100 Books by Writers from Northern Ireland for #readingirelandmonth20

For the last year on 746 Books, I have been posting a monthly series of reviews, called Northern Exposure, focusing on books by authors from Northern Ireland.

Northern Exposure shutterstock_226220014


To celebrate the great literary talent from Northern Ireland, I have compiled this list of 100 books by 100 Northern Irish writers spanning centuries, genres and interests. I have cheated slightly in that the list does include some non-fiction and some short story collections, but do indulge me!

This list is meant  to complement my 100 Irish Books and 100 Books by Irish Women Writers lists.

There is, inevitable, some crossover between this and my previous lists, but I do hope you find something here that interests you to  explore further. Click on the titles to take you through to either my reviews, or to the Goodreads page descriptions.

  1. Hero Lays by Alice Milligan (1890)
  2. The Evil Eye by William Carelton (1896)
  3. Irene Iddesleigh by Amanda McKittrick Ros (1897)
  4. The Passionate Hearts by Ethna Carbery (1903)
  5. The Kingdom of Twilight by Forrest Reid (1907)
  6. The Interpreters by AE Russell (1922)
  7. The Widow’s House by Kathleen Coyle (1924)
  8. Roundabout Way by Louis MacNeice (1932)
  9. The Unicorn with Silver Shoes by Ella Young (1932)
  10. Peter Abelard by Helen Waddell (1933)
  11. The Wayward Man by St John Ervine (1936)
  12. Tales of Mourne by Richard Rowley (1937)
  13. Charlie is My Darling by Joyce Cary (1940)
  14. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis (1950)
  15. The Apprentice by Joseph Tomelty (1953)
  16. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore (1955)
  17. Mainly in Wonder by Desmond Fennell (1959)
  18. Hospital Station by James White (1962)
  19. The Maiden Dinosaur by Janet McNeill (1964)
  20. Ratman’s Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert (1968)
  21. How Many Miles to Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston (1974)
  22. Gone in the Head by Ian Cochrane (1974)
  23. The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna (1974)
  24. December Bride by Sam Hanna-Bell (1974)
  25. Proxopera by Benedict Kiely (1979)
  26. Call My Brother Back by Michael MacLaverty (1979)
  27. Lamb by Bernard McLaverty (1980)
  28. Sisters by Fiona Barr (1980)
  29. Silver’s City by Maurice Leitch (1981)
  30. All of Us There by Polly Devlin (1983)
  31. The Diviner by Brian Friel (1983)
  32. The Dark Hole Days by Una Woods (1984)
  33. A Woman to Blame by Nell McCafferty (1985)
  34. Cuckoo by Linda Anderson (1986)
  35. No Mate for the Magpie by Frances Molloy (1986)
  36. Give Them Stones by Mary Beckett (1987)
  37. The Ragged Astronauts by Bob Shaw (1987)
  38. Desolation Road by Ian McDonald (1988)
  39. Writing to the Moment by Tom Paulin (1988)
  40. Mere Mortals by Kevin Kiely (1989)
  41. Ripley Bogle by Robert MacLiam Wilson (1989)
  42. An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan (1992)
  43. Spying on Miss Muller by Eve Bunting (1995)
  44. The Cure by Carlo Gebler (1995)
  45. Divorcing Jack by Colin Bateman (1995)
  46. Resurrection Man by Eoin McNamee (1995)
  47. The Miracle Shed by Philip MacCann (1995)
  48. Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane (1997)
  49. The Primrose Convention by Jo Bannister (1997)
  50. The Star Factory by Ciaran Carson (1997)
  51. Last Boat to Camden Town by Paul Charles (1998)
  52. Shadow-box by Antonia Logue (1999)
  53. The International by Glenn Patterson (1999)
  54. Making Sense of the Troubles by David McKittrick (2000)
  55. No Bones by Anna Burns (2001)
  56. The Ledge by Blanaid McKinney (2002)
  57. London Irish by Zane Radcliffe (2002)
  58. Sophisticated Boom Boom by John Kelly (2003)
  59. Havoc, In Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett (2004)
  60. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom (2005)
  61. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers (2005)
  62. The Lost Chord by Tony Bailie (2006)
  63. Cappawhite by Gerald J Tate (2006)
  64. Borderlands by Brian McGilloway (2007)
  65. The Telling Year by Malachi O’Doherty (2007)
  66. Asking For Trouble by Patricia Craig (2008)
  67. The Truth Commissioner by David Park (2008)
  68. Molly Fox’s Birthday by Deirdre Madden (2008)
  69. Bear in Mind These Dead by Susan McKay (2009)
  70. Glover’s Mistake by Nick Laird (2009)
  71. The Twelve by Stuart Neville (2009)
  72. Lost Dogs by Garrett Carr (2010)
  73. Fireproof by Gerard Brennan (2012)
  74. Disappeared by Anthony Quinn (2012)
  75. All the Beggars Riding by Lucy Caldwell (2013)
  76. The Lost by Claire McGowan (2013)
  77. Malcolm Orange Disappears by Jan Carson (2014)
  78. The Defense by Steve Cavanagh (2015)
  79. The Bones of It by Kelly Creighton (2015)
  80. The Faerie Thorn by Jane Talbot (2015)
  81. The Good Son by Paul McVeigh (2015)
  82. Nothing on Earth by Conor O’Callaghan (2016)
  83. Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (2016)
  84. A Good Hiding by Shirley-Anne McMillan (2016)
  85. Wild Quiet by Roisin O’Donnell (2016)
  86. The Countenance Divine by Michael Hughes (2016)
  87. Inch Levels by Neil Hegarty (2016)
  88. The Watch House by Bernie McGill (2017)
  89. Star by Star by Sheena Wilkinson (2017)
  90. Rita augus an Róbat by Máire Zepf (2017)
  91. I Know My Name by C J Cooke (2017)
  92. The First Day by Phil Harrison (2017)
  93. Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allen (2018)
  94. The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney (2018)
  95. Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine (2018)
  96. Music, Love, Drugs, War by Geraldine Quigley (2018)
  97. Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain (2018)
  98. Catholic Boys by Rosemary Jenkinson (2019)
  99. Burned by Sam McBride (2019)
  100. Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey (2020)


