Spring is springing into life, thank goodness. I can go back to being lazy, reading out on the porch (if I can beat the cat to my chair) instead of being lazy, reading inside. A few of my favorite writing ladies have come out with new books very recently and it has been wonderful to meet all their new characters.
I just read Maeve Binchy's Heart and Soul and loved it. Maeve has retired any number of times over the last several years but then yells, "Surprise"! and pops out another wonderful novel. This one was better than her last couple in my opinion. Then there's my favorite lass, Cathy Kelly, whose Lessons in Heartbreak finally made it to this country. A lot of it took place in New York but the publishers still took their sweet time releasing it here. Maybe they were waiting until close to St. Patrick's Day -- who knows! Another couple of ladies to check out if you're looking for a bit of blarney are Patricia Scanlan, Cecelia Ahern (do not judge her by the movie of her book, P.S. I Love You), and Sharon Owens from Belfast. Sharon can be hilarious in her stories. She has a few out that are in the library (others can be gotten through inter-library loan): The Tea House on Mulberry Street, The Ballroom on Magnolia Street, and The Tavern on Maple Street.
The new breed of Irish authors is so much more fun than the depressing old guys -- no offense to James Joyce fans, etc., but they didn't exactly make you chuckle. Patrick Taylor is probably as old as I am but he's a hoot. He wrote the Irish doctor books and it makes you wish you could kick your HMO to the curb and run to the office he runs with Barry, the new,young doctor.
So, if you get tired of drinking green beer or stomping on snakes, grab one of the new Celtic generation's editions and maybe an Irish coffee to go with it. Enjoy.