Launched August 1998 This top 100 list was compiled from Easons and publishers figures dating back to the 1940s, and included are expected favourites like Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle, Maeve Binchy, Edna O’Brien, Patricia Scanlan, Tom McCaughren and Marita Conlon-McKenna. Other authors like Walter Macken also feature prominently - four of his books feature in the top 30 - while John Murphy’s Little Irish Cookbook, first published in 1986 is in second place. Two honorary Irishmen, Leon Uris for his book Trinity and Gerald Seymour’s Field of Blood are also included among the chart toppers.

Who's who on the Top 100 list. . .

1 The Glass Lake
by Maeve Binchy
26 The Scorching Wind
by Walter Macken
51 Watermelon
by Marian Keyes
76 The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
2 Little Irish Cookbook
by John Murphy
27 The Flight of the Doves
by Walter Macken
52 Simply Delicious Christmas
by Darina Allen
77 Bike Hunt by Hugh Galt
3 Evening Class
by Maeve Binchy
28 Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-McKenna 53 Wildflower Girl
by Marita Conlon-McKenna
78 Exploring the Book of Kells by George Otto Simms
4 Copper Beech
by Maeve Binchy
29 Philadelphia Here I Come
by Brian Friel
54 The Spirit Level
by Seamus Heaney
79 Tarry Flynn by Patrick Kavanagh
5 Waiting for Godot
by Samuel Beckett
30 Simply Delicious
by Darin Allen
55 The General
by Paul Williams
80 Proverbs and Sayings of Ireland by S Gaffney/S Cashman
6 Borstal Boy
by Brendan Beehan
31 Translations
by Brian Friel
56 The Mammy
by Brendan O’Carroll
81 Real Irish Cookery by Mary Caherty
7 The Ginger Man
by JP Donleavy
32 Endgame
by Samuel Beckett
57 Simply Delicious 2
by Darina Allen
82 City Woman by Patricia Scanlan
8 Peig
by Peig Sayers
33 Famine
by Liam O’Flaherty
58 The Field
by John B Keane
83 Against the Tide by Noel Browne
9 Irish Proverbs Illustrated
by Karen Bailey
34 Harry’s Game
by Gerald Seymour
59 A Place of Stones
by Deirdre Purcell
84 20 Years a Growing by Maurice O’Sullivan
10 Angela’s Ashes
by Frank Mc Court
35 Crowning the Customer
by Feargal Quinn
60 Run to Earth
by Tom McCaughren
85 Ireland since the Famine by F S L Lyons
11 Light a Penny Candle
by Maeve Binchy
36 Reading in the Dark
by Seamus Deane
61 The Boss
by J Joyce/P Murtagh
86 Letter to Daniel by Fergal Keane
12 Trinity
by Leon Uris
37 Run with the Wind
by Tom McCaughren
62 The Time of My Life
by Gay Byrne
87 Secret World of the Irish Male by Joseph O’Connor
13 The Course of Irish History by TW Moody 38 High Days and Holidays
by Jenny Bristow
63 Murphy
by Samuel Beckett
88 The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
14 New and Selected Poems by Seamus Heaney 39 The Big Wind
by Beatrice Coogan
64 Run Swift, Run Free
by Tom McCaughren
89 The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse by Thomas Kinsella (ed.)
15 Firefly Summer
by Maeve Binchy
40 Quench the Lamp
by Alice Taylor
65 Amongst Women
by John McGahern
90 Foreign Affairs by Patricia Scanlan
16 Echoes
by Maeve Binchy
41 Michael Collins
by T.P. Coogan
66 Ireland 1912-1985
by J J Lee
91 Classic Irish Short Stories by Frank O’Connor
17 Circle of Friends
by Maeve Binchy
42 Death of a Naturalist
by Seamus Heaney
67 Irish Names for Children
by Patrick Woulfe
92 The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin
18 Field of Blood
by Gerald Seymour
43 Good Behaviour
by Molly Keane
68 Dancing at Lughnasa
by Brian Friel
93 Cal by Bernard McLaverty
19 The Woman who walked into doors
by Roddy Doyle
44 Ireland, A History
by Robert Kee
69 Brendan Behan
by Ulick O’Connor
94 The Tailor and Ansty by Eric Cross
20 The Country Girls
by Edna O’Brien
45 The Book of Evidence
by John Banville
70 Are you Somebody?
by Nuala O’Faolain
95 The Collected Poems of Patrick Kavanagh
21 The Great Hunger
by C Woodham-Smith
46 Paddy Clareke, Ha Ha Ha,
by Roddy Doyle
71 Forbidden Fruit
by A Murphy/P de Rosa
96 The Islandman by Tomas O’Crohan
22 To School through the fields
by Alice Taylor
47 Silver Wedding
by Maeve Binchy
72 Happy Days
by Samuel Beckett
97 On Another Man’s Wound by Ernie O’Malley
23 The Commitments
by Roddy Doyle
48 An Evil Cradling
by Brian Keenan
73 Seeing Things
by Seamus Heaney
98 The Bodhran Makers by J B Keane
24 Seek the Fair Land
by Walter Macken
49 The Snapper
by Roddy Doyle
74 The Sins of the Mothers
by Frank Delaney
99 Francey by Deirdre Purcell
25 The Silent People
by Walter Macken
50 Strumpet City
by James Plunkett
75 The Colour of Blood
by Brian Moore
100 The Little Black Sheep by Elizabeth Shaw

Courtesy Irish Independent 1998

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