D is for Dublin — A Reading List #AtoZChallenge
I’m doing the A to Z Challenge in April, using the theme of the UK & Ireland. For the letter D, I’m looking at the books that I most enjoyed before, during, and after our trip to Ireland, including several days in Dublin.
Dublin is human-scaled. The buildings are low, the streets are wide, and everything on a tourist’s list is within walking distance. At the tops of hills or buildings, you get a grand vista over the city, more like a landscape than a skyline.
Because of that human scale, Dublin is well-represented by its literature. These are the books that really helped me inhabit the landscape when I visited Dublin in 2012:
- Ireland Awakening by Edward Rutherfurd
- Dubliners by James Joyce and annotated by John Wyse Jackson and Bernard McGinley
- The Insurrection in Dublin by James Stephens
I enjoyed a re-visit to Dublin on the page a few years later in a fun magical realism book: Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill.
I still want to read Rutherfurd’s earlier book, Dublin.
I suppose I should read Joyce’s Ulysses some day. I’m completely intimidated by it. Does anyone know of an annotated edition that might make that easier for me?
What other books do you recommend for armchair travelers in Dublin?
Oh, Dublin! I lived and worked there for a year, and even if this was many years ago, I’m still very attached to the city. I visit everytime I can and I still have a couplefriends there.
I love Irish literature. I’m trying to read Dubliners, but I’m finding it very difficult. Joyce’s writing is so layered you can’t just read him casually.
My favourite time is – guess what! – the 1920s. I have an Irish friend, David Lawlor, who’s written a series of novels set in that time. He’s very knowledgeable in Irish history, his novels are among the best I’ve read set during the Irish War of Indipendence and Irish Civil War.
Born there and go back often. You are right it is human-scaled. So walkable. A city I wouldn’t mind wandering on my own with a camera.
I was thinking of you this morning and thought you would pick Dover! I was wrong. No, Ulysses is never understandable is my opinion.
The view from the boat is so picturesque. Sounds like a perfect touristy destination!
Lovely to see your photo Joy, and to read your words of course. Your post makes me realise how little (if any) Irish literature I’ve read in my lifetime – and how lacking my geographic knowledge is! Thanks again for sharing your holiday pics with us here 🙂