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Great Irish Reads

By Lori Cheverie  

Our guest blogger this month is Lori Cheverie. Lori has been a book nerd for as long as she can remember. She even won her elementary school read-a-thon in grade four!  She discovered the joys of Atlantic Canadian and Canadian literature in university but her first love is murder...mysteries that is. If you ever go missing, rest assured she's on the case. Lori is the manager of Bookmark in Charlottetown. 

In April of this year, I will be able to say that I have worked at Bookmark for 30 years.  What started as a part-time job to help pay for university has turned into a career.  For any of you who’ve worked in retail, you know the fall and weeks before Christmas turn into a blur and you never seem to have time for yourself. 

That is why I tend to love January and the snow and the days when there’s nothing better to do than curl up with a good book, cozy quilt and a hot cup of tea. The bigger the better!  Actually, I think every day is pretty much the perfect day to do just that.

Katherine's beautiful book teapot

In the fall, my reading pile gets taken over by the books by authors we have coming to town or the big hot titles that I’m going to be asked about. Don’t get me wrong, I pretty much enjoy them all, but I particularly like reading in January, before sales reps start pushing the summer releases at our meetings in February and year-end numbers and reports take over my thinking. In January, I can discover my next favourite author. I can re-read a favourite or two.

I seem to be having a love affair with Ireland. Of the close to 100 books I read last year, nearly half were by Irish authors. Due to home renovations, I will have to let the books I read take me back to visit Ireland this year. The Irish are said to drink lots of tea. There is a fierce debate over which is better- Barry’s or Lyons. I’m hooked on the Lyons. It’s a strong 'builder’s' tea and drinking a mug will bring me right back. My last visit to Ireland found me buying another suitcase to carry home all the books and tea I bought! 

One of many breathtaking photos from Lori's most recent trip to Ireland

Growing up with nothing but King Cole or Red Rose, I can remember exactly whose house I was visiting when I had my first taste of delicious Earl Grey.  A whole new world opened up to me and I had to try new teas every time we shopped. I have a twelve-year-old niece who lives in Alberta. Her Christmas list was simply books, chocolate and tea. My kind of girl!  I carefully chose her books and then went to the market to pick out some special Lady Baker’s Teas.  The little seasonal samplers were a no-brainer, but I had to pick a few more, just for those blustery cold January days so she could make memories with her books and maybe think of me for a minute when she takes those first yummy sips of Cinnfully Cinnamon or Chocolate Mint while cracking open that spine.

                                        Some Favourite Irish Reads

  1. From and Low and Quiet Sea- Donal Ryan.
  2. Heart’s Invisible Furies- John Boyne
  3. The Sean Duffy series by Adrian McKinty
  4. Anything by Stuart Neville
  5. Solar Bones- Mike McCormack
  6. Four Letters of Love- Niall Williams
  7. When All Is Said- Anne Griffin
  8. Himself- Jess Kidd
  9. The Wonder- Emma Donaghue
  10. Let the Great World Spin- Colum McCann

 

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2 comments

Charlene

What a delightful read! New books to add to my ever growing list. I am a Barry’s girl all the way, and of course all my favourite Lady Baker Teas…Lady Slipper Blend, London Fog, Heaven and Earth, Be Well…the list goes on…
Thanks Lori for sharing this beautiful blog post.

Linda Stewart

I love this essay and all the essays on this web site. What a cozy read! Books, tea, chocolate — what’s not to like? I love all things Irish – Irish movies, music, literature. Thanks for the reading list. I am now inspired to get reading more fiction, perhaps Irish fiction.

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