Divided in two by political and religious differences, the isle of Ireland comprises two fabulously green entities: Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (a sovereign country). Lucky for us, delicious food, compelling stories, raucous pubs, and toe-tapping music know no boundaries.
It’s known as the Emerald Isle for good reason! Thanks to warm ocean currents and so much rain, Ireland is lush shades of kelly, emerald, and pine green as far as the eye can see. There are also dramatic, craggy coastlines with crashing surf and salt in the air. Why not head out for a leisurely ramble before heading to the pub for a bit of conversation and grub?
For centuries, the pub has been the center of Irish social life. It’s a music venue, gossip central, an employment center, and the meeting place for poets and revolutionaries. Once you’ve settled in, you can sip a lovely Irish whisky (or sink your teeth into a chocolatey Guinness), tuck into a bowl of Irish stew or comforting colcannon, tap your feet to a lively fiddle, and listen to old men harmonize on traditional ballads that might break your heart.
In this episode, we dig into the fraught history of The Troubles, introduce you to remarkable Irish women writers, and get real about leprechauns. Then we recommend five books that will transport you to Ireland, including a larger-than-life biography, a history of The Troubles, an atmospheric short story collection, a contemporary thriller, and a poignant historical novel set in Dublin. (show notes / transcript)
Top image courtesy of Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock.
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