Ireland Month Irish Literature Northern Exposure

Cathy746books View All →

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

31 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Wonderful list…I’ve only read 4! (McLaferty, Friel, Johnston and Hegarty)
    Time to extend #ReadingIrelandMonth20….until the end of April!!
    Schools may close in Netherlands…we are waiting for an announcement.
    We can’t travel…we can’t go to spots events…perhaps not able to go to school
    …at least we can read!


  2. Other than C.S. Lewis, I’ve only read a book by David Parks–not the one on this list. The Light of Amsterdam: A Novel by David Park. This is my review from my old blog. I loved it!
    “David Parks must have been sitting in Belfast brewing this marvelous “inner” story for years! It is so well crafted I didn’t want to put it down. Exactly my sort of book–lots of inner workings to characters–hopes, dreams, thoughts and fears. Add to that a character just written for actor Robert Bathurst to play in movie version, and you have a winner all around. Nice too that no one is a lithe 20-something hopping in and out of beds with other lithe 20-somethings. A father (Bathurst-ready character) experiencing, on the surface, a Dylan concert, a mother and daughter doing a boozy British pre-wedding “Hen Party,” a long-married couple on a getaway–all have their world’s rocked without bombs being thrown or war breaking out. This is a book not to be missed. I will certainly be buying a copy and re-reading this one for years to come. The Light of Amsterdam: A Novel by David Park”


  3. What a wonderful list:)
    I haven’t read any of them except for CS Lewis, though I have The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne on my TBR after Jonathan (Intermittencies of the Mind) recommended it to me.
    But I have read one that’s not on your list: The Light of Amsterdam, by David Park, A very fine book:)


  4. Wow this is impressive. Sadly I’ve not heard of the majority of these authors – are they overshadowed by their compatriots further south maybe?

    Is there a reason Anna Burns is missing? I ask only because she’s one of the few names I DO know….


  5. A great list. I loved Joan Lingard’s series for teens, starting with The Twelfth Day of July; I should find and re-read them as they have really stuck in my mind for decades. And I’ve just finished my Sheena Wilkinson, ready to link in!


  6. wow great list!! will definitely be checking this every once in a while if im looking for some books by northern irish authors to read 🙂 I read Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine last year and LOVED it, so glad to see it on the list too!!!


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