It’s St Patrick’s Day!

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in primarily in Ireland, but also in New Zealand and many other countries. This blog has a range of books about Irish culture, places, food, and St Patrick Day’s traditions, as well as a selection of library databases for learning the Irish language and listening to Irish music.

Ireland : top sights, authentic experiences / Wilson, Neil
“Lonely Planet Best of Ireland is filled with inspiring photos, and focuses on Ireland’s most popular attractions for those wanting to experience the best of the best. It’s your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Wander from village to village along Connemara’s coast, discover music-filled pubs in Galway, or sample the best pint of Guinness you’ve ever had in Dublin. Get to the heart of Ireland and begin your journey now!” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The Penguin book of Irish verse
“The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry features the work of three Nobel laureates – W. B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney – as well as Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Moore, Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, Eavan Boland and James Joyce. It also includes epigrams, traditional verses and Old Irish songs, with 250 new English translations by the greatest poets currently working, including Seamus Heaney and Ciarán Carson. This book is an indispensable guide to unparalleled literary culture.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Rachel’s Irish family food : a collection of Rachel’s best-loved family recipes / Allen, Rachel
“Bring loved ones together with this collection of delicious and simple recipes that highlight the best of authentic Irish cooking. Over 100 recipes that offer the best in traditional and modern Irish cooking, from new twists on old classics to tried and tested recipes which have delighted many generations in Ireland and are sure to be favourites. Recipes include pork sausages with colcannon, Irish stew, fish pie, and porter cake.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Collins Irish dictionary.
“This dictionary includes all the latest words reflecting changes in modern lifestyle, as well as all the features you would expect from a Collins dictionary: an easy-to-read layout, special treatment of key words and useful examples. In-depth and up-to-date supplements help you to develop your knowledge of Irish and your confidence in the language, with information on pronunciation and grammar, as well as the words and phrases you will need in writing letters and sending emails.” (Adapted from

In search of the craic : a pub crawl through Irish music / Irwin, Colin
“Hearing Irish music in Ireland is not through big concert halls or grand arenas, but in the small pubs in remote areas where the locals habitually gravitate for those informal sessions that invariably develop into a serious social occasion, known as the craic. The author talks to some of the leading Irish musicians like Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Paddy Moloney, Martin Hayes, Andy Irvine, Cara Dillon, Paul Brady and Frankie Gavin about their experiences and they direct him to places where the craic is mightiest.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

St. Patrick of Ireland : a biography / Freeman, Philip
“The most authoritative modern biography of the patron saint of Ireland, focusing on the historical Patrick and his times. The true story of St. Patrick is far more inspiring than the myths. In St. Patrick of Ireland, Philip Freeman brings the historic Patrick and his world vividly to life. Patrick speaks in his own voice in two remarkable letters he wrote about himself and his beliefs, new translations of which are included here and which are still astonishing for their passion and eloquence.” (Adapted from

Ireland : flying high / McCloskey, Erin
“Photographs over a sea of gentle hills and green meadows, desolate moors dotted with heather and gorse, and a jagged coastline tormented unceasingly by the ocean. It also reveals stone-built castles and fortresses, small towns clustering around their churches, turf-roofed farmhouses and whitewashed cottages, great country houses and monastic ruins. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)