While you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (whether it’s with green beer or more traditional Irish fare), why not tune in to one of these three great audiobooks, recommended in our latest round of staff picks?
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, read by Kirsten Potter
If the buzz around the movie adaptation (and its subsequent nominations for three Academy Awards) didn’t already have you listening to this wonderful audiobook, there’s no better day than today to dive into Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn and the story of Eilis Lacey. Eilis’ family wants her to have a better future than the small town of Enniscorthy, Ireland can offer, so they arrange for her to immigrate to America—specifically Brooklyn, NY. Shortly after arriving in Brooklyn, Eilis falls for a young man who she meets at the weekly church dance . . . but the life she left behind in Ireland won’t let go that easily, and Eilis must make the difficult choice between the two very different lives Brooklyn and Enniscorthy have to offer. Kirsten Potter’s narration lends wonderful authenticity to the tale, skillfully moving between Irish and American accents, while communicating the depth of emotion Eilis experiences when faced with homesickness and heartache.
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, read by the author
Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir may not be the most upbeat listen for St. Patrick’s Day, but it is a moving and eloquently told story. Frank was born in Depression-era Brooklyn to Irish-immigrant parents, and later live in Limerick, Ireland. His father and mother often struggled to properly feed an clothe their children, but Frank was able to endure and rise up beyond the hardship. Read by the author himself, this audiobook tells the story of McCourt’s life with great emotion, grace, and surprising forgiveness.
Moone Boy by Chris O’Dowd and Nick V. Murphy, read by the author
Irish comedian Chris O’Dowd and Irish screenwriter and novelist Nick V. Murphy team up to bring younger listeners the hilarious story of Martin Moone, age 11. Martin is sick and tired of being the only boy in a family of girls. He’s desperate for a decent wingman to help him navigate life. Padraic, Martin’s best friend, suggests getting an imaginary friend (IF for short), which her decides to give a shot. His first attempt, Loopy Lou, a hyperactive goofball who writes terrible rap songs quickly becomes annoying, so Martin decides to trade in this IF for someone a little less wacky. Enter Sean “Caution” Murphy, an imaginary office clerk with a passion for laziness and bad jokes. Sean guides Martin through the perils of the playground, but getting rid of Lou is not that easy, and having two imaginary friends is recipe for disaster.