A selection of books from the Little Gem Library to help you plan your tour of Ireland...
Our latest blog takes a look at the Little Gem office library and extracts some of the books that helped inspire Little Gem Tours and our adventures around Ireland. Mythology, history, nature and landscape are all covered in this eclectic mix of interesting reads. Take a look and hopefully they will help you get excited and plan your private tour of Ireland.
I Never Knew That About Ireland &
I Never Knew That About the Irish
by Christopher Winn & Mai Osawa
We will start with a Little Gem favourite and a faithful companion in the early days of Little Gem Tours. Full of interesting facts and trivia accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Mai Osawa. A nice addition to any library and a fantastic research tool to plan your tour of Ireland.
A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes
by Jonathon Bardon
A history of Ireland told through 250 short stories is a wonderful way of discovering the background to the island. This can either be read straight through or perhaps hop in and out of different eras. Definitely a firm favourite here at Little Gem Tours if you want a good understanding of the complexities of Irish history.
Atlas of Irish History
by Sean Duffy
A great resource to gain a basic understanding of the history of Ireland. This book makes great use of maps and graphic cartography to portray a timeline of Irish history from the first arrivals until the present day.
Back Roads of Ireland
by Eyewitness Travel
Back roads of Ireland is what Little Gem Tours does best and another favourite resource of ours during the early days was this beautiful production by Eyewitness Travel. Detailing some marvellous road trips around the backroads of Ireland.
How the Irish Saved Civilisation
by Thomas Cahill
A somewhat dramatic title however a very enjoyable read that focuses on Ireland's early Christian period. Thomas Cahill highlights the positive impact of Irelands role on European history, particularly relating to literature at the time of the dark ages across mainland Europe.
The Sacred Mythological Centres of Ireland
by Jack Roberts
This little gem is one of our favourite books in the library about the megalithic sites around the country. From Newgrange to Rathcroghan, these ancient stone monuments are shrouded in mystery. In this illustrated guide Jack Roberts delves deep into that archeology and mythology of ancient Ireland.
City of Writers
by Brendan Lynch
Dublin City is a UNESCO city of Literature and boasts some of the world's most reknowned liteary geniuses such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Jonathon Swift. This book covers all of the writes of the city and explorers there roots showing you were they once lived in the capital city.
Search of the Irish Dreamtime
by J.P. Mallory
J.P. Mallory is one of the most distinguished experts when it comes to Irish history. In this production he examines the possibilities of mythology shining a light of pre-history. A more detailed exploration for the more advanced students of Irish history and those particularly interested in the mythology of the island.
Burren Villages - Tales of History & Imagination by Sarah Poyntz
The limestone rock of the Burren is one of Little Gem tours favourite destinations on any private tour of Ireland. Taking in the Burren Geopark and Cliffs of Moher this fascinating landscape offers an abundance of interesting features, whether it is the archaeology, flora, people or villages. This brilliant publication covers the area focusing on the stories of the people and villages in great detail.
I am of Ireland
Favourite Poems by W.B. Yeats and Paintings by Yeats Irish Contemporaries
This beautiful production combines paintings from Irish artists with the poetic works of W.B. Yeats. One of Ireland's leading literary figures and a Nobel Price winning Poet. The carefully selected paintings from Irish artists sit beautifully alongside Yeats's finest works.
by Everyman's Library
A very handy pocket book of Irish poems that makes for a terrific travel companion when traversing the backroads of Ireland. Keep it on you and you will find poems that fit snugly with the landscape passing by.
The End - Graves of Irish Writers
by Ray Bateson
Visitors love to explore the atmospheric graveyards around the villages in Ireland. With ancient headstones and haunting ruins they make for wonderful off the beaten path experiences. This unusual book takes the reader through some of Ireland's most renowned writers final resting places with lots of stories and anecdotes to accompany the photographs.
Granuaile - Grace O'Malley - Ireland's Pirate Queen
by Anne Chambers
Another favourite from the Little Gem library is the excellent account of the life of the legendary Grace O'Malley otherwise known as The Irish Pirate Queen. A blockbuster of an adventure awaits with a great account of 17th century life in Ireland. A must read for those venturing along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Border - The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Polictics by Diarmaid Ferriter
A hot topic in Ireland at the moment is the contentious border on the island of Ireland. If you are feeling rather confused as to the whole issue the publication puts to bed any queries that you may have. Diarmaid Ferriter is a highly respected historian and writer in Ireland at the moment and he provides the definitive history of Irelands border.
The Annals of Dublin
by E.E. O'Donnell
The Annals of Dublin consists of a chronology of the history of Dublin from the earliest known sources to the current day. As well as historical information there is a focus on interesting characters and events to make this and engaging read. The text is accompanied by some of the finest Father Brown photographs, many never seen before in print.
Dublin Tenement Life
by Kevin C. Kearns
Dublin City is today seen as modern city however it has its routes in the tenements buildings of the inner city. For nearly 150 years tenements of Dublin City were widely judged to be some of the worst slums in all of Europe. By the 1930s, 6,400 tenements were occupied by almost 112,000 tenants. However amongst the poverty a community spirit grew which is unequalled in the city to this day. This fascinating read provides first hand accounts of how it was to live in the unique dwellings, full of stories, yarns and history.
Easter 1916 - The Irish Rebellion
by Charles Townshend
Old Ways Old Secrets - Pagan Ireland
by Jo Kerrigan
Another hidden gem in the Little Gem library. This beautifully written publication explores pagan Ireland and its influence and connections with the present. From the neolithic tombs to faery trees this book provides a glimpse to the very soul of Ireland.
The Kerry Coast
by Tony O'Callaghan
A private tour of Ireland usually takes in the awesome highlights of the Kingdom of Kerry. This detailed book takes the reader on a journey from the famed Ring of Kerry all around the Kingdom to the stunning Slea Head and beyond. An essential guide to one of Ireland's most beautiful counties.
by Colm Toibin
For those with Irish ancestry and perhaps planning an ancestry tour of Ireland this charming tale by one of Ireland's most influential writers is a must read. Set in Ireland and New York in the 1950's this tale explores the journey of a young Irish girl and her transition from rural Ireland to the bright lights of the big apple.
Lady Gregory's Complete Irish Mythology
by Lady Gregory
For the definitive account of Irish Mythology look no further than Lady Gregory's Complete Irish Mythology. From the legends of Cuchulainn to Fionn MacCumhaill this giant of Irish literature takes you on a fabulous eclectic journey through Ireland's famed myths and legends.
by Jonathon Swift
Finally we will finish with the world famous novel by Jonathon Swift - Gullivers Travels. What better way to prepare yourself for an adventure of a lifetime than to recap the adventures encountered by Gulliver in this wonderfully imaginative work of satire. Its amazing how the themes and political intrigues contained in the work can be related to todays mad world.