I love buying books while on holiday--they make wonderful souvenirs. While in Dublin, I purchased 3 books at the Temple Bar Book Market. The next 2 I purchased at a lovely little shop in Clifden, and our last stop was at a shop in Dingle.
1. An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde
I didn't even realize that Oscar Wilde was an Irish author until I went to the Dublin Writer's Museum. The Importance of Being Earnest really sold me on his wit and imagination, so I thought Ireland was a better place than many to acquire my next sampling of his work.
2. McCarthy's Bar, Peter McCarthy
Okay, to be honest, I never would have bought this book of my own volition. But the bartender at the hotel where we were staying in Dublin had really good taste in whiskey, and he was reading this book. Sometimes I'm a really easy sell. The fun anecdotes will provide happy-Irish-thoughts when I'm really wishing I was back there.
3. Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America, Joseph O'Connor
Well, I like Joseph O'Connor (loved Star of the Sea) and the Irish, and America. That's about all there was to this choice. This may be one of those books that sits on my shelf for quite a while...but oh well. It's a "someday" read.
4. Ghost Light, Joseph O'Connor
This was only released in the US on 2/1/2011, but it has been out in Ireland long enough to be in paperback. When I found out that Dublin had chosen this book for their One City, One Book, I decided I'd join them. They are reading this in April, so I can get cracking at any time!
5. The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry
Recommended by the bookseller in Clifden, this book is about a woman who has lived much of her life in an insane asylum in Roscommon, and whose psychiatrist is wondering if she ever should have been there at all. It was a great read--I'll be reviewing it soon!
6. No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
Decidedly un-Irish in setting, but my husband keeps asking me if I've read it, so it seemed a good time to pick it up! I thought The Road was so vivid and unsettling, I was amazed at McCarthy's talent and am eager to try another of his novels, unsettling though it may be.
7. The Passage, Justin Cronin
This was my husband's purchase actually, but I'm counting it anyhow. He rarely has time to read, much less explore new authors, so seeing him dive into this huge book was a rare treat for me! He's finished it already--what a guy. :)
Now...I am definitely not in need of more books. My TBR shelf weighs on me enough already. But if it is a matter of bringing home goofy knick-knack souvenirs or books, you have to know which I'll be choosing. It's hard to resist, especially when I don't get the chance to buy from small booksellers very often. Most of my new books come from Amazon, B&N, or used from my local book shop. But a small bookseller featuring newly published books? Just not so common around here. I wish it were! Do you have small booksellers around you? Wish you did?