98 books like Annals of the Famine in Ireland, in 1847, 1848, and 1849

By Asenath Nicholson,

Here are 98 books that Annals of the Famine in Ireland, in 1847, 1848, and 1849 fans have personally recommended if you like Annals of the Famine in Ireland, in 1847, 1848, and 1849. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Dave Reardon Author Of The Deep Enders

From my list on WWII novels on love in a time of hatred.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian writer who wrestled with the idea of being a novelist for years before finally surrendering to the joy of crafting beloved characters–then dropping them in the most awful situations for the sake of a compelling story. I was a newspaper journalist for a decade, covering crime, politics, and shark attacks. I moved into youth work and wrote The Deep Enders series while also producing How To Cook That, a large YouTube channel hosted by my wife, Ann.

Dave's book list on WWII novels on love in a time of hatred

Dave Reardon Why did Dave love this book?

What an outstanding tale by novelist Morris.

The book tells the true story of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, who falls in love with a young woman that he was forced to tattoo upon her arrival at Auschwitz concentration camp in WWII.

The book rocked me as I asked again and again the question: "How can humans do this to each other?"  

By Heather Morris,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Tattooist of Auschwitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the bestselling books of the 21st century with over 6 million copies sold.

Don't miss the conclusion to The Tattooist of Auschwitz Trilogy, Three Sisters. Available now.

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl.…


Book cover of Atonement

James B. Gilbert Author Of The Legacy

From my list on understanding and misunderstanding each other.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had two careers and two lives. Beginning as a historian of American culture, I have become a writer of fiction. That I have turned to fiction now is because I have so many of my own stories to explore and relate. And what I love most about writing novels and the short pieces I compose is the possibility to create living characters who sometimes surprise me with what they believe and do, but always, I know, emerge from the very deepest corners of my imagination and the issues that I feel compelled to examine and resolve.

James' book list on understanding and misunderstanding each other

James B. Gilbert Why did James love this book?

This amazing book reveals how a single mistaken perception, influenced by jealousy, envy, and the snobbery of social class, can wreak havoc on so many innocent lives.

McEwen writes with great delicacy and passion in constructing a story in which it becomes almost impossible to atone for a terrible accusation that cannot be rescinded. 

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Atonement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a…


Book cover of Strumpet City

Jean Reinhardt Author Of A Pocket Full of Shells

From my list on genuinely reflect the time they are set in.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m deeply interested in the lives of my ancestors including the times they lived through so in researching our family tree I took into account the historical events they witnessed. This is what led me to read and write historical fiction. One branch of my family where survivors of the Great Hunger so I have done a lot of research on this dark period of Irish history. During WW1 my husband’s great uncle died in the trenches as an Irishman fighting in the British Army while at the same time my English grandfather and his two brothers were imprisoned as conscientious objectors, one of them dying as a consequence.

Jean's book list on genuinely reflect the time they are set in

Jean Reinhardt Why did Jean love this book?

I first read this book in my teens and it profoundly affected me. The storyline is set in Dublin from 1907 to 1914, when a third of the city’s residents were destitute. Large families lived in single rooms in the dilapidated former homes of wealthy landlords. The author weaves the lives of his fictional characters into the workers’ revolt and great lockout of 1913, a tragic time for the ordinary people of Dublin. In spite of this, there are wonderful scenes of kindness and self-sacrifice that a close-knit community will often provide. I feel this book greatly influenced my own writing decades after first reading it. 

By James Plunkett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strumpet City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in Dublin during the Lockout of 1913, Strumpet City is a panoramic novel of city life. It embraces a wide range of social milieux, from the miseries of the tenements to the cultivated, bourgeois Bradshaws. It introduces a memorable cast of characters: the main protagonist, Fitz, a model of the hard-working, loyal and abused trade unionist; the isolated, well-meaning and ineffectual Fr O'Connor; the wretched and destitute Rashers Tierney. In the background hovers the enormous shadow of Jim Larkin, Plunkett's real-life hero.

Strumpet City's popularity derives from its realism and its naturalistic presentation of traumatic historical events. There are…


Book cover of Seek the Fair Land

Jean Reinhardt Author Of A Pocket Full of Shells

From my list on genuinely reflect the time they are set in.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m deeply interested in the lives of my ancestors including the times they lived through so in researching our family tree I took into account the historical events they witnessed. This is what led me to read and write historical fiction. One branch of my family where survivors of the Great Hunger so I have done a lot of research on this dark period of Irish history. During WW1 my husband’s great uncle died in the trenches as an Irishman fighting in the British Army while at the same time my English grandfather and his two brothers were imprisoned as conscientious objectors, one of them dying as a consequence.

Jean's book list on genuinely reflect the time they are set in

Jean Reinhardt Why did Jean love this book?

This is the first book in a trilogy that follows multiple generations of a fictional Irish family. Set in the mid-1600s, Cromwell’s soldiers leave a trail of destruction behind as they attack towns and villages throughout the country. After his wife is killed in the massacre of Drogheda Dominick McMahon and his two children, along with a wounded priest, set out to find a safer place to live. The story is compelling and, although part of a trilogy, can be read as a stand-alone novel. It has everything I like about historical fiction – captivating characters woven into a series of major events that pull the reader into a bygone era.

By Walter Macken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seek the Fair Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 1649. As the English soldiers trample the Irish homesteads, leaving behind them a trail of barbarity and destruction, a few brave men set out to seek a 'fair land' over the brow of the hill.

Among them is Dominick MacMahon, whose wife has been killed in the bloody massacre of Drogheda, and whose son and daughter, and a wounded priest, Father Sebastian, accompany him.

But as he journeys in search of peace and freedom he is relentlessly pursued by Coote, the Cromwellian ruler of Connaught . . .


Book cover of Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850

Frank Parker Author Of A Purgatory of Misery: How Victorian Liberals Turned a Crisis into a Disaster

From my list on helping you understand the Irish potato famine.

Why am I passionate about this?

A friend with Parkinson's Disease requested my help in his attempts to understand the famine and its impact on his ancestors in County Clare. Once I began reading the material he brought me I was impelled to discover more. I had already researched and written about an earlier period in Irish history - the Anglo-Norman invasion - and it seemed that everything that happened on both sides of the Irish Sea in the centuries that followed was instrumental in making the famine such a disaster. Our book is the result.

Frank's book list on helping you understand the Irish potato famine

Frank Parker Why did Frank love this book?

This is the book to read if you are young or seeking something for a young reader.

The suffering and endurance of ordinary men women and children during those terrible years is described with empathy and admiration. It is also, as the book description states, "the story of the heroes among the Irish people and how they held on to hope."

By Susan Campbell Bartoletti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Potatoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

2002 Sibert Medal Winner

In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people.

Over the next five years, the blight attacked again and again. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled their homeland.
Black Potatoes is the compelling story of men, women, and children who defied landlords and searched empty fields for scraps of harvested vegetables and edible weeds to eat,…


Book cover of Life Sentences

Anne Griffin Author Of Listening Still

From my list on Irish books by Irish authors I like to rave about.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love great writing and great storytelling too. As a child I liked nothing more than when my father made up bedtime stories for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate how writers work exceptionally hard not just at getting the plot of a story right but in the words they chose. Being Irish, I love to support the wealth of enviably good writers that seem to spill out from these shores. In each of these books you will find love and loss and laughter. It never fails to make me smile when abroad to see one of these guys on the shelves of the bookshops I visit. 

Anne's book list on Irish books by Irish authors I like to rave about

Anne Griffin Why did Anne love this book?

Set over three generations of the one family, this is the story of their fight for survival. What I love here is not just the prose, because there is no one finer than O’Callaghan, but also because it touches on the depopulation of Ireland’s small islands during the famine and the small island to which he refers has a very significant family connection for me. Partly based on O’Callaghan’s own family, Life Sentences tells an epic story of working-class life in Ireland from famine right through to modern-day. It is an unforgettable tale of love, abandonment, and reconciliation.

By Billy O'Callaghan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Sentences as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*THE #3 IRISH BESTSELLER*
*A SINEAD & RICK 'MUST READS' PICK*

An unforgettable tale of love, abandonment, hunger and redemption, from a rising star of Irish fiction

'O'Callaghan is one of our finest writers . . . and this is his best work yet' JOHN BANVILLE

*****

At just sixteen, Nancy leaves the small island of Cape Clear for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the effects of the Great Famine. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she is irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love…


Book cover of A Slip of a Girl

Susan Krawitz Author Of Viva, Rose!

From my list on middle grade that makes history leap off the page.

Why am I passionate about this?

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.” Frederic Raphael. When I was a child, a relative often told stories of a cowboy gear clad cousin who visited our New York family from Texas and claimed he’d once served in Pancho Villa’s army. These tales were the spark that eventually led to Viva, Rose! and my interest in storytelling as well. There’s something about the combination of lived experience and fiction that I find irresistibly engaging and exciting. I’ve worked as a journalist, ghostwriter, and editor, but my happiest happy place is writing and reading stories birthed from a molten core of real life.

Susan's book list on middle grade that makes history leap off the page

Susan Krawitz Why did Susan love this book?

I’m a bit of a Celtophile but hadn’t heard of the Irish Land Wars of the early 1800s before encountering this book. In short: after The Great Famine, poor crop yields forced tenant farmers into a desperate fight to stay on farmland owned by absentee owners. Anna, the book’s protagonist, isn’t a typical mighty-girl heroine, but has a fierce love for her family, and the farm that was theirs long before their landlord claimed it. The author offers her story in perfect verse, weaving in bits of her family’s own history and historic photos as well. Anna’s a girl who knew what she wanted and never stopped believing it could and should be hers until it was. That’s a lesson all children, including this grown one, can really, really use.

By Patricia Reilly Giff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Slip of a Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A heart-wrenching novel in verse about a poor girl surviving the Irish Land Wars, by a two-time Newbery Honor-winning author.

For Anna, the family farm has always been home... But now, things are changing.

Anna's mother has died, and her older siblings have emigrated, leaving Anna and her father to care for a young sister with special needs. And though their family has worked this land for years, they're in danger of losing it as poor crop yields leave them without money to pay their rent.

When a violent encounter with the Lord's rent collector results in Anna and her…


Book cover of The Great Hunger: Ireland: 1845-1849

James Charles Roy Author Of The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland

From my list on Irish history and different aspects of it.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first introduction to Ireland was in 1953 when my parents took the entire family over for two months. We stayed mostly in Dublin as "paying guests" with a threadbare, though incredibly proud, Anglo-Irish mother and her adult daughter in their decrepit apartment. What a learning experience for a seven-year-old boy! My fascination with the country's culture and history has never dampened, climaxed by my purchase of a 16th-century ruin, Moyode Castle, in County Galway, now finally restored. Over the years I have written seven books, six of them on Irish themes, plus innumerable articles in scholarly journals. The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland is my magnum opus as an Irish historian.

James' book list on Irish history and different aspects of it

James Charles Roy Why did James love this book?

When this book was released in 1962, it landed like a bomb, becoming an immediate, worldwide best seller. Woodham-Smith did not "invent" the famine as a topic -- every historian of the period was well aware of this tragedy, and its implications for the future of Ireland (mass emigration, smoldering indignation in the Irish diaspora, seeds for future rebellion) -- but many readers were unaware of the governmental machinations in London that so contributed to this humanitarian disaster. Some of Woodham-Smith's conclusions, and judgments, have been questioned by succeeding historians, but her narrative here is compelling, well researched, beautifully written, and germane to the troubles which afflicted the island well into the twentieth century and beyond.

By Cecil Woodham-Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Hunger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Irish potato famine of the 1840s, perhaps the most appalling event of the Victorian era, killed over a million people and drove as many more to emigrate to America. It may not have been the result of deliberate government policy, yet British 'obtuseness, short-sightedness and ignorance' - and stubborn commitment to laissez-faire 'solutions' - largely caused the disaster and prevented any serious efforts to relieve suffering. The continuing impact on Anglo-Irish relations was incalculable, the immediate human cost almost inconceivable. In this vivid and disturbing book Cecil Woodham-Smith provides the definitive account.

'A moving and terrible book. It combines…


Book cover of Women and the Great Hunger

Carl J. Griffin Author Of The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, C. 1750-C. 1840

From my list on explaining the politics behind hunger.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m driven to understand the lives and mentalities of poor workers at the time of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a subject on which a great has been written but I’ve always been surprised that, in a British context, the subject of hunger has been largely ignored. The great joy of being a historical scholar is that freedom to follow your nose in the archive, to trust your instinct, and to uncover untold stories of the forgotten. Their experiences of hunger might relate to a now seemingly distant world, but such hunger histories are also amazingly prescient in our new age of food banks and famines. 

Carl's book list on explaining the politics behind hunger

Carl J. Griffin Why did Carl love this book?

Throughout history – and into the present – hunger is always profoundly gendered, women being disproportionately impacted upon than men. The point has been remarkably little studied so it’s a good thing that the most prolific writer on the Great Famine of Ireland, Christine Kinealy alongside two other fine famine scholars, have finally addressed this. The book is a series of essays exploring the roles that women (and children) played during the famine. Timely and powerful and a useful reminder that when it comes to writing the history of hunger we’ve only just started.

By Christine Kinealy (editor), Jason King (editor), Ciaran Reilly (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and the Great Hunger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Even considering recent advances in the development of women's studies as a discipline, women remain underrepresented in the history and historiography of the Great Hunger. The various roles played by women, including as landowners, relief-givers, philanthropists, proselytizers and providers for the family, have received little attention.This publication examines the diverse and still largely unexplored role of women during the Great Hunger, shedding light on how women experienced and shaped the tragedy that unfolded in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. In addition to more traditional sources, the contributors also draw on folklore and popular culture.Women and the Great Hunger brings together…


Book cover of The Great Famine: Ireland's Agony 1845-1852

Frank Parker Author Of A Purgatory of Misery: How Victorian Liberals Turned a Crisis into a Disaster

From my list on helping you understand the Irish potato famine.

Why am I passionate about this?

A friend with Parkinson's Disease requested my help in his attempts to understand the famine and its impact on his ancestors in County Clare. Once I began reading the material he brought me I was impelled to discover more. I had already researched and written about an earlier period in Irish history - the Anglo-Norman invasion - and it seemed that everything that happened on both sides of the Irish Sea in the centuries that followed was instrumental in making the famine such a disaster. Our book is the result.

Frank's book list on helping you understand the Irish potato famine

Frank Parker Why did Frank love this book?

Where the Atlas is a very large book compiled by a team of academics, O'Murchadha's smaller volume covers much the same ground.

He provides some context by opening with a portrait of Ireland before the onset of famine and concluding with a picture of Ireland in the years after. It is made human by the many anecdotes featuring the experiences of particular individulals and families from his native County Clare.

O'Murchadha is highly critical of the government's response to the famine, offering scathing critiques of the Poor Law, the Rate-In-Aid Act, and the beaurocratisation of relief, nevertheless his tone is generally well balanced. I regard both the Atlas and O'Murchada's book as essential reading for anyone with a genuine interest in understanding this watershed period in British-Irish relations.

By Ciaran O Murchadha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Famine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is an engaging and moving account of this most destructive event in Irish history. Over one million people died in the Great Famine, and more than one million more emigrated on the coffin ships to America and beyond. Drawing on contemporary eyewitness accounts and diaries, the book charts the arrival of the potato blight in 1845 and the total destruction of the harvests in 1846 which brought a sense of numbing shock to the populace. Far from meeting the relief needs of the poor, the Liberal public works programme was a first example of how relief policies would themselves…


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Interested in Ireland, the Great Famine in Ireland, and the Irish?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Ireland, the Great Famine in Ireland, and the Irish.

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