I love to read books set in the locations I travel, both before and during my visit. For Ireland, I read and enjoyed:
by Frank Delaney
This was Irish mythology, history, and a compelling novel, all woven into together. I heartily recommend this book. Reading chapters in Irish pubs is recommended, but not required.
by Edward Rutherford
Rutherford writes sprawling, expansive tomes that follow fictional families in a particular location over hundreds of years. I’ve enjoyed other books of Rutherford more (London, The Forest, and Paris have been my favorites), but this was a good introduction to Irish history from 430 AD to 1537 BC.
by Kate Cruise O’Brien
I found this book on the shelf in the cottage where we were staying and enjoyed it as a short coming of age novel. Unlike the first two books listed, it was less “about Ireland” and more just “set in Ireland.”