I love to read books set in the locations I travel, both before and during my visit. For Ireland, I read and enjoyed:
Paris: The Novel, by Edward Rutherford
I’ve read many Rutherfurd novels, and this one was probably my favorite thus far. As usual, he weaves together the lives of several families through many generations. Unlike many of his novels, though, this one jumps back and forth through time. While it would sometimes take me a moment to orient myself, I loved how his departure from strict chronological order let me see an event and then later discover the family histories that sparked it. Plot-wise, my favorite story was at the end, set during World War II.
While reading this book in the Les jardins du Palais Royal, I realized that I was serendipitously reading about the building of the Palais Royal.
The Croatian War of Independence (1991 – 1995) is a very recent part of the country’s history, and most of the books that I read about Croatia included themes of war.