Announcing Reading Ireland Month!

PicMonkey Collage 2

The heart of an Irishman is nothing but his imagination. George Bernard Shaw

March is coming, and that means St. Patrick’s Day, but there’s much, much more to Irish culture than shamrocks (which, by the by, are NOT four-leaf clovers) and driving snakes out of the country (this never actually happened either). St Patrick wasn’t even Irish! He was born in Wales. Or Somerset. Or Scotland. But not in Ireland!

Ireland has a surface area of 32,000 square miles and a population of 6.4million meaning it is the same size as South Carolina and has the same number of inhabitants as Indiana. That’s right, it’s not big, but for such a small island it packs a hefty cultural punch:

Some of the world’s greatest plays, novels and poems.

Four Nobel Prize winners (Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney) … will their names be joined by John Banville, Emma Donoghue, Colum McCann or Anne Enright?

Five Booker Prize winners.

A fairly well-known rock band that you might have heard of, as well as the likes of Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, I Draw Slow, Snow Patrol and Damien Rice. We sincerely hope this  makes up for inflicting Boyzone and Westlife on the world.


Ireland more last

A host of Oscar winners.

The best pint in the world.

My Left Foot. Calvary. In Bruges. What Richard Did. The Stag. Once. It’s fair to say Irish film has moved well beyond The Quiet Man.

A Ballymena man is currently Hollywood’s leading action hero! (And if you don’t believe that, he will look for you, he will find you, and he will kill you)

From Dorian Grey to Game of Thrones, Ulysses to Father Ted, the reach of Ireland’s culture spreads far beyond its beautiful coastline.

When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious. Edna O’Brien

To celebrate the wealth and breadth and general awesomeness of Irish cultural life, 746 Books and The Fluff is Raging are co-hosting a month-long cultural celebration of all things Irish. Ireland Month (Or The Begorrathon as we are affectionately calling it!) will feature book and film reviews, poems, songs, giveaways and much, much more. We’d love for you to join us!


The rules for the challenge are quite simple. Grab our badge and put it in your sidebar and get planning your Ireland themed reading or viewing. Like our Facebook page here Between  March 1st and March 31st, you can post as much as you like about Irish culture. The theme is Ireland and Irish culture, so feel free to write about whatever you like.

Read a book by Anne Enright, the inaugural Irish Fiction Laureate. Post your favourite soda bread recipe.   Maybe you want to make a list of your Top Ten Irish people. Read some poems by WB Yeats and celebrate 150 years since his birth (#Yeats150).  Dress up as Mrs Doyle from Fr Ted and take a selfie, we don’t really mind! Here’s all we ask:

  • put a link to your post on the Facebook page, and we’ll be sure to share it.
  • Or link here on either of our blogs: FOR POSTS ABOUT POETS, PLAYWRIGHTS and NOVELISTS, link back to Cathy at 746 Books
  • FOR POSTS ABOUT FILMS, TV, MUSIC, or ANYTHING ELSE, link back to Niall at The Fluff is Raging
  • Watch our Begorrathon trailer to give you some ideas for what to read/ watch/ drink! If you need some more ideas, there is a list of 50 of the best Irish novels at 746 Books, one of which is bound to tickle your fancy.
  • You can also tweet your post using the hashtags #irelandmonth2015 AND/OR #begorrathon2015

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Many people die of thirst but the Irish are born with one. Spike Milligan

Ireland Month

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

56 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Made a note of these for March… Got 3 of E Donoghue’s short story collections, an Edna Obriens & Dubliners (only previously dipped in so I will look at the unread ones), possibly Sealed Letter & Let the Great World Spin novels too … Never read Anne Enright – what would you recommend?


  2. This sounds like fun- and what a great list of books! I bet making the list was half the fun (it would be for me). I’ve read a few of them, but more notably are the ones on there that I have been meaning to read for ages, like Let the Great World Spin and Skippy Dies. Maybe this is my chance to get to one of them.
    What I’ve read of Emma Donoghue so far has been good (can we Canadians share her with you?), and I’ve also read Frank McCourt and Maeve Binchy (who hasn’t?).
    I love your introduction to this event! I almost got stuck at Liam Neeson’s picture, though. 🙂


    • Having a pause for thought over Liam Neeson is often a very necessary thing 😉
      I actually made a list of 100 Books but thought it was maybe too much. I’m tempted to add the other 50 on now though! I loved both Let the Great World Spin and Skippy Dies so I can highly recommend them. I’m hoping to read either The Other Side of Brightness or Transatlantic by McCann myself.


  3. What a great idea! I will certainly join in – I’ve been meaning to read all of Oscar Wilde’s work this year anyway, and it’s also an excellent opportunity to discover more things about Ireland 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great idea – I will definitely join in on March 17th at very least as I have an appointment that day with Arthur Guinness and Mr Jameson!!!! Will have a go at writing my very first drunken post if I can still stand when I get home!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Would like to say my contribution will be a visit to Ireland but alas, not this year (one of the best holidays I ever had was 4 weeks driving around Ireland with my best friend). Think I’ll just be reading Nora Webster…

    Liked by 1 person

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