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Books for the season and all seasons

In honor of the season of giving Inside File is this week highlighting some books (and one CD!) that should be of interest to readers.


Published just a few weeks ago this is a tribute to twenty five years of Glucksman Ireland House at New York University and features the words of twenty two writers including Alice McDermott, Colum McCann, Colm Toibin, Maureen Murphy, Dan Barry, Marion Casey, Paul Muldoon, Billy Collins and Peter Quinn. Hardcover published by Irish Academic Press,

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described this photography book depicting 24 hours in the life of the life and work of a New York City cop as “not just a book, but almost a work of art.” “NYPD,” by Irish Independent photographer Mark Condren, took two years to complete and is a 24-hour photo study of the force. It can be found at Condren also published a photographic book about the Garda Siochana which is highlighted on the same site.


Long before New York cops and the Guards there were the Vikings who for all intents and purposes founded Dublin as a trading city. No photographers around in Viking Dublin of course but this volume is richly illustrated and delivers a fascinating historical account penned by Howard B. Clarke, Sheila Dooley, and Ruth Johnson. Published in Ireland by O’Brien Press but available in the U.S. from Dufour Editions in Chester Springs, PA. More on this and other titles at


Published early in the year by Alfred Knopf, John Banville’s “evocative journey” delivers recollections, experiences and imaginings of Dublin by the award winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. “An exquisite work by a master craftsman” was how Kirkus Reviews described this hardcover tome which also includes “stunning photos” by Paul Joyce.


4,000 miles or so to the west of Dublin is Milwaukee and this recently published work by Carl Baehr is a history of the Irish in the Wisconsin city. Milwaukee is, of course, the venue for the annual Irish Fest which bills itself as the largest Irish festival gathering in the U.S. There are reasons for this, and they can be found in the pages of this paperback. Details at


This book, penned by Tara M. McCarthy and published by Syracuse University Press, is subtitled “Irish American Women’s Activism 1880-1920” and it’s fair to say that this is a topic that has not been written much about, or enough, to date. So despite the period treated in its pages the book is a timely addition to Irish Studies in 2018. More at


When many of us now think of Abraham Lincoln we embrace the image of Daniel Day Lewis as the Civil War president and savior of the Union. But when we think of the real man it would be informative indeed to be conscious of the many Irish accents that Lincoln would have heard in the course of his all-too-short life. In his book, subtitled “The Untold Story Of How The Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union,” Niall O’Dowd introduces us to those accents, faces, names and Irish backgrounds. There are many of them, and they were pivotal in Lincoln’s life and work. Published by Skyhorse Publishing,


Before Titanic, 56 years before to be precise, an “ice armada” plagued the sea routes between Europe and North America and one mighty iceberg did for the packet ship John Rutledge. Thus began the harrowing journey of Thomas Nye of Massachusetts and twelve others who took to a lifeboat after the ship had its fatal encounter with hard ice. Subtitled “A True Story of Tragedy on the Icy Atlantic and the One Who Lived to Tell about It,” Washington Post journalist Brian Murphy delivers a captivating tale for a winter’s evening read, preferably on dry land. Published by Perseus Books,


At first glance this looks like an account of the birth of the modern theatre in eighteenth-century London. And it is. But look more closely and what emerges is a story of how the Irish played a dominant role in this naissance. Author Norman S. Poser states that in doing research on the 18th century London stage he was struck by the size and importance of the contributions made by Irish actors and actresses. Published by Routledge,


Westchester County, New York-based Sarah Browne is a remarkable Irish American singing talent whose debut CD, “To You,” contains a collection of original songs made all the better by Browne’s powerful vocalization and instrumental skills. More at


“Crossing the Line, My Life on the Edge,” by Martin Dillon. Best-selling Irish author and journalist, Martin Dillon, now based in California, has written a number of books set against the Troubles. In this, his latest, Dillon reveals how he came into contact with the reviled killers, the Shankill Butchers, how he came to be praised by two British prime ministers – and was thrown out of the home of a third; how he persuaded John Hume into a live BBC studio radio debate with Gerry Adams for the first time, and how the Hume-Adams talks ultimately led to the foundation of the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Pot O’Gold Murder,” by Shaun Coen is a Bronx tale and features “hard-living” Detective Eileen Ryan on the trail of the killer of a popular bartender. Published by Black Opal Books,

“Manhattan North Narcotics,” by Jake McNicholas, is subtitled “Chasing the Kilo Fairy” and is the first novel by former NYPD detective McNicholas, who also plays the pipes with the NYPD Pipes and Drums. Given his policing career it can be safely assumed that McNicholas knows of what he writes. The book is published by North Carolina-based Escarpment Press,

Above books and CD also available on and Barnes &