenging trip.

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The Killing Snows

Charles Egan | 2021

The Killing Snows By Charlie Egan

This book is fiction. The story that inspired it was not. In 1990, a box of very old documents was found on a small farm in the west of Ireland. They had been stored for well over a hundred years and told an incredible story of suffering, of love and of courage. In 1846, a young couple met during the worst days of the Great Irish Famine. The Killing Snows is a way to imagine what led to their meeting and what followed from it.

Recommended by IrelandXO Member Sheryl:

For those who enjoy novels and Irish history, especially the famine years, I recommend the series by Charles Egan.  There are 3 books The Killing Snows, Cold is the Dawn and The Exile Breed. The story was inspired by a box of old documents found in a barn in western Ireland. 

You don't have to read the entire series, but you will because the characters feel like their story is the story of your Irish ancestors.  The struggles they overcome, risks they took and the commitment to one another and family is inspiring. This story will stay with you for a very long time.

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You'll never go back

Kathleen Nevin | 1937, reprinted in 1999

You'll never go back Kathleen Nevin

This book was written by a Longford woman, Kathleen Nevin. It was first published in 1937 and tells the story of the life of three young girls who left Ireland for Argentina in the last century. It paints a picture of the emigrant experience of the Irish community in Latin America around the end of the last century.

Recommended Via Twitter @irelandxo

Approaching the issues of Irish emigrants diaspora, here in a Spanish speaking country, which adds complexity to the story. Very nice & beloved novel, maybe because of my roots.

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Where possible we have tried to give an option to purchase each book but this option may not be accessible, depending on where you are located. However, most publications are available through a variety of sources and it is recommended that you do a google search for the title of the book you are interested in, if you are not able to purchase it through the link on this page.

Over to you...

What's YOUR favourite book on Ireland and its Diaspora? 

Join the conversation HERE...

Catch up on past IrelandXO Book Club editions here: 

IrelandXO Book Club - Summer 2020

IrelandXO Book Club – Autumn 2020

IrelandXO Book Club – Winter 2020

IrelandXO Book Club - Spring 2021

We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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