The Book Discussion Group at the McClelland Library is led by Dr. Joyce East (left), a retired professor of Irish Studies, and Mary Wilber (right), a retired librarian and former member of the Scottsdale Library Board. The group seeks to engage members of our community with the tradition and excellence of all forms of Irish Literature.

Meeting Time and Place

Book discussions will be held from 10:30AM to 12:30PM in the McClelland Library’s Norton Room. Don’t forget to check our library, your local library, local book stores, and the internet to find your copy.

2018/2019 Schedule and Selections

Book discussions have concluded for Spring 2018. Join us again this upcoming fall!

Our first selection of the 2018/2019 season will be TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (2013) on September 29, 2018.

Sources For Text

(1) The McClelland Library and local bookshops (2) Online sources, including Amazon and Kenny’s ( (3) Friel’s play is in Plays Two, a text some of you may have purchased in the past.

A Note From Mary and Joyce

Norman McClelland, whose family was from Northern Ireland and for whom the library is named, died July 11, 2017. He was a friend and supported our book discussions. We are dedicating this year’s discussions to his memory.

Experience the discussion online

book group

As a new feature in Spring of 2015, the McClelland Library Book Discussion Group is going digital!  Join us to continue the discussion after meetings by becoming a member of our Facebook group.

On Facebook

History through Literature: The North of Ireland

As a political entity, Northern Ireland is less than one hundred years old.  The six counties of Northern Ireland were carved out of the nine counties of Ulster in 1920 (leaving Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan as part of the new Free State).  Despite Northern Ireland’s brief and conflicted political history, the larger, Ulster region has a long literary history.  Under the broad theme, “The North of Ireland,” the upcoming book discussions at the Irish Cultural Center will focus on writers from this region. History and literature have been contested for years in Northern Ireland, where loyaltiesand grievances reach back into the 17 th Century. Several selections reflect the complicated and conflicted history of that area; others remind us of the private lives chronicled only in literature. Our discussions begin with Making History, a play that raises questions about histories and the roles that story, myth, and memory may play in shaping them.  Our second work will examine the private life of a Belfast spinster.  Several texts focus on the “Troubles” and on recent developments in the peace process.  As was our practice last year, we will focus each month on one major text and one or two poems.  A discussion guide will be posted early in the month.

And don’t miss a thing: