Three Wonderful Irish Books for the Holidays

Posted By Carla Neggers

December 6, 2018

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Like so many book lovers, I enjoy giving books as Christmas presents. Paperbacks novels make great stocking stuffers, so I’m always on the lookout for the latest by a favorite author, but I also love to wrap a special gift book that a friend, colleague or loved one might not buy for themselves…but would love to own. Here are three I own on Irish country houses, life tips from an Irish gentleman and the iconic Ring of Kerry. I’ve included Amazon links but you can order them from your favorite bookstore.

The Irish Country House

On our many visits to Ireland, we’ve stayed in everything from two-room cottages to beautifully restored country houses and loved them all. The Irish Country House by Desmond Fitzgerald, James Peill and James Fennell is a welcome addition to any Irish book collection.

Says the blurb: “A land of legend and lore, Ireland is also home to some of the most breathtaking residences in the world, 10 of which are explored in this charming book.”

I love “house books” and this one is extra special. Fires up the imagination!



It’s the Little Things: Francis Brennan’s Guide to Life

Francis and John Brennan own the 5-star Park Kenmare Hotel on the southwest Irish coast and host the popular RTE Irish television series, “At Your Service.” Francis has penned four delightful “gift-size” books. It’s the Little Things: Francis Brennan’s Guide to Life is the first and a fun book to treat yourself or wrap up and give to a friend or family member. Francis writes like he talks–with wit, charm, grace and a great sense of fun. He “believes it’s the little things in life that count the most. And by following this philosophy, he has built an extremely successful business and a very happy life.”

His latest  book, A Gentleman Abroad: Francis Brennan’s Travel Talesjust came out. It’s on my TBR pile!

And wouldn’t one of the stuffed sheep in Francis’s collection at Dunnes Stores be a great addition to one of my gift baskets? Stay tuned.


The Iveragh Peninsula: A Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry

This is a hefty, gorgeous book packed with stunning photographs and detailed information on this  iconic peninsula on the southwest Irish coast. It’s not cheap but for anyone who loves this beautiful part of the world with its rich history and incredible scenery, it’s worth a look. It covers everything from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Skellig Michael (lately famous as Luke Skywalker’s retreat in the most recent Star Wars movies) to the geology of the region and the rare spotted Kerry slug (I’ve yet to see one).

For Sharpe & Donovan fans, Irish priest Finian Bracken keeps a copy of The Iveragh Peninsula on the desk in his office in fictional Rock Point on the coast of Maine.

Have fun checking out these books, and I’d love to hear about your recommendations